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Old Town Lucerne in Switzerland is a medieval beauty, with grandiose buildings that date back to the 15th century, and rampart walls and stone towers that also hint at a bygone time. Another part of Lucerne that has survived the test of time is a deep love of ale — and travelers can pay respect to the local drinking tradition at Bierliebe & Friends.
Open since April 2019, Bierliebe & Friends is a newcomer among the well-established restaurants, cafes and shops lining the city’s riverfront. In search of a hearty lunch and a Swiss brew or two, my friend and I stumbled upon this bar and restaurant, beckoned by its big, open windows that offer a peek into a stylish interior.
Indeed, the two-story establishment is exceedingly handsome, with white-tile walls and tile flooring; colorful, graphic art; imaginative hand-drawn murals; industrial lighting; lush greenery; and other harmonizing details. However, even if Bierliebe & Friends’ aesthetic is what compels hungry patrons to grab a seat, it’s the excellent food and varied beer selection that’ll convince them to stay awhile — and likely return for more of the same on another occasion.
A burger might not be a standard Swiss dish, but if travelers are suffering from fondue fatigue, they’ll find comfort in the menu’s burger, which we ate with a side of perfectly roasted sweet potato fries. Featuring a house-made patty and buoyant buns, this burger also can be topped with classically Swiss raclette cheese. The result: A glistening, nearly obscene (in a good way) dish that leaves diners wanting more.
But despite the temptation to order another round of burgers, we decided to save room for craft beer — of which the eatery has plenty. Bierliebe & Friends’ rotating tap beer menu highlights the masterworks of Swiss microbreweries, from lagers and India pale ales to stouts and the occasional sour. Guests should order a beer flight to deepen their knowledge of Swiss pints, and the restaurant’s international staff will be happy to offer suggestions, too. (Vince, a friendly server/bartender who resides in Lucerne by way of South Africa, was especially knowledgeable about the craft beer available, as well as encouraging in its consumption.) Take-home bottles are available for purchase, too.
The DetailsBierliebe & Friendswww.bierliebeandfriends.ch