Do you enjoy local, farm fresh food? Desire authentic travel experiences that take you off the beaten path to places you’d never read about in a guide book? Looking for things to do in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland?
We created our own DIY Swiss Food Tour from Interlaken to Wilderswil to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, and we’re showing you every stop along the way so you can enjoy these experiences on your next trip to the Lauterbrunnen valley!
If you’re looking for Swiss bakeries, unique drinks, and the opportunity to taste fresh produce from small farms in Lauterbrunnen Valley, read about our DIY Food Tour below! (And make sure you read to the end, where you’ll find a google map pinned with each of the locations we visited!)
ACT ONE: Interlaken & Wilderswil
STOP #1: Bread from Bäckerei-Konditorei Steininger
We’re staying in a local neighborhood on the east side of Interlaken, and it’s given us the chance to explore some of the less touristy areas of this beautiful town.
Just southwest of us (in Matten) lies Steininger bakery, and it’s so good, we stopped in four times during our first week! They have a wide variety of breads, pastries, coffee, and light lunch items. But on our Swiss food tour we stopped to buy bread for our picnic.
(HINT: Look for a nice crusty bread. Or if you want something uniquely Swiss, ask for Zopf — a braided, pretzel-looking bread.)
STOP #2: Cheese from a Farm Fridge
Continuing south from Matten toward Wilderswil, there’s a spot so local you won’t even find it on a map! Here, just past the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a family farm with a roadside refrigerator. Inside that fridge are farm fresh products such as cheese, eggs, and sausage.
It works on the honors system. You simply open the fridge, choose what you’d like, note the price, and put your money into the cash box on the left.
(HINT: Make sure to have a variety of coins…there’s no way to get change for larger bills, unless you just happen to run into the farmer like we did!)
STOP #3: Jam from another Farm Fridge
If you continue south on the Hertigässli, you’ll stumble upon another farm on your left just before reaching the highway. There are similar products to the previous stop (and payment works the same). But in addition, you’ll also find Swiss milk and various jams. When we visited, there were apricot, blueberry, and strawberry jams, in addition to a few others. (But save your milk tasting for a future stop on our DIY Swiss Food Tour!)
(HINT: Be sure to walk round the right corner of the building to visit the cows!)
STOP #4: Rugenbräu
If you order a beer at any restaurant in Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen Valley, there’s a good chance you’ll be offered a Rugenbräu. And that’s because it’s the only brewery in the entire Berner Oberland!
You can take a guided tour (English tours available) to learn all about their production, and then stop by their store. In addition to beer, they also make whisky, and you’ll have the opportunity to taste both for a small fee.
(HINT: Try the “Ice Label” whisky. It’s a single malt that spends four years in the Rugenbräu cellar before taking the train to the Jungfraujoch (the highest railway station in Europe) for another seven years of aging in ice! This was voted Swiss Whisky of the Year in 2017, and for a modest tasting fee of 2 chf, one of the most unique whiskies I’ve ever tasted!)
As you make your way from Rugenbräu to the train station in Wilderswil, we recommend pausing for a couple sensory pleasures along the way.
BONUS STOP: Unspunnen Castle
If you’ve spent any time at all in Switzerland, you’re bound to have seen some pretty incredible castles along the way! Unspunnen is definitely more of a ruin than a castle, having been constructed potentially as early as the 12th century; but it’s free to visit, open 24 hours a day, and you can climb all over the ruins.
You’ll walk right past it as you continue this DIY Swiss Food Tour, so you might as well stop by for a peek! And if you’re lucky, you’ll catch some fantastic views of Interlaken!
You didn’t eat that wonderful farm fresh produce yet, did you? Good, because you’ve been saving it for this moment!
Almost exactly halfway between Unspunnen and the train station (about an 11 minute walk), you’ll find a bench looking into Lauterbrunnen Valley with an incredible view of the Jungfrau! Grab a seat, pull out your collection of culinary treasures, and relax for a bit!
(HINT: Public drinking is legal in Switzerland, so consider grabbing a beer to-go from Rugenbräu to enjoy on your picnic as I did. But as usual, do your own research and don’t take my word for it!)
