Restaurants + Cafés

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.

Cuppin’s Teahouse & Cupcakes

This review is long overdue, but sometimes good things are worth waiting for. The funny thing is, we first discovered Cuppin’s not because of their famous cupcakes and confectionary items, but because a friend had gifted beautiful hand-made bracelets that she purchased in the boutique. I went that week and realized that this cafe is a little piece of paradise right here in Lausanne. It’s cute, it’s delicate, it’s whimsy and charming; the kind of place that little kids dreamed of when sitting their stuffed animals down for pretend tea and scones. Only this place has real tea and scones, and they are delicious. Inside you’ll find both a cafe and a boutique with carefully selected items including bags, wallets, jewelry, stationary, kitchenware, and more. We could seriously spend hours perusing the tables and walls–and honestly it’s a perfect place to go if you need some gift inspiration! The café

Where to Eat in Lausanne: Brasserie de Montbenon

Your first steps into the Brasserie de Montbenon will be extraordinary. Your gaze will be drawn upward, and as if by instinct, you will gasp and briefly hold your breath. It’s just that beautiful. In all the years that we’ve been living in Lausanne and looking to discover its most charming secrets, we had never set foot into the Casino de Montbenon or seen anything quite so elegant. The classical architecture and the Brasserie’s contrasting modern furnishings create a curious balance that alone is worth the detour for a coffee. (We’ve even started planning our weekly meetings here because we love when our to-do lists feel fancy!) As if the place itself isn’t enough, the view on the Lake might actually be the best in Lausanne. And yet, to our surprise, rather than the complexity and sophistication that we expected from the ambiance of the room, the Brasserie offers

Where to eat and drink in Lausanne: Culture Café

For a country with such a developed palette for fine gastronomy – wine, chocolate and cheese to name a few of the obvious examples – Switzerland is not particularly known for its coffee. In fact, we’ve often lamented the fact that at all of the cafés that we love here in Lausanne, coffee is a predictable low point in the experience. Unlike the up-and-coming artisanal beer scene (which you know we love), coffee roasting in the Confederation seems to be handled by a few, largely uninspiring brands. Needless to say, when we heard about Culture Café with its distinct mission to bring true coffee culture to Lausanne, we were intrigued to give it a try. This little coffee shop is housed inside of the Fnac at the Tour Bel-Air – yes, you indeed read that correctly. Inside the Fnac. To get there, you’ll need to head to the lower

Where to hang out in Lausanne: La Grenette

Settled in a couch reminiscent of one that resides in our grandmother’s house, surrounded by multicolored sun umbrellas and flower gardens that welcome a friendly picker (at just 50 centimes per stem), it’s kind of hard to believe we are still in Lausanne. Seriously, when did it get this trendy? From those who brought us Zooburger, La Grenette is a small oasis in the midst of Riponne’s concrete plaza, which opened it’s proverbial doors earlier this summer. The furniture is thrifted, the idea fresh; mismatched tables and chairs add to the informally cute charm. The menu consists of creative cuisine (currently Korean bimbimbaps and jap-chaes are our faves), in-house Soulberry sirops, and various beer, wine, and cocktail choices. One of the best parts? La Grenette is literally a place for everyone. Looking around there are students with headphones studying their textbooks, friends chatting over apero, couples splitting a bimbimbap, and families

Where to eat and drink in Lausanne: La Couronne d’Or

Hidden away but always bustling, this Lausanne institution is a charming treasure for any moment of the day.

Where to eat in Lausanne: Chez Xu

It’s not an exaggeration when we say that our thoughts are still consumed with last week’s dinner; visions of fried dumplings, crispy honey chicken, and Szechuan beef are dancing in our heads. In fact, as we write these words, we are salivating and wondering how soon would be too soon to pay them another visit. Mr and Mrs Xu moved here to Lausanne from China ten years ago, when they opened up the first and original Chez Xu in Place du Tunnel (the second location on Rue Petit-Chene is the newest of the two). Mrs Xu was a vegetable farmer and Mr Xu was in the restaurant business when they decided to make the move. And we are so glad they did. With pages and pages in their menu, it is really difficult to choose just one dish–which is why we recommend going with friends so you can share

Where to eat in Lausanne: Brasserie Lausanne-Moudon

The morning before my soirée at Brasserie Lausanne-Moudon, a local friend told me to start fasting, “You will eat heavy, and you will eat well.” Moudon is known for hearty French brasserie fare like tender beef medallions sautéed in foie gras and all-day roasted veal knuckle. It’s the cuisine of red wine lovers and carne connoisseurs, the kind of people who like their meat falling off the bone and don’t care if their vegetables are cut à la julienne. While equally chic as other trendy restaurants around town, we found Moudon’s down-to-earth vibe and delicious but not-so-delicate food to be a refreshing change. It’s no surprise that Moudon knows what its doing. Situated in the heart of the old city, in the Place du Tunnel, the brasserie has been around since 1896 and was an obligatory stop for travelers from the north of the canton. As the city has

Where to eat in Lausanne: Etoile Blanche

Known for its lively happy hour scene, this 1930’s British-inspired gastropub has become something of a Lausanne legend.

