Restaurants + Cafés

Au Chat Noir

Last week we got a recommendation from a pretty reliable source (more on that to come) to check out Au Chat Noir–a restaurant we pass by on a regular basis but have never actually entered. Au Chat Noir boasts an authentic French brasserie feel–wood-paneled walls and burgundy leather seats line the perimeter,  the decor dated, the lighting warm, it’s just missing clouds of cigarette smoke hovering above its many patrons (though we are glad that part is absent). The menu is small and quite simple–written daily on the few chalk boards positioned throughout the restaurant, dishes are created based on what’s in season and fresh. Each dish is carefully thought-through, cooked to perfection, and presented beautifully. The marriage of flavors found in each of the plates we ordered were phenomenal–the smoked fera on a bed of potatoes and the seared langoustine on squid-ink risoni were mouth-wateringly memorable.  The restaurant was packed

Non Solo

Over a month ago we decided to take a different walking path into town and passed this little storefront whose branding featured the iconic Italian coffee moka pot. If you know anything about us, you know that we are always up for trying out a new spot–especially if it involves coffee. So we must say, it was the coffee that drew us in, but the wafting scents of lunch & dinner prep that made us stay. The coffee was spot-on and authentically Italian; strong & bold with a subtle bittersweet aftertaste. Their patisseries transported us to our frequent holidays just across the border–the sweetness of their croissants, the rich flavors of the custard filling. Needless to say, we were happy customers. And then the lunch menu began to exit the kitchen. And then their latest catering creations were stacked on the neighboring table ready for delivery. And then we became a bit nosey. The

Kizuku Café

It was almost 2pm on a Sunday, and everyone was hangry. Not hungry…hANGRY. We meandered the streets of Vevey, ready to eat anything that resembled food when we were struck by the interior design of this cute café. There was a spot right in the window, and the kitchen was still open, so we settled in.  Turns out Kizuku Café specializes in hot dogs–but luckily for us, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill-slap-a-weiner-in-a-bun-and-call-it-a-day hot dogs. These are about as gourmet as you’re going to get…anywhere.  With the standard hot dog, you get all the garnishes available: honeyed sauerkraut, avocado, shallots, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonaise, ketchup, and mustard. Pair it with a side of nachos (seriously, that guac was amazing), a cold beer, and we were in lunchtime heaven.  The interior of the café is cozy & welcoming; a lounge in the back boasts couches & armchairs, a TV, VHS movies (!), books & games etc. We had

Rush Coffee Co.

Let’s just get one thing straight: we hate the cold. And this winter has apparently been one of the coldest winters in THIRTY years here in Switzerland. So when we stumbled upon this delightfully decorated [and teensiest] coffee truck in Place de la Riponne last week, we couldn’t help but sit and enjoy a hot cuppa before tackling our errands for the day.  Rush Coffee Co. parks its coffee-mobile in Place de la Riponne every Tuesday and Thursday–and we must say, we couldn’t be more ecstatic to see an increase in high-quality, great tasting coffee making its way into Lausanne. The truck, the branding, the menu, the aesthetics– right down to the Edison bulbs that line the barista’s workspace all lend to its hip yet nonchalantly familiar feel.  Mark and Tiffanie have always been passionate about good coffee, and when they realized there was a need they just decided to fill it

Le Pointu | Lausanne

We know, we know. You’ve seen the blog posts and newspaper articles, the tweets and (many) aerial Instagram photos (like the one below) of the food served at Lausanne’s new(ish) café Le Pointu. But there is a reason this place has been all over the media map as of late, and our blog would be amiss if we didn’t talk about the wonders of this new restaurant/café or the six friends who took it upon themselves to repurpose and redefine the iconic space (which has been there since 1875!). Nicknamed the “Flat-Iron” building of Lausanne, Le Pointu rests on the corner of Rue Neuve overlooking Riponne right in the heart of our city. Its space is airy yet cozy, with a bohemian rough-luxe vibe–light pours into its generous windows, lending to its warm and inviting atmosphere. Our favorite detail, however, has to be the green ceiling. 😉 A project

Tea Time at Romain C.

About a year ago, we received an email from a reader imploring us to help her find a proper tea time in Lausanne. We racked our brains for ideas, but finally conceded that apart from 5-star hotels, Lausanne hadn’t caught on to the British tradition of a special afternoon tea accompanied by cakes and pastries. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, a little birdy (okay, actually it was Romina from Blaastyle) tipped us off that Romain C., Lausanne’s most elegant tea room, would be launching a tea time service, à la française. Everything this young and exceedingly talented pastry chef touches turns to gold, so we quickly set a date to give tea time a try. And oh.my.word. it was glorious. Romain C. remains unrivaled in Lausanne for the sheer elegance and sophistication of its pastries, and its teatime is a parade of moist cakes and rose-flavored marshmallows that

