Lausanne Switzerland Vaud

Café in Lausanne: 3rd edition of the café crawl

As you’re beginning to know, I have a passion as an intrepid explorer for unearthing the caffeine gems of Lausanne. And this year, 2024, my coffee radar went into overdrive with several addresses in my sights, having spent a few months in German-speaking Switzerland.

So I got my faithful sidekick on board to participate in the third edition of our now famous caféthon. Fuelled by the prospect of discovering new havens in Lausanne, we immersed ourselves in the bustle of the capital’s streets on a sunny Saturday in February.

Lausanne’s relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere is reflected in its diverse coffee scene, where influences from around the world mingle to create an eclectic experience.

Whether you’re a purist coffee lover or a fan of the latest coffee trends, Lausanne will satisfy all your caffeine cravings.

1st edition of the café crawl

2nd edition of the café crawl


10:30 – madeleine

The first café of this 2024 edition of the café crawl was at madeleine. It’s a place I already frequented regularly, as I often came there to enjoy cappuccinos while writing my master’s thesis at the BCU, just next to the Riponne. Accompanied by my friend, who had doubts about the concept of madeleine – a Christian bookshop and a café merged into one place – we were lucky enough to find a seat this Saturday morning when the Lausanne market was bustling.

For us, used to proclaiming loud and clear that our coffee must be as black as our souls, it was time to admit our sins… Indeed, under the name of madeleine, this establishment goes far beyond drinks and books on Christian themes, personal development and well-being. Between the shelves, filled with works ranging from spirituality to the crucifixion of Jesus, are the delicious gluten-free and lactose-free madeleines from the famous Maison Galatà.

Whether you want to enjoy a coffee on the spot, in the intimacy of one of the nine seats on the ground floor or in the more welcoming space upstairs, or take a sweet treat with you on a stroll to the market, the possibilities are as vast as they are delicious.

Nestling opposite the emblematic Bouche qui Rit butcher’s shop, the madeleine space is divided between the bookshop on the left and the café on the right. Its clean, contemporary decor in pastel shades evokes serenity and conviviality, values that seem to resonate with a certain spirituality.

And who would have thought that you could offer yourself redemption with a cup of coffee and some devotional reading? It’s as good a way as any to feel blessed first thing in the morning, between two sips of caffeine and a chapter on the lives of the saints (wrong, I managed to unearth not only a non-biblical encyclopaedia on coffee but also the biography of a French football player famous for his little English indiscretions and his unshakeable religious faith – devil or angel, I still don’t know with him!)

What’s more, the café madeleine also offers the concept of café suspendu, where customers can buy an extra coffee for someone in need, adding a touch of altruism to their usual coffee break. It’s a gesture I always find very sympathetic, a kind of alms in a cup.

Rue Madeleine 3

1003 Lausanne

12:00 – Café louve

On our way to La Palud, then the Place de la Louve (one of my favourites in Lausanne) to discover the eponymous café, which has undergone a metamorphosis in recent months/years.

We thought it would be the perfect place for our dinner. Alas, we were quickly disillusioned. The menu was disconcertingly simple, as their menu was being rebuilt in February 2024. So our choice was quickly made: we settled for a simple coffee before heading off to graze elsewhere.

The café’s location is central, and its interior is beautifully decorated, in a Parisian brasserie style, but it lacked that little je ne sais quoi that would have kept us coming back.

We still had to wait about ten minutes before being served, but that wasn’t enough to make us hungry, as we had already decided to go to Luncheonnette.

You can tell that this café is the haunt of Saturday regulars such as the Couronne d’Or and the P tit Central, two Lausanne institutions. Let’s hope that Café Louve joins them in the inner circle but without my friend and myself as regulars. I’ll be going back to taste the menu once it’s up and running, but above all to sip a drink on the terrace during the summer. That’s certainly where its real atmosphere lies, less speciality café and more bar. Who knows, maybe I’ll let myself be seduced by its new vibe!

Place Pépinet 1

1003 Lausanne

14:00 – Fripsquare Coffee & Vintage store

After a stroll from the heart of Lausanne, we headed for our next stop: the place that’s causing such a stir in Lausanne at the moment: Fripsquare.

Since summer 2023, Fripsquare Coffee & Vintage Store has been brilliantly combining trendy drinks and second-hand clothes in a cosy space in the sous-gare district. I’m a big fan of concepts that combine different worlds to create a unique and welcoming place. I mean, who would have thought that your daily dose of caffeine and your next vintage outfit could be in the same place?

As for the café’s menu, it’s brimming with drinks that look like they came straight off an Instagram account (yes, that famous, aesthetically pleasing iced matcha), but above all, it’s packed with a good variety of mouth-watering caffeine options. The white-tiled wall immediately evokes the atmosphere of my favourite café in Lausanne, Coffee Page (which will be our last stop, by the way), while the counter has a chic industrial look that makes you want to order even more coffee.

Behind the counter, the team offer a warm welcome to every customer and is ready to answer all our questions about coffee, because let’s be honest, we were a bit lost when it came to choosing. But with their help, we finally managed to find the perfect drink for us.

And then this cookie… I’m not the type to give in to sweet temptations, but this one called to me as soon as I crossed the threshold of the café. Maybe it was the colour (matcha, although I’m not exactly a fan), or maybe it was just that it was so plump and irresistible… A real treat.

Of course, the place was packed, because it’s the place to be. As for the second-hand section, it’s a veritable-organised paradise, overflowing with nuggets and accessories that seemed to scream “Adopt me!”, with a cheerful mix of streetwear and more chic pieces.

In short, Fripsquare is a unique place to stop off at if you’re in Lausanne. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next favourite piece here, or at least a coffee that will take your mind off all your other worries!

Chemin de la Joliette 5

1006 Lausanne

17:30 – Coffee Page

So, on the last leg of our itinerary, from the station, we climbed the long steps of Avenue Sainte-Luce and then made our way to Rue du Midi, where my favourite café in Lausanne is nestled: Coffee Page.

Coffee Page wasn’t on our list because of its café – we already know it like the back of our hand – but because of its little extension, just a stone’s throw away, which opened in the summer of 2023. So we decided to take a little espresso martini break, because, well, it’s still coffee, isn’t it?

Back to the essence of Coffee Page: I love the clean look, stylish bookshop and warm, welcoming atmosphere. The only problem is finding a seat, with only nine available. As a result, the café has expanded its horizons by annexing the neighbouring premises, which formerly housed a wine bar, in 2023.

In this extension, the décor is reminiscent of that of the main café, but with a more pronounced vegetal touch, urban jungle style, but still under construction. There’s also a beautiful wall filled with books and an elegantly furnished bar. No wonder you have to elbow your way to a seat, with so many people bustling around in this smaller space.

And let’s talk about cocktails! As well as their competition coffee, the Coffee Page offers around fifty whiskies from the four corners of the globe. But we were there for the espresso martini (keeping with the theme, eh?). The verdict? A little disappointed, but then I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to my favourite cocktail – so the Perroquet Bar remains unbeatable for espresso martinis in Lausanne.

Rue du Midi 20

1003 Lausanne

As usual, I’ve included my list of Lausanne cafés below.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.