Located in the oldest quarter of Neuchâtel, the Restaurant Banneret is Italian dining at its best. You can hardly go wrong with any item on the menu. Not only is the food exceptional. The building, dating from 1609, is the finest example of late Renaissance style architecture in the region, and is a feast for the eyes.
Just off Place des Halles, Neuchâtel's market square, is the Café Floridita. Small and unassuming this café happens to serve the best cappuccino in town. When the weather is warm you might find a table outside, where you can watch the townspeople walk by on their way to and from work or shopping. If the café is full you can walk to the market square about 20 paces away where you might find an outdoor table in the sun in front of one of the other local cafés. The cappuccino won't be nearly as good though.
Restaurant Pinte de Pierre-à-Bot is a small restaurant set on the quiet rolling grasslands of a park. This is one of the most peaceful, calm Restaurants and natural surroundings you can enjoy in or near Neuchâtel, and is excellent for kids. The outdoor seating is a favorite of people who want to sit in the sun, sip a drink or order a meal from the menu, and talk with friends.
Perched on the mountain top called Chaumont, and overlooking Lake Neuchâtel in the distance, is the old La Restaurant Petit Hotel. Specialty of the house is their tender and delicious cheval (horse) steak served sizzling on a hot slate. If the idea of eating man's second best friend causes your palate to recoil in horror, the fondue is also good.
Launched in 1912 the old side wheel paddle steamer Neuchâtel is now the restaurant Au Bateau. One of the last of its kind, this old ferry may soon be included on the list of protected monuments and sites of Neuchâtel.
Relais de la Vue-des-Alpes restaurant has what the name implies a view of the alps - when the day is clear that is. Often the Alps are lost in a soft haze, but even so the countryside around this Neuchâtel to La Chaux-de-Fonds café mountain pass is beautiful. After having breakfast, lunch or dinner at this restaurant (think of it more as a café than a formal restaurant) you can walk one of the nearby trails through forest or pasture land where you may pass through a small herd of Swiss cows with the bells about their necks clanging.
Forty paces down the cobblestone road from Neuchâtel's
castle, is Café
de la Collégiale. Besides the daily lunch the café
offers sandwiches, omelets, salads, and beverages of coffees, tea,
soft drinks, wine, beer and aperitifs.
The café is housed in an ancient building - all the buildings
in this area are ancient - but the interior is modern. Much may be
said about ripping out the interior of a building hundreds of years
old and modernizing it. There should be a law against it. However,
the modernizing of this interior was at least tastefully done, and
is pleasing to the eye. If you take a window seat you will also have
a view red-tiled roof tops of Neuchâtel and the clock tower,
one of Neuchâtel's last remaining defensive tower.
Boulangerie A.R. Knecht was on the corner of Rue Coq d'Inde and Place des Halles in the center of the old town. We lived on Coq d'Inde for some years. I could see the bakery if I leaned out of my 4th story window and looked down the cobble stone street to my right. In the morning after I had progressed from a state of sleep to semi-consciousness I would pull on my clothes, stumble down several flights of stone stairs and walk sixty seconds to this boulangerie. Though we later moved into an apartment a little further away I still often made it to the boulangerie in the mornings. There is something comforting in a daily routine.
However, the bakery is gone and is now a bar. However, you can still buy coffee there in the mornings and sit outside at a table if the weather is good. You will find a small bakery outlet if you walk around the corner of the building, immediatly at your right. They do not have nearly the variety of the orginal bakery. Such a shame that good things do not last forever.
Stepping into the Café du Theatre is like walking into a restaurant on the Champs d'Elysées in Paris. Probably built in the 1800s the interior is a mixture of stone, wood and cast iron columns and capitals, the latter painted a kelly green with corinthian capitals and other embellishments painted gold. A comfortable atmosphere you can sit here over a cup of coffee and talk with friends for hours, plan your next travel route or read your favorite book.
Just a short block from Place des Halles, on Neuchâtel's oldest square is the Café Auberg. The café is fairly new having replaced the Chateau dry cleaners around 2001. (The Chateau dry cleaning moved about a block away to Place des Halles.) The Café Auberg serves a variety of teas and coffees, and a few items to eat for breakfast and lunch. The café's interior is attractive, and staff is friendly. Climbing the steps in the back of the Auberg takes you up to the outdoor terrace, a nice place to sit and relax and sip your coffee on warm sunny days and watch people passing in and out of the square.