Luncheonette

We know the weather is getting a bit chilly and unpredictable, but when the sun does decide to show its face, it’s a shame to waste it during your lunch hour–which made us think about what take-away spots we frequent in Lausanne, and thus realize that we’ve never officially discussed our love for Luncheonette. We also stumbled upon the best surprise on our way home the other day: Luncheonette will [finally] be opening their location in Chailly! Take-away can be quite limited in Lausanne–pre-made sandwiches or salads that have been sitting refrigerated for the entire morning, a greasy burger and fries, or perhaps sushi (which is actually another favorite but sometimes limited and often times expensive). Luncheonette offers fresh, hand-made-to-order wraps, salads, soups, and smoothies either to-go or to enjoy in their cozy space on Rue du Grand Saint Jean. From the same owners of Mon Jardin Secret, Luncheonette is almost always

Bagel On The Way

Now we have to still be realistic here. As Americans who have sampled many-a-bagels in the city that never sleeps, we can’t say in good conscience that these bagels are authentically New York. We were still missing the perfect level of toastiness (all of our bagels seemed to be under-toasted), and even though we normally scrape off a large part of the generous schmear when we get bagels at home, we were still wishing these bagels packed that heaping spoonful of cheese.   We also found the name “Bagel On The Way” a bit misleading–here we were picturing the rush of the morning commute, grabbing a scrumptiously hot bagel on our way to work…but it doesn’t open until 10am so it’s more of a lunch spot rather than the traditional New York breakfast bagel & coffee location.   Regardless, we need to remember that it takes time for movements

Pavillon Bar + Kitchen

Pavillon rounds out Riponne nicely with a great cocktail menu and excellent options for a light meal.

La Terrasse | Lutry

Open only during the summer season, La Terrasse is one of those ‘dive’ gems you didn’t know existed in the Lausanne area. Located right on the port Vieux Stand (neighboring Lutry’s larger port), this little refuge under the trees is exclusively outdoor and reminds us of something you’d find under the pines of St. Tropez right on the sea. The energy is relaxed, almost bohemian–but the clientele range from business men in suits on their lunch breaks, to families with young children running around on the pebbles, as well as retired couples coming in from a morning of sailing. Regardless of your current standing, one thing is clear: La Terrasse is a must on sunny days. When to go: Because of their exclusively outdoor seating (it’s called “La Terrasse” for a reason), make sure to go on a sunny/non-rainy day. Lunch seating is just as popular as dinner, so

Le P’tit Central

For a passerby, Le P’tit Central is just another ordinary downtown café. But don’t let its unremarkable exterior fool you. Those who step through its woolen curtain find an intimate, charming space; a hidden treasure with an old-world flair. Beautiful Portuguese tiles line the walls, their motif the story of Lausanne in 1850. It’s striking and weirdly reassuring to see just how familiar the images still are. This blue and white canvas is an exotic and transporting backdrop for a Saturday morning coffee. But don’t trust us—rather, consult the clientele. Le P’tit Central seems always to be full when other nearby cafés sit empty. The terrace, especially, is bustling with an artistic and stylish crowd. In fact, it’s the closest thing we’ve found to a Parisian street café ambiance where red lipstick and nonchalance rule the day. The terrace is often overflowing, unless of course to stop by around

Le Charlot

With the opening of the new Charlie Chaplin museum, “Chaplin’s World”, this week, as well as the more consistent spring-like weather, we decided it would be a good time to talk about our favorite sandwicherie in Lausanne, Le Charlot. My history with Le Charlot goes way back to when I first moved to Switzerland and worked close to Vevey. I had a single day every week when I was allowed a “free lunch” to go off campus (I taught at an international school) and without fail, I would almost always end up at this tiny sandwich shop in the main square of Vevey. It didn’t matter that the line would be out the door, or that ordering was chaotic, or that they only took cash (though this has changed, hurray!); my heart was set on this cheap, customizable, freshly made, delicious sandwich that came piping hot out of the oven.

Eligo

We’ve been talking about it for a year now, and this month we finally booked our table at Eligo, the latest local restaurant to join the esteemed Michelin firmament. Overall, Downtown Lausanne’s restaurant scene prides itself on the no-fuss, authentic meal. Being no-fuss, authentic types ourselves, this is right up our alley. Eligo, however, is not a typical Lausanne restaurant. It offers a sleek and sophisticated dining experience with an appropriate—and appreciated—dose of pretension. Allow us to explain… Sometimes a girl wants to dress up, wear a smoky eye AND a red lip, and check her coat at the door. Sometimes, she wants to describe her ideal wine to the server, only to have her breath taken away by the perfection of his choice. Sometimes, she wants to let herself be surprised by the studied simplicity of finely prepared food… And for these times, dear friends, Lausanne is lucky

