The sun is out, the temperatures are rising, and Switzerland’s finest dining terraces are beckoning…
After a long season of skiing, summer is finally here in Switzerland. Of course, the best place to enjoy the weather is the private terrace of a Le Bijou apartment. Designed with the same modern luxury as our interiors, our balconies and terraces are havens from the city, a place to escape the scene, or to create you own exclusive event. However, if you do want to get out and explore the our key cities, we have picked some of the best al fresco dining spots to enjoy.
Rhine Buvettes: These small, temporary cafés dot the banks of the Rhine during the summer months. Grab a drink, a snack or a low-key lunch or dinner while watching the swimmers in the water. Try burger and fries at the Rhyschantzli buvette, an offshoot of the popular restaurant (https://rhyschaenzli.ch/de/buvette), or join the sundowner crowd at DreiRosen (www.buvettedreirosen.ch). There are several in a row along the Unterer Rheinweg on the Kleinbasel bank of the river, so take a wander and pick your favourite.
Le Rhin Bleu: Only open during summer, this platform over the Rhine offers both casual drinks for swimmers, and a more elegant restaurant menu. Food focuses on the grill: Salmon, octopus, entrecôte etc., as well as salads, pasta and a daily special. Perfect for people watching.
www.lerhinbleu.ch, Rheinbad Breite, St. Alban-Rheinweg 195
Wiesengarten: This family-run, upmarket Italian restaurant is just outside of the city centre in Riehen. The garden is large and pretty; white table clothes under pretty strings of lights hung in the trees. The menu features homemade pastas, fresh seafood and excellent meats, all with a traditional Italian twist.
www.wiesengartenmusetti.ch, Weilstrasse 51, Riehen
Cheval Blanc: One of the top restaurants in town, the Cheval Blanc at the Trois Rois has three Michelin stars and 19 GaultMillau points. The pretty terrace overlooks the Rhine, but is not large, so request ahead. Chef Peter Knogl’s seasonal menu is French with Mediterranean and Asian influences. Think: Bresse pigeon with a Moroccan flavour, or an entrecôte of Japanese Wagyu beef with a shallot dressing.
www.lestroisrois.com, Blumenrain 8
Bonus: Visit Glatscheria Una for the best ice cream in Switzerland. Tucked down a side street near the university, this tiny kiosk sells homemade ice cream made with Swiss alpine milk. 49, Petersgraben
Fishers Fritz: As the name suggests, the top pick here is the fried fish. There is a selection to choose from, including trout, egli, char and pike… and there are options for foil-baked and grilled fish as well (and some non-aquatic dishes such as chicken, schnitzel and a selection of salads). Casual, but with an unbeatable view. Maximise the al fresco experience by arriving by boat.
www.fischers-fritz.ch, Seestrasse 559
Quai 61: In the middle of the city and on the shores of the lake, Quai 61 offers diners incredible views over the water and onto the mountains beyond. There is a huge terrace, which visitors and locals frequent for sundowner cocktails or dinner. The Italian-leaning menu isn’t large, but what it does have is done well. The specialty is the grill.
www.quai61.ch, Mythenquai 61
Seerose: Ask Le Bijou’s James to organise a boat transfer to this restaurant on the edge of the lake of Zürich – there’s a private dock to moor up at. The Mediterranean menu features dishes such as: Andalusian gazpacho, tuna sashimi with cucumber salad, grilled dorade with tomato risotto, and a Canadian lobster with Moroccan taboule.
www.seerose.dinning.ch, Seestrasse 493
Frau Gerold’s Garten: In the trendy Kreis 5 district, this hipster hangout ticks all the boxes for industrial chic. Shipping containers; check. Herb and vegetable garden; check. Food and drinks under string of fairy lights at the centre of an urban garden; check. Food is simple but well done and the crowd is always fun.
www.fraugerold.ch, Geroldstrasse 23/23a
Sky Terrace at Schweizerhof: With 360-degree views over the city, the Sky Terrace at the Schweizerhof is the best way to see Bern. Gaze over the rooftops while sipping a cocktail, or enjoy something from the grill.
www.schweizerhof-bern.ch, Bahnhofpl. 11
Meridano: With one Michelin star and 17 GaultMillau points, there is more than just the view to recommend Meridano in Hotel Allegro. The interior isn’t the most inspired, but you’ll be spending your time admiring the view over the city and the Jungfrau mountain anyway. The menu is Mediterranean-meets-Alps, expertly prepared by South Tyrolean chef Fabian Raffeiner.
www.kursaal-bern.com, Kornhausstrasse 3
Casa Novo: Fresh, seasonal cooking and friendly service on the side of the Aare are the draws at Casa Novo. Family-run by Dominik and Jesus Novo, the restaurant serves inventive tapas and a la carte. Dishes such as onsen egg with asparagus or Scottish salmon ceviche share the menu with classic like Serrano ham, Spanish Tortilla and surf ‘n’ turf.
www.casa-novo.ch, Läuferplatz 6
Restaurant Olivio: Mediterranean cuisine is accompanied by lakeside views at this historic spot in the Grand Casino. Fresh flavours are served either inside a stylish first floor dining room with parquet floors, high ceilings and chandeliers, or out on the terrace overlooking the water and the mountains.
http://www.olivo.ch, Haldenstrasse 6
Hermitage: A modern industrial interior meets sweeping lake views at this gastronomic hotspot in Lucerne. The terrace is the top table in summer months; right on the water’s edge. The menu offers a selection of Swiss dishes prepared with imagination and fresh local produce.
www.hermitage-luzern.ch, Seeburgstrasse 72
Scala: Set above the lake, in Lucerne’s Old Town, Scala in the Hotel Montana offers expansive views from a beautiful Art Deco dining room and terrace. The 15 GaultMillau point menu draws on influences from Switzerland, France and the Mediterranean. It changes regularly, and diners can choose between 3 – 6 courses, each one accompanied by a wine selection.
www.hotelmontana.ch, Adligenswilerstrasse 22
Izumi: Part of the Nobu family, this Japanese restaurant at the Four Seasons has a rooftop terrace overlooking Lake Geneva and the jet d’eau. The menu draws on Nikkei cuisine, with an impressive selection of sushi, sashimi, tartar and fusion dishes like lobster and foie gras kadaifi with terriyaki and truffle.
www.fourseasons.com, Quai des Bergues 33
Le Chat Botte: Situated in the elegant environs of the Beau Rivage hotel, Le Chat Botte is one of Geneva’s finest gastronomic destinations with one Michelin star and 18 GaultMillau points. The terrace overlook the pretty lake and is a hot spot for people-watching Geneva’s finest locals and visitors.
www.beau-rivage.ch, 13 Quai de Mont Blanc
Sky Lounge: The name says it all… This bar and restaurant boasts an elegantly modern interior with huge floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake. It used to be the tallest building in Zug, so views are expansive. The menu offers cocktails and tapas, perfect as a pre-dinner apero for either a romantic date or a gathering with friends or colleagues.
http://uptown-gastro.ch, General-Guisan-Strasse 6
Wirtschaft Freimann: For something simple but local, this farmhouse restaurant has a pretty garden with tables under the trees. The menu is traditional, serving meat from the farm alongside salads and other Swiss specialties. Take a walk through the fields to see Zug and the lake beyond.
http://www.wirtschaft-freimann.ch, Letzi 27
Ask James to book a table at one of our favourite local restaurant, or to organise private catering on your own Le Bijou terrace.