This post is originally one of my very first on the blog. Started in 2009, updated several times until the last one in 2011. Four years on, it desperately needed an update!
Lausanne has changed so much since I moved to Switzerland in 2005. Flon was a dark area, invested with warehouses and even worse, prostitution *gasp* at night. But look at it now – bright with lights and booming with family friendliness – great shops, restaurants, cineplex, even ice-skarting rink. And recently we have the Rôtillon area back after complete renovation, and along with it, came many new cafés and restaurants. Still, one of the best moves was the indoor smoking ban in Vaud that took place in 2010 – that alone instantly created many children-friendly restaurants and cafes.
To be honest, we haven’t dined much in restaurants after I quit my job 3 years ago. Now that our babies have grown into ever-hungry mini people, it became too expensive to pay regular restaurant price for 4 mouths with single salary. Thankfully there are many restaurants that are truly family-friendly, offering affordable children’s menu, many are of good quality.
Below are my picks for family friendly cafés and resturants in Lausanne. I try my best to list the pros and cons of each, however it’s what I feel and not necessarily be what you will find. The best thing about updating this post was to find that there are really many more cafés and restaurants that are family-friendly, and this post doesn’t even cover all of them.
Finally, please note that everywhere is breastfeeding-friendly. No one will stare at you for feeding a nutritious food to your baby (at least the Swiss won’t).
Centre Comercial Metropole, Rue des Terreaux, 1002 Lausanne
Pros: Good selections of food, Fruit-salad-dessert bar (pay by the weight), Outdoor terrace (however NOT smoking-free), Coffee, Changing table, Plenty of high chairs, Easy to park stroller, Lots of other parents with babies and children, Wi-Fi, Microwave, Lillibiggs children menu (day-menu + drink + toy/ice cream for chf6.50)
Cons: Changing table in restaurant restrooms is not stroller friendly as you have to go through some stairs. But there is another changing table (at the same level) of the Metropole center. Closed for dinner and on Sundays.
Manora at Manor Department Store (7th floor)
Rue Saint-Laurent 3, 1003 Lausanne
Pros: Good selection of food, cakes and good coffee, Children corner (with plastic playhouse and TV), Changing table (in both female and male restrooms!), High chairs, Outdoor terrace, Lots of other parents with babies and children, Microwave, Children menu
Cons: The restrooms are small, not so easy to bring a stroller inside if need to change diapers. Wait times for elevator could be long on Saturdays.
Restaurant at Coop City (5th floor) St. Laurent and Coop City St. Francois
Rue Saint-Laurent 24-30, 1003 Lausanne
Av. du Théâtre 4, 1002 Lausanne
Pros: Inexpensive, Asian wok food corner (I’m biased here!), Play area, Changing table, Plenty of high chairs, Terrace, WiFi, Microwave, JaMaDu children menu (up to 9y, chf6.50 + fidelity passport)
20, rue du Petit-Chêne, 1003 Lausanne (078 705 13 12)
Pros: Yummy cupcakes (including gluten-free), Spacious, Healthy food for lunch (organic soup and salad, bagels), High chairs, Changing tablem WiFi, Toys and a Play Kitchen.
Cons: Limited number of tables
The boutique café also offers a shopping area for home and kitchen wares, toys and jewellery – all worth checking!
Route de Bél-Air 1, 1004 Lausanne (021 311 36 55)
Pros: Really good selection of home-made cakes, Organic food, Vegetarian available, Environmentally-conscious food, Cozy atmosphere, Outdoor terrace
Cons: Very popular and can be crowded
Rue des Terreaux 10, 1003 Lausanne
Rue Cheneau-de-Bourg 17, 1003 Lausanne
Pros: Two of the best places for burgers in Lausanne. Children menu. High chair and changing table.
Cons: Can be very crowded during meal time (but the service is quick).
See these related post here and here.
Place de la Gare 4, 1003 Lausanne (021 320 48 48)
Pros: Spacious and has lots of tables, good food and coffee.
Cons: Can be very crowded during meal time
Stroller entry through escalator on Place de la Gare or street level entrance on Rue de Petit-Chêne
Rue Mercerie 9, 1003 Lausanne (021 312 84 19)
Pros: Very good crêpes; Cute, cozy atmosphere; High chair, Changing table, Toys and books, Crepes are served throughout the day
Cons: Closed on Monday
Reservation is highly recommended for lunchtime.
Pros: Lovely atmosphere, High chair, Wheelchair accessible, Good food, Mostly known for its artisanal beeer and Flammenkueche, Children’s menu.
Cons: Stairs on entrance and it’s a crowded pub in the evenings so I say bring the children only for lunch
This place is rather tight, but we brought our stroller on a Saturday lunch and the waiter kindly found a place to park it – in the section that is closed during lunchtime (see middle photo).
Av. du Rond-Point 1, 1006 Lausanne (021 616 86 66)
Pros: Nice, young atmosphere (many students), Free wi-fi, Children’s books and toys, Changing table, Brunch on weekends
Cons: Not so easy to accommodate strollers during meal time (they’re usually packed), but is not a problem at any other time.
Reservation for mealtime (brunch, lunch, dinner) is highly recommended.
Rue Saint-Laurent 19, 1003 Lausanne (021 311 61 51)
Place Saint-François 2, Lausanne (021 320 70 20)
Place de la Gare 2, 1003 Lausanne (021 312 07 02)
Pros: Indoor is smoking-free, Good cakes and coffee/tea, Changing table, Easy to park stroller, Other parents with babies and children, One can practically sit there forever (fantastic for nursing or passing time with a sleeping baby and a good book or laptop), Free Wi-Fi with any purchase.
Cons: Outdoor area is usually packed with smokers
Rue du Maupas 17, 1004 Lausanne (021 646 54 1)
Pros: Inexpensive Italian pasta and pizza. Children menu and high chairs available. They also have many books, toys, crayons and coloring pages. Open on Sundays.
Avenue de Rhodanie 4 (Ouchy), 1006 Lausanne (021 612 76 12)
Pros: Good fusion food and amazing ice cream, Children’s menu, Crayons and coloring page, Play corner, High chair, Family restroom with changing table and small children’s height toilet.
Cons: Dining can be pricey
Read this post for more.
1, quai d’Ouchy, 1006 Lausanne (021 621 67 08)
Pros: Children’s menu, High chair, Changing table, View to the lake and the Alps, Brunch on weekends
Cons: Dining can be pricey, No dinner
Reservation for mealtime (brunch and lunch) is highly recommended.
For even more places, check this post by the Lausanne Guide.
Would you like to suggest other cafés or restaurant for us to try and add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment!
*I don’t get anything for listing these cafés and restaurants on this post. All opinions are my own.
**I always try to avoid people on my photos, so that most of the photos above may give the impressions of empty cafés and restaurants. They never were, I just photographed the emptier areas