Blackbird Breakfast Club was one of the first places that opened in Lausanne and had an international vibe, a feel-good atmosphere that got you really excited to go out and have brunch, no matter the day of the week. On a Saturday, it quickly became merely impossible to get a spot there so it was great news that they opened the Blackbird Downtown Diner at a bigger location which could accommodate many more people.
I love both locations though. At Breakfast Club, what I like most is to sit on the top floor enjoying a flat white and maybe a few scones with marmalade while watching the people go by at Rue Central through the windows. Now that I come to think about it, most of the times I have enjoyed this place on my own -yes, I love getting myself out for a treat! But when I am with friends, I prefer heading to Downtown Diner. They take no reservations so you just have to go there and challenge your luck, especially during busy days or hours.
Their menu is quite diverse and simply delicious. My favorite is the Nordic brunch and a berry blast juice. And the chicken super club. Oh, and the superfood salad with quinoa and avocado. It’s hard to pick only one. Of course, I also love their decadent cakes and cookies.
Blackbird was founded by Richard and Jess, the couple who also founded Holy Cow, the absolute gourmet burger of Lausanne at that time. They were both working for a UN agency in Geneva before “taking the leap of faith to open the first Holy Cow in 2009”, as Richard told me. After selling Holy Cow in 2014, they dived into the coffee roasting and casual dining industry. Today, they are five partners together with Max, Lisa and Jon.
In Richard’s words, Blackbird’s main philosophy can be summarized as follows: “Simplicity. Informality. A warm welcome to all. Freshly made food at all times of the day that nourishes like a hug, all washed down with our fresh roasted coffee or craft beer from our friends at Dr. Gabs.”
Breakfast Club, their first “baby” and first of its kind in Switzerland, offers all-day breakfast seven days a week. Pancakes, full English, eggs Benedict, breakfast burritos and lots of avocados are some of the menu’s highlights.
The Blackbird’s Downtown Diner came soon after at a very central location in the hip area of Flon, where Bubble café used to be, another of my favorite places. On the menu, there are some breakfast options, a big lunch menu with salads, superfood hotboxes, burgers, curries and sandwiches. They also serve dinner with options such as fried chicken, which is very popular, kebabs, burgers but also healthy dishes.
Blackbird House – Gastropub is their newest addition to the lovely town of Rolle, where you get exclusively craft beers, fish and chips, burgers, salads, curries, live TV sports and live music. What else would you want for a fun evening out? For me, this is a good excuse to visit Rolle again.
Most of the furniture and decoration comes from antique shops in Wales, where Richard comes from. “We make a trip once a year and fill a big van full of treasure!” he says. Jess is the one in charge of all the interior design, and she does a fantastic job, I think. The ambience is cosy, stylish, with lots of wood and unique pieces such as the wooden table on a Singer sewing machine base.
The coffee here is roasted in-house and Max is the roaster in charge of Blackbird’s coffee blends.
As Richard tells me “We keep it simple with our house blend. Typically, 70% robust and full-bodied Latin American Arabica and 30% more acidic and fragrant East African Arabica. We change the blend every 4-5 months, but we don’t experiment too much. A good commercial coffee for me needs to be accessible to all palates – generally rich and strong with a subtle twist, but not trying to be too clever playing with acidity.”
More foodie experiences in the region
I love to know where locals go when they want to enjoy a good meal and Richard happily shared his tips when it comes to dining.
“My favourite place to eat for an all-round experience is the Buffet de la Gare in Celigny. It’s like stepping back in time, big art deco vibes, an eclectic clientele, a great wine list and classic food. The rotisserie chicken and rosti at Auberge de Dully is always a winner too. In Lausanne I like Les Trois Rois for a good steak, Brasserie de Montbenon for a social dinner with friends, Cafe Amici for the most deliciously balanced food in town and Bosphore for a delicious kebab once in a while” he says and we take note.
Blackbird Coffee & Breakfast Club
Cheneau de Bourg 1
Blackbird Downtown Diner
Route de Bel-Air 1
Have you been to any of the Blackbird establishments already? What’s your favourite on the menu? What should we order next time around? Share the yumminess down below!