El Paradiso

The best restaurants in Switzerland with outdoor spaces for winter

Winter weather is no problem when you’re at one of these great outdoor spots

Written by
Time Out editors
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Switzerland is known for doing winter properly, and that’s no different when it comes to dining out. Lots of restaurants provide great outdoor spaces that’ll keep you cosy and comfortable when you eat there, whatever the weather. We’ve picked some highlights from across the country that are worth seeking out when you’re nearby and feel the urge for some alfresco winter gastronomy.

This sleek spot at the Circle – Zurich Airport’s retail and dining complex – offers fine-dining at Switzerland’s biggest rooftop restaurant, meaning that the views are just as impressive as the food. And with that vast rooftop comes a huge, greenery-lined roof terrace, a wonderful outdoor spot from which to soak up the winter vibes and festive atmosphere at both the airport and the Circle. 

Built to resemble a 19th century ‘washing boat’, this bar-café is still a lovely spot in winter. Grab a light lunch or various daily specials, with the added relaxation of listening to the water gently lapping at the side of the boat as you eat. 

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La Buvette des Bains, Geneva

Bains des Pâquis is a popular place to eat, drink and generally relax at any time of year, including winter. There’s a wide, spacious outside terrace to sit at, allowing you to enjoy great views of Lake Geneva as you munch seasonal specials.

Jardin de Noel, Zurich

Immerse yourself in winter in the best way possible, by snuggling up in the acclaimed Widder hotel’s new pop-up winter wonderland of a garden. It’s a beautiful, festive affair full of lights and winter flowers, all of which will make you feel like you’ve walked straight into Christmas. And since you’re in such a stylish setting, why not treat yourself to a glass of something fizzy while you’re there? It is Christmas, after all.

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This classy restaurant attached to the equally classy Hotel des Balances offers gorgeous views of Lucerne’s stretch of the Reuss river from its inviting terrace. If that’s not enough, you’ll also be able to cast an eye on the city’s marvellous architecture, framed by a mountainous backdrop. All that, plus a varied European-leaning menu to choose from as you soak up those views.

Located in the Torrent ski area near Leukerbad in the Valais Alps, this family-run restaurant is a popular mid-ski lunch spot thanks to its glorious terrace looking out over the peaks to the south. Even if you’re not skiing, it’s easily accessible from the valley.

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Chez Vrony, Zermatt

Chez Vrony offers a heady combination of fine food using locally sourced ingredients and a stunning backdrop of views to the Matterhorn. The restaurant stays true to its traditional roots and has been run by the Julen family for over a century, and when you cap that off with those amazing alpine views and 2,100 metres-above-sea-level location in Zermatt, you’ve got a very fine spot indeed. 

El Paradiso, Graubünden

The stunning views and stylish outside terrace deck are almost enough to make this one of the most fun restaurants in the country. But thanks to a menu that includes local dishes combined with modern French and Italian influences (with vegetarian options available), it’s become a firm winter season favourite.

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This cool but cosy restaurant and café has been getting a lot more attention lately thanks to its winter-friendly setup, which has lured even more people towards its wholesome menu. The roof and side walls on the large outdoor seating area mean that the cold and rain are way less of an issue than they normally would be. There are even pillows available for added comfort.

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