Dear Heidi,

My Swiss friends tell me that I shouldn’t tip the waiter more than one or two francs. In the States, we generally tip about 20%. What should I tip here?

Needing Help!

Dear Needing Help,

Swiss Francs © thegrid.ch
Swiss Francs © thegrid.ch // Flickr.com
Your Swiss friends are right, you’re not expected to tip the waiter 20% since it’s all included in the service. If you want to be nice, you can leave a few francs. Tipping also depends on how long you’ve been sitting at your table, what you’ve consumed, if you’re happy with the service. If you’re not happy, don’t give anything! Once I didn’t like the service and so didn’t leave a tip at all. On the other hand, for a very good meal at a nice, popular restaurant, we paid 90 CHF and left a 4 CHF tip.

For a 64 CHF hairstyle, I usually tip CHF 7 – especially if I intend to keep going back to the stylist.

Taxis will let you know if there are any extra charges, or you can tip them CHF 2.

I only give money to street musicians who are students or have CDs. I never pay musicians on the tram. Actually, this is prohibited.

Also, don’t encourage beggars by giving them money.

At the Weihnachtsmarkt, Herbstmesse, or Flea Markets, don’t tip unless it was fantastic.

When visiting Flea Markets remember they expect you to bargain!

Don’t bargain in shops — except when buying a car!! That’s for another day…

Liebs grüessli,

Basel offers a wide variety of outstanding restaurants and flavors. Here are some popular places for everything from traditional favorites like ‘Rösti’ and ‘Spätzli,’ to Italian, Indian, and more.



Jeffery’s Thai Restaurant

Largely held as the best Thai food in town, with a warm atmosphere and excellent cuisine.
Riehenring 77 • 4058 Basel
Tel: +41 61 681 30 70

Lily’s Stomach Supply

Thai, Chinese, Indian. Spicy and fresh, with long tables and family-style seating.
Rebgasse 1 • 4058 Basel
Tel: +41 61 683 11 11

Restaurant China King

A great lunch-time option.
Centralbahnstrasse 5• 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 272 28 28

Mr. Wong

Perhaps the most well-known Chinese restaurant in town, with two locations.
SBB Location
Centralbahnplatz 1 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 272 12 00

Barfüsserplatz Location
Steinenvorstadt 1 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 281 83 81

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Spalenvorstadt 9 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 261 99 93
Open 7 nights a week. Monday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2pm and 5:30pm till midnight. Open Sunday from 5:30pm.

Jay’s Indian Restaurant

Indian cuisine meets European style.
St Johann Vorstadt 13 • Basel

Tel: +41 61 681 3681

King’s Kurry

Basel location of the well-loved Zürich restaurant.
Stücki Shopping Centre
Hochbergerstr 70 • 4057 Basel
Tel : +41 79 627 22 62

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Mr. Pickwick Pub Basel

Several locations around Switzerland. A local favorite for televised football matches. You can watch American football too…but you may have to fight to get your channel! They also broadcast the Superbowl every year. (Caution: it ends very late, and you won’t get a tram after!)
Steinenvorstadt 13 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 281 86 87

Paddy Reilly’s Irish Pub

Great brews, good food, fun atmosphere. Be sure to try their Beef & Guinness pie! Check for Monday specials: Two entrees for the price of one.
Steinentorstrasse 45 • 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 281 33 36

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A lovely Rhein-view restaurant spanning two floors of beautiful scenery and colorful decor
Blumenrain 12 • 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 261 30 44

Ristorante Pizzeria Centro

Overlooking bustling Barfüsserplatz, this restaurant affords beautiful nighttime views of the city centre
Streitgasse 20 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 262 1130

Restaurant Latini

Falknerstrasse 31• 4001 Basel, Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 261 34 43

Vapiano Basel

Multiple locations all over the world. Choose from any number of Italian specialties, in any combination: your favorite pasta matched with any sauce from the pasta bar; speciality ravioli or risotto; or pizza enough for two…or just for you. Season with fresh herbs growing right at your table!
Im Kirschgarten
Sternengasse 19 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 272 72 22

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Literally, “blink cow.” A truly unforgettable (if unseeable!) dining experience. Website available in German, English, and French.

Dornacherstrasse 192 • 4053 Basel 

Tel: +41 61 336 33 00

Mövenpick Restaurants

Brasserie Baselstab
Marktplatz 30 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 261 3100

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As its name suggests, you can fill your plate with a little of this and a little of that in this trendy, cafeteria-styled eatery. Great selection of unique iced teas. Offers special Sunday brunch. Perfect for any kind of meal, any time of day. Locations all over Switzerland, and one in London.
Stänzlergasse 4 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 205 39 99

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