BRUNCH SPOTS TO TRY THIS WINTER
by Elena Pedrazzani
We love a good brunch, but it is during winter that brunch really gets into its own and becomes a solid winter activity – even in Geneva.
This is the time when you can almost walk the entire town on a Saturday or Sunday morning without seeing another living soul – due to the weekend exodus to the slopes or people choosing to hibernate. But brunch is a great opportunity to catch up and commiserate about the weather, and luckily Geneva is constantly improving its brunch offerings.
Here is our round-up of favourite brunch places to try this winter.
I had my doubts about this place when I first heard about it – I was expecting another millennial “avo toast” pusher. Their concept is mostly designed around the tartine or “toast by a way cooler name.” But I was wrong: whatever your description of a tartine (and I have had long conversations about it with French friends), this restaurant café has got it right. I tried (and loved) the avocado tartine, but having spied on other tables, it seems that good quality is consistent across the menu – totally worth the trip to the upper edge of Eaux Vives. Oh Martine also offers salads and sweet goodies – and the coffee is very good. Their chaī tea is out of this world. So in the end, the cool Parisian café vibe, cool coffee and cool food make Oh Martine one of my favourite places this winter. And you don’t have to wait for the weekend to discover it – they are open everyday, and offer brunch 7/7.
Dress code: Chilled, arty, interesting.
Route de Chêne 6, 1207
On this site.
TOUT SIMPLEMENT CAFÉ
Geneva may still be learning how to brunch in style, but there are some reliable places, which have been on the scene for years. Tout Simplement, in front of Parc de La Grange, offers a buffet style brunch, focusing on a just few things, done properly. Their buffet is on the healthy side: salads with Asian flavours and good quiches, and plenty of sweet choices, including breads and jams, bircher muesli and crumble. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am to 3.30pm.
Dress code: Cute and flirty.
Rue de Soleure 2, 1207 Genève, Switzerland
Photo @genuine_women (insta link)/ Photo2: @thefoodparty (insta link)
On this site.
This place is all about the coffee. And for good reason – I think they serve some of the best coffee in Geneva. When you come to Coutume Café, you’ll immediately notice that coffee gets the centre stage – and if you ask the baristas for a recommendation, you can count on getting something delicious to bring you back to life after a night out, or a Netflix binge marathon. The food is nice, too: they offer many brunch favourites such as avocado toast and pancakes, à la carte or as menu options. While the location might not inspire from the outside, the ambience inside more than makes up for it. Highly recommended if you are in Plainpalais and in need of a caffeine hit.
Dress code: Something flung over your pj bottoms with a hat and sunglasses.
Boulevard Carl-Vogt 80, 1205 Genève, Switzerland
On this site.
Dim sum, anyone? Well, that is what Le Mandarin is known for. While the name may evoke a swanky hotel brand, this is not what I’m talking about – Le Mandarin is a relatively traditional Chinese dim sum restaurant, located in an unassuming shopping gallery on Rue de Chantepoulet. Maybe it’s because of its less-than-charming location, or maybe because dim sum isn’t wildly popular in Geneva, but I am very puzzled by the small number of people that know this place. The dim sum here is good. Very good. To make the best out of the experience, come as a group and savour as many options from their large selection as possible. Their menu is extensive, so filling up the restaurant’s traditional round dim sum tables will not be a challenge. These dumplings are likely to steal your heart and turn this little restaurant into your favourite brunch spot if you’re maxed out on avocado toast.
Dress code: Understated, casual.
Rue de Chantepoulet 1.
Photo: @Mailanliu (insta link)
This restaurant in Eaux-Vives is a trendy spot with cool interiors and it’s always buzzing. Their pancake towers, indulgent French toast and traditional full English breakfasts are generous and well-presented and wash down well with a bloody Mary or good coffee. On a more healthy day, try their superfood salad – which is a very satisfying bowl of quinoa and just about every other healthy ingredient you can think of chucked in – leaving you full and feeling smug. Do book a table.
Dress code: Dress to be noticed with trendy sunglasses and perhaps a little dog.
3 Rue des Eaux-vives.
On this site.
Trendy and very much the health food vibe with no trace of grease to soak up a hangover, but believe me, the food is good. A Chiatella bowl (Coco milk, chia grains, banana, coconut flakes, nutella drizzle) and Liquid gold chaiī which leaves you with a yellow tumeric moustache for the rest of the day, is like food from the gods on a miserable, cranky day. The brekkie bowl with lentils, onions, feta and an egg or Aussi bowl with salmon gravlax are also good brunch options. You leave feeling like a saint.
Dress code: Exercise gear and a yoga mat.
They have just opened a second restaurant in the Bains district, but we like their café in Eaux-Vives because of the natural light and the feeling of space.