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joshlh

Basel

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Hi,

I'm newly resident in Basel, Switzerland and looking for recommendations for restaurants and grocery shopping. I can't find much on EG (or on the rest of the web) at all, and nothing recent. Eating out, even in casual restaurants, is so expensive here that I'm afraid it'll take years before I've found a selection of good options to fit various occasions w/out the help of an active, English language food press or online community.

To kick things off, so far I've been disappointed in my few sit-down meals (La Fonda, Bombay Palace, and the restaurant at the Paper Museum). For take away, I've had delicious Wurstwegge (sausage rolls) from one of the outdoor stalls on Marktplatz, and Döner kebaps ranging from bad (Restaurant Volta) to good (Imbiss I think it was called in the Gundeli district).

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Josh


Edited by joshlh (log)

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Have you tried dining at Seegarten in the park. It has been 15 years since I ate their. However I do remember it being a great meal.

My parents just arrived today in Basel from Canada for a birthday celebration at Seegarten. I have checked out the restaurant website. It's not cheap but it's not expensive.

Good luck on your hunt.

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still haven't done a lot of exhaustive searching, but for any others interested, here are the places and things i've particularly liked so far:

coffee:

cafe zum roten engel, for bowlsfull of coffee and bohemian atmosphere

cheap:

piadine at Piadina Bar, Romano's Paninoteca

kebabs at numerous places (sofra has good ones, but small)

sausages w/ bread and mustard at the stand in the outdoor market

kiwi-orange juice at the outdoor market

the dumplings at the sojaprodukte stand at outdoor market

käsekiechli at gilgen bakery

low to moderate:

jay's indian for good (not great, but far the best out of 3 or 4 places so far) indian

xiao lu's for excellent chinese

aladin for good lebanese

restaurant bali for decent indonesian

pizzeria da gianni / restaurant st. johann for very good pizza and pasta

moderate to high:

johann

still looking for a good, mild to medium sharp melting cheese for cooking at home...anybody know where to find something like a tillamook or cabot cheddar here?

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some updates:

restaurant johann is no more. supposedly same owner will open new restaurant in the space.

aladin is not too consistent

jay's gets worse every time i try it. too bland, and i was served some severely undercooked chicken last time. on the other hand. it's the only indian place i've tried so far that i ever think about going back to.

bodega zum strauss has good, inexpensive pastas, and good caprese salad. desserts i've tried are unremarkable.

so'up has very nice and cheap soups and salads. unfortunately only open weekdays for lunch and late lunch.

the coffee shop at the literatur haus has nice banana shakes; bread, jam, and honey plates; bread, cheese, and meat plates; and a great tee called lady in blue.

küchlin, by the new pathe movie theater has a decent croque monsieur.

hasenburg is nice for local atmosphere and rösti.

cafe sprüngli at the train station is so far my general favorite for confections (esp. luxemburgerli, which are the same as macarons as far as i can tell).

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Hi Josh,

I'm newly resident in Basel, Switzerland and looking for recommendations for restaurants and grocery shopping.

I agree that the selection of eateries in Basel is pretty poor. I have put a few reviews on my own website - bastronomy.com. Additionally you might take a look at BaselExpats which also carries restaurant reviews.

For shopping, if you are bored with the supermarkets, have a look at the Saturday farmer's market over in St. Louis, France (Bus 604 from Schifflände) or the market in Freiburg, Germany. Basel also has a decent market on Marktplatz but I will be the first to admit that it is highly overpriced.

Cheers,

Nick

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Just wanted to update this for any future food-frantic Baslers. Thanks, Nick for your link -- I'd actually found your site before, and it's a great resource for Basel eating.

Still not crazy about the options in Basel. Sadly, a few favorites came and went:

Au Violon was very nice. It's under new management now and seems to be embracing the German influence more than the French. I heard it's slipped a little since the change but haven't tried for myself.

The Pie Shop was a great addition to Basel, a nice little place with homemade iced tea and cheap, tasty pies and pasties. It closed down recently, which for me is a sad commentary on Basel's complete lack of interest in good, quick, cheap food options.

Bakery Epting is thankfully alive and thriving. It's really a Sri Lankan restaurant disguised as a Swiss bakery, and has very inexpensive all-you-can-eat lunch only menus that are the best and most authentic South Asian food in Basel by a mile.

Auberge St-Martin in Kintzheim has dynamite flammekuechen (see my report at jcspress.blogspot.com). Unfortunately, it's not exactly close to Basel. A car and an hour's drive is required. It's fully worth it, and if you can't find something to fill the rest of the day on the wine road in Alsace, then my sympathies to you.

Steine Grill near Heuwaage is way divey, but has great kebabs. With all the Turkish restaurants, I still can't find anywhere in Basel that rivals most of what I had when visiting Istanbul.

Basel has an embarrassment of great looking bakeries and chocolate/pastry shops, but Cafe Spruengli in the train station is my favorite. The Luxemburgerli (same as the macarons to be found in France), cakes, assorted desserts, and bottled lassis are all delicious.

Bernard Antony is a world class cheese-ager in nearby Vieux-Ferrette who supplies three star restaurants and quite a few celebrities, as the pictures on his walls make clear. Car required, but a cheese tasting there is a pretty special way to spend a Saturday lunch.

At this point, da Gianni and the Marktplatz sausages are probably my only other standbys. With easyjet and Swiss Air specials, the money just seems better spent getting to a city with better choices.


Edited by joshlh (log)

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We will be in Basel next week, and would appreciate any updated recommendations re: coffee shops and nice restaurants - what's hot and what's not just now? :) We'll continue upwards through Alsace region towards Köln/Bonn eventually, but will be spending two days in Basel in the middle of next week.

Printing out all the thread above - joshlh's comments seem especially helpful - but any other tips would be appreciated, too.

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