Creacion del Tata

It’s Wednesday–which means it’s market day! And though the weather be unpredictable, and wet, and windy, and simply depressing, we have one reason for you to venture out: empanadas. Our love for Creacion del Tata‘s authentic Chilean empanadas is no secret–Eliana (pictured above) has catered our baby showers (one of us is half-Chilean after all), curbed our late-night cravings, and has alleviated our husbands’ hanger (hunger+anger) when battling the crowds on a Saturday in town.  If you’ve ever walked past Globus on a Wednesday or Saturday, you’ve certainly seen her–or heard her (unless she is blocked by the queue of people waiting for the fresh delivery from her restaurant near Place du Tunnel). She is the one laughing and smiling, calling you “hija“, and beckoning in Spanish for all to come try her mouthwateringly warm & savory treats. Though she has a variety of empanadas now, we must say our favorite is the

Birdie Food & Coffee | Geneva

  It was a rainy morning–the kind that pulls people back under the warmth of the duvet covers, wishing to hibernate until the first songs of spring. We braved the weather to head out to Geneva (for other very important reasons), but decided to make a little stop first. We needed a ‘pick-me-up’; one that involved a great cup of coffee. We had heard about Birdie Food & Coffee from a couple of friends, but had no idea just how good it was.  Started by two friends: Florent, the coffee maestro/barista who makes a wicked flat white, and Bastien, the chef who worked for none other than Alain Ducasse in Paris, they began their adventure in October 2014. They both felt an absence of good quality food and coffee in a friendly and well-designed space. Their food is fresh, healthy, seasonal, and changes daily based on what’s available. Their coffee

Romain C.

It’s a bit embarrassing when we acknowledge how long it has taken for us to get into the doors of Romain C, especially as it’s our neighborhood tea room (seriously, it’s down the street from our apartment). But sometimes it’s nice to save and savor, and that’s exactly what we did one grey Sunday morning. We put on our rain jackets and sauntered down the street where the warmth of the illustrious decor beckoned us in, and the colorful palate of patisseries begged us to stay. From the outside, Romain C. seems like your run-of-the-mill tea room–situated at the base of a residential building there isn’t much besides the awning flap to indicate its presence. But once inside you are transported by the esthetics of it all–the patisseries alone are a piece of artwork, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything of this nature outside of Paris. While Florence’s

Le Fraisier

Over the weekend, we finally took the time to visit one of our favorite little lunchtime holes in the wall in Lausanne armed with our cameras and notebooks. It has been months that we’ve wanted to tell you about Le Fraisier, but we kept saving it for a weekend when we could take the time to savor the food and each other’s company in a season of life where time has become our most rare and precious asset. We’re so glad that we waited because being with a dear friend over a delicious lunch on a summer day in a city that we love…frankly, it doesn’t get much better than that. We spent the better part of the salad course daydreaming about The Lausanne Guide and our hopes for this site. When the main dish arrived, we set to planning for the fall and couldn’t help but think back

Mon Jardin Secret

Sébastien, the founder and hot bowl master It’s no secret…not anymore at least. Just at the bottom of the stairway next to Luncheonette sits Lausanne’s first exclusively gluten-free lunch spot that even gluten-lovers will appreciate. Mon Jardin Secret, started by the same inventive minds that brought you Luncheonette, is an oasis from the greasy fast lunch food that we are all too familiar with. The concept is simple: pick a bowl from their extremely curated menu, add a protein (if you wish), then sit back and enjoy the freshness, the flavors, and the surprisingly satisfactory portions–and feel guilt-free. Pair it with a home-made lemonade or iced tea (which Jackie said she’d come back everyday just for that incredible tea), and you’re set. And for dessert? Why not try one of the infamous delicacies from Sonja patisserie in Cully, “We knew we couldn’t make the best gluten-free dessert, so we brought in

L’A-T-E-L-I-E-R | Café – Galerie

Small and unassuming, it’s easy to miss this little Lausanne gem when walking down the street. Wedged between two towering residential buildings, L’A-T-E-L-I-E-R has made a name for itself amongst locals who prefer to drink and dine off the beaten path. Started by two friends with an eye for art, Cybèle and Laure decided one day to pull the trigger and open up an art gallery. Friends who frequented their space loved the cozy atmosphere, and afternoon coffees would quickly transform into early evening apero. And the coffees and teas made way for pastries and petit gouts and the beer and wine made a way for tartines and planchettes–a natural evolution that would eventually lead to what we have now: a space for you, Lausanne, to eat, to drink, to admire, to read, to relax, to just be. And just as the concept evolved with the patrons, the patrons evolve with the day;  L’A-T-E-L-I-E-R  is

Ristorante Amici

We once read in an article that people love recounting incredible dining experiences because it releases extra doses of dopamine (the “pleasure” chemical) not only in the person telling the story, but also in the person hearing it. Food is that powerful–and when you combine great food with authentic atmosphere and exceptional service, the dining experience becomes something you want to share with everyone. So we’d like to say: “you’re welcome” for the extra doses of dopamine you’re about to receive. Ristorante Amici has been open for a mere six months and it is already completely booked every night of the week. We look around at the lunch-time rush and people are sitting elbow-to-elbow, speaking animatedly over their antipasti and prosecco. The crowd is a lively mix of corporate workers, friends, lovers, and even a couple next to us who came all the way from Geneva just to eat here for lunch.

Restaurants + Cafés