One of the best-kept secrets in Geneva is the Café du Grütli – a contemporary, healthy restaurant offering creative, dishes from around the world in an artistic environment.
The restaurant is located inside the multi-disciplinary cultural centre, Maison des Arts du Grütli in Rue du Général-Dufour 16, near Plainpalais, which also houses a musical library, dance studios, workshops for artists, a theatre and a cinema.
Maison des Arts du Grütli is at the heart of Geneva’s cultural district, a mere stone’s throw from the University and the Library of Geneva, the Rath Museum, the Conservatory of Music, the Grand Thèâtre and Victoria Hall.
The restaurant attracts an interesting mix of artists, concertgoers, writers and people keen to enjoy good food and good company in a peaceful, artistic environment.
It is the perfect place to pop in for coffee or tea with delicious homemade cakes, such as, the highly recommended pear pie with dark chocolate chips, after a classical music concert at the Victoria Hall next door, or a delicious salad or healthy meal before watching an international movie at the Cinema du Grütli downstairs. It is also ideal for drawn-out conversations with friends over a cup of Masala Chai or a romantic meal accompanied with exquisite French wine during a special celebration.
The Café was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Anne Besse 15 years ago, when the City of Geneva was searching for a manager to run a food business on the premises.
She says customers appreciate the concept of healthy and creative cuisine with a contemporary approach, for which the restaurant is well known in Geneva.
The restaurant offers creative cuisine from around the world, for example, radish with Japanese curry, quinoa, beetroot and green lentils or pan-fried scallops with citrus fruit, leek fondue and rice. Here you will also find artisanal drinks, an impressive tea menu and other gastronomic discoveries. The main focus of the seasonal menu is the freshness and quality of the products. A specialised cook prepares vegan and vegetarian dishes.
ARTISTIC AND ETHICAL
The café supports ethical consumption by working with local producers and small-business suppliers. Furthermore, they have a small urban garden at the front of the restaurant and regularly organise courses and workshops to educate people about ethical consumption.
Upon entering Café du Grütli you will notice original paintings throughout the restaurant, a result of their collaboration with local groups of artists. During my visit customers could participate in an interactive exposition by local female artists featuring a public canvas by adding something to the artwork. The Café is also known for their excellent music performances.
MAISONS DES ARTS DU GRÜTLI
The Maison des Arts du Grütli belongs to the Ville de Genève and was formerly a school built in the 1870s, before it was transformed into a cultural center. Inaugurated in 1988, it perfectly matches the cultural identity of its surroundings. The theatre offerings are mainly in French, but check out their website for film festivals which often have English language movies with French and/or German subtitles, dance and music performances.