- Shruti Kansara
Cheese Fondue: A Swiss National Treasure
Walking along the shores of Lake Geneva might elicit thoughts of delicious Swiss chocolate or the typical hole-y cheese, but there’s a surprising culinary contender in this mountainous city: cheese fondue (melted cheese). Sprinkled throughout the cities, cheese fondue restaurants provide the perfect escape from the bitterly cold wind. These restaurants serve family-style pots of fondue with all the necessary accoutrements for dipping. Due to its location, meals in this city tend to be pricey, and the fondue is no exception. Fortunately CTW has selected an array of restaurants of various price ranges to make this luxurious dinner more accessible to all.
For those looking for a unique venture, we recommend taking a trip to the La Buvette des Bains. Situated directly on the lake, this establishment offers all the benefits of a typical fondue meal for a fraction of the price. Try the Fondue au Crémant de Dardagny et coupette de fruits frais (Melted cheese with sparkling wine and a fruit salad) or purchase some additional dried meat to complement the cheese. Wash your meal down with an excellent bottle of their finest white wine for an unforgettable feast. After dinner, enjoy a stroll along the lake and take in the beautiful city by night. At La Buvette des Bains, luxury meets affordability.
For a more exclusive meal, approved even by locals, head to Restaurant Le Gruyérien and test their regional specialties (26.00-38.00 CHF). Experience authentic Swiss fondue at this hidden location, and order a glass of champagne to elevate the meal to the next level. The service and menus are available in both English and French, as is customary in much of Geneva. Follow the Rue de Chêne back to the town center and do a bit of shopping, especially for some Swiss chocolates. Find the acclaimed Läderach chocolatiers, or opt for a smaller, more local store. A steaming cup of melted Swiss hot chocolate is the perfect cure for the cold.
For the ultimate fondue experience, make a reservation at the Hotel Les Armures, located in the old town of Geneva. Book a room at the 5-star hotel and benefit from the 17th century architecture, within walking distance from all of Geneva’s main tourist destinations. Former guests of this hotel include the Clinton family, George Clooney, Pippa Middleton, and other prominent figures. Conveniently located on site is the Hotel Les Armures Restaurant. Reputed as one of the oldest in the city, this restaurant also serves the typical cheese fondue so sought-after in this town and made its way onto the Michelin Guide in 2013. During the warmer months, savor the fondue and raclette on the terrace to gain an optimal view of the historic Old Town.
Anywhere in Geneva, you are sure to find traditional Swiss fondue. This dish, which can be traced back to 1699, has become a staple in the Swiss diet, appreciated by tourists and locals alike. Regardless of your budget, the city offers an exceptional experience to anyone seeking this famous dish. Try it yourself and see why everyone is melting over cheese fondue.
To experience Geneva and other cities in Switzerland on a cruise, CTW recommends booking with CGN to discover their Fondue Cruise at http://www.cgn.ch/fondue-cruise