From Cosy to Creative: Our Top 20 Places in Bern’s Neighbourhoods
Musigbistrot in the Monbijou Neighbourhood
Not every neighbourhood has a place with such a nice-“sounding” name – the Musigbistro (music bistro) plays an important instrument – er, role, in the Monbijou neighbourhood. When it opened in 1992, combining gastronomy and cultural events in a neighbourhood bistro was still a pretty new concept. But ever since, there have been concerts, readings and poetry slams on a regular basis. But Musigbistro also has a lot of gastronomical variety to offer: delicacies from all over the world delight the loyal fanbase. Vietnamese beef Tatar, Moroccan Tajine, Thai chicken curry or Swiss Toblerone mousse are only e few of the delicious reasons why you should head to Musigbistro as soon as possible. And the best thing about it: for dessert, they’ll serve a wonderful concert.
Musigbistrot, Mühlemattstrasse 48
Caffè Bar Sattler in the Länggasse Neighbourhood
The scent of leather is long gone: only the name, Sattler (saddler), reminds us of what this café at Mittelstrasse 15a used to be. Today, Caffè Bar Sattler smells of warm panini and fresh espresso. Their brunch is a huge hit on weekends, and their “Sattlerbrote” (saddler sandwiches) are legendary – so much better, crispier and more interesting than your average sandwich. Who will you meet at Sattler? Old and young, students and residents, families and friends – so basically everyone. You can either sit inside the tiny, cozy house, or outside on the terrace or the low wall. One thing is obvious: Sattler brings some charming italianità to the Länggasse neighbourhood. Even more so because it shares the address with Bern’s original “Gelateria di Berna”.
Caffè Bar Sattler, Mittelstrasse 15a
Luna Llena in the Breitenrain Neighbourhood
This full moon will definitely leave you moonstruck: Luna Llena is a popular meeting place in between the Breitenrain and Wyler neighbourhoods. Be it for a morning coffee, a tasty lunch menu or a beer (or two) after work – you can visit and relax at any time of the day. Concerts and exhibitions are held regularly and contribute to the open, creative charm of the local bistro at Scheibenstrasse. Luna Llena is also inextricably linked with ice cream – for over 20 years, they have been making Bern’s very first organic ice cream. It is known in all of Switzerland and has a huge fanbase. All of the ingredients used for the delicious creations are organic and, whenever possible, regional. And: the entire selection is fair-trade certified.
Luna Llena, Scheibenstrasse 39
Zar-Bar in the Mattenhof Neighbourhood
Zar-Bar is quite possibly the city’s smallest bar, and definitely one of the coziest. It is located in the Mattenhof neighbourhood, right by the tram stop Cäcilienstrasse. So, there is no excuse why you shouldn’t head southeast from the centre in the direction of the Fischermätteli neighbourhood and stop by at the Zar’s. But who needs excuses when they can go for the best “White Russian” around? There you go! We know the Dude from The Big Lebowski would love it. Just as he would love the delicious regional cheese and meat on the aperitif platter or the brunch buffet on Saturdays. Small as it may be, Zar-Bar is still an important event location: be it for Jass (Switzerland’s national card game) tournaments, speed dating, elections of Federal Councilors, concerts, tastings – there’s room for everything. Including new Zar-Bar fans.
Zar-Bar, Pestalozzistrasse 9
Apfelgold and APÉRO Wine Bar in the Länggasse Neighbourhood
All that’s tasty is gold: Café Apfelgold at the rear end of the Länggasse neighbourhood is perfect for everyone who loves a good piece of cake with their coffee. And “good” is a gross understatement, because you will simply not be able to resist all the sweet treats such as almond tarte with caramel and bittersweet chocolate or original French lemon tartlets. If you stay long enough, you can switch to an aperitif at APÉRO – the bar inside Apfelgold that is open from Wednesday to Friday from 5 p.m. and showcases and promotes Swiss wines. There are around 50 different wines from Swiss winemakers, many of them also sold by the glass. The wine menu changes weekly – all the more reason to keep on meeting for aperitifs at APÉRO. Cheers!
