14 Best Restaurants in Fribourg and Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Auberge des Clefs

$$ Fodor's choice

This is a very special restaurant, so if you're traveling by car and can book well ahead, definitely stop by to see why it gets such high praise from top critics. The atmosphere is laid-back, staff are on the ball and friendly, and views of the lake and mountains from the terrace are divine. The à la carte fare at the ground-floor bistro looks simple at first—tuna tartare, bouillabaisse, even Wiener schnitzel—but in the hands of owner-chef Werner Rätz the results amaze. For the full experience, opt for the bistro's five-course prix-fixe Menu du Marché, which has whatever is fresh and available, for SF130, or the Menu Gastronomique upstairs, with seven courses for SF160 (different from the bistro). The Auberge is in Lugnorre, 5 km (3 miles) northwest of Murten.

4 rte. de Chenaux, Lugnorre, 1789, Switzerland
Known For
  • prix-fixe menus in the upstairs section, à la carte options in the bistro
  • seemingly simple dishes deliver surprisingly complex flavors
  • hilltop location above Lake Murten in Lugnorre
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed. and Thurs., Reservations essential

Bach & Buck

$ Fodor's choice

This simply furnished creperie-cum-tearoom opposite the Jardin Anglais is an ideal spot to grab a cheap but tasty meal. Its location close to the university ensures a young crowd, many of whom head here to enjoy a choice from more than 120 types of crepes: sweet or savory, meat or vegetarian. Gluten-free, wheat, and buckwheat varieties cater to many diets. A selection of more than 30 teas also can be enjoyed while playing video games or perusing the comic books on offer.

Café du Midi

$$ Fodor's choice
This classic spot has been serving fondue since 1877. With rich wooden paneling and a historic decor, the Café du Midi is one of the oldest and best-preserved restaurants in town. Everyone from grandmothers to hip young students eats here, and if the crowds are any indication, the fondue just might be the best in the region.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Le Bocca

$$ Fodor's choice

Despite its proximity to the lake, there's neither a terrace nor a view at Le Bocca, and charming owner-chef Claude Frôté wants it that way: customers should come to this spot for his innovative food. Just north of Neuchâtel, the restaurant has an array of menus in its brasserie and main dining room. If you're a fan of organ meats such as tripe—long popular in Neuchâtel—you can eat for a lot less: Le Bocca's contemporary takes on these traditional dishes run you only SF32 to SF47. Hand in hand with the fine food (past delights have included foie gras with passion fruit, and beef fillet with olives and pistachios) is a great wine list with 25,000 bottles in stock.

11 av. Bachelin, St-Blaise, 2072, Switzerland
Known For
  • massive wine cellar with over 25,000 bottles
  • organ meats served in creative fashion
  • fine dining in restaurant, casual atmosphere in brasserie
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.–Tues., Reservations essential

Auberge de la Halle


Set amid Gruyères's most historic buildings, the exterior of this medieval structure welcomes guests with cheerful flower boxes and green-and-white-stripe awnings. Inside, a warm woody interior with raftered ceiling and smooth stone floors offers an appealing setting in which to enjoy traditional dishes such as a moitié-moitié (half Gruyère, half Vacherin Fribourgeois) fondue. The definitely worth-trying signature dish is called Soupe du Chalet, and is a meal unto itself. Sit in the section called "the veranda" to enjoy great views with your meal.

24 rue de Bourg, Gruyères, 1663, Switzerland
Known For
  • great views from the veranda
  • house specialty Soupe du Chalet (with vegetables, cheese, and croutons)
  • lively ambience in a historic setting
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. Oct.–Apr.

Café de la Fonderie


MasterChef  TV series participants Benoît Waber and Leonard Gamba are earning top honors with their gastronomic café, set in a spacious, renovated warehouse near the university. The chefs create a unique, limited menu each week, with the goal of titillating the senses using unusual or unexpected ingredients. Dishes like grilled perch with lemon caviar and caper flowers provide a zesty take on fine dining—for half the price of other similar restaurants.

11 rte. de la Fonderie, Fribourg, 1700, Switzerland
Known For
  • brainchild of TV cooking stars Ben and Léo
  • unfussy yet decidedly tasty gourmet dishes
  • locally sourced products make up the ever-changing menu
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

Hôtel de Ville


Centrally located, this is one of the top Fribourg restaurants, thanks to owner-chef Frédérik Kondratowicz's superlative take on seasonal cuisine. The ambience in this one-floor-up spot is bourgeois bistro with artsy notes, and there are some great views of Fribourg from the windows. Fresher than fresh are such delights as lamb with an herb crust, vegetable moussaka with candied orange, and asparagus-and-spinach risotto. Swiss and French wines are the focal point of the thoughtful wine list.

