Wow Basel, what an incredible city. I was lucky to spend an extended weekend there recently and really enjoyed exploring all of the landmarks and small winding streets. Walking and sitting along the Rhine river was a big highlight! Slow down and really take your time to notice all of the small pieces of architecture and the different sizes and detail in colour of the houses.
All of this exploring works up an appetite! Here are my vegan food recommendations for Basel:
1. Eiscafe-Acero (eiscafe-acero.ch)
This quirky little cafe is located on one of my favourite streets, Rheinegasse, which is the next street on the East bank of the river. This location is very popular with locals and tourists alike who like to take a nice swim and paddle in the warm Rhine river. Eiscafe-Acero is a very popular attraction for the ice cream and frozen deserts they have for sale at the front of the shop and I often saw a queue of half-naked swimmers cooling off here. If you are not too distracted;) have a look at the food menu and you will see some vegan options such as, hummus with flatbread, mezze-teller, green salad and various deserts made vegan if requested. My personal choice was the mezze-teller which was a mixed plate of oriental lentil balls, onion-chutney, hummus, olives, taboule and flatbread. The flavours were incredible and I would highly recommend trying this dish.
2. Tibits (tibits.ch)
So good I had to go there twice! Tibits is a self-service veggie and vegan restaurant located on the South side of the river. There are many vegan options which are clearly marked and everything is freshly prepared in the close by kitchen with friendly staff on hand to help. Once you have filled your plate, you go to the pay desk where your food is then weighed to determine the cost. This is great because you only pay for as much as you select unlike other buffets where you pay a set amount then realise your eyes were too big for your belly! So my advice here is to select an amount you know you will finish then if you’re still hungry go back for seconds. Again, there was so much choice and I would need a separate blog post to share all of the options but here’s some of the items I enjoyed: home-made vegan coleslaw, hummus, fresh vegetables, red cabbage and onion, falafel, pumpkin, vegetable curry and rice.
3. Hirscheneck (hirscheneck.ch)
If you are looking for a bit of entertainment and atmosphere with your food, Hirscheneck is the place to go. It’s about a 5 minute walk from Eiscafe-Acero mentioned above and has events on most evenings. The music ranges from rock/pop to electronic to punk. You can check the schedule listed on the website above to find something that suits your taste. The food menu is very basic but there are some good vegan options to choose from including pastas, pizzas and salads. I went for the Penne Arrabbiatta which you can see below.
Another good tip for Basel is to make sure you change your money to the local currency of Swiss Francs. When using Euros the restaurants charge you a 1–1 rate which means you pay slightly more when using Euros. The exchange rate is very close but if you were to use Euros at every restaurant, it soon adds up! With the high tax in Switzerland as well, prepare for the bills to be higher than you expected.
It truly is an incredible city to explore! I hope this helps you plan your food options well and keeps you following your compassionate plant-based lifestyle.