Apfelgold, Bonstettenstrasse 2
Löscher in the Breitenrain Neighbourhood
Once dedicated to putting out fires, it’s now here to quench our thirst: the restaurant and bar Löscher has turned the old Viktoria fire station into a popular, relaxed and personal Hangout spot in the Breitenrain, or “Breitsch”, neighbourhood. The menu may be small, but it contains delicious, fresh, no-frills meals. According to the many regulars, the consistently organic, seasonal and regional cuisine is amongst the best in Bern. Their approach of “when we’re out of something, we’re out of it” guarantees the highest quality and ensures that no food is wasted. So, sustainability is not only the Löscher way of life, your memories of visiting this cool venue in the Breitenrain neighbourhood will also stay with you for a very long time.
Löscher, Viktoriastrasse 70
Ô Capitaine in the Breitenrain Neighbourhood
Are you longing for southern France? Then you should head to Ô Capitaine in the Breitenrain neighbourhood. The small restaurant on Herzogstrasse is so charming that you will feel as if you were in a bistro in the beautiful old port of Marseille. The selection of fish and seafood specialties from ceviche to calamari makes gourmands flock to the Breitenrain neighbourhood, as do the typical French bistro classics: pork fillet with mustard sauce and French fries, salad with warm goat’s cheese and ratatouille are just some of the delicacies that are served. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, “Moules et frites” are on the menu, and on Sundays, brunch enthusiasts from near and far visit Ô Capitaine to enjoy the large buffet with sweet and savory specialties (quiche and cheese - need we say more?). And if you want to take that French “joie de vivre” home, they have wine and other products from the South of France for sale.
Ô Capitaine, Herzogstrasse 12
Café Kairo in the Lorraine Neighbourhood
At Café Kairo, quality is not only found in the form of a culinary statement on the plate, but also in the glass. Don’t let the small selection of beers fool you – it’s always been exquisite: since its opening in 1998, the iconic venue has included the products of small Swiss breweries that were largely overlooked before the craft boom began a few years ago. The food is organic and made with ingredients and products from trusted local partners and distributors. The hamburger and falafel plates are highly popular – we couldn’t say which one tastes better … maybe you should just try both. Or, even better: try them several times. The same goes for the events: many musicians and bands kicked off their careers in the Kairo basement in the Lorraine neighbourhood – and enjoy popping in every once in a while.
Café Kairo, Dammweg 43
Restaurant Cinématte in the Matte Neighbourhood
You couldn’t get any closer to the Aare river: the restaurant Cinématte in the Matte neighbourhood, the oldest part of Bern, lies directly on the banks of the river and offers not only culinary, but also cinematic highlights. You will find seasonal dishes on the menu, made from fresh, regional products and with an eye for detail. If you’re not very hungry or just feel like a quick snack before the movie starts, you will find small items on the menu, such as cheese platters, salads or soups. Combine them with a wonderful Swiss wine and you’ll be ready to enjoy a Swiss or European cinematic gem – now that’s a perfect evening.
Restaurant Cinématte, Wasserwerkgasse 7
Café Parterre und Crêperie Carroussel in the Länggasse Neighbourhood
We are going to go out on a limb and say that everyone who studied in Bern in the last few years and had lectures in Länggasse has been to Parterre at least once. Or rather: countless times. The small, pretty café bar in the Länggasse neighbourhood is not only popular with the students: in the mornings, people come here to relax and read the newspaper, later, they are joined by those who want to meet up near the train station for business meetings or to chat with friends, and in the evening, people like to come here for drinks after work. Practically enough, Crêperie Carroussel is located next door, ready to serve guests crêpes and galettes made using the original Breton recipe. There are delicious savoury options such as the galette with fig marmalade, bacon and Manchego cheese or sweet temptations such as crêpes with chocolate or fruit compote.
