Sweet Dreams: 9 Tips for Bern, the Birthplace of Chocolate
“Fabrique de Chocolat W. Lin . . .”: If you stand on Bern’s Nydegg Bridge (Nydeggbrücke), you can still see this historical text painted on the old building across from you. In 1879, chocolate history was made in this building located at Wasserwerkgasse 2. In this former chocolate factory, Rudolf Lindt, the son of a Bernese pharmacist, developed the conche technique that resulted in the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate we know today. The birthplace of chocolate has inspired a number of other chocolatiers over the years. Ovomaltine, Camille Bloch and the world-famous Toblerone all have their roots in Bern. Even today, every Toblerone that is sold around the world is produced in the company’s factory in Bern.
9 Chocolate Tips in Bern
Swiss chocolatiers are among the best in the world – if we do say so ourselves! The Swiss are also among the world’s most voracious consumers of chocolate, with an average of 10.5 kilos of the sweet stuff consumed per person per year. So it’s no wonder that chocoholics find themselves in seventh heaven in Bern, right in the heart of Switzerland. Our 9 chocolate tips will tell you which places and experiences are well worth the indulgence!
#1 Chocolate fondue at Toi et Moi
A delicious chocolate fondue is heaven on earth for any chocolate lover. We recommend the one at Toi et Moi, a restaurant at Bern’s main station. The motley interior alone generates an Alice-in-Wonderland feel. And dipping fresh strawberries, mango, pineapple and marshmallows into melted chocolate makes the fairy tale complete! Toi et Moi is a very popular restaurant, so it’s best to reserve a table in advance.
#2 Chocolate cake at Apfelgold
If Bern had a queen of chocolate cakes, then the chocolate-almond cake from Apfelgold would be the strongest contender. Ultra-sweet, ultra-rich, ultra-delightful – it’s like a box of chocolates turned into a cake. Indeed, even the most passionate chocoholics fondly refer to this tempting treat as “d’Bombe.” This Bernese favorite is served on gilt-edged porcelain plates, while shelves full of linen-bound books invite guests to linger and savor the experience. It’s like a dream that you wish would never end!
#3 Toblerone Dessert Bar at Westside
When the wind is blowing eastward, the sweet smell of Toblerone is distinctly perceptible outside the doors of Westside, Bern’s shopping and recreation center. What many don’t know is that the world’s most famous chocolate is produced right in the neighborhood, in the world’s only Toblerone factory. As a tribute to this local specialty, the kitchen crew at Holiday Inn Westside regularly develops new and creative Toblerone dessert variations, served under the motto “Can you smell the chocolate?” Mmmmmmm!
#4 Toblerone milkshake at “gut gelaunt”
Experiencing heartbreak? Just failed a test? Having trouble with your boss? A visit to “gut gelaunt” in Schauplatzgasse is sure to raise your spirits. A glance at the menu alone is enough to boost your serotonin levels. The tasty options include hot white chocolate, Toblerone ice cream, and a Toblerone milkshake that is guaranteed to make you fall in love with life again!
#5 Nutella ice cream at Gelateria di Berna
Mare di Nutella? Sounds like vacation – like a touch of Italy and loads of chocolatey indulgence. Fans of the popular hazelnut spread will love it in ice cream form – and won’t mind standing in line for it outside the legendary Gelateria di Berna. The Bernese take just as much pride in this ice cream parlor as they do in their parliament building (Bundeshaus). The owners learned their trade in Italy – and the proof is in the eating! The homemade “Mare di Nutella” ice cream, along with over 20 other delicious flavors, is available in Gelateria di Berna’s four locations: in the heart of the Länggasse district, in Breitenrain, across from the Marzili pool and in Mattenhof.
#6 Hot chocolate at Café Marta
The city’s best hot chocolate is served at Café Marta. Anyone dreaming of a delicious, frothy, flavorful “chocolat chaud” – like those served in Paris – will find it in the charming downtown basement café situated on Kramgasse. Here you can nestle yourself in the large cushions and warm your soul with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, which is a special treat when served with whipped cream and warm cranberry scones. Café Marta is the perfect place to take a break on a shopping day among the arcades.
#7 Kursaal brunch with chocolate fountain
Pssst! A little bird with a sweet tooth told us there’s a chocolate fountain at the Sunday Delight Brunch at Kursaal Bern. Warm, melted, delicious chocolate for dipping fresh fruit skewers. If this is something you’ve only seen in the movies, then it’s time to go enjoy it for yourself! Reserve a table for an all-you-can-eat gourmet brunch at +41 (0)31 339 52 50.
#8 Mocha at Adriano’s
Coffee or hot chocolate? If you can’t decide, then just head to Adriano’s. This Bernese coffee bar with its Italian charm serves the best coffee in town, according to the TripAdvisor community. And if you happen to have a craving for chocolate too, just order a mocha. What you get: 2/3 Marta’s hot chocolate, mixed with 1/3 espresso made from coffee beans roasted directly on the premises. Our tip: Enjoy a mocha in the morning sunshine under the arcades while watching the goings-on around the Clock Tower (Zytglogge).
#9 Drinking chocolate at Einstein Café & bel étage
Cheap powdered cocoa mixes from the supermarket, dissolved in hot water? Not at the historic Einstein Café & bel étage! At Kramgasse 49, where the physicist Albert Einstein developed his famous formula E=mc2 in 1905, the bartender serves up a rich homemade drinking chocolate – thick enough to make the spoon stand up in the glass! And if you’re lucky enough to get a spot near the fireplace, you can savor your drinking chocolate with the morning paper and just make yourself at home.