That summer feeling is fleeting, so we want to ensure you squeeze every ounce of sunshine and good times out of this season. Why not visit these ephemeral bars that boast some of the best views on Lac Léman? Here are THE lakeside bars you need to visit this summer.
With a nod toward General Guisan, one of Switzerland’s most notable military officers who was a native of Pully, this ephemeral bar and restaurant serves local drinks and dishes with a side of a lakeside view. They are especially proud of their mineral drink set-up–which has a system that produces their lemonades, cold tea, sparkling water etc. with water from Pully. All local and almost zero waste.
Jetée de la Compagnie
Everything points to abandonment – the roots of plane trees obstinately push through the sidewalks. Saplings claim their space in the exposed earth of the resulting cracks. The adjacent plot, half filled with gravel doesn’t seem to lead anywhere you would walk after dark. Indeed, Jetée de la Compagnie sits behind a warehouse that is beyond an abandoned gravel lot, which is located beside a car park. It’s no wonder we never wandered back here before! But the views, the food, the drinks, and the deck providing access to the lake are all reasons why we’re glad to wander there time and time again.
La Guinguette de Vidy
The city of Lausanne is finally waking up to the fact that we have so much underutilized shore space, and people actually do want to go have a drink and bite lakeside during the summer months. With that line of thought, the city announced that they will be opening up three additional seasonal buvettes with the idea that it will be “trialed” to see how it goes. One of them, opened as of mid-July 2022, is La Guinguette de Vidy — with some of the Lausanne à Table muscle behind its helm. Open 7/7 from noon until 23H, it features local flavors, ice cold drinks, and is only a few steps from the shore near the skate park in Vidy (Bowl de Vidy).
Côté Lac Lausanne
Another seasonal Lausanne lakeside bar that is being trialed this summer is Côté Lac Lausanne. Located right in front of the Olympic Museum, with panoramic views of the lake and mountains plus a new access point for swimmers, it’s already a popular spot for passersby. Managed by the same team behind La Générale in Pully and Lapin Vert, Meraki, and XIIIe siècle here in Lausanne — plus they’ve taken over the coveted lakefront restaurant La Cambuse in Cully and is now called “Cambuse Plage” (so many exciting things!).
Buvette de la Plage
Open seven days a week from mid-March until October, this local Lutry spot is bustling when the sun is shining. Situated right next to a sandy beach, with access points for swimmers and stand-up-paddle-boarders (the paddle board school is right next door), plus a playground nearby for kids makes this a popular beachside hangout for everyone. Featuring local products as well as a full grill, come here to eat, play, drink, and relax. Life is good.
If Paudex is one of those places you drive through without giving it much thought, you might want to hit reverse and mosey down to the port. In the calming shadow of the swaying boats, this little popup bar is back for another season, and is serving up local food, apéro, and ice cream. They’re also offering yoga classes on their deck on Wednesday and Sunday mornings from 9am-10am starting the 22 of June. Follow them on IG to stay up to date.
Unofficially but officially opening this weekend, La Crique, the new bar taking over the ephemeral space in Place Louis-Soutter in Morges is launching their first season entitlted “La Presque” (since they are ALMOST at their crowdfunding goal). Created by four friends from the Morges region, the non-profit association La Crique will oversee the management of this summer bar for the next four summers. This place will offer local catering as well as cultural and social events for all in an idyllic setting just close enough to put your feet in the water.
When it comes to summer living, few places on Lac Léman do it better than our neighbors down in Vevey. With an excellent menu of small bites as well as gorgeous salads and tempting burgers AND direct swimming access, Vevey’s Bains Payes is worth the short drive.
We’ve never actually visited this “La Terrasse”, but we’ve heard from several friends that it’s a must-visit when in the area. An updated beach hut-style venue for global comfort food classics & drinks by the lake, it’s a great place to stop after a stroll on this side of the lake or on your way back from the Jardin Botanique. It’s the quintessentiel beloved summer bar on the Quai Wilson boasting views of the Jet d’Eau–can’t get more Genevois than that!
It’s back after a successful summer in 2021! Check out the initiative by Montreux Riviera called “Dolce Riviera 2022.” They’ve set up decks in specific areas and towns to allow more swim access to the lake, as well as food and drink stations nearby. It’s a must-do ritual this summer – just walk the quais in Vevey and Montreux and let the good vibes and even better views whisk you away.