The 6 best restaurants within driving distance of Geneva Helen Page,

The 6 best restaurants within driving distance of Geneva

Escape the cold this winter by dining in one of these superb restaurants in the Geneva countryside. 

For as long as most can remember, the dining quality in Geneva has been one of the highest in the world, farm-reared meats, local vegetables and the best Swiss wines deck the tables of the city's most exclusive resturants and brasseries. But take an evening out of your city break to explore some of the Alpine towns that surround the city and you might be surprised by the quality of the fare. We've scoured the land and picked our six favourite spots to enjoy the landscape around Lake Geneva and the Alps.

Le Café de l’Union

cafe-union-USELe Café de l'Union

For over 110 years, this restaurant in the lovely village of Crans Près Céligny, between Geneva and Lausanne, has been cultivating a passion for food, principally French with some exotic touches. It is run by brothers Christopher (in the kitchen) and Julien (serving) Brocard, who share their enthusiasm born from four generations of family history. Try their famous green or red curry, and take a look at the menu, with its many unexpected combinations of colours and flavours, always served with a smile.

Café de Peney

cafe-de-peney-USECafé de Peney

Just a few minutes from the airport and the city centre, this charming and romantic restaurant is inviting in summer with its lovely spacious terrace. It is on the river Rhône, and you could even arrive by boat. In the evening, you can dine on a covered veranda or in the cosy restaurant. Food is created by the talented and creative chef Romain Tournissoux, who blends local seasonal products with a touch of Asian delicatessen. Great Swiss wines, light and refreshing desserts.

Related: Best brunches in Geneva

Buffet de la Gare de Céligny

gare celigny useBuffet de la Gare de Céligny

This restaurant is hidden in the charming village of Céligny, just opposite a small old train station. It presents delicious traditional French cuisine, with friendly service and excellent wines from the region and abroad. A large terrace shaded by mature trees tempts you to linger all afternoon. Inside, the brasserie and restaurant areas are in Art Deco style. Culinary highlights include the cheese platter and the desserts. Book in advance, as people come here from all over the world to enjoy the relaxed, sophisticated, genuine atmosphere.

Restaurant Safran

safran-USERestaurant Safran

Located in Eurotel Montreux, Restaurant Safran is perhaps one of the more deserving four star restaurants in the area. Each week, Safran's chefs create entirely new menus in order to use the freshest seasonal ingredients the area has to offer. Taste the town's cheeses and chocolates as well as locally sourced seafood, which is featured most prominently in the restaurant's everchanging dishes. Start your meal with an aperitif at the bar while looking through the glass wall onto stunning Lake Geneva. Restaurant Safran isn't to be missed, especially for the million dollar view.

Related: The best restaurants in Geneva

Brasserie du Grand Chêne Lausanne Palace & Spa


Come here to transport yourself to an old Parisian brasserie. With wooden interior, green leather benches, and brass ornamentation, Brasserie du Grand Chêne Lausanne has a genuine atmposhere and it doesn't stop with the decor. Choose from modern French delicacies, like gnocchi with black truffle sauce, Burgandy escargot, and horseradish-covered salmon. No matter which treat you pick, make sure to keep your eyes open for celebrities, as they have been known to frequent Brasserie du Grand Chêne Lausanne for its true French experience.

Related: How (and where) to eat fondue in Geneva

La Véranda


La Véranda is a relaxed Michilin-star restaurant with an incredible view. From certain points, one can see the harbor of Lake Geneva as well as the Swiss and French Alps. While the food is incredible at La Véranda (of course), it is really the extensive wine list that is not to be missed. This is one of the best places to sample local wines, which you can have the skilled sommelier pair with your dishes. End your meal with an unusual selection of gourmet desserts, like madagascar vanilla panna cotta paired with pineapple tartar, meringue, and pink grapefruit sorbet.

1 Le Café de l’Union
2 Café de Peney
3 Buffet de la Gare de Céligny
4 Safran Restaurant Terrasse
5 Brasserie du Grand Chêne Lausanne Palace & Spa
6 La Véranda