The best cafés and restaurants in Grindelwald, plus tips for families with children.
Anyone who has watched the classic Clint Eastwood film, The Eiger Sanction, will be somewhat familiar with the famous Eiger mountain that dominates Grindelwald.
Grindelwald is a stunning skiing village located in the Bernese Alps, about 2 hours from Zurich. It sits about 1,000 m above sea level and is a popular destination for skiers in winter and hikers in summer.
Having said that, we have visited Grindelwald each winter for about five years and we have only skied once during that time! We first visited Grindelwald when my son was a mere 1 month old baby, at a time when we were totally exhausted from the initial weeks of parenthood but, nonetheless, needed a little getaway.
We were immediately struck by the beauty of the looming mountains, their enormity both calming and invigorating. We spent many hours just walking under the winter sun, and perhaps the same amount of time reading newspapers and just doing nothing in cafés and restaurants.
Grindelwald became, to us, a place to escape the hustle and bustle of our normal city lives, and it is a place we look forward to returning to each year.
Cafés in Grindelwald
Like most popular ski resorts in Switzerland, Grindelwald boasts many good restaurants featuring local fare and hearty cheese dishes to replenish your energy levels after a day in the snow.
One of our favourite places is the Bäckerei-Konditorei-Café Ringgenberg, a casual eatery which we frequent often for a late breakfast, lunch or sometimes even afternoon tea.
The café is attached to a bakery which produces a sumptuous array of breads and pastries to satisfy a good continental breakfast, and their lunch menu is appetising to those seeking either a light meal or something more substantial.
They serve a very delicious and hearty goulash soup – it was so good that I forgot to take a photo on the three separate occasions that I ordered it for lunch, greed taking priority over publishing.
And their toast sandwiches are also delightful. Perhaps my foodie standards are slipping somewhat if I am suddenly critiquing toast sandwiches, but when something simple is made so well, it’s hard to be snobby. And just look at how cute they are …
One thing we like about Grindelwald is the close concentration of cafés and restaurants along the main street of Dorfstrasse, as well as the excellent choice of food. There are restaurants to suit all budgets and, due to the popularity with tourists, there are dishes to suit all taste buds.
Here are some of our favourite restaurants in Grindelwald:
Dorfstrasse 123, 3818 Grindelwald
Our favourite casual café for coffee and pastries baked on site, plus a nice menu for lunch. On offer are toasted sandwiches, soups, pasta dishes and even cheese fondue. High-chairs are available for little children, as well as a little corner with books and colouring pencils. May I suggest one of their giant chocolate-chip sablé cookies?
Dorfstrasse 133, 3818 Grindelwald
A casual restaurant with lots of rustic charm. Definitely the place to go for delicious burgers and fries, as well as their varied options for a traditional Swiss Rösti (potato cakes or hash browns). They also serve a delicious Swiss macaroni & cheese with a traditional applesauce on the side. A childrens’ menu is available for the little ones.
Dorfstrasse 133, 3818 Grindelwald
Although this restaurant is located in the city centre, the interior could fool you into believing you were in some cosy ski chalet, albeit a fairly large and modern one. Try their varied options for Cordon Bleu or perhaps something from their “light” menu if all the cheese is giving you too much speed on the slopes. We always order a cheese fondue during one of our visits (try the special cheese mixture from the local Molkerei Gertsch), and their desserts always hit the spot. The restaurant is very welcoming towards families with children and they offer a special kids’ menu. There is even a small kids’ playroom with books and toys where older kids can amuse themselves or younger children can play with some supervision. The great food and friendly service will have you wanting to return to the restaurant again and again.
Restaurant Kreuz and Challistübli
Dorfstrasse 85, 3818 Grindelwald
Both of the these restaurants are located within the same hotel situated opposite the train station serving more or less the same menu of Swiss classics. The former is a pleasant traditional restaurant, whilst the latter is more rustic and cosy. Hubby declared their Älplermagronen to be the best pasta dish he’s ever eaten, while I was pretty taken by their Wienerschnitzel. Both places are great for families with children with high-chairs available.
