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Anker, Kornhausplatz 16. Cosy, smoky pub, with a restaurant section in the back where you can eat Swiss stomach-liners such as fondue, Röschti and a meat-laden Berner-Teller (around Fr.20) without embarrassment, since the place is invariably full of hearty locals tucking in too.
Café Bubenberg Vegi, Bubenbergplatz 8 (Migros entrance). An escalator leads you up to superb and affordable veggie food within metres of the train station; don’t let the depressingly bland surroundings put you off. The varied and interesting food has an Indian slant to it (the midweek evening Fr.30 Indian buffets are excellent), but the daily menu – balanced meals in sizeable portions – will fill you up for Fr.15.
China Imperial, Bärenplatz. Moderately good Chinese, worth mentioning only for its unique “Tellerservice”: for Fr.17.50, choose from a large buffet of uncooked ingredients and marinades, and present the lot to the chef who will wok-fry it all on the spot for piling over rice. They also have à-la-carte options, but at a premium. Tellerservice Mon–Fri 11am–2.30pm & 10–11.30pm only.
Cinématte, Wasserwerkgasse 7 (031/312 45 46). Pleasant riverside nook attached to Bern’s premier arthouse cinema. Weekday two-course lunch menus (meat or veggie) are great value at Fr.15, while the à-la-carte evening menu is varied and also not expensive. Only seven tables though, so book ahead. Closed Tues eve, and Sat & Sun lunch.
Della Casa, Schauplatzgasse 16 (031/311 21 42). An unprepossessing exterior preludes high-quality Swiss cooking. The Bernerplatte – a plateful of half-a-dozen varieties of meats with potatoes and sauerkraut – is a house speciality, but doesn’t come cheap: you’d be lucky to walk out with change from Fr.50. Closed Sun.
Govinda, Marktgasse 7, 3rd floor. Tiny Krishna-run diner, serving pristinely healthy vegetarian food in an unlikely location above a menswear store. Lunch (Mon–Fri only) is a reasonable Fr.18, and the weekly dinner (Thurs) Fr.28. Closed Sat & Sun.
Lorenzini, Hotelgasse 8. High-flying young professionals flock here both for the café-bar and the top-drawer Tuscan cuisine, although you’ll be looking at over Fr.30 for a meal. Closed Sun.
Markthalle, Bubenbergplatz 9. A slick indoor mall devoted to food from around the world – espressos, tapas, cheese, wine, bread, chocolates, and more. In the back is a full-blown restaurant (around Fr.30), but you could easily satisfy munchies at counters for sushi, Thai food or Mediterranean mezze. Despite the contrivance, it works rather well. Closed Sun.
Menuetto, Münstergasse 47. Chic veggie place, with delectable, imaginative dishes and lots of choice (Fr.25 and up). Daily specials can drop as low as Fr.13. Closed Sun.
Postgasse, Postgasse 48. Tiny old den on the quietest of alleys, with wood tables and an intimate, cosy atmosphere. The menu is good and not expensive (Fr.18), but the joy of the place is its dark, convivial ambience. Closed Mon & Tues.
Ringgenberg, Kornhausplatz 19. Warm and comfortable place that’s as much a bar as an eaterie – although, unlike the Pyrénées next door, it’s actually worth coming here for the food (around Fr.30). Closed Mon.
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