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.
And right next to Jetée de la Compagnie, sharing the same wooden deck, is Minimum. Another ephemeral seasonal bar that offers drinks, snacks, and lots of love. The views are unbeatable, and there’s not much better than sipping on a refreshing drink and dipping your toes (or diving right in) into the lake.
La Guinguette de Vidy
Last summer, the city of Lausanne finally woke 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 would 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, was La Guinguette de Vidy — with some of the Lausanne à Table muscle behind its helm – and it’s open for another season this summer. 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 was trialed last summer was Côté Lac Lausanne. Located right in front of the Olympic Museum last year- but moving a little down the quai this summer (2023) to benefit from some added shade, it still has panoramic views of the lake and mountains plus an access point for swimmers near by. Managed by the same team behind La Générale in Pully and Lapin Vert, Meraki, and XIIIe siècle here in Lausanne.
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.
A cute little waterfront guinguette in Montreux with access for boats, this is a perfect beach bar if you’re passing on foot or happen to be a lucky one on a boat. Pass by for aperitif, drinks, and good vibes.
Located in the absolutely dreamy and idyllic little village of La Tour de Peilz, this lakeside bar offers local drinks and snacks with an epic view of the Alps and vineyards surrounding it. If you’re at the “Dolce Riviera” in Vevey, consider walking along the quai for 10-15 minutes and stumble upon La Tour de Peilz. It’s worth it.
Open for the season as of June 2, La Crique, the bar located in the ephemeral space in Place Louis-Soutter in Morges is launching its second season. 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 three summers. This place offers 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! Check out the initiative by Montreux Riviera called “Dolce Riviera “. 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.