As a rule, I would say that a restaurant situated right next to a city’s main historical attraction is going to be bad. I would never select the closest restaurant to Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey or the Colloseum. The exception to that rule is the Café du Bourg de Four, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Cathédral de Saint Pierre. Head there for the best rösti in town- and if you can make it on a Tuesday eve, you’ll be rewarded with a live duo/trio of guitarists serenading the joint with jazz standards.
Open since 1874, this restaurant is a cross between Cheers and Sardi’s in Manhattan. Local legislators and politicians who work down the street have dropped in here for lunch for decades. Their legacy lines the walls now, in the form of cartooned portraits, mixed in with local news covers throughout the restaurant’s history. The overall feeling is not unlike stepping into a time capsule to turn of the century Geneva.
Except for two things. The owners of the day are Swiss with ex-Yugoslavian roots, and the menu embraces their mixed heritage: a true illustration of contemporary Geneva. Rosti, a kind of large potato pancake typical of Germanic Switzerland, is at its best at this Café, crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.
To get the full effect of the restaurant though, order the cevapcici rosti menu, which includes a starter of a Serbian Salad (which looks remarkably like a Greek Salad if you ask me), followed by a main course of Serbian beef meatballs or sausages with raw onions and a side of rosti. It is divine, but if you’re feeling less adventurous, the plain rosti with a fried egg and ham or bacon on top is another classic. (Better known to Brits and Americans as breakfast for dinner).