Basel/ Basle/ Bâle: the Swiss city on the river Rhine has many names that represent its souls. Border cities, between Germany and France, the third largest agglomeration of Switzerland is proudly multicultural (and this despite the various xenophobic campaigns that periodically arise in Confederation). Basel has the charm of the high and narrow houses of the sixteenth century in his little old town and a solid cultural and artistic scene, with dozens of museums, which attract enthusiasts from all over the world, along with the Art Basel fair, dedicated to contemporary art.
Among the typical Swiss cuisine, made with cheese, meat, soup (soup of flour is typical of the city) and the ethnic cuisines of the various communities that animate it, in Basel there is something for all tastes. Whether you go for Art Basel, for Carnival (it’s a marvellous party here), for the Christmas markets or for other reasons, here are some tips that can flavour your visit:
- Stadtmark: there is no better way to discover the gastronomy of a city of a dive in the markets. The main food market of Basel is held in Marktplatz every morning, from Monday to Thursday, opening 8.30 am-2 pm, and Friday and Saturday, opening 8.30 am-6 pm. Here you can find fresh food produced in Basel area, Swiss cheese, but also ethnic ingredients.
- Ono: in one of the main streets, a trendy cafe where you can stop for breakfast, to drink cocktail or beer, or to dine with a cordon bleu, a Thai chicken, a good steak tartare. Open daily from 8 am to 1 am. (Leonhardsgraben 2 – Tel. +41 (0)61 322 70 70)
- Walliser Kanne: among the many swiss souls, Valais is one of the most flavorful, because of its rich mountain ingredients. In the center of the town, this crowded restaurant offers a menu of fondues, raclette, soups, salads, dried meat and sausages with onion sauce and rösti. Medium prices for Basel: for a starter and a main dish you will spend about fifty francs. (Gerbergasse 50 – Tel. +41 (0)61 261 70 17)
- Stucky: the name of Tanija Grandits, chef of Stucky, is often heard in gourmet’s world. In this restaurant she serves very personal cuisine, with fusion touches. Lunch menus start from 68 francs; for dinner, the music change, with Aroma tasting menu of 9 courses. (Bruderholzallee 42, tel. +41 (0)61 361 82 22)
- Matisse: outside the historic center (it can be easily reached by tram in just a few minutes), close to the Kannenfeld-Park, in this beautiful restaurant chef Erik Schröter offers creative cuisine, with a great use of aromatic herbs. At lunch you can enjoy simpler formulas at affordable prices (from 49 francs, Monday to Friday), in the evening the prices go up a bit and so the level of the meal. (Burgfelderstrasse 188 – Tel. +41 (0)615606066)