Wherever you travel overseas, you’ll undoubtedly find a Mc Donald’s, a Burger King, a Pizza Hut, occasionally a KFC, and of course a Starbucks. One of the reasons we travel -aside from visiting new places- is to leave these ubiquitous brands behind and explore pubs & restaurants to discover new culinary experiences. At home, special occasions are traditionally celebrated around food. It could be a simple BBQ, a picnic, or an elaborate dinner at a fancy restaurant. When welcoming out-of-town guests, the choice of restaurants is an important one. After all, we want it to be a treat and we take some pride in selecting just the right one. Why do we choose a particular restaurant? The type of cuisine is of course a prime consideration, but ambiance, location and frequently tradition also play a significant role.
I love the City of Bern, its atmosphere, its history, and of course the great variety of restaurants. When asked: “What is your favorite restaurant or which is the best one?” I am hard pressed to come up with a quick answer, except for the Kornhauskeller which has been my favorite since I first ate there. The Michelin guide among others will come up with a number of great choices. We’ll discuss these in a future spotlight., but for now I’ll introduce you to some that I especially like based on the criteria I mentioned above. In Bern, as in most cities, you will find great neighborhood pubs with locals claiming that they are the best in town. Don’t hesitate to check them out, most will welcome you & provide a good meal.
Bern’s traditional dish is the “Bernerplatte” (Bernese Platter) consisting of an array of meats accompanied by sauerkraut, French beans, & potatoes. Its origin dates back to March 5, 1798, at the defeat of the French army at Neuenegg. In celebration a great feast was organized with everyone bringing whatever they had in their larder. The dish lives on to this day and you’ll find one of the best platters at the Della Casa located a few steps from the Houses of Parliament. The restaurant has been around since 1892 offering many local traditional Swiss dishes. Speaking of Swiss dishes, foreign visitors invariably ask where they can get a good fondue. Some claim that the best fondue can be eaten at Restaurant Harmonie located near the famous “Zytglogge” (Clock Tower). I would suggest that you check out Restaurant Moléson or the Lötschberg.
If the weather is nice and you have only one free day, do this! Catch the Marzili Funicular in front of the Parliament Building for a short two-minute ride to the Aare River, then walk over to Schwellenmätteli one of our favorite restaurants for a spectacular view of Bern, the Aare, the Parliament buildings, the Cathedral, and of course a great meal. After a leisurely lunch take a stroll along the River Aare past the Bear Park where you’ll see the animals frolicking on the slopes along the banks of the river. At the bottom of the bridge, take the Schräglift, which is free, to the top of the hill to the Altes Tramdepot. Originally a streetcar, garage, & theater depot, it opened as a brewery and restaurant with beer garden in 1998. After enjoying one of their draft beers, you can cross the Nydegg Bridge and stroll back to Downtown.
Check out the Videos & websites by clicking on the highlighted links above.