Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day in Switzerland, it seems. Finding a cozy café with a gourmet breakfast menu is just not a ‘thing’ here. And thank goodness, because lunch is just so good and Sundays are for lying in bed listening to silence and church bells. But in Australia, there is a ritual around weekend breakfasts.
The ritual is to get up reasonably early and go out for breakfast. Go to a café that is overpriced and overcrowded with grumpy, hipster waiters serving glorified bacon and eggs with the Sunday Herald Sun (yes, this is awesome). In Switzerland, we go for a long lunch or dinner, and we do it well. But as we had friends from Melbourne staying, we wanted to ‘do breakfast’ – and ‘doing’ breakfast isn’t grabbing an espresso and a croissant from the Bäckerei on the corner.
While there isn’t a lot on offer in Basel in the way of breakfast, there are some good options and I was so glad to have remembered that the Grand Café Huguenin offers up a warm breakfast 365 days a year.
This charming café overlooking Basel’s bustling Barfüsserplatz has a fantastic breakfast menu that should satisfy both Swiss and expat tastes. There is a certain homeliness to the cooking here. Its bacon and eggs without the grease and a million other things crowding the plate. Bircher muesli that has been soaking in the fridge overnight brought to life with fresh seasonal fruit and nuts that won’t make you feel guilty for the rest of the day and fluffy quiches with salad that taste as if they were fresh from the oven.
Coffee is a controversial subject to many an expat in Basel. You rarely hear how good or bad the coffee was, just how expensive it was. Having spent 5 years in the Southern Hemisphere’s coffee capital (Melbourne), I know a good coffee when I taste one and here at Grand Café Huguenin the coffee was superb. I can’t tell you how much it was, I didn’t look. Whatever it was it was worth it because I enjoyed it.
I think I’m going to make breakfast at Grand Café Huguenin a new habit of mine.
Swiss-delish! This may be bacon and eggs, but it is done in the Swiss-style serving so expect a side salad and bowl of bread! Now that’s value for money.
You can get away with a good breakfast and a coffee here for under CHF 15. Menu items include Gipfeli, bacon and eggs, Bircher muesli, quiche, a range of sandwiches (Brötli) and pastries.
A hot breakfast or sipping a coffee or hot chocolate while watching the business of Basel’s famous Barfüsserplatz.
Not good for…
Prams. Was a real pain getting mine in and out, luckily I was with friends who could lift it up the stairs. Also, not a good place if you are in a rush. We were one of four tables there yet the service was quite slow.
Take a newspaper and relax.
Barfüsserplatz 6, 4001 Basel