If you’re looking for some Parisian charm in Bern, head on over to the Gourmanderie Moléson. In addition to traditional specialties such as flambéed Burgundy escargots and cordon bleu made from «Swiss Farmer» veal, the restaurant also serves tofu medallions with coconut sauce or ravioli with veggie fillings. The Moléson’s diverse cuisine uses sustainable and regional ingredients and offers plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Our tip: stop by around lunchtime and try one of the four yummy daily specials.
For the gourmets
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy trendy big city vibes. In fact, you can feel them in Bern’s Rathausgasse. JUL is in complete harmony with this vibe and combines everything perfectly: easy-going atmosphere, social commitment and sustainable ingredients. A vegan fondue, mezze or some delicious toast – guests only eat homemade food here. But just the place itself is a feast for the eyes: from the cups to the wall paint, everything in the bistro’s stylish interior is a dark terracotta. And if you need a nightcap after dinner, you’ll definitely find something on the extensive bar menu.
Big City Vibes in the Federal City
Freibank Speis & Trank
Move over, tenderloin and filet mignon! At the Freibank Speis &Trank restaurant, tender braised dishes, handmade sausages and traditional boiled meat salads are the stars of the menu. Showcasing less popular cuts of meat is second nature for this listed building in the WankdorfCity district. Butchers once offered their “less than perfect” cuts at the “Freibank (free bench)” in the weighing house of this former abbatoir. Coming from animals slaughtered under emergency conditions, the meat had to be examined particularly thoroughly – and was therefore of premium quality. The focus is now on holistic and sustainable meat processing with products from selected farms and as local as possible. Vegetarian preferences are also catered for. How about a burger made from Epsach lentils with rosehip chutney?
There are still some free benches here
Everything in the Provisorium’s kitchen in the Länggasse district is organic, seasonal, regional or even completely local, from their own allotment garden. Food waste is not welcome here, but meat from regional farms with high animal-welfare standards or organic quality from Switzerland very much so. The restaurant next to the Unitobler building also makes sure to serve varied vegan and vegetarian alternatives. Speaking of being welcome: the restaurant is an inclusion project. Here, people with and without disabilities work side-by-side. This authentic spot is perfect for meeting friends or simply relax for a bit and always has a new or innovative project in store for its guests.
Definitely visit the Provisorium
Seasonal, regional, fresh and colourful perfectly describes the restaurant Eiger. Their «Rübis & Stübis» is an astoundingly creative idea to use up scraps: this homemade surprise dish is on the lunch and dinner menu and serves up a delicious taste sensation every day. Foodwaste is a no-go in the restaurant in the Mattehof district, which is why they adjust their portion sizes. Don’t despair if you’re still hungry: they also serve desserts. At lunchtime, some dishes are available as take-away. In the evening, you might be tempted by the «Eiger Teilet»: for a minimum of two people, you can enjoy eight cold, warm, savoury and sweet courses.
Climb the Eiger
Lokal really stays true to its name: this cosy restaurant in the Breitenrain district works with an innovative culinary concept. The seasonal dishes don’t need a big to-do to enchant their guests, because let’s be honest, how often do you see braised cheek from an Aaretaler Duroc pig on a menu here? The same is true for the wines which are almost exclusively from small wineries and biodynamically produced. In the garden in front and next to the restaurant you can really live by the motto «Ässe, Trinke, Sy» («eat, drink, relax»).
Good + good = super good – that’s what the Zehendermätteli’s management team must’ve thought when they looked at this idyllic natural oasis on the Enge peninsula. The «Zehendermätteli ecosystem» (which you can reach on foot or by ferry) is a combination of visiting a pub, going to a social event, taking in some culture and strolling through a garden. You can get two different menus for lunch, sharing plates for dinner and a yummy brunch on Sundays (however, don’t forget to book a table). Whenever possible, the seasonal and fresh products come from the restaurant’s own garden. So, what do you say: hungry for some hummus and beef tagliatelle? And if you’re interested in culture, you’ll be happy to hear that art exhibitions and concerts are always on the Zehendi programme.
Fun, fun and more fun
A soup made with seasonal ingredients, bell peppers stuffed with eggplant ragout accompanied by a risotto with herb oil and a piece of chocolate cake – that’s what a delicious three-course meal at the Dreigänger (three courses) might entail. The restaurant is part of the Drahtesel operation in the Liebefeld district and focuses on only using seasonal and organic products for its dishes. Unemployed people can find temporary jobs, coaching and educational opportunities in various fields here. The menu changes daily and always carries vegetarian options, and on Fridays the restaurant combats food waste with their «No Food Waste» plate. We also recommend you browse the adjoining second-hand shop before or after your meal.
Cycle to the Dreigänger
You can’t get more consistent: the «Werkhof» in the Liebefeld district in Köniz only serves products that have grown (up) in Switzerland. The restaurant’s commitment starts with local animal feed and ends with its crowning glory: highly ambitious multi-course dinner menus. You won’t get a regular coffee here. Instead, you’ll have to try the brew made from lupins from the Seeland region. To preserve not only the freshness and flavour but also the environment, the delivery routes are kept as short as possible. The Werkhof team also makes many products itself, including preserves, vinegar and bread.
Discover culinary works of art
Hallers Brasserie tout le monde
At Hallers Brasserie in the Länggass district, the smiles are just as natural as the commitment to sustainability. Beef from suckler cow herds with high animal-welfare standards, Bernese artichokes or «Nidle» (cream) from the cheese dairy – nothing is left to chance when it comes to the premium ingredients from regional producers and farms. The same goes for social sustainability: thanks to internships, disadvantaged young people can immerse themselves in the fascinating world of gastronomy at Hallers Brasserie and find career opportunities through the Steinhözli Foundation’s pilot project. In this lively and cosmopolitan neighbourhood pub, «tout le monde» (everybody) is welcome!
Pit stop at Hallers
At the Café Kairo in the Lorraine district, quality is not only a culinary statement on your plate but is also poured in your glass. The range of beers is and has always been small but mighty: since its opening in 1998, this iconic pub with its own unique culture has been serving brews from small Swiss breweries. In other words, Café Kairo has been pushing craft beers way before the hype started. The cuisine is always organic and seasonal, using only trusted suppliers in the immediate vicinity. The café’s delicious burger and falafel plates as well as its events have amassed a cult following: many a musician and band have started their career in Café Kairo’s basement.
Kairo is now located in Bern
Heitere Fahne (Happy Flag)
True to its name, happiness and inclusion, as well as regional food, are a priority at the Heitere Fahne. All the local, delicious, fresh and lovingly cooked meals are also served in a vegan version. The Heitere Fahne in Wabern caters to all tastes: pizza night on Wednesdays or extended brunch with warm «Züpfe» (plaited bread) on Sundays. And the symbiosis between culture and cuisine is something to behold: why not enjoy a delicious three-course meal combined with colourful activity on stage? The Heitere Fahne is a crazy place where you can feel right at home.
A dash of merriment
Even more sustainable enjoyment
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many more inspirational restaurants with a sustainable cuisine.
Zum Blauen Engel, Länggasse
Casa Novo, Nydeggstalden
Cinématte, Matte District
O Bolles, Bollwerk
Bären Buchsi, Münchenbuchsee