A new guidebook by Swiss journalists Nina Kobelt and Silvia Schaub gives you insider tips for some important food destinations in St. Gallen. Entitled, 111 Orte in St. Gallen, die man gesehen haben muss (111 places in St. Gallen that you have to see), this book has recommendations that even locals might not be aware of. I asked co-author Nina Kobelt to share some of her own culinary travel advice from the book via email. See below for a Q&A summary of her responses.
Available only in German, this book showcases all the specialties this city has to offer, and most importantly, where to find them.
Bürli, Brats and Beer
To give you some quick background information, in St. Gallen you’ll hear them talk about “the three Bs.” They stand for three special foods from the region: St. Galler Bürli, St. Galler Bratwurst and beer. I’ve also heard of a fourth B added to this list. It stands for Biber, a type of gingerbread with an almond paste filling.
Q&A with Nina Kobelt
Here’s my brief interview via email with the co-author of this guidebook, Nina Kobelt. Her recommendations give a taste of what you’ll find in the book and on the streets of St. Gallen, the capital of its eponymous canton and the 8th largest city in Switzerland. Please note that her responses have been edited and summarized for clarity.
Q: What is your estimated percentage of the 111 places that have a connection to food?
NK: “Twenty of the 111 places have a connection to food. In addition, there are a lot of other tips for food and drinks throughout the book. So, it’s indeed about 25-30%!”
Q: What is one of your favorite culinary destinations in St. Gallen, and why?
NK: “As I don’t eat meat, it’s NOT the St. Galler Bratwurst. I love Confiserie Roggwiler (No. 26), because it still looks like the old Wiener Café (No. 48), and the Biber there are so yummy. Also, Scherrer is a superb location, and it has the best pralinés. Then, of course La Fabbrica (No. 22), which has the best panettone ever.
I love the Hofladen (No. 45) where you can buy products from Appenzell, St. Gallen and Thurgau. It’s like a Schlaraffenland!
When it comes to bars: Alt St. Gallen (No. 2), with its guillotine, and Klubhaus (No. 52). Formerly, it was the Spanisches Klubhaus, and now it serves Asian food.
You’ll find the best falafel on the Marktplatz at Nil Imbiss. And Restaurant Splügen (No. 74) is known for serving the first falafel in St. Gallen a long time ago.”
Q: What, if anything, was the biggest surprise/discovery for you related to food and culinary destinations in this book?
NK: “There are so many unknown stories. For example, that croissants were “invented” in the Kloster St. Gallen (No. 22). Or that Schützengarten is the oldest brewery in Switzerland (No. 5) and the only one labelled as a ‘slow brewery’. St. Gallen also has the nation’s oldest coffee roaster, Turm Kaffee (No. 42). Moreover, it’s home to the first wine labelled as “organic” in the country: Delinat (No. 6). This Swiss city has so many superlatives!”
For more information:
Nina Kobelt, Silvia Schaub
111 Orte in St. Gallen, die man gesehen haben muss (only available in German)
13.6 x 20.6 cm
Publication date: October 20, 2022
Please note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from its publisher, Emons. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are purely my own.