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The Bucket List for Gourmet Experiences

Published: 16.05.2024

There’s talking and listening, tasting and shop talk, experimenting and brewing, guessing and trying out, observing and feasting, baking and decorating – in short, there's a lot going on in Bern’s culinary scene.

Bernese “Ankezüpfe” (butter plaited braid)

How does every good day start? Of course, with a hearty breakfast! And the best meal of the day should certainly not be without the traditional Bernese Ankezüpfe. The skilfully woven yeast pastry can look back on a long history. The Ankezüpfe was first depicted as early as 1470. In the past, the breakfast pastry was mainly served on public holidays, but nowadays breakfast enthusiasts can enjoy it more often: Plaited bread is usually served on Sundays. This delicacy is not the only Bernese speciality that can be easily conjured up in your own bakery. We reveal the recipes for some Bernese specialities - enjoy.

Bernese Beer Tour

On this guided tour, participants stroll through the beer capital, discover local breweries and iconic bars that specialize in craft beers, and learn interesting facts and fun anecdotes from experienced sommeliers and sommelières. Did you know, for example, that brewing beer at home used to be quite common and mostly done by women? Or that the Oktoberfest takes place in September in order to finish up leftover beer and start brewing fresh beer in October? Learn all about it – and more – on the very hands-on Bernese Beer Tour (the professional tasting of 14 different beers (1 dl each) is also part of the experience!

Emmentaler Schaukäserei – Emmental Show Dairy

Where do the holes in one of the most popular Swiss products come from? The answer to this and other questions awaits at the Emmental Show Dairy in Affoltern, a quaint town in the rolling hills of the Emmental valley that produces the world-famous Emmentaler AOP. The journey there already gives you a wonderful first impression of the picturesque landscape, whether you’re going by bike on the “Käseroute” (cheese route) starting at Burgdorf Castle, by panoramic train, bus or car (40 minutes from Bern). The show dairy’s main attraction is the “King’s Way”, a lovingly designed self-guided tour that shows how high-quality raw milk is turned into delicious cheese and takes visitors all the way into the depths of the impressive maturing cellar. And then there’s of course some tasting to round off your visit.

If you can’t get enough of cheese, you should definitely take a look at this co-operation project: The Chüechlihus regional museum in Langnau meets the Emmental show dairy in Affoltern.

Kambly Experience

This world-famous culinary highlight, too, is located in the idyllic Emmental. The highly picturesque town of Trubschachen has been the home of the Kambly factory since 1910. Visit the interactive stations to discover the secrets behind the art of fine biscuits and watch the Maîtres Confiseurs work their magic. Or get creative yourself: there are daily baking classes and activities for children and adults that can be booked in advance – and taste-testing is encouraged! The same goes for the factory shop, where some 100 different Kambly specialities wait to be tried. Admission is free and the Kambly Experience is open Monday through Sunday. You can easily get there by direct train from Bern in only 35 minutes.

For Companies: vatter Business Center

Great atmosphere, light-flooded rooms, parquet flooring, oak windows and elegant cast-iron heaters: the rooms of the vatter building offer an inspiring setting for meetings, workshops and presentations for up to 60 people. As befits a sandstone building steeped in history, its rooms were named after historic Bernese personalities: the “Helene von Mülinen”, the “Meret Oppenheim” or the “Julie Bondeli” – which one will it be? And the culinary treats at the vatter Business Centre leave nothing to be desired: there’s everything from balanced breakfasts and light business lunches to delicious pastries in the afternoon, and the in-house restaurant Mishio offers tasty Asian cuisine.

Restaurant Recommendation: Musigbistrot

The iconic Musigbistrot has long been an integral part of the Monbijou neighbourhood. When it was opened in 1992, combining gastronomy and culture in a neighbourhood eatery was still quite a new concept. From the beginning, it has been hosting regular events such as concerts of various genres, readings and poetry slams. The Musigbistrot also offers a varied gastronomic programme, its high-quality specialities from around the world have gained it a loyal following. Some mouthwatering examples, anyone? Cevapcici, chickpea and vegetable curry, and Toblerone chocolate mousse are just some of the delicious reasons why it’s worth taking a trip to the Monbijou neighbourhood.

Hotel Recommendation: Kreuz Hotel

Be it for a shopping spree under the historic arcades, a trip to one of the many museums in the Kirchenfeld neighbourhood, or an excursion to the Bernese countryside – the Kreuz is the perfect starting point for adventure-filled days, located in the heart of the city and only six minutes from the main station. Speaking of things that are nearby: the world-famous Meret Oppenheim Fountain and the Progr cultural centre are also just a few steps away. Insider’s tip: the hotel's in-house restaurant Bärenhöfli is said to serve the best “Öpfuchüechli” (apple fritters) in town.

OK:GO and Claire&George offer accessibility information for travelling in Switzerland.