Crêperie Le Carrousel, Hallerstrasse 1
Länggass-Tee in the Länggasse Neighbourhood
The Lang family, based in the Länggasse neighbourhood, has been shaking up Switzerland’s tea business for over 35 years. Today, their high-quality tea from countries like China and India is sold in restaurants, cafés and hotels across the country. But their tearoom on the first floor of the shop at Länggasse Street is and always will be a unique place where you can dive into the history and the secrets of this wonderful beverage. Connoisseurs from near and far meet for proper High Tea complete with cake stands filled with delicacies, or for the legendary Saturday morning breakfast (it’s super popular, so make reservations early!). The shop on the ground floor is an Eldorado for tea lovers, and you can even book a class on performing a Japanese tea ceremony.
Länggass-Tee, Länggasstrasse 47
Rösterei in the Länggasse Neighbourhood
The chance of being seduced at the end of Länggasse Street is huge, thanks to the delicious smell of freshly roasted coffee beans coming from Rösterei Kaffee und Bar on Güterstrasse. The house blend and the Terroir coffees from Blasercafé are roasted several times a week, and interested visitors are welcome to watch or even join in and learn how to properly roast coffee. At the shop, you can buy all the necessary barista utensils and equipment for your home, as well as the right blend, of course. And at the café, they’re always grinding and brewing coffee: you can choose from classics like espresso or Caffè Freddo, specialties such as filter coffee Terroir or hip cold-brew coffee. The icing on the cake, or rather, the foam on the cappuccino: Rösterei regularly offers different kinds of coffee workshops.
Rösterei, Güsterstrasse 6
Effinger in the Monbijou Neighbourhood
Am I working so I can drink coffee or am I drinking coffee so I can work? That is the question! Or rather, it isn’t, because at Effinger between Hirschengraben and Monbijou, the two are combined perfectly. It is a coffee bar along with a co-working space with studios and meeting rooms all in one. At Effinger, you will encounter young, creative, self-employed owners of start-up companies and friends who don’t work there but meet up to have a Rosso Spritz after work. And if you are or have been working, you will need a good bite to eat: crispy quiches, salads or snacks will take care of that. And on Saturdays, there’s a tasty breakfast. If you must spend half of your life working, then you might as well do it at Effinger!
Effinger, Effingerstrasse 10
Du Nord in the Lorraine Neighbourhood
Happy times in the North! The restaurant Du Nord by the Lorrainebrücke bridge is an integral part of Bern’s gastronomic scene and known in all of Bern for its great food. Everything they serve is fresh, homemade and creative. On weekdays, it’s inventive pasta, meat, vegetarian and salad dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. Especially cute and sweet: the dessert “Es Reiheli Schoggi” (“a row of chocolate”) for one Swiss franc. For Dinner, they bring out the big guns – but stick to their typically uncomplicated, tongue-in-cheek style: dishes are named “Le coq est mort”, for example, which is a roast chicken with rosemary, lemon, herb dip, potato salad, cucumbers and radishes. On weekends, you can have breakfast till 4 p.m. (make sure to try the homemade granola!), and people also love to go there to dance and party. The concerts are legendary – and the nights long.
Du Nord, Lorrainestrasse 2
Tingel Kringel in the Länggasse Neighbourhood
If we had to turn a whimsical smile into a café, the result would probably look a lot like Tingel Kringel in the Länggasse neighbourhood. The small café on Mittelstrasse is so cozy and lovingly decorated that you could stay there all day, looking around, relaxing and drinking coffee. And eating bagels, of course - the house specialty. They are available in every combination imaginable, from poppyseed sesame bagels with tuna and salmon bagels with capers to sweet chocolate and hazelnut bagels. They are always prepared fresh right after they are ordered. To round off your meal, indulge on one of the delicious desserts – there is everything from lemon pie to cheesecake. You can also buy an entire cake for afternoon tea or dessert at home. By the way: there are also vegan and gluten-free options available.
