2018/11/20

Review of Brasserie Baerengraben, Bern/Switzerland

Location

French brasserie cuisine & savoir-vivre in the capital’s old town

The capital of Switzerland, Bern, has not only a picturesque old town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site –, but also a varied restaurant scene. There is also a recommended place for lovers of French brasserie cuisine, Brasserie Baerengraben, which is located just opposite one of the most popular tourist locations in town, the Baerengraben, a bear
park.

Location/Facilities

The restaurant is not located directly in the old town but very close by, at a bridge leading to it, the Nydeggbruecke. The former customs house is situated directly on the river Aare and it is a really small place. There are the main house and an adjacent pergola. Furthermore, you can have your meal on one of Bern’s most beautiful terraces. And the Baerengraben is always open and serves warm meals all day!


Photo credit: Annabelle Magazine


Ambiance/Service

The premises here are not spacious, on the contrary, the place is tiny yet cute and cozy, however a bit cramped too. But this fact contributes to the special ambiance here, which is lively and pleasant at the same time. When the restaurant is fully booked – as it was the case on our visit on a Friday evening –, it can also be quite noisy.

The setting here is somewhat relaxed yet also with an elegant twist, bistro chairs and white linen go hand in hand. Bottom line, authentic Parisian brasserie charm at its best!

Service under the lead of the Dutchman Guido van der Linden is professional, attentive and uncomplicated. You feel at ease and well looked after here!

Food concept/Pricing

Traditional French cuisine is served here. Restaurant Baerengraben is as “Brasserie-like” as it gets with typical dishes as steak tartare, coq auf vin or steak frites. In addition, some Swiss specialities are also part of the offer. Food is freshly prepared with good quality ingredients and based on classic French recipes, and this without frills or fuss. The size of portions – especially when it comes to main courses – is quite generous.

The restaurant used to be listed with Gault Millau but ceased to emerge in this restaurant guide after 2012. I do not know about this brasserie’s performance in the past, but based on my recent visit here, I can understand that it is not mentioned in the most comprehensive restaurant guide of Switzerland. Brasserie Baerengraben showed a solid performance without aspirations to play in a higher league.

Pricewise it can be said that it is on par with what you would expect from the typical brasserie, not exactly inexpensive but not particularly pricey either.

Sampled food

Good starters were grilled goat cheese on salad
and smoked salmon with salad on the side.
In terms of main courses, great choices are Zurich-style veal stripes with rice
or calf’s liver with roesti (fried grated potatoes).
If you like fish, you cannot go wrong with a gilthead, cooked as a whole in the oven.
The best part of our dinner here were the desserts. They are very well presented in a showcase at the center of the restaurant.
Some of the desserts are homemade, others stem from prestigious patisseries.
They even can be ordered for family occasions at home.

Overall

If you are into restaurants offering quality food, well prepared and presented, Restaurant Baerengraben is your place! In case you are a fan of the French brasserie culture, all the better, as this eatery is a textbook example of this kind of a restaurant. Moreover, a hospitable and efficient staff takes its share of making sure that you spend a pleasant dinner in Bern’s old town.

Date of visit: February 2018

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