The Hidden Pearl of Pâquis

Geneva doesn’t reveal itself to just anyone but rather rewards the faithful, those patient and curious enough to peel back its layers.

Take Chez Henri for example. You won’t see any street signs for it, so you would never pass it by chance and think, oh, that place looks cute, maybe I should give it a try one day. Instead, you might overhear people talking about it on the train, and your ears start to perk after hearing it brought up in conversation a few times. One night, while in Pâquis, a friend mentions it again, and before you know it, you’re walking through a busy burger joint as if you own the place, eventually coming to an inconspicuous door in the back near the toilettes, which you push open to find a small, charming oyster bar with a hint of the 1950s.

You’ve never even had oysters before but the intimate bar is so elegant and inviting that before long you’ve slurped not one but four, then five, six, oysters fresh off the coast of Brittany into  your mouth, enough of each of the three varieties for you to start to identify a favorite. The wine list is extensive but the staff both knowledgeable and friendly, and they are handily able to recommend a wine that pairs perfectly. One bottle turns into two and before you know it, you’re chatting with the handful of other patrons as well as the oyster man, and voilà, what started off as an ordinary night wandering the streets of Pâquis for something to do turns into a unexpected evening of clandestine fun and laughter. Quintessential Geneva.





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