WORLD CUISINE IN GENEVA
by Chené Koscielny and Alexandra Belz
Geneva’s restaurant scene reflects its mutli-cultural population, offering foodies a rich choice of authentic cuisines from around the world. From Asian to Italian, from African to South American – the restaurant scene is exploding with tastes from around the world.
The offering ranges from Michelin-starred to very affordable meals, ideal for families and sharing.
Here are just a few of our favourite restaurants with international cuisine in Geneva.
EL CATRÍN – The flavours of Mexico in Geneva
This great restaurant brings the flavours of Mexico to Geneva. Start off with a fresh margarita or a Mexican beer while waiting for your tacos, tarts and tostados in a cosy and lively atmosphere. With its friendly staff and easy going and colourful interior, this place creates happy and unforgettable moments with family and friends. We recently celebrated a birthday party with 14 teenagers and it was a great success thanks to the excellent waiters and the easy-going atmosphere where load teenagers don’t make a difference in the general noise level.
Better to make a reservation but tables are turned around 2-3 times per night so chances are good that you can get a spot without prior booking. The food is great and ideal for sharing and the vibe is fun and informal.
7-9 Rue de Richemont
THAÏ – Tradition in the heart of the city
ALMA – Discover a taste of PERU in Geneva
This ethno-chic restaurant/bar in trendy Eaux-Vives is well worth a visit. The décor is elegant and you can enjoy exotic, typical Peruvian dishes such as different types of ceviches, grilled octopus (Pulpo Anticuchero) or the 24-hours marinated chicken, all made with the freshest ingredients. A must try is the very yummy Pisco Sour or any other cocktail made fresh at the stylish bar. The bar has great South American vibes and late opening hours over weekend, making it a popular hangout.
Please make a reservation well in advance.
Rue Henri-Blanvalet 6
YAKUMANKA – PERU
For a more upmarket experience, try this gastronomic Peruvian restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental. It opened in March 2019 and head chef Gastón Acurio is an ambassador of Peruvian gastronomy.
The atmosphere is typical of a beach-bar – bright colours and textiles.
At the ceviche bar (fresh raw fish cured with citrus juices and flavoured with coriander and other spices) you can choose your fish and watch the dishes being prepared. The meat dishes such as the deliciously tender Lomo Saltado are excellent too.
Whatever you do – don’t leave without sharing a Peruvian chocolate bomb – a football-sized piñata with meringue, berries, chocolate brownie and other surprises inside. Read the full review here
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Quai Turrettini 1, 1201 Genève
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PAKÙPAKÙ – Asian fusion at your doorstep
This restaurant offers a mixture of Japanese and Asian food in the arty quarter of Carouge. Start your visit with a nice stroll through the small side streets with artisanal shops before settling down for lunch at this contemporary bistrot-style restaurant (prior reservation recommended). The cosy and inviting atmosphere is great for a tête-à-tête or dinner with family and friends (for summer also with limited outside seating). The idea is to share starters (Sashimi, Spring rolls) and main courses (Teriyaki Salmon, soft shell crabs, Udon noodles in different settings) served on stylish platters…
This is one of our family’s favourite places to eat in Geneva.
Rue Vautier 43
CAFÉ GHANDI – typical Indian street food
UKIYO – JAPANESE SOUP NOODLES ON THE GO
This popular Japanese street food restaurant now has two outlets in Geneva. All the dishes we tried could have come straight from the streets of Tokyo, where bowls of noodle soup are served ‘sur la pouce’ on the go any time of day.
Start with a shared plate of homemade Kimchi – pickled, spicy Chinese cabbage and some deliciously goo-ey gyozas (Japanese ravioli filled with chicken).
We shared the Ebi tempura Udon noodles – satisfyingly thick and tasty white wheat flour noodles made fresh in the restaurant every day using a special machine imported from Japan. The noodles are served in a dashi – a tasty broth flavoured with wakame (a type of edible seaweed), tempura flakes and spring onions and served with a slice of kamaboko. (a type of cured surimi – a processed seafood product)
Alongside are two crispy tempura shrimps – which can be placed on top to add to this delicious cocktail of flavours.
The Niku Udon, which takes 3 days to prepare, is the bestseller on the menu.
The Udon noodles are served in the same delicious broth and topped with beef strips – almost minced – and onion, which had been marinated in a soya, saké and sugary sauce. The taste is out of this world.
The restaurant also offers a Vegan Udon – with shitake mushrooms, if you’re not into meat and several Ramen and rice dishes.
6Avenue de Frontenex
6 Place de Grenus
LA DUCHESSA – Italian deli and pasta
We started a love affair with this upmarket Italian restaurant which also doubles as a deli and bakery. The atmosphere is stylish and the service is great, but it’s the food we fell in love with.
For starters try a plate of truffle mortadella and Parma ham, followed by burrata gigante – a melt-in-the mouth mountain of Pugliese burrata (330gr), which is definitely recommended for sharing.
Also do yourself a favour and try the homemade pesto.
The main course is one of the most popular dishes on the menu: La Pasta Duchessa – a black truffle pasta blazed in front of you with truffle cream and topped with truffle shavings.
The desserts are worth tying too – we loved the delicious Il chocolatto famoso brownie biscuit, praline cream on a chocolate Speculoos (spiced biscuits) base.