6 Grand-Rue, Fribourg, 1700, Switzerland
Known For
  • creative dishes with unusual ingredients
  • fine dining with a good quality-to-price ratio
  • occasional live entertainment and art exhibitions
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential

La Fleur de Lys


Traditional Swiss fare (local fish, cheese specialties, Rösti, ham off the bone called jambon à l'os) and some French classics are served in this inviting restaurant set in a pink-hue historic building that doubles as a hotel. The plain, spacious guest rooms have a wonderful view of the mountains and town castle, and there's an ample breakfast buffet.

14 rue du Bourg, Gruyères, 1663, Switzerland
Known For
  • central location on the cobbled main street
  • seasonal game dishes in autumn
  • tender steaks that hit the spot when you've had enough cheese
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. Oct.–Mar.

Le Bureau


This smartly styled restaurant with a calm interior serves surprising gourmet creations, finding the balance between fine dining and trendy fare. Le Bureau—literally "The Office"—promotes a hybrid experience that goes beyond food; you can easily converse with other guests, some of whom are there for coworking over a coffee or meal. 

4 rue de l'Orangerie, Neuchâtel, 2000, Switzerland
Known For
  • well-priced, midday three-course meals
  • savory terrine of foie gras with fresh, seasonal fruit
  • guests conversing with other guests, unlike in most Swiss restaurants
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Le Café du Belvédère


The terrace of Le Café du Belvédère has a fabulous view up the river to the Planche-Supérieure. The friendly staff serves a selection of teas, coffees, and homemade syrups as well as alcohol, and you can enjoy platters of local cheese and smoked meats in addition to Asian delights from the excellent Tam's Kitchen restaurant upstairs. Inside it's a café littéraire by day and a lively bar and meeting spot at night. An eclectic mix of 1970s plastic furniture and a huge, rounded plastic bar contrast wonderfully with the wood-beamed interior.

36 Grand-Rue, Fribourg, 1700, Switzerland
Known For
  • Sunday brunch is a very good value
  • frothy, steamed hot caramel milk
  • eclectic ambience, which makes it a favorite for the city's artists

Le Cardinal Brasserie


Enjoy a perfect café crème or a whole meal along with the Neuchâtelois at one of the most authentic cafés in the Old Town. This place models itself on a traditional Parisian brasserie, and the striking art nouveau interior certainly helps: the molded ceiling, etched windows, and blue-and-green decorative tiles all date from 1905. Fish is a specialty, and large platters of fruits de mer (shellfish) in season are a delicious treat. A menu-of-the-day special is always reasonably priced.

9 rue du Seyon, Neuchâtel, 2000, Switzerland
Known For
  • excellent coffee
  • any of the fish specialties
  • reasonably priced menu of the day
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Le Pérolles


On Fribourg's main street, this restaurant's clean lines are softened by gleaming gold fixtures, and, in nice weather, the leafy vistas from the sun-dappled balcony. One bite here, in the restaurant's second incarnation, reveals why chef-owner Pierre-André Ayer has earned so much praise. His showstopping menus take guests on a culinary adventure, one in which he declares war on traditional flavors, while at Le Petit Pérolles upstairs, lighter (and less expensive) fare is served all day.

1 bd. de Pérolles, Fribourg, 1700, Switzerland
Known For
  • local celebrity chef who eschews the ordinary for innovative combinations
  • warm, friendly service for a gourmet restaurant
  • summer menu of local lake fish and grilled beef filets
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential

Restaurant Hotel Murten

Whether you choose to dine in the chic, velvet-cushioned dining room or the high-tabled, fashionable bar section, this stylish eatery is one of the most happening in town. Eschewing the typical bland hotel restaurant cuisine, the menu is on the small side but boasts fresh, local fish as well as more exotic European specials. Check the events guide for a listing of upcoming musical performances ranging from rock to jazz to Euro pop. Located just outside the historic city walls, the adjoining hotel offers more than two dozen simply furnished rooms with brightly colored accent walls and modern touches.

Xpresso Café


On the fourth floor of the Fribourg Centre, this café does waffles and crepes—both savory and sweet—as well as panini and pizza. The outpost of a popular Swiss chain offers a perfect time-out from heavy-duty retail therapy. You can also choose from a wide selection of teas and coffees.

12 av. de la Gare, Fribourg, 1700, Switzerland
Known For
  • vast choice of teas and coffees
  • American-style stacks of pancakes
  • copious breakfast platters
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.