Our 14 Favourite Vegan Eateries
Bern is known far and wide for its contributions to a sustainable world and is a mecca for vegans. Here are 14 recommendations on where to indulge on plant-based delights – sweet desserts are obviously also on the menu.
Kulturschür Brunch on the Gurten
Is there anything better than a lavish Sunday brunch? Actually, there is: a lavish vegan Sunday brunch. The delicious experience at the Kulturschür on the Gurten also includes a fantastic view over the city of Bern and the Bernese Alps. The buffet offers delicious options for all kinds of diets, so all guests are sure to leave the local mountain happy. If you want to end your Sunday by really soaking in the Gurten’s relaxed atmosphere (and getting out of the self-induced food coma), you can walk down into town instead of taking the funicular.
Beans & Nuts
We’re getting hungry just looking through the menu! There’s no need to double-check the ingredients lists, as all dishes are 100 % vegan. From the cappuccino, the Aare Bowl to the homemade waffles – everything here is made entirely from fresh, plant-based ingredients. The ambiance in the café gives us Australian vibes: hip, cool, and laid-back. Our recommendation for rounding off a relaxed weekend: order waffles to go on a sunny Sunday morning and enjoy them on one of the benches on the Minster Terrace, along with the beautiful view. Enough said, off you go to vegan paradise.
In need of a tasty snack? How about a traditional Swiss “Nussgipfel” (croissant with hazelnut filling) or a sweet mille-feuille? For vegans, the options are often limited, but there’s no need to study the ingredients list here: the treats at this widely known and highly popular bakery are all completely vegan – it’s vegan heaven! They also serve warm and cold lunch menus. If you want to try to replicate their sandwich creations at home, you can buy the ingredients you need, such as carrot salmon or the meat alternatives from Outlawz Food, right there in the shop. Our recommendation: try their “salmon” bagel!
It’s momos – need we say more? “Yummm” is probably enough to describe mama’s creations. Whether as a quick lunch or as takeout for dinner, these dumplings are available without animal products but with all the flavour. You can also order them accompanied by a soup – on colder days especially we highly recommend this warming comfort food. By the way: There’s two locations, one in the Lorraine neighbourhood and one at the corner of the Loeb department store by the train station. Which means your new favourite dish is always just a short walk away.
While on your lunchtime walk to the BearPark, make sure you stop by this small, authentic eatery where the falafels are freshly prepared after the owner’s own recipe. There are also vegan sauces, such as hummus, to accompany the deep-fried balls. Put together your own sandwich or a “Mimo Box” with all of your favourite ingredients while enjoying a little chat with the likable owner. If you don’t have the time to sit down for your meal or if all the seats under the arcades in front of the restaurant are taken, you can also get the meal to go.
The ultimate mecca for vegetarians and vegans. There’s a large buffet with all kinds of dishes, with new ones being added regularly. Pick and choose what you feel like eating and put together your own plate from the many tasty options ranging from various curries and samosas to “meatballs” to the popular AyeAyeAye “egg” salad and seasonal soup. And leave some room for dessert, there’s lots to choose from! Tibits is also perfect for a quick coffee break, be it alone, with friends or with your family. The food from the buffet is paid for by weight and then enjoyed at your favourite spot in the happy, colourful interior or, if the weather permits it, outside.
You don’t have to worry about the ingredients at this restaurant either: Swing Kitchen serves vegan food only. They are most known for their burgers – which are also popular among meat eaters (we know from experience) – but there are also wraps and salads as well as various side dishes such as onion rings and golden nuggets. And if there’s room left at the end of the meal, pick a sweet treat from the yummy dessert menu (we recommend the tiramisu). Swing Kitchen is a great place to meet up with friends for a laid-back, plant-based dinner.
Oriental cuisine has a lot of delicious vegan dishes, so obviously we’re including an oriental restaurant in our list. We especially recommend Ali Baba: it more than lives up to its good reputation and serves delicious food – always fresh, tasty and at a very reasonable price. For lunch, you can put together your own plate from the buffet. If you can't decide what to choose, just ask the friendly staff and they’ll fill a takeout box with vegan delicacies for you.
In tune with its name, La Chouette (“the owl”) is a popular place for night owls. On Saturdays, you can come here at any hour of the night and indulge on crêpes until 6 a.m., or stop by during the day to celebrate French crêpe culture in this cozy eatery by the Bollwerk. There’s vegan batter available for all creations, which include sweet classics such as cinnamon and sugar or vegan “Schoggi” (chocolate) as well as tasty savoury options – the seasonal specials are always particularly popular. And as if this wasn't enough, La Chouette also makes delicious momos – vegan, of course.
Vegans know the dilemma: you can never go wrong with pizza, but oftentimes you need to compromise because it just doesn’t taste the same without mozzarella. That is not the case here. There are always at least two pizzas on the menu that don’t contain cheese anyway and taste delicious, whether you’re vegan or not. The place is known for its food and attracts locals from the neighbourhood and visitors alike: if you walk past the restaurant on a warm summer day, you’ll see people chatting and enjoying their meal at the tables outside, sitting casually on the sidewalk with pizza slices in their hands, soaking up the sun in the park, or waiting for their order at the takeout window. The relaxed atmosphere makes it feel as if you were on holiday in Italy! So much flavour, so much italianitá – every nonna would approve. Buonissimo!
What would a list of vegan restaurants be without an Asian representative? But not just any one: Choosing Mishio means valuing excellent quality and delicious flavours. Intense spices, rich aromas and fresh ingredients combined with a fantastic view – what more could you ask for? You can choose from a wide variety of specialities from Chinese and Thai cuisine as well as seasonal specials. It’s also worth visiting for drinks on the terrace on mild summer evenings, overlooking the Parliament Building.
Who would’ve thought that Bern’s most magnificent vaulted cellar holds a vegan diamond? The “Chübu” (bucket), as natives lovingly call the restaurant, serves excellent vegan dishes alongside its Bernese classics and specialities. From a seasonal salad to start with to a selection of plant-based desserts to round off the meal: the Kornhauskeller serves up a feast for the taste buds. We also recommend going for a drink at the in-house bar afterwards, where the bartenders mix signature cocktails – such as “La vita è bella” – under the beautifully painted ceilings.
Moment – GaultMillau
GaultMillau points for a restaurant with a plant-based menu? Moment is the answer to vegans’ prayers, serving four or five courses of plant-based deliciousness. What exactly will land on our plates we do not know – the Carte Blanche only contains the four basic ingredients of each dish. What they are turned into is a surprise. If your curiosity takes over, you can take a look at the menu in advance and try to guess the dishes. Regular adjustments to the seasonal menu ensure that ingredients can be sourced regionally whenever possible. A gourmet menu that’s vegan and sustainable – Moment ticks all the boxes.
When temperatures drop, the time has come to get out the fondue caquelons. Pretty much every Swiss household starts setting up the special fondue pots, buying their favourite blend, and chilling wine. Vegans now no longer miss out on the beloved winter tradition, as JUL offers a plant-based fondue during the cold months. Keep in mind: the Swiss speciality is served outside. There’s lots of warm blankets, of course, but we still recommend putting on a warm jacket, scarf and beanie so that nothing stands in the way of a cozy, vegan fondue dinner. Off to JUL we go!