|St Gallen : restaurants|
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St Gallen has a good range of eating and drinking places to cover all price ranges. For standard self-service fare, head for the Manora on Marktgasse, but look out also for stalls all over the centre selling St Gallen’s famous Olma sausage, eaten ketchup- and mustard-free in a Bürli, or bread roll. A feature of St Gallen dining is the handful of traditional tavern-restaurants housed on the upper floor of old townhouses dotted around the centre.
Am Gallusplatz, Gallusstrasse 24 (071/223 33 30). The city’s best restaurant, where you can enjoy high-quality French cuisine amidst suitably stout decor. Your best option is to come for lunch, when menus are lighter in tone and cost less (around Fr.25) – otherwise, you’re looking at Fr.50-plus. Closed Sat lunch & Mon.
Da Franco, Webergasse 23. Pasta and pizza galore, with a choice of 25 different risottos. Eat well for Fr.18.
Gambrinus, Wassergasse 5 (071/222 47 71). Comfortable, low-lit den for standard brasserie-type menus (around Fr.20), plus veggie options, with the added attraction of live jazz every night – top-name artists on Wed and Sat nights command entrance fees of Fr.25–30, but otherwise entry is free to the house band. Closed Sun & Mon.
Goldenes Schäfli, Metzgergasse 5 (071/223 37 37). Best known of St Gallen’s upper-floor restaurants, with low ceilings, wood panelling all around and creaking floors. The food is all hearty local fare, with plenty of offal on the menu – the house speciality is calf’s liver – and other local dishes such as sautéed lake fish. Menus start from a very reasonable Fr.15. Closed Sun in summer.
Hörnli, Marktplatz (071/222 66 86). Easy-going restaurant specializing in delicious Rösti, also with some menus under Fr.15. A main attraction is its open-all-hours policy (Mon–Thurs 6.30am–12.30am, then continuously Fri 6.30am until Mon 4am).
Markthalle, Marktplatz. Cool modern interior churning out quality deli-type snacks and meals to local office types – prices are lower in the stand-up section, with perch stools, than in the table-and-chair bit in the back, although you can get a meal at either for less than Fr.17. After 6pm, it turns into a bar-style “night café”, with more limited food options. Closed Sun.
Medina, Davidstrasse 11 (071/223 22 37). Quiet Tunisian bar-plus-restaurant, serving authentic Arabic/North African cuisine to the musical accompaniment of Umm Kalthoum’s classic ballads. Especially good kebabs are fleshed out by quality harira tomato-and-chickpea soup and other specialities, and the fact that the place draws a clientele of expat Arabs speaks volumes.
Merkur Le Bistro, Marktplatz. Rock-bottom prices in this upstairs all-day diner, with menus from Fr.13. Closed Sun in summer.
New White Swan, Metzgergasse 24. Fast-paced little diner serving up huge portions of steaming Asian-style stomach fillers to students and others on tight budgets.
Seeger, Oberer Graben 2. Elegant big-windowed café with inexpensive food, playing classical music during the day to a twenty-something crowd relaxing on the leather sofas inside, or at tables on the pavement terrace.
Testarossa, Metzgergasse 20. Pretty good pizzas for around Fr.16. Closed Mon.
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