Switzerland for foodies?
June 20, 2008 6:03 AM   Subscribe

Switzerland for foodies?

Taking a trip out to Switzerland for about 10 days with the SO (after the Euro tournament is over). Going to be hitting up Luzern, Basel and surrounding areas including the Alsace region, and possibly Berlin as well.

Any suggestions, recommendations, or other general advice for two avid foodies for our trip? Specific restaurants, wine shops, cheese shops, and food destinations, or dishes, etc.?
posted by AceRock to Travel & Transportation around Switzerland (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I grew up & spent 20-odd years of my life in Luzern! :)

Best cheese shop in Luzern is "Chäs Barmettler", located here. The shop is quite small, but they have a good selection. And it's about 200° C inside in the summer ;)

If you want good swiss food (fondue & raclette), the "Lapin brasserie" near that cheese shop is really good.

btw, map.search.ch is invaluable if you're trying to find your way around places in Switzerland, as it offers nifty URLs eg map.search.ch/some_city/some_street_with_street_number, and also shows you info like where the closest shops, parking spots etc. are).
posted by slater at 6:17 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

This isn't quite in my specialty-region of Switzerland, but one thing to look out for:
Alpenkase: This soft white cheese is flavored by ... pine! If you drive along windy mountain roads and see rickety hand-painted signs that say "kase" over an arrow down a hardly-cleared grass road, that's what you're getting. It's good. And very... bucolic.
posted by whatzit at 6:27 AM on June 20, 2008

I lived in Zurich for three months. Basic rule: is the menu written in German or in French? German will be solid heavy boring food. French might be subtle and interesting. Snobby opinion, but there it is. For ten days you'll be fine eating Swiss German food, but the cuisine is more towards hearty than sophisticated.

If you want fancy dinners, the Michelin guide for Switzerland will steer you well. Swiss specialities are hard mountain cheeses, fondue, and rösti. Yes, the Swiss national dishes are cheese dip and hash browns. Swiss red wine is also remarkably good and almost unknown in the US.

Luzern is a great town; be sure to visit the Kapellbrücke and if you're into trains, the transportation museum. The only restaurant I remember eating at there was the Thai Garden, which was great but probably not what you're looking for.

Should you find yourself as far east as Sankt Gallen (a lovely town and close enough to Appenzell for some great walking) then Restaurant am Gallusplatz is a really special place. Good food, very friendly owner, and an amazing wine list that goes back 50+ years with reasonable prices.

It's not Switzerland, but if you're going to Alsace then Strasbourg has several options for good meals. Au Crocodile is a famous gastronomique restaurant there. It's very good formal French dining. Ami Schutz is a great casual place for good Alsatian food in the most beautiful part of central Strasbourg. And if you're in the area don't miss the traditional Alsatian Flammeküeche, a very delicate take on pizza.

If you get to Berlin, the Weinstube Yves Risacher is a great casual place. The owner is very friendly, knows his wines, and the preparation is excellent. I can't find a good web page for it, so you'll have to take my word for it.
posted by Nelson at 8:50 AM on June 20, 2008

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