Bern’s Best Restaurants: GaultMillau, Michelin Guide & Co.
Exceptional selection: These 20 Bern restaurants let you feast along in the steps of the famous restaurant guides. Bon appétit!
Restaurant Casa Novo
A friendly family team in Casa Novo waits to welcome aficionados of Spanish-inspired market cuisine. With a splendid location in a sandstone gem at Läuferplatz, Jesús Novo and his son Dominik can fulfill your dream of experiencing authentic Mediterranean cuisine. The charming terrace right beside the Aare river looks like it just stepped off a film set – which might explain why its 80 seats are as much in demand in summer as the freshly caught fish featured on the menu. Mediterranean dishes with an international twist embody the philosophy of head chef Tobias Steiner, who has been awarded 14 points by the GaultMillau restaurant guide. The cherry on the top is the restaurant’s own wine store with over 100 highlights from Cava to dessert wines. Our after-dinner tip: Let your food digest while you take a walk over the Untertorbrücke (Untertor Bridge) – the oldest bridge in Bern and just a few steps away from Casa Novo. Vamonos!
Kursaal Bern: Meridiano
Everything is more heavenly at Meridiano, the restaurant with a lofty location in the Kursaal building. The view of the Old Town, Bern Minster and the Bernese Alps. The welcome from restaurant manager Giovanni Ferraris. And the food from chef de cuisine Fabian Raffeiner. The native of South Tirol puts his heart and soul into his cooking at this fine dining establishment when he isn’t out and about visiting local and regional producers to find the freshest and finest ingredients to use in his pans, ceramic grills and sous-vide cookers. Using char from Rubigen, Wagyu beef from Bollingen or organic vegetables from Spins, for example, he creates sophisticated dishes with an Alpine influence and has been awarded 17 GaultMillau points. He also knows how to serve traditional recipes from his homeland with an added touch. The Val Venosta bread is – you guessed it – heavenly! Just like the Meridiano’s star from the Michelin Guide, which is currently the only one to twinkle above a restaurant in the capital city.
Hotel Bellevue Palace: Restaurant Vue
What would a classic grand hotel be like without classic French cuisine? While you will find old favorites like pike timbale, filet de boeuf and crêpes Suzette at Restaurant Vue (16 GaultMillau points) in Hotel Bellevue, you can expect them to be interpreted anew by head chef Gregor Zimmermann. The focus is always on modern product cuisine with time-honored cooking skills. And diners who can’t make up their minds can join the sharing trend and easily split the dishes among themselves so everyone gets a taste. The same goes for the tiraditos. This Peruvian variation of sashimi reminds you of ceviche but is not quite so sour. Anyone up for a balmy summer evening spent on the Bellevue terrace enjoying salmon tiraditos with miso and myoga ginger, a refreshing glass of chilled wine and the incomparable view of the Aare river and the Alps? “La vie est belle” at Restaurant Vue.
Brasserie Obstberg is hidden away in the district of the same name on Bern’s east side. Newly renovated, the 13-point restaurant stands out in many different ways. It combines the chicness of an urban brasserie with the solid heartiness of a country inn and the uncomplicated flair of a neighborhood pub. You’ll love this place if you adore meticulously prepared French cuisine. We’re absolutely convinced that some guests would make an extra trip from Paris just for the classics such as tournedos de boeuf, coq aux vin or tarte tatin. The seasonal dishes prepared by head chef Pascal Cueni are also worthy of being admired and eaten. We recommend traveling to the restaurant with the number 12 bus, as Brasserie Obstberg is just a stone’s throw away from the “Tavelweg” bus stop. That way, your enjoyment of a good bottle of wine from the extensive wine list won’t be limited at all.
