Basel on a Plate: Six Delicious Swiss Dining Adventures

Consider this your one-stop guide to Basel’s creative culinary scene. From an innovative craft brewery to a vegan doughnut destination, here’s where to sip and savour your way around Switzerland’s most inventive city

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One of our favourite things about Basel? The inhabitants of this ever-youthful Swiss-German town really know how to play hard when the working day is done. Whether it's heading to atmospheric old taverns on the banks of the Rhine for "fish fondue" and a bottle of white in the evening, or visiting the city's vegan pop-ups and craft breweries to scoff beer-paired small plates and inventive doughnut creations at the weekend, a reputation for city-wide innovation ensures that city residents can take their pick from a tiptop culinary scene seven days a week. And, in this academically inclined, entrepreneurial city, the food is as fabulous as the art and architecture it's famed for. Fill your plate morning, noon and night with our pick of the city's top drinking and dining spots.

Taste the future in Switzerland's creative capital

Donuts for sale at Mystifry, Basel

Mystifry

Switzerland's first vegan doughnut shop, Mystifry was a pop-up that proved such a hit that it became a stay-up. Now in a permanent home in a picturesque historic street in Basel's old town, the bakery offers a rotating menu of six innovative flavours, all based on a vegan brioche dough that is cut, fried and decorated by hand in small batches. When we visited, peanut butter, lemon meringue pie and s'mores were among flavours on offer, served alongside locally roasted direct trade coffee. Don't pause on this place - once the sweet treats are sold, the shop closes for the day.

Address

Rheinsprung 4, 4051 Basel

Finkmüller, Basel

Finkmüller

The city's best-loved coffee house and bakery: head to the Klybeckstrasse branch at any time of day to devour homemade cheesecake with a cappuccino alongside a loyal following of students, local writers, and remote workers. We love the lunch menu of salads, soups and open sandwiches. Inside the café, you'll find a florist at work, as well as an organic cold-pressed oil store, Oelist. A side venture of the Finkmüller founders, the carefully curated collection of top-quality oils includes everything from wild rosehip seed oil to organic hemp oil.

Address

Klybeckstrasse 64-66, 4057 Basel

Interiors at Matt & Elly Brewery & Kitchen

Matt & Elly Brewery & Kitchen

One of the most talked-about new districts in Kleinbasel is Erlenmatt, a regenerated freight depot that is now an experiment in sustainable urban development, with apartments, a school, a residential care home and an abundance of green parkland sitting alongside bars, restaurants and commercial spaces. Right in the heart of things is this innovative new craft brewery, where the kitchen serves beer-paired dishes until midnight, Tuesday to Saturday. Expect seasonal creations such as lamb curry and couscous, risotto Milanese with bone marrow, and braised red cabbage with king oyster mushrooms. The space is modern, sleek and sexy, and there's even a rail of clothes by local designers and some carefully sourced vintage pieces to peruse. Shopping before scoffing? We're there.

Address

Erlenmattstrasse 93, 4058 Basel

Fisherman's Hut, Gasthof Zum Goldenen Sternen

Gasthof zum Goldenen Sternen

Even the classics come with a twist in Basel. Gasthof zum Goldenen Sternen is Basel's oldest inn, and enjoys a prime position perched on the banks of the Rhine. It has a spectacular late-gothic facade and magnificent baroque interiors, but we suggest skipping the dining room and instead opting to hire the restaurant's fisherman's hut - a stilted wooden boathouse right on the water. Order the fish, which you cook yourself at the table, fondue-style, and a bottle of chilled white chasselas, the classic Swiss wine to accompany any fondue, to savour by candlelight. Dusk dining experiences don't come more memorable than this.

Address

St Alban-Rheinweg 70, 4052 Basel

Interiors at Ufer7, Basel

Ufer7

Perfectly situated next to one of the best swimming spots on the Rhine, this local favourite specialises in regional, sophisticated and creative Swiss sharing plates. From March to September, a buvette (outdoor food stall) parks up outside the pretty townhouse facade; in the winter months, cheese fondues are added to the menu indoors. Jump in the river for a sun-soaked swim, then grab a seat for a colourful, veg-laden lunch. Think: orecchiette pasta with green asparagus, tomatoes and spinach, tender trout, and a watermelon, cucumber and bulgur wheat salad.

Address

Untere Rheingasse 11, 4058 Basel

Klara, Basel
Photo credit: Kevin Faingnaert

Klara

Across the Rhine from the vast Markthalle covered food market, Klara is a laid-back food court with various stalls in the more relaxed and bohemian side of Basel, Kleinbasel. There are nine international kitchens here, compared to the Markthalle's 40, plus a bar serving local craft beers and kombuchas. La Taqueria's tacos al pastor have a cult following, and at AfroLicious, founder Meaza serves Ethiopian and Senegalese favourites including injera sourdough pancakes and maffe peanut stew.

Address

Clarastrasse 13 4058 Basel

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The Lowdown

How to Get There

Fly direct from London Gatwick to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg with EasyJet, or journey via London Heathrow to Zurich Airport with SWISS. From Zurich airport, Basel city centre is just under an hour by train with Swiss Federal Railways.

The Swiss Travel System covers more than 29,000km with its extensive public transport network of trains, buses, cable cars and boats. Book your tailored Swiss city package and get unlimited travel on public transport with a Swiss Travel Pass at switzerlandtravelcentre.com.


Ready to plan your Basel break? Visit myswitzerland.com to get a taste of all the Swiss city offers.

Markthalle, Basel
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