Come back anytime! That is what “volver” stands for, and that’s what you’ll be doing, because in this Bernese café right across from Rathaus (Town Hall), they serve yummy tapas as well as great coffee and wine in a stylish and relaxed ambiance. In sunny weather, you can sit outside on Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square) and almost feel like you’re on the Costa Brava. Especially when you’re being served delicious pulpo, spicy chorizo or patatas bravas – the tempting fried potatoes with Aioli and spicy tomato sauce are always a good idea. Volver takes us directly to the Mediterranean – and we simply can’t get enough of it.
Volver, Rathausplatz 8
If you’re looking for an especially cosy place, the vaulted cellar of Café Marta on Kramgasse is the place for you: it’s a perfect sanctuary for stressful (shopping) days. They offer tasty coffee and a large variety of different teas, along with homemade cakes and warm scones with butter, clotted cream and homemade jam. An additional plus: the beverages and baked goods can be ordered lactose-free and vegan. Marta’s is also worth a visit in the evening, when they offer local or British beer, cider und yummy snack platters.
Café Marta, Kramgasse 8
The historic Kornhaus (Granary) feels inviting and relaxing – whether you’re seated in the spacious and bright rooms of the Kornhauscafé or amongst the palm trees on Kornhausplatz (Granary Square). You’re sure to be entertained when you take a seat in the Mediterranean setting: you can do some people watching and feel the hustle and bustle between the upper and lower parts of the Old City whilst enjoying a glass of wine or a coffee and a slice of cake. From Monday to Saturday, the Grand-Café has tasty fresh coffee and croissants on the menu.
Kornhauscafé, Kornhausplatz 18
Luckily, Kaffee Montag (Café Monday) is not only open on Mondays. What would we do the rest of the week without the delicious baked goods and coffees? The tucked-away café is said to be one of the cosiest places in Bern’s Old City. On weekdays, they serve “Brunch à la carte” until 11:00 a.m., after that, tasty soups, salads and one-pot meals are on the menu. On Weekends, there’s a large and delicious breakfast buffet until 2 p.m. One of the trumps up Kaffee Montag’s sleeves: when you visit the restroom, you get an interesting and not-so-common insight into the Bernese sewer system deep down below. Something well worth seeing!
Kaffee Montag, Gerechtigkeitsgasse 27
Einstein café & bel étage
The Einstein Haus (Einstein house) is definitely one of the most historical locations for a café. Where Albert Einstein came up with the theory of relativity over 100 years ago, there’s now a wonderful café where you can stop by for cup of coffee and a slice of cake. It’s especially cosy in the winter, with its relaxing atmosphere complete with a crackling fire. The pancake quartet with maple syrup is worth indulging on, just like the Einstein Kaffee with a dash of Amaretto and Brandy – making sure you’re warm on the inside, too! By the way: for a “coffee with a view”, we suggest the “Einstein au Jardin” pavilion on the Minster terrace, where the cappuccino is great and the view spectacular!
Einstein café, Kramgasse 49
“Venice is built on water, Bern on wine”, as an old saying goes. Over the years, the former pantries and wine cellars in Bern’s Old City have been transformed into cafés, bars, boutiques and event locations. At Café Alpin, however, the wine cellar is not a faded memory, but alive and well: You can enjoy a cup of coffee at the little tables under the arcades or inside the small and elegantly decorated café – or you can round off a successful day of shopping with a glass of wine. If you’d like to take home some good wine, there’s a choice selection available at Cave Alpin just a few steps down.
Café Alpin, Gerechtigkeitsgasse 19
All of Bern meets at Adrianos by the Zytglogge (Clock Tower). The café is an inherent part of Bern’s café culture and an absolute must for lovers of the “black gold”. In the morning, the creamy cappuccino is best enjoyed standing at the bar, in the afternoon, a “caffè” and a newspaper are the combination to go for – just like our southern neighbours do it. The coffee beans are imported directly from the producer and carefully roasted at Adrianos twice a week – guests are welcome to watch the process. At the Adrianos coffee store just a few steps away, amateur baristas can stock up on beans, coffee makers and all kinds of supplies.