It’s all for one and one for all at Süder! You’ll find business partners meeting here for lunch, couples enjoying romantic dinners and groups out partying it up with the best of them. The cozy restaurant with 13 GaultMillau points is located in a historic building just a few minutes away from Eigerplatz and is best known for its fresh, seasonal cuisine. Head chef Ricardo Burkhard keeps the menu small so he can ensure that everything is prepared with “more care, more love, more dedication and a dash of magic”, to quote Süder itself. This “dash of magic” has turned dishes like the Süder steak tartare into an established house classic and livens up the midday and evening menu selections with unexpected surprises. Equally magical is the spacious garden area, where meals are served by hosts Renate Fankhauser and Martin Moser during the warmer months.
It may look like nothing but green fields surround the Zentrum Paul Klee but there’s also a gourmet restaurant beside it with a picturesque setting. Restaurant Schöngrün with its glass pavilion has a wonderful view of the iconic museum with its wave-like structure – and both were designed by star architect Renzo Piano. This fruitful setting blending art and architecture is also stimulating for culinary artistry. Head chef Jonas Steiner concocts and creates with his 15 GaultMillau points and a strong weakness for striking flavor and color combinations. Items such as “duo of beef with rapini, goji berries, black polenta, and Belper Ball cheese” sound like paintings themselves. This creativity has gained Restaurant Schöngrün the “Bib Gourmand” award in the Michelin Guide for fresh cuisine with an outstanding value for price.
Markus Arnold is very good at keeping the gastronomy scene on its toes. GaultMillau named him “Young Talent of the Year 2012” while he was a chef at Meridiano. After that, he brought his pop-up restaurants “Mister Mori” and “Brother Frank” to Bern to introduce locals to authentic Vietnamese street food and Japanese cuisine that goes far beyond sushi. He is a co-initiator of the new Sternenmarkt (Star Market) on Kleine Schanze. The Lucerne native has settled down once again at Restaurant Steinhalle near the Museum of History – but he isn’t resting on his laurels. He whips up an exuberant midday offering of ramen soups, bowls and burgers with seasonally rotating casual dining dishes in the evening. This dual concept is attracting quite the following. A steady stream of guests is always visible (the Sunday brunch is also a hit), and GaultMillau have celebrated Arnold’s comeback to the higher echelons of gastronomy with 16 points.
Hotel Schweizerhof Bern: Jacks Brasserie
Jacks Brasserie at Hotel Schweizerhof without its Wiener schnitzel would be like Bern without its Minster – inconceivable. The GaultMillau restaurant guide has even crowned the delicately thin cutlet with its crispy crumb coating as the best schnitzel in all of Switzerland! The many regulars would back this up without a second thought. Top quality is the top priority for head chef Silvan Durrer. The duck liver comes from Appenzell farms with the highest standards of animal welfare, and the tartare is made with organic beef. The vegetarian and vegan dishes at this 14-point restaurant always showcase seasonal products. The latest initiative launched against food waste is also popular: Anyone who doesn’t want to finish their meal can take their leftovers home in a box. A 5-centime donation to the “United Against Waste” association is made for each box.
If the walls of Restaurant Veranda could talk, they would definitely recount details of a very eventful past. Built originally as a villa for a silk manufacturer 150 years ago, it then became the residence of the French ambassadors. After various additions, it was converted into a boarding house with spa, a hotel and an old age home. Since 2001, Restaurant Veranda has been writing its own history in the meticulously renovated main building with market-fresh, mainly organic cuisine that has been awarded 13 GaultMillau points. Head chef Max Zwahlen relies on regional dishes and products with a Mediterranean influence, although he also enjoys drawing inspiration from Asian cuisine. The large picture window in the dining area lives up to the restaurant’s name, while in summer a charming terrace is the ideal spot to kick back and relax.
Restaurant Mille Sens
Follow your nose down the Schweizerhof Passage and you will find a kingdom of a thousand senses – the empire of Domingo S. Domingo. The head chef at Restaurant Mille Sens (14 GaultMillau points, Bib Gourmand award from the Michelin Guide) is known for his masterful blending of different flavors, textures and colors. At noon he expresses himself in vibrant bowl creations or in healthy, market-fresh dishes which guests can select from to put together their own personalized menu. In the evening, this chef with Filipino roots puts his unmistakable signature on the “Domingo pur Menu”. Look out for fusion cooking at its best when Bernese Wagyu empanadas meet tamarind sauce or a Cru Sauvage chocolate slice meets fior di latte kefir. The “Mille Sens” tavolata is designed so you can fully experience the sensory pleasures of this restaurant with a host of different appetizers and main courses as well as cheese and dessert creations to sample.