The Best Terraces of Lausanne: Café de l’Evêché

When to go: It might be hotter than Hades outside, but you’ve got a hankering for a cheese fondue. If you mention this to a friend or colleague, they will look at you like you have two heads, “A fondue? In summer?” We feel you, friend. On the hidden terrace of Café de l’Evêché, you’ll find a sympathetic crowd of cheese lovers ordering one of the café’s TEN fondue options. Although we’ve not yet tried it, the house fondue especially piqued our interest – it’s prepared with beer and armagnac. We’ll definitely be back to give that a try! Who to go with: This is a great spot to go with friends. The terrace is completely charming, but we’d stop short of describing it as romantic. What to wear: It’s up to you. This is not the sort of place where anyone is going to take notice !

The Best Terraces of Lausanne: La Folie Voltaire

When to go: Lazy weekend days. Bring a book and prepare to loiter in the sunshine. Who to go with: This is one of Lausanne’s family hotspots, so don’t hesitate to bring the little guys. A playground is just next to the dining area, so you can enjoy your adult conversation, knowing that your children are a short ear-shot away. But also, this is one of our favorite places to go alone. There is a sweet tranquillity that is hardly interrupted by the little voices nearby. What to wear: Nobody cares what you are wearing…just show up and enjoy life as it was meant to be…

The Best Terraces of Lausanne: P’Tit Bar

Just under the shadows of our Notre Dame cathedral sits a cafe whose name is certainly no misnomer, P’Tit Bar. With just a few tables scattered comfortably on the sidewalk, it’s safe to say that this terrace has one of the best views in the city. When to go: Our favorite time is in the morning while vendors are still setting up their stands for the Saturday morning market. Grab a paper, a brioche, a coffee and enjoy people-watching as the city begins to come alive. Who to go with: Your partner, friend, or just solo. This is a place where you feel completely comfortable regardless of your company. What to wear: Anything goes. Though if you plan to head to the market after, leave the stilettos at home. What we order: We tend to go the pastry & coffee route–as you can see many fresh options in the

A la Bossette

Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy a posh bar as much as the next girl. But let’s get real. Sometimes, the thing you want most of all is comfort food, good beer, relaxed ambiance and a crowd of fun-loving friends. For these moments, there is A la Bossette. A la Bossette Café is located on the fringe of La Cité on Lausanne’s Place du Nord. Serving for many years as a meeting place for leftists and idealists, this local haunt has a distinct personality and probably the most relaxed, unpretentious ambiance in the city. The warmth of the service is second to none and with over 40 beers from all over the world (and from right here in Lausanne) and an affordable menu that includes unique specialities such as fondue au fromage de chèvre, this Lausanne institution attracts a diverse and faithful clientèle.

Where to eat in Lausanne: Le Kiosque at St. François

Our hearts skipped a beat when we walked into Le Kiosque for the first time. What once served as a counter for buying bus tickets has been transformed into a charming little café, perfectly situated in the center of Lausanne’s busy St. François square. There’s something so enchanting about an old space finding its heart and soul and being appreciated again. This little gem of Lausanne past has even reclaimed its old clock, reinstalled after years in the history museum. Swoon! The menu is composed of a classic selection of café beverages as well as soups, sandwiches and salads (all of which are under 10 chf (!) ). Seats are available at about six tables situated along the curved banquette against the wall, so diners cozy up next to one another rather than sitting across a table. We’re looking forward to many coffee dates and light lunches together in

Where to eat in Lausanne: La Folie Voltaire

Shrouded beneath an alley of chestnut trees and nestled within the verdant Mon Repos park, La Folie Voltaire epitomizes the fantasy of summertime.  Something spectacular is preserved in the privacy and protection of this little outdoor café; open only when the weather is nice and serving the freshest products from the city and its immediate surroundings, La Folie Voltaire seems to exist only as an ideal. Even the whimsy of childhood is accentuated; the outdoor playground, old-fashioned gelato stand and proximity of Mon Repos’ famous exotic birds, make this an oasis for young families looking for the harmony and wholesome esprit of a former time. However, don’t be put off if you do not have children. The open air and overall peaceful ambiance leave enough space for everyone.  You will find us here on many a Saturday morning, enjoying brunch, reading the paper and soaking up the summer. The season

Restaurants + Cafés