Passion Points: Food/Wine
“My husband and I would like to have a nice lunch either in Lausanne or Montreux on our way to Geneva airport. What are some great lunch recommendations in either town for a nice relaxed lunch with good food, nothing super fancy?” J.L., London
Most of Montreux’s good restaurants tend to be associated with hotels, so are a bit more formal. Lausanne has more of an arty vibe with lots of cafes and a pretty old part of the town. If you have the time, a longtime visitor to the region recommends lunch in the vineyards between Lausanne and Montreux—a very special experience. Reservations are recommended at all of these places.
Restaurant Le Montagne In the tiny village of Chardonne, tucked into the Lavaux vineyards. You can drive, but it‚s much more fun and very quick to take the funicular train up from Vevey train station and walk a few steps through the vineyards at the Chardonne stop. The restaurant has a terrace overlooking the vines and the lake. On a clear day you can see the French Alps on the other side. It‚s an incredible experience only had here. Note: This restaurant came highly recommended by several insiders. Reserve in advance. Definitely reserve in advance. 41-21-921-2930; www.le-montagne.com.
Auberge de L’Onde This restaurant in the mountain is also accessed by the funicular from the St. Saphorin stop. After lunch, have a look inside the Medieval church in the town of St. Saphorin. 41-21-925-49-00; www.aubergedelonde.ch.
Rooftop Terrace at the Olympic Museum This museum has a lovely restaurant on their rooftop terrace with wonderful lake views. After lunch, stroll along the promenade, which goes all the way to Vevey and Montreux (if one‚s ambitious). Also, for a more formal lunch or coffee après, the Beau Rivage Palace has a nice outdoor café. 1 Quai d’Ouchy; 41-21-621-67-08.
A la Pomme de Pin One of Lausanne’s oldest wine pubs, with a casual café in addition to its fancier dining room. It’s in the old part of the city, near government buildings, the cathedral and chateau. Closed Sunday. 11-13 Rue de la Mercerie; 41-21-323-4656.
La Petite Grappe The sister restaurant to La Grappe d’Or, one of Lausanne’s most acclaimed gourmet temples, this restaurant is smaller, more affordable and less formal than the original branch. 15 rue Cheneau-de-Bourg; 41-21-323-0760.
Java Designer restaurant in the center of town and good spot for a relaxed lunch (go for the plat du jour) or coffee break. Open Sunday; reservations recommended. 10 Rue de l’Industrie; 41 21 321 3837
La Viole d’Or A local favorite that’s been closed for several years, now reopened. It’s right on the water and has a more laid-back vibe, offering a vegetarian dishes and Creole specialties. 1 Chemin de Montelly; 41-21-619-06-40.
Café Romand A classic on buzzing Place St. Francois in the old town. Good spot for a coffee and people watching. They also serve simple lunch fare. 2 Place St.-François; 41-21-312-6375
L’Ermitage French/Swiss cuisine inn a quiet suburb of Montreux where you sit on a terrace overlooking the lake. Run by an acclaimed chef. Open for Sunday lunches, but reservations are recommended. 75 Rue du Lac 75, Clarens; +41-21-964-44-11.
Raffles Le Montreux Palace Art-filled 1906 Belle Époque hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva with more formal dining space. The outdoor Terrasse du Petit Palais and the indoor Brasserie are open from 11:30 am-2:30 pm for lunch, with snacks at La Brasserie served onwards. Sunday brunch takes place every Sunday in the Salon. 100 Grand Rue; 41-21-962-1212.
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