Central Hotel Wolter
Dorfstrasse 93, 3818 Grindelwald
This centrally located hotel boasts a modern restaurant with rustic chalet charm, as well as a great lunch and dinner menu. A changing daily lunch menu is offered at special prices, and their regular menu features popular pasta and salad dishes, a grill menu and Swiss classics such as the fondue chinoise. Their apple fritters with vanilla ice-cream is hard to go past for dessert. The restaurant is child-friendly and they offer a special kids’ menu.
Onkel Tom’s Hütte
Dorfstrasse 194, 3818 Grindelwald
If you’re in the mood for wood-fired pizza and don’t mind a bit of queuing, this tiny and bustling hut is the place to visit. Their reservation system is a bit complicated, i.e. you can’t call ahead and make a booking, but you can show up at the restaurant and place your name on a waiting list if no tables are available at that time. It goes without saying that their seating arrangements can also be a bit hectic, but as even the locals sing high praises for this pizzeria, it’s worth trying on a night when you don’t mind lingering a bit in the cold or going to a nearby bar for a drink first.
C & M Café Bar Restaurant
Almisgässli 1, 3818 Grindelwald
This cute little chalet is a great place to visit for afternoon tea, although their breakfast, lunch and dinner menu is also worth trying. There is always a great selection of cakes and pastries on offer, and which can be comfortably enjoyed if you can grab one of their cosy sofas upstairs. There is a special menu available for little ones, as well as pencils and crayons to distract them while you enjoy a warming glass of Glühwein or Apfelpunsch.
Terrassenweg 104, 3818 Grindelwald
While I don’t think one would go out of their way to dine at Hotel Bodmi (unless you are staying close by), I thought it was worth including it in this list as we have dined there on many occasions. If you or your children plan to take skiing lessons on the beginners’ slope at Bodmi – an area about 15 minutes by bus away from the Grindewald city centre – it’s helpful to know that there is a restaurant on-site where you can have delicious hot meals and drinks. Adults taking full-day skiing lessons at Bodmi will usually have lunch at this restaurant with their ski instructors. And anyone travelling with children will know that, oftentimes, children will change their minds about being in the snow, so it’s good to have a warm place to escape to where you and the children can grab a warm drink or snack. The menu is typically Swiss, meaning you can find the usual Pearl Barley Soup, Goulash Soup, Corden Bleu, Rösti, and a few salad and pasta dishes. The kids’ menu is also great – our children loved the fish fingers with boiled potatoes. It goes without saying that it is a very family-friendly restaurant, and baby-changing facilities are available.
Supermarkets in Grindelwald
Eating out in Switzerland can be expensive, and especially in ski resorts. Or sometimes you just simply want to eat in, particularly if you have been out the whole day skiing or hiking.
If your accommodation has kitchen facilities, cooking some simple meals at home can be cost-effective and sometimes even healthier than eating out all the time.
There are two very good supermarkets on the main street, Dorfstrasse, Grindelwald.
The Coop supermarket is located in the relatively new Eiger+ shopping centre in the heart of the village. It is a fairly large supermarket and stocks a similar range of products to a suburban supermarket, including fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, beer and wine, toiletries and cleaning products.
On a recent visit, I was surprised to find herbs like coriander (cilantro) and lemongrass, which meant I could make a simple vegetable curry using a ready-made curry paste – it was a welcome change to eating schnitzel with French fries!
VOI is affiliated with the Migros chain of supermarkets in Switzerland. The VOI branch in Grindelwald is located on the main street, conveniently outside a bus stop. It is a much smaller supermarket to the Coop down the street, but it still stocks nearly everything you need, including a surprisingly large range of Asian ingredients and instant noodles.
This post was updated on 14 August 2018.