Run by husband and wife Claudio and Sandra Zanoli, this charming venue focuses on regional cuisine, including hearty choices utilising the local staple, polenta. Alongside meat dishes and local sausages there’s plenty for vegetarians and vegans to enjoy.
Via San Materno 10, 6616 Losone
This wonderfully rustic tavern has been serving visitors since 1870. As well as Ticino cuisines, you’ll also find dishes from nearby Piedmont and Lombardy – think of it as a gastronomic tour of the region, with a well-stocked wine cellar adding to the appeal.
Via Contra 671, 6646 Contra
You haven’t really tried mushroom risotto until you’ve lapped up Grotto Broggini’s delectable porcini version – just one of the specialities at this cosy venue, where you’ll sample true Ticinese home cooking. There’s also a huge, leafy garden, meaning you can go alfresco now that spring has hit.
Via San Materno 18, 6616 Losone
Surrounded by the beautiful agricultural gardens of Terreni alla Maggia’s 150 hectares, Locanda Barbarossa’s location really is something special. Fittingly enough, so is the food, which has been awarded a Michelin Star thanks to chef Mattias Roock’s classic French cooking given a Mediterranean twist.
Via Muraccio 142, 6612 Ascona
Set in a beautiful building dating back to the 16th century, Agorà features an acclaimed five-course tasting menu that’s proven unsurprisingly popular. There’s a dizzying range of wine, plucked from two mighty wine cellars that hold star tipples from Ticino and further afield.
Via Muro degli Ottevi 10, 6614 Brissago
Fancy jaw-dropping views of Lake Maggiore while you dine? Osteria Boato can provide. Thanks to a longstanding history in the fishing industry, fish of all kinds is the star of the menu, but there are also other choices to please all palates – and did we mention the views?
Viale Lungolago, 6614 Brissago
This family-run bakery offers all kinds of goodies, from biscuits to macaroons to chocolates, but the headline act is its incredible panettone range. Keep it classic with a traditional or branch out with a chocolate and hazelnut-infused gianduiotto.
Via Muraccio 49, 6612 Ascona
You can’t beat proper Italian gelato – and that’s exactly what you’ll get here. Choose from a whole world of flavours, from classics like pistachio or caramel to exotic options like panna cotta, saffron or feta with caramelised figs, if you’re feeling fancy.
Via della Stazione 2, 6602 Muralto
What to choose at this ever-popular boutique bakery and café? How about amaretti filled with cherry and vanilla? Truffles oozing with rum or passion fruit, decorated in 23-carat gold leaf? Or la colomba, a traditional Easter cake? How about a bit of everything – because why not?
Branches in Locarno, Ascona, Lugano.
Bars for aperitivo time
Super-stylish hotel Seven boasts not one, but four bars. Sea Lounge offers superb waterfront views and great finger food, Battello is all about bohemian ambience, Enoteca La Cambüsa is teeming with great wine and live music, and Seven Lugano is the place for late-night drinks and DJ sets. A fantastic four indeed.
Piazza Giuseppe Motta 21 and 25, 6612 Ascona
The perfect place for pre- or after-dinner drinks, with special menus for both. The only issue is choosing what to sip from the vast selection. But whether you opt for a simple aperitivo, a champagne-infused number or something else entirely, you can be sure you’ve picked a winner.
Via Albarelle 16, 6612 Ascona
Viewed from this sleek rooftop setting, Lake Maggiore looks even more stunning than usual. Just remember to stop gazing long enough to order a Giardino signature cocktail, such as the seasonal Spring Peach (tequila, white peach, grapefruit and lime) or the zingy Giardino Spritz (vermouth, bitters, prosecco and soda).
Via alla Riva 83a, 6648 Minusio-Locarno
Crusoe offers guests a rare opportunity – the chance to survey one of the largest beaches in Switzerland with the sand between your toes. You can even try stand-up paddleboarding before hitting the bar, where you can retire for the evening and watch the sunset, aperitif in hand.
Via Lido 81, 6612 Ascona