FUN FACT: Wilderswiler Wine
Okay, so far this seems more legend than fact! But there’s a vineyard near your picnic spot that’s the only official vineyard in the Jungfrau region. The wine produced here is called Wilderswiler, but we haven’t yet been able to find any to try!
There’s an address listed on the website, but it appears to only be a mailing address. We’ll update you if we can find and taste this wine!
TRANSFER TO LAUTERBRUNNEN
To reach Act Two of our DIY Swiss Food Tour requires the use of the efficient Swiss public transport.
Your first step is to take a train from Wilderswil to Lauterbrunnen. On this 15-minute journey, you’ll cross a stream a handful of times and climb a bit in elevation, before the valley opens up in front of you and your jaw drops in awe of the same iconic view that inspired Tolkien’s Rivendell.
Next, you’ll walk next to the train station to reach the bus stop. Hop on Bus #141, which will take you deeper into this valley of 72 waterfalls.
Request a stop at the Stechelberg, Sandbach bus stop. (If you don’t the bus will fly right on by!) This is where we will start the second half of our DIY Food Tour!
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ACT TWO: Lauterbrunnen
STOP #5: Milk from a Farm Vending Machine
Yep, you read that right. You’re about to drink milk from a vending machine! Rumor has it that Switzerland has the happiest cows in the world — I’m not sure how you decide that! And judging by the taste of their milk, it’s no lie!
Here’s how it works:
- There are cups and bottles to the left. If you’re just looking for a taste, grab a cup.
- Put a few coins in the machine, and it will display how much volume of milk will be dispensed. (HINT: On our first taste, we paid 10 cents and that gave us .06 liters, or 2 ounces). Continue adding coins to reach your desired amount of milk.
- Then when you’re ready, open the door, stick your cup under the dispenser (it’s like one of those water bottle fill-up stations), and push the start button. Out comes your milk!
Fresh Swiss milk really is the creamiest, tastiest milk I have ever had in my life. We can only imagine making ice cream or a cappuccino with this milk. Let us know if you try any special recipes with this happy-Swiss-cow milk!
STOP #6: Sirop from another Farm Vending Machine
Now that you’ve tasted milk that will ruin Mayfield for you for the rest of your life, cross the stream by walking through Camping Breithorn, and turn right to follow the path heading back toward Lauterbrunnen.
After about a kilometer (complete with waterfalls and valley views), you’ll come to a small wooden structure on your left with a built-in vending machine. There are a variety of options available, but we chose a sirop.
(HINT: Sirops are not juices! They are highly concentrated and made to be mixed with water. Don’t make the mistake Jana made and take a swig all by itself. You’ll get an ultra syrupy sweet surprise!).
STOP #7: Rahmtäfeli from a Farm-Side Stand
As you continue toward Lauterbrunnen and the Staubbach Waterfall comes into view, you’ll stumble upon another little farm stand with snacks available. But this one had something different from what we’d seen at all the others: Rahmtäfeli.
It’s a little candy that I can only describe as caramel meets sugar cube fused with a butter cookie. I prefer simply letting it melt in my mouth!
(HINT: This was the only farm stand that has a box of change available in case you don’t have the exact amount to pay. In addition, say hello by signing the guestbook there too!).
Here’s a map of every spot on this DIY Swiss Food Tour!
There you go! Your local, farm-fresh, Swiss DIY Food Tour! Visiting these spots has been one of the most enjoyable days we’ve ever experienced in Switzerland. And in addition to the great food and drinks, there are quaint villages and incredible views at every step.
But the fun doesn’t have to end here! Now that you have a full belly and a backpack of extra goodies, enjoy the beauty of Switzerland!
- Chase waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen — the Valley of 72 Waterfalls.
- Ride the train to Jungraujoch — Top of Europe.
- Take a lift up to the Schilthorn — and it’s revolving restaurant.
- Wander the car-less town of Mürren.
- Explore Brienz or Thun (both the towns and the lakes).
- Switzerland has endless options, and this DIY Swiss Food Tour is only the beginning!
Have you been to any of these places? Or do you have another super-local food spot in the Lauterbrunnen Valley to share? Please let us know in the comments below!