The trip to Moosegg is worth it for more than just the exceptional view of the rolling hills of the Emmen Valley. With its setting almost 1,000 meters above sea level, Restaurant Moosegg attracts gourmands from near and far with its modern yet down-to-earth cuisine. Head chef Daniel Lehmann and his team place a priority on recipes and products from the region and combine them with international influences. Lehmann knows most of his producers, dealers and vintners personally. He draws on this wealth to create a seasonally rotating Moosegg menu that has been awarded 16 GaultMillau points and the Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide. The wine list is a particular highlight with its incredible 90 pages, and it is sure to offer something to please even the most discerning wine aficionados.
Romantikhotel Bären Dürrenroth
Boasting rooms with whirlpools, a sauna spa and a selection of massages, Romantikhotel Bären in Dürrenroth offers more than one surprise as a member of the Association of Romantic Hotels for Leisure Seekers. Of course, a suitable mix of culinary wellness is also important, and this traditional Emmen Valley hotel offers it in its variety of cozy lounges and dining rooms. Head chef Torsten Bolz combines classics with a refined twist, such as adding poppyseed gnocchi and purple carrots to Emmen Valley beef filet with truffle sauce, and pairing sea bass with aronia berry sauce. However, you can also find traditional dishes at this restaurant with 14 GaultMillau points, like a farmer’s bratwurst sausage served with a Rösti potato pancake and onion gravy, or a juicy Cordon Bleu. The delicious homemade ice cream and sorbets are a hit with more than just our youngest guests.
The L’Auberge boutique hotel located in a stately villa in the center of Langenthal focuses on certain highlights of gourmet cuisine that have disappeared from many fine-dining menus. With an advance reservation and two or more guests, you can order an entire duck or a whole sea bass, with four or more guests we will serve beef Wellington or a feast of organ meats featuring liver, kidneys and sweetbreads. An excursion to Oberaargau is also worth it for the other creations whipped up by head chef Dirk Schied (15 GaultMillau points). The homemade ravioli and steak tartare made with Angus beef enjoy widespread popularity. Anyone who prefers putting together their own multi-course menu can combine up to five items from the menu according to their fancy. By the way, the 16 individually furnished rooms are perfect for extending your getaway to Oberaargau.
Schloss Hünigen: Rosarium
An impressive castle, Schloss Hünigen is a popular spot for weddings and family celebrations. The legendary gardens with 3,500 roses are a blooming good reason for it. Another is the gastronomical offerings orchestrated by Michael Engelhardt in the castle’s restaurant, bearing the very apt name of “Rosarium”. However, you don’t need a wedding proposal to dine sumptuously in the restaurant with its 13 GaultMillau points. During the week at noon there is a hearty lunch buffet, while evenings you can choose à la carte or enjoy the multi-course “Menu du Château”. A Sunday brunch every week tempts you with hot and cold dishes – and weather permitting you can even savor your food outdoors surrounded by fragrant rosebushes.
Stadthaus Burgdorf: La Pendule
The Stadthaus Burgdorf is known locally as the “Rütli of Canton Bern” since it was here that the first democratic constitution was drawn up in 1830. Today following a careful renovation, the history-laden building is a hotel with 18 rooms and La Pendule restaurant. Every day chef Christian Bolliger uses market-fresh ingredients to put together a three-course bistro menu as well as a four-course gourmet menu, and à la carte items are hard to resist such as a chicken-breast club sandwich or homemade ravioli. You can also discover exciting Swiss products here such as salmon raised in the Alps in Lostallo or veal cheeks. GaultMillau has distinguished La Pendule’s cuisine with 15 points.