Tingel Kringel, Mittelstrasse 12
Sportbar Bärn in the Kirchenfeld Neighbourhood (currently closed)
If you’re a sports fan, you will find the perfect bar in the Kirchenfeld neighbourhood. Sportsbar Bärn has been around since April 2018 and shows everything from soccer games to tennis matches – and it makes sure you’re well fed, too. The stylish sports bar on Jubiläumsstrasse has many trumps up its sleeve: it’s very close to the Ka-We-De bus stop, so it’s just like an easily accessible living room where like-minded people meet to watch the game. And the best thing about it: you don’t have to cook yourself! At Sportbar, they serve way more than just your average French fries. The guests will love the large variety of burgers, the salads and the carpaccio. 1:0 for sports fans!
Sportbar Bärn, Jubiläumsstrasse 103
Barbière in the Breitenrain Neighbourhood
Ten years ago, a few 30-year-olds started experimenting in their garage, trying to brew their first beer. Because it worked out so well, they got busy and turned an old pharmacy in the middle of the Breitenrain neighbourhood into a cool bistro. The brewery located in the back of the bistro is called “Garage” as an homage to the early days, and the brewers are still working on their own, non-mainstream creations. At the bar at the front end, they like to change up the beers they serve – if you want to know which ones are on tap at the moment, it’s best to just go by Barbière yourself. At lunchtime, there are two different meals plus pasta on the daily menu. In the evenings, you can snack on a salad bowl or an aperitif platter.
Barbière, Breitenrainplatz 40
Zoo Bar in the Lorraine Neighbourhood
There aren’t any boars at the zoo bar, but there are definitely beers! There are around twelve different beers on the menu, always complemented by a few carefully selected, local and regional specialty beers, as well as many different drinks. Events hosted at Zoo Bar include regular live concerts as well as the infamous and very popular pub quiz “Quizzy Thursday”. By the way, the small but cool bar on Lorrainestrasse is run by Bilal Erdogan and his friends. Bilal is also the founder of the iconic beverage delivery service “Bierexpress” and is now living his lifelong dream of owning his own bar. It’s great for us, too: after swimming at the Lorraine pool in the summer, we can make another refreshing stop at the ideally located bar on our way home!
Zoo Bar, Lorrainestrasse 69
wartsaal in the Lorraine Neighbourhood
Luckily, wartsaal (waiting room) is only the name of the café, not the purpose. No one is left waiting for their refreshing drink or their espresso. The comfy café bar in the Lorraine neighbourhood is just as suited for book lovers (thanks to the well-stocked bookshelf) as it is for aperitif platter enthusiasts – there’s even a vegan one. To tease you taste buds, there are frequently changing lunch and dinner menus and the juicy wartsaal burger with organic beef or halloumi cheese. The drinks menu offers a nice selection of IPAs, stouts, porters and Sour beers from small, local breweries. Don’t forget to leave some room for the chocolate cake! If you’re already full, just hang around for a bit, read and drink some tea until you’re back in the game.
wartsaal, Lorrainestrasse 15
Le Beizli in the Liebefeld Neighbourhood
Whether you’re heading to the theater afterwards, having some dinner or just hanging out and grabbing a drink: at Le Beizli in Vidmarhallen – run by the same people who also run the restaurant Du Nord and the Marzer, by the way – you will always find the perfect meal and drink for the occasion. The restaurant has a wonderful selection of specialty beers from regional microbreweries as well as a carefully curated selection of wines from the Weinerlei wine store. A fun idea for lunch: if you don’t feel like deciding on what to eat, you can order the “carte blanche” and be served a surprise menu immediately. It is, of course, also possible to look through and choose from the menu, which is what you do in the evening for dinner. If you’re up for it and you have enough time and an empty stomach, we recommend the tasting menu composed of five or six courses. Delicious!
Le Beizli, Könizstrasse 161