It may be known for bringing Lausanne its first Flat White or the idea of all-day breakfast, but over the years Blackbird has evolved and grown alongside the city. With 'Nightbird' being another side of the same coin, diners can enjoy Blackbird's high quality, regional dishes, beer, wine, and hand-crafted cocktails late into the evening.
Like a familiar friend with whom you can just pick up right where you left off, Blackbird has been that steady presence for us in Lausanne since 2014. Long-time Lausanne residents will remember the opening of the Breakfast Club under Pont Bessières many years ago – a place that fanned the revolutionary idea that a restaurant could serve all-day breakfast and have more than one coffee option on the menu. A place where eager foodies would literally line up down the stairs and outside waiting for their pancakes, poached eggs, and first taste of a Flat White here in Lausanne.
And as Lausanne evolved, the Blackbird team grew alongside it. Opening the Downtown Diner in April 2016, it still had a similar ethos to the Breakfast Club – high-quality regional food with no fuss – but began to cater to a wider range of eager foodies, including the after-work, dinner, and drinks crowd.
Located in the heart of Lausanne, Blackbird Downtown Diner is a place that proudly welcomes you to hang your proverbial hat, regardless of its style or function. Breakfast goers will eat their avocado toast and sip their cortados as light pours generously across the tables. And in the evenings, their summer terrace is packed with after-work cocktails being sipped and burgers, fresh salads, and apero plates being devoured. As the sun dips and night arrives, diners will trickle inside as candles offer a flicker of low light, creating an intimate and cozy atmosphere. Local beer flows from the taps and servers playfully attend to tables as a beloved song triggers a simultaneous sense of nostalgia and contentment.
Though you won’t find them boasting about it, Blackbird uses local, seasonal products, features an exceptionally priced selection of local beers and wines, and consistently has incredible vegetarian and gluten-free options on their menus. Many of the staff have been working alongside each other since before Blackbird – when they all met in a tiny little burger joint: a restaurant on Rue Marterey that aimed to revolutionize (or at least disrupt in the best of ways) the fast-food hamburger industry here in Switzerland by merging the ideas of fast with fresh and regional. A small restaurant that has now grown into a Swiss hamburger empire called Holy Cow!
Both Holy Cow! and Blackbird have more in common than just the founders Rich and Jess Williams. They’re both restaurants that filled a void or a need here in Lausanne. And though Rich & Jess passed on the HC burger baton and are now focused on Blackbird both here in Lausanne and Blackbird House in Rolle, there’s comfort in knowing that there are passionate and creative people here in our city who are consistently striving to provide a place where everyone is welcome, and can have a place to eat, drink, and find contentment in this city we call home. It’s a sure-fire fail-safe familiar friend – and don’t we all need one of those in our lives?