Additional restaurants we feel deserve special mention:
The Bay on Hodlerstrasse has already secured its spot on Bern’s gastronomy scene. The restaurant, located in the historic Wurstemberger Tower next to the Museum of Fine Arts, has been able to quickly build a reputation with modern brasserie dishes, and it will soon bring home the “Best of Swiss Gastro 2019” award in the Trend category. It has also received glowing praise from GaultMillau in the “Pop” section, in which the gourmet restaurant guide lists restaurants and bars that cater to a life-style oriented audience. Head chef Axel Reinhold and his crew reinvent French classics such as coq au vin and serve the increasingly popular “Second Cuts”, such as a sous-vide flank steak cooked slowly for 24 hours. The terrace overlooking the Aare river is enchanting and provides an almost tropical atmosphere surrounded by trees and plants and with a view of the Botanic Gardens.
Just a moment! Whoever dines here in the evening should have a good imagination, or rather will. At Restaurant Moment on Gerechtigkeitsgasse the dishes are advertised with the three main ingredients only, allowing guests to guess and await their meal with great anticipation. You will find out what tasty dish is concealed behind descriptions such as “pike – radishes – buttermilk” or “celery – sugar loaf chicory – bergamot” Advance reservations at Moment are recommended, even for lunch when simple and fresh dishes are on the menu. The meat, fish and vegetables are all sourced in Switzerland, with the majority coming from the region. The young team supporting host Sven Stauffer has also already caught the attention of the GaultMillau scouts, who list the restaurant in their “Pop” section. The wine list – very apt for terroir cuisine – offers an exquisite selection of natural wines.
When you think of Kemmeriboden-Bad, you should also think of meringues. You would be hard pressed to find a larger selection of this airy sweet treat made from egg whites and sugar anywhere else – and they have been serving it for 80 years. However, this Schangnau hotel and restaurant have a lot more to offer with creative cuisine that still maintains its traditional roots. The network of local and regional partners is impressive and takes up an entire page of the menu. The Invernizzi family has been running the Kemmeriboden-Bad establishment for six generations and constantly infuses it with new, forward-looking ideas. They offer innovative dishes, such as the “Zvieri-Plättli” supper platter, which you can select for yourself depending on your preferences and appetite. In winter, the hotel’s onsite igloo is particularly cozy and welcomes guests from far beyond the Emmen Valley.
Hotel Bellevue Palace: Noumi
With Restaurant Noumi, the Bellevue Palace has expanded its culinary offering with a young, urban concept. The open-concept kitchen and interior design – which resembles popular London or New York eateries with its many copper-colored basalt stones – serve up a large portion of cosmopolitan flair. The menu designed by head chef Alex Geoffrey is also focused on internationality, with bowls and items from the grill such as miso cod, pork ribs and vegan vegetable millefeuille as the main stars. A mixologist creates innovative cocktails and drinks, and DJs ensure that everything is accompanied by the perfect tunes. As an aside, the word “noumi” is actually derived from “numismatics” (which is ancient Greek for “coin”) and hearkens back to the earlier coin press of Bern, which was once located on the same spot as the restaurant today.
Restaurant Moléson, just a short five-minute jaunt from the main railway station, is a popular culinary rendez-vous in a central location in Bern’s Old Town. The restaurant is housed in a historic building from the 17th century and offers a range of spaces depending on the occasion or your requirements. A genuine brasserie atmosphere reigns in the “Gourmanderie”, with classics such as côte de boeuf and pieds de cochon. At “Petit Moléson”, you can enjoy more of a bistro flavor, while the second-floor Greyerzerstube lounge with its vintage paneled walls and wooden floor lets you feel like you've gone back in time. The Moléson cheese fondues using AOP Greyerzer and Fribourg Vacherin are legendary, especially when you add delicate morel mushrooms or Greyerzer heavy cream. A helpful tip: Moléson also offers low-carb versions of its dishes when possible.