Where the customer is not king, but friend
Anyone who has travelled in their life knows that wherever the journey goes, no matter how beautiful the city, the place or the landscape may be – a stay in a place, whether for professional or private pursuits, is perfect only when the local gastronomy plays ball as well.
All the more pleasing, indeed astonishing, that the small city of Bregenz, with its walking distances, offers the hungry traveller a seemingly unending plethora of restaurants of a huge variety of types. There is something for all tastes and occasions here. Whether classic-elegant, alternative and hip or traditional and quaint – in Bregenz’s colourful gastronomic scene, everyone finds what his heart (or rather his stomach) desires.
However, variety and quality are always associated with the agony of choice: in view of the density of high-quality localities, where should one begin? The many cafés around the Kornmarkt could offer a possible start: numerous smaller and larger cafés bustle with a view onto the much-frequented square with its variety of buildings (the Bregenz Art House, the Vorarlberg State Theatre and the new vorarlberg museum are packed in closely here). Whether it be a café au lait in the minimalistically designed “Museumscafé” or a hearty breakfast in the “Theatercafé” opposite with its inviting cake and baked goods window display, anyone looking for a successful start to the day is guaranteed to find it here.
A few hours later, when one’s appetite pipes up again with a growling stomach, Bregenz’s food and drink scene shines with a plethora of lunch options. Anyone who already fancies some original Vorarlberg Käsknöpfle at this point can, for example, find flavoursome fulfilment at the traditional “Gaststätte zum goldnen Hirschen”. Anyone who is looking for colourful soups and curries and homemade organic smoothies will find what they are looking for after a few minutes’ walk towards the Upper Town at the clothes café “Susis Zauberei”. Anyone who does not have to go back to work after lunch will now explore the city in peace on its marvellous lakeside promenades, green nature trails and in its exciting museums – and with all these impressions will soon fancy afternoon coffee and cake. Here too, one senses, Bregenz, where local businesses still successfully fight against the massive expansion of large bakery chains, offers reliable solutions. Numerous small bakeries and confectioneries around Kaiserstraße and the Kornmarkt attract customers with richly adorned window displays full of small, sweet sins.
The late afternoon and early evening harbours new possibilities. Those who want to be good to themselves will now perhaps treat themselves to a little glass or two – whether draught beer at the down-to-earth, sophisticated Gösserbräu, or straight from the prosecco bottle, surrounded by Italian antipasti and other delicacies at “Buongustaio” on Anton-Schneider-Straße. Or they can wallow, particularly romantically, in the view of the sun setting behind the lake while enjoying a drink on the terrace or in one of the quaint rooms at “Wirtshaus am See”.
All that is still needed to crown off the day is the perfect dinner. Here, the city again displays all its variety. Anyone who strolls a little through the lanes and squares of the city centre will barely be able to make a decision: boiled fillet in the original baroque arches of the restaurant Kornmesser? Or maybe homemade pasta and dolci in the small Ristorante Il Monello? Whichever option one chooses, one will be satisfied. The only limitation: personal taste. Those who still can now go for one or two digestifs at one of the bars around the Kornmarkt and its surroundings, which are open till late.
What conclusion can be drawn regarding a culinary journey through Bregenz? Despite all the variety, what all the many, so different catering establishments in Bregenz have in common is the far from to be taken for granted and yet omnipresent warmth that meets one here in every café, every restaurant and every bar. Whether a down-to-earth inn or an award-winning restaurant – in Bregenz, the impression is that the customer is not king, but, much rather, friend. What more could one want?