EXPLORE EAUX-VIVES: ONE OF GENEVA’S TRENDIEST QUARTERS
by Julie Gabus
Eaux-Vives, formerly the city’s harbour, has become one of Geneva’s trendiest and liveliest areas – bristling with hip new bars, the latest food trends and arty coffee shops.
We share some of our favourite addresses in this part of town.
WHY WE LOVE EAUX-VIVES
Eaux Vives is not just an urban playground, but also offers you the chance to chill in a beautiful park and to enjoy a relaxing walk along the lakeside – all in one neighbourhood!
Let’s start our tour with one of the best coffees in town at Luma Coffee where you will meet Alex, the charming owner of this latest coffee shop on the caffeine circuit. For more info read our article here.
Suitably energised, we can now head across the road towards the lake. On your left is the pretty Jardin Anglais, but let’s turn right along the lake and note the Pierres du Niton (Neptune’s stones). These stones are remnants of the ice age and are used as the point of the Swiss height measurement system to this day! The explanation of how this works went over our heads, but if you’re scientifically inclined read it up.
A bit further on your right: the unmissable Jet d’Eau, of course. The 140 metre high fountain was not always situated in this conspicious location, but started life at Coulouvronière. It was moved to its present location in 1891.
EATING OUT: EAUX-VIVES
Some of Geneva’s best ice-cream parlours are in Eaux-Vives: Manu Gelato and Gelatomania (Rue des Eaux-Vives) and Arlecchino on the lake front. Read our review here.
Heading back up into the streets of Eaux-Vives, we turn into Rue du 31 Décembre from where you can get an original and very instagrammable view of the Jet d’Eau.
If it is near lunchtime, turn right and find a table at the slightly hidden Café Cult located in an old church and popular with locals. The menu changes with the seasons and during summer, enjoy an al fresco lunch on their big terrace. They do a great selection of pastas, burgers, meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
CHOUX PASTRY, BRUNCH AND SUPERFOOD
Eaux-Vives is literally bursting with great restaurants. For brunch our favourite spot, not far from here at 3 Rue des Eaux-Vives is the trendy Marcel – where we always opt for the full English breakfast at any time of day, but if you’re into health food – the Superfood salad with quinoa, kale, carrots, beetroot, lentils, cabbage, sweet potatoes and figs is also to die for too !
For trendy little choux pastry balls – don’t miss Chou at 79 Rue des Eaux-Vives. If you’re into poké bowls, you’re spoilt for choice with Elua ( 8 Rue des Eaux-Vives) and La Esquina (8 Rue de la Mairie) around the corner.
On this street, you’ll also find the Mad Chef’s latest pop-up resto, featuring different and exotic food every week ranging from crayfish rolls to spicy octopus pita breads. Eaux-Vives will be home to the Mad Chef’s next concept restaurant: Le Cinquieme Jour (opening in September 2018), which will serve food to homeless people one day a week and will function as a restaurant to the public on other days.
A TOUCH OF CULTURE
Les Scala Cinema (23 Rue des Eaux-Vives) is one of the oldest cinemas in town and regularly shows movies in English.
Higher up in Eaux-Vives, in Rue de Frontenex, you’ll notice Am-Stram-Gram theatre, especially built by Peter Boecklin and Predrag Petrovic for children.
Continue to Rue des Vollandes until you reach the public school Vollandes, where you’ll see a giant sculpture by famous Genevoise sculptor Albert Rouiller entitled the Jouet pour le vent. (wind toy)
From Rue des Vollandes, turn right into Rue Montchoisy. At the end of this street just before the park, you’ll see an interesting architectural building designed by Maurice Braillard. The design consists of spacious and geometrical squares which contrast with the other buildings of the area.
ROSES ARE RED…
For a little breath of fresh air, why not enter the beautiful Parc de la Grange. This formerly private property was bought by the City of Geneva at the start of the 20th century.
DON’T MISS Admire the beautiful roses in the rose garden every year during the Geneva International New Rose Competition.
As you head out of the Parc des Eaux-Vives towards the lake, cross the road and turn right until you reach Bain Bleu a popular local spa and hammam, from where you can enjoy this stunning view below from the rooftop swimming pool (and even enjoy your cocktail in the pool !)
TIBETAN, MOROCCAN, INDIAN, PERUVIAN…
Nighttime is when Eaux-Vives really comes into its own. So after dark head back for some delicious momos at the Tibet Café. We also warmly recommend the Purée de mangue !
Rue Henri Blanvalet. This is THE place to be for it as it offers all kinds of trendy and lively Brooklyn style bars such as Grand Bottle and its next door little brother: Petit Bottle.
Grab a bite at IndaBar (modern Indian food) , KasBar (modern take on Moroccan cuisine), Alma for Pisco Sours and Peruvian cuisine, Eat Me – (small plate heaven) all within walking distance of one another.
Did we miss any cool addresses in Eaux-Vives? Share your favourites with us in the comments below. We love to hear from you.