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Basel's Hidden Gems: Restaurant Edition

This article series celebrates the small and often overlooked businesses in Basel. For restaurants this means a small space and small menu, but you better believe that whatever they serve is delicious! So if you are like me and prefer the path less trodden, read on and discover your next favourite hole-in-the-wall.

Photo: Restaurant Sahara

Restaurant Sahara (Hochbergerstrasse 112, 4057 Basel)

For truly delicious and authentic Moroccan (served by some of the loveliest people), make sure to visit Restaurant Sahara. Their tagines (meat stews) are divine, their dips fantastic and there are even homemade Moroccan pastries to finish your meal. My absolute favourite is the pastilla, a hand-made chicken pie with filo pastry and almonds. This delicacy is an absolute must-try, but you must order it in advance when you make your reservation. They only accept cash and the restaurant is tiny so make sure to book ahead.

Photo: Tapiocarhy

Tapiocarhy (Allschwilerstrasse 22, 4055 Basel)

Tapiocahry serves mostly tapioca (also called beiju), which is a popular street food in Brazil. A cross between a taco and a crêpe, this crunchy but moist delicacy, made from cassava root, is filled with delicious roasted meats or vegetables and Brazilian cheeses. They are truly excellent as are their pão de queijo (fluffy cheese pastries). For dessert try one of their sweet tapioca varieties and wash it all down with a caipirinha (a Brazilian take on the mojito). On weekends they also serve a traditional feijoada for brunch (a hearty stew made from beans, sausage and pork, served with rice, cabbage and oranges). These brunches are popular so make sure to reserve a spot.

Photo: Rostiger Anker

Rostiger Anker (Hafenstrasse 25a, 4057 Basel)

This place puts the hidden in 'hidden gem' and unless you know where you are going (and even if you do) you may not find it. If you are climbing over numerous train tracks in the industrial part of Kleinhüningen you are going in the right direction. The food is excellent with a delicious, seasonal Swiss-style menu, but the real reason to go is the view. Directly on the Rhein (so close that you can feed the swans from your plate), the location is breathtaking and makes you feel like you have been transported to a sea-side resort. Reservations are an absolute must as it is very tiny (even more so in the winter when the patio is closed).

Photo: Flavors of Jerusalem

Flavors of Jerusalem (Markthalle, Steinentorberg 20, 4051 Basel)

This is one of the places in Basel that I wake up craving, and arguably one of the best places in Markthalle - just try it before you challenge me! There are four things on the menu: marinated lamb chops, roasted aubergine, mujaddara (a bulgur and lentil piaf with almonds) and fattush (a delicious chopped salad with crispy pita chips). Every time I go to Markthalle I think about eating at one of the many other delicious booths, but am always swayed by the gravitational pull of freshly grilled lamb chops and succulent aubergine.

Photo: Epting Bäckerei

Epting Bäckerei (Elsässerstrasse 136, 4056 Basel)

You wouldn't know it by the facade (or the name), but this place has the best Sri Lankan curry in town (seriously). They are only open for weekday lunches, and the outside is very unassuming so make sure you know the address. People 'in the know' certainly know this place and it is usually packed with Novartis employees (located just outside the campus). Your choices are simple: beef, chicken or veggie curry with rice and seasonal veggie side dishes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there is also the option for homemade roti-style flatbread (which is delicious).

Photo: Seo Mike

MOiDA Korean Kitchen (Elsässerstrasse 126, 4056 Basel)

If you love Korean food, you will know that Basel is a bit of a desert when it comes to this cuisine. Fear not, your prayers have been answered, and MOiDA has delicious bibimbap, gimbap and homemade kimchi. Unfortunately there is no seating (take out only), but on a lovely sunny day there is nothing better than a bit of bibimbap in nearby Voltamatte Park.

I hope this list inspires you to venture off the beaten path for your next culinary adventure. Surely there are some hidden gems that we have missed (they are hidden after all) so if you know of a great little hole-in-the-wall please contact us and let us know.

En guete!

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