Among Lausanne’s cafés cachés, this charming spot wears the gold crown. Tucked away behind the Place de la Riponne, La Couronne d’Or is the kind of secret you want to keep all to yourself. Lucky for you, we are going to let you in on it.

You wouldn’t know it from the surrounding shopping centers and concrete parking garages, but the café on Rue des Deux-Marchés is steeped in history. In the 1800s, the street served as a liaison between the vegetable market at Riponne and the meat market at Tunnel. In 1895, a petite brasserie opened at number 13 and served as a no-frills pub for locals who couldn’t afford the neighboring Moudon.

Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, it was a popular lunch joint and the kind of place where local workers stopped in for a pick-me-up. When the current owners rescued the spot from demolition in 2006, they uncovered an interior full of remnants from the past, much of which is still part of the décor. The wall tiles are original and the linoleum floor and tables date from the 1960s. And despite the advice of several contractors to tear it down, the owners even managed to preserve the old wooden bar counter.

This love and respect for history is what makes the Couronne d’Or so charming today. It’s a cozy place for an apero before dinner at one of the restaurants in La Cité. The terrasse doesn’t boast the best view in town, but with the right crowd, it’s a great spot for a locally-brewed Gab’s beer. We hear that every once in a while there is live music. In the morning or mid-afternoon, you can also camp out at the community table. WiFi is free, but for goodness sakes, stash your smartphone! There are plenty of newspapers and other reading material to go with your cappuccino.
Sunday brunch is hopping and reservations are strongly recommended. The simple brunch menu is delicious and changes along with the market fare. Go for the classic Crunchy– a pretty glass of fresh fruit, yogurt, granola and real maple syrup! Prices are a little high for the size of the plates, but what you pay for is the nostalgic ambiance.
La Couronne d’Or is a real gem of a café and a quaint reminder of the past. Now that we’ve let you in on it, share it with only your best friends.

By Kristen Gehrman

La Couronne d’Or
Rue des Deux-Marchés 13
1005 Lausanne
+41 21 311 38 17

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