BUDGET RESTAURANTS IN GENEVA
by Chené Koscielny
Finding somewhere reasonably priced to eat in Geneva is not easy, especially if you’re looking for healthy and good quality food. We share our favourite cheap eats in the city. Did we miss one? Let us know by commenting below.
This modern, bright restaurant in Plainpalais is the perfect place to watch passers-by in what feels like a real street cafe in the funky part of the Lebanese capital. The food is reasonably priced and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
With Lebanese sandwiches starting at only 8CHF, salads from 12-14CHF or something more filling around the 17-27CHF mark, the food is really affordable for Geneva. We had the vegetarian mezze platter, which was just divine and more than enough. Add to that their flexible opening hours and a menu that caters equally for vegetarians and meat-eaters and you’ve got a real winner!
Every week people from every nationality queue at the market stall of a very unusual couple for a taste of their fresh, homemade falafels, taboulé, galettes sprinkled with olive oil and za’atar (a spice mix of thyme, sesame seeds, oregano and sumac), served with filling of hummus, aubergine puree, beef, lamb or labneh (a thick yoghurt cheese) and fresh tomatoes and onions.
The stall is run by unusual couple Raya Elhajhasan (Palestinian) and Ozi Salma (Isreali) who are a shining example of how people from different cultures and religions can live in peace.
Visit Croc’Orient during the Plainpalais market on Sundays.
Read our full review here.
La Buvette des Bains
One of the cheapest places to eat quality food in town with an amazing atmosphere and fabulous views of the Jet d’Eau, the Rade and the Old Town, this is one of our all time favourite cheap eats.
The plat du jour (vegetarian options are available) costs around CHF14, soups around CHF5 and a fondue in winter will set you back around CHF23 – great value and one of the best in the city.
TOP TIP: They take cash only. No reservations are taken. An entry fee of 2chf per person is charged during the summer months (May-September) to access the beach and restaurant.
www.buvettedesbains.ch, 30 quai du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Genève. Telephone: 022 738 16 16.
Chez ma Cousine
Roast chicken is the star of the show here (unsurprisingly as their tagline is ‘On y Mange du Poulet’ which translates to ‘We eat chicken there’. Half a spit-roasted chicken served with Provencal potatoes and green salad offers fantastic value at 15.90chf (1/4 chicken at 10.50chf for children under 10 years old). They also offer some delicious salads (Caesar, Indian Chicken, Chicken Thai), as well as vegetarian salad options of Endive and Roquefort or Goats Cheese. Avoid asking for the dessert menu if you are trying to keep the cost of the bill down as it is a very long and very very tempting – meringues with double cream, profiteroles, cassata, chocolate mousse, crème brülée, fondant au chocolat, tarte tatin, ice cream and ice cream sundaes… (ranging from 2.80chf for a scoop of ice cream to 10.20chf for a sundae).
Chez ma Cousine’s first restaurant opened over 17 years ago in the Old Town at Place du Bourg de Four. They now have three locations (the other two are located in the St Gervais area (near to Manor/Cornavin) and in Petit-Saconnex).
Take away is also available, so why not take your meal down to the lakeside or to the Parc des Bastions for an alfresco lunch?
Reservations are not available at the Old Town location, so avoid peak times if possible. The St Gervais restaurant takes reservations evenings only and at Petit-Saconnex, reservations are taken for both lunch and dinner.
Vieille Ville – 6 Place du Bourg de Four, 1204 Genève
St Gervais – 5 rue Lissignol, 1201 Genève (telephone: 022 731 98 98)
Petit-Saconnex – 2 chemin du Petit-Saconnex, 1209 Genève (telephone: 022 733 7985)
Le Radar de Poche
Located just off the Place du Bourg de Four in the old town, this small cafe is full of charm and popular with lawyers (the Palais de Justice is in the same street) and students. They offer reasonably priced and delicious pasta dishes, as well as salads, desserts and drinks. Open early for coffee and viennoiseries (from 6.15am), through to lunch and then drinks/tapas in the afternoon/evening (until 8pm).
The lunchtime menu consists of a plat du jour, a large selection of pasta dishes, as well as salads. All dishes are available to take away.
We tried the penne with Harristo sauce at 13chf and the Salade Radar, a Chinese style salad with salad leaves, Chinese vegetables, sautéed chicken with sesame seeds and asparagus at 15chf.
Very popular and understandably so, so book in advance.
8 rue des Chaudronniers, 1204 Genève. Telephone: 022 311 36 68.
Located on the top floor of Manor department store close to Cornavin, this self-service restaurant offers a wide variety of choice making it a great option for groups with fussy eaters. Everything is freshly made in-house, whilst some items are freshly cooked to order. The huge selection includes salads, soups, pizza, quiches, Chinese food, pasta counter, grilled meat and fish, as well as delicious pastries and cakes. It can get extremely busy during the lunchtime peak of noon-1.30pm, so aim to arrive outside of these hours if possible, as finding seating can be problematic.
Manor, rue de Cornavin 6, 1201 Genève. Telephone: 022 909 4699.