Adrianos, Theaterplatz 2
Colonial goods store turned stylish Bernese café: Colonial Bar is part of the Adrianos family and – just like its affiliate on Theaterplatz (Theatre Square) – serves delicious coffee from the highly skilled baristas and brewers who are true filter coffee masters – connoisseurs say it’s the best filter coffee in all of Bern’s Old City. The bar also offers an interesting selection of Vermouths from all over the world. The interior has a chic simplicity to it, and guests sitting by one of the large windows have a prime view of the hustle and bustle on and around Kornhausplatz (Granary Square).
Colonial Bar, Kornhausplatz 11
Lehrerzimmer and Turnhalle at PROGR
What was once a teacher’s lounge is now a café-bar open to the public: at Lehrerzimmer (teacher’s lounge) in the PROGR cultural centre, you’ll want to stay way beyond recess. The place also includes an art bookshop and an exhibition space for contemporary art, which makes for an eclectic mix of bar, cuisine, art and literature. Delicious food is served in glass jars, and on Sundays, guests put together their own brunch at the “Frühstückspuzzle” (“breakfast puzzle”). Across the courtyard, another part of the former high school has become a space for cultural events: at Turnhalle (gym), parallel bars and vaulting horses have been replaced by coffee, concerts, cocktails and more. This place is in great shape!
PROGR, Waisenhausplatz 30 / Speichergasse 4
Burgunder Bar is a bit of a phenomenon: it’s quite small, yet coffee connoisseurs, aperitif aficionados and wine worshipers seem to always find a place to sit. The charming café on Speichergasse street is also a great tip for brunch: every Sunday from September to May, it entices its guests with a real “Buurezmorge” (“farmer’s breakfast”), tasty regional meats and cheeses and many delicious products straight from the farm. And the bar is widely known as a concert venue, too: concerts take place regularly under the name “Blau im Burgunder” (“Blue at Burgunder”).
Burgunder Bar, Speichergasse 15
When a small vaulted cellar houses a cosy café, it will quickly turn into a new favourite place to be. The Lieblings (“favourite”) on Gerechtigkeitsgasse street is exactly that, with its very personal, friendly and welcoming ambiance. Be it to unwind with a cup of coffee and a newspaper, meet up for a beer and a game of cards or sip on a good glass of wine: the 40-square-meter café is a wonderful and relaxing place to do so. It also hosts small but select events such as concerts, Jass (a traditional Swiss card game) evenings or brunch on (almost) every first Sunday of the month. It definitely has a lot of favourite potential!
Lieblings, Gerechtigkeitsgasse 13
Is there anything better than sitting in a cosy café with a good book, a fragrant cup of coffee and a fresh croissant and completely losing track of time? That’s exactly what happens at Lesbar (“reading bar” / “readable”), a café situated in the same historical building as the grand Münstergasse-Bibliothek (Münstergasse library). But it’s not only a place for bookworms and coffee fans: At lunchtime, tasty dishes from “Mein Küchenchef” (“My Chef”) are served, following the principles of seasonality and the reduction of food waste. In the evenings, people like to meet at Lesbar after work for an aperitif or a beer. The large and diverse drinks menu rounds everything off.
Lesbar, Münstergasse 61–63
The modern coffee shop on Neuengasse street with the very likeable name is coffee specialist Tchibo’s newest café. It comes as no surprise that there’s a lot of know-how and all kinds of different coffee specialties to choose from, made from one of the most famous coffee beans in the world. You can select either a light or dark roast for your coffee, and the baristas will also gladly recommend the coffee creation that best suits your personal preferences. A must: grabbing a superfood bowl or a sandwich for lunch and sitting at the bar by the large window – a great experience!
Kaffehaus Max, Neuengasse 39
A large dose of authentic “italianità” awaits guest at Hotelgasse 10: Lorenzini is Bern’s number 1 Italian. The café-bar in the chic Florentine style makes for a true Italian experience, and it goes without saying that their espresso is immaculate and has us hooked. At Lorenzini, you will see politicians, businesspeople and coffee lovers enjoying a cup of coffee and the daily newspaper. The elegant café is the perfect place to recharge your batteries in style for another round of shopping or sightseeing in Bern’s Old City.
Lorenzini, Hotelgasse 10