The Swiss capital of Bern is a peaceful city where life is enjoyed at a slow pace. The Bernese like nothing more than grabbing a coffee in the UNESCO-listed city centre and watching the world go by or heading to the beautiful Rosegarden for a picnic. These are also great activities for you to try on your Bern city break, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and take some time to relax. So, if you find yourself unwinding in one of the charming cafes, here are some regional dishes to try.
If you’re grabbing a coffee then one of these cute treats is the perfect thing to accompany it. The symbol of Bern is the bear and so it was the perfect shape in which to create a food product that represents the city. These little almond-flavoured sponges were originally conceived when a local confectionary company used old chocolate moulds to produce a new product for their 75th anniversary. The sweet, almond bears now come in seven different flavours – original, chocolate, lemon, cappuccino, Irish cream, blueberry and coconut.
If, on the other hand, you like the sound of a picnic is the city’s most-loved green space, grab a loaf of ankezüpfe and some local cheese and you’re away. This plaited bread originated in the Swiss capital but has since spread across the whole country to become a staple for Sunday mornings. You’ll be able to find it in any good bakery.
Rösti is one of the few Bernese specialities that you may have eaten before your visit to the city. However, it’s definitely worth tasting the real thing during your Bern city break. Parboiled potatoes are grated and seasoned before being mixed with onion, moulded into a pancake shape and fried until crispy and golden. Sometimes cheese, bacon or even apple is added too. The dish was originally eaten by Bernese farmers for breakfast but has since transformed into something that can be eaten at any time of the day and as a side dish or main course.
If you’re travelling in a large group or you like to camp in one spot and graze throughout the afternoon, the Berner Platte is really going to appeal. This people-pleasing platter consists of various different meats accompanied by juniper-infused sauerkraut, potatoes and beans. Beef and pork usually feature heavily, including cuts such as pork loin, smoked beef, spare ribs, ham and pork tongue.
Although you can taste this local speciality throughout the year, it is most widely available during the annual onion market that takes place in November. Farmers from the canton of Bern showcase their onion harvest by hanging braided onions from stalls around the city centre and selling onion-related dishes. Zibelechueche is one such dish that is enjoyed at this time. It’s an onion tart made with butter, milk, eggs and nutmeg and is guaranteed to warm your stomach on an autumn day.
There are many other specialities related to the city of Bern and Switzerland in general, including the famous fondues. Whatever your tastes are, you are sure to find dishes which you will want to replicate when you return home. If the thought of these delicious foods has inspired you to take a trip to Bern, our team can help tailor-make your holiday. Just tell us when you would like to go and we’ll do the rest. You can also choose to visit other towns and cities in the area and we will piece together your itinerary. Call free on 0800 988 3369 to speak to our team.