Matt & Elly Brewery & Kitchen
One of Basel’s newest openings, this bare-concrete brewery and casual diner in the trendy Erlenmatt district does ace craft ales (brewed on site, tours available) with an eco-minded kitchen that consistently proves the cooking here is by no means an afterthought. All fruit and vegetables come from local farms, with a vegan-friendly dinner menu of hip comfort food and a 'tap list' of recognisable snacks including the superb, IPA-friendly pâté en croûte.
Erlenmattstrasse 93, Rosental
Even after ten-plus years in business, this chic, vibey bar-restaurant-terrace is still the dependably busy Friday night go-to for the city’s style set. The menu? Inventive, shape-shifting, California-style sushi at the venue’s centrepiece bar or, in summer, well-constructed cocktails upstairs at the rooftop garden with the best view in town.
Henric-Petri-Stasse 12, Vorstaedte
Excellent cooking is worth a detour, says the Michelin guide – and German chef Tanja Grandits’ always-in-vogue, two-starred restaurant on the fringe of Basel’s slightly out-of-town Bruderholz district confirms it. This is where serious, deep-pocketed gourmands trip to sample the kind of three-figure, fine-dining tasting menu that make fans of Noma and the like swoon. It rarely disappoints, but it's definitely an extra-special-occasion sort of place.
Bruderholzallee 42, Bruderholz
Easily one of the best burgers in Basel, even if the menu hardly breaks new ground (burgers and poké bowls – both on the money). This cool, edgy space is where Basel’s young creative crowd comes to pre-fuel before drinks in cultural-cool Kleinbasel district. Its Aurélie Blanchard-designed, contemporary beer hall-style dining room means there will be some randoms at your table, which forces a sociable, upbeat Friday vibe most nights of the week.
Klybeckstrasse 95, Matthäus
One of the coolest design hotels in Basel is also home to one of its coolest bar-restaurants. Featured in just about every architecture magazine out there, the super-chic, Herzog & de Meuron-designed Volkshaus interior might be worth the trip to look at alone. Even so, the kitchen lives up to the Swiss-designed snazz: expect Frenchified bistro classics on a seriously pared-back menu like moules-frites and steak tartare. The sun-dappled, outdoor courtyard is one of Kleinbasel’s most coveted corners come summer.
Rebgasse 12-14, Kleinbasel
For the ultimate no-fuss Swiss cooking experience in Basel’s Old Town, it has to be Hasenburg – an avowedly traditional, gleefully untrendy restaurant with charm to spare. You'll find hearty, only-in-Switzerland classics done very, very well. The stand-out dish is the excellent calf liver and potato rösti, but pretty much everything delights here. It's deservedly popular, so expect a tussle for a table on weekends.
Schneidergasse 20, Grossbasel
Meaning 'red bear', this design-forward, buzzy and in-demand dining room on hip Ochsengasse has won attention for its casual vibe and excellent cooking. Chef Roger von Buren is now thought of as one of the city’s top chefs and does the kind of thoughtful, cleverly sourced dishes that feel like destination cooking but, mercifully, aren't so small and finicky as to leave you hungry. His pumpkin tortellini and goat-cream cheese is pure joy. Book ahead.
Ochsengasse 17, Kleinbasel
For the final-night splurge with maximum preen and pomp, chef Peter Knogl’s splashy, triple-starred Cheval Blanc at Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois comfortably remains the city’s most sought-after haute address. It's not cheap, as you’d expect with this level of artistry. Even so, it can be done on a relative budget: the weekday lunch menu at €98 per head counts as something of a bargain for Basel.
Blumenrain 8, Grossbasel
Not to be confused with the equally worthwhile, minimal-chic cocktail bar L’Atelier, this Old Town brasserie combines the likeable low-fuss of a traditional Swiss bistro with the efficient service and peppy atmosphere of Basel’s more modern concerns. The speciality is veal cutlet with fried potatoes and wild pepper jus, and the wine list is huge (with several excellent by-the-glass options). Basel's attention hasn’t gone to its head: prices stay reasonable, and lunches are great value.
Leonhardsgraben 49, Grossbasel
Dinner in prison? Well, not quite. But if you’re looking for a reason to check out one-time jailhouse-turned-boutique hotel Brasserie au Violon, its classy but unstuffy French bistro is it. Chef David Goldbronn’s menu goes big on the bistro classics (think beef tartare, salade de chevre) while the beautiful garden is home to some of the most coveted tables in town come spring-summer.
Im Lohnhof 4, Grossbasel