And it’s here! Lausanne now actually has a vegan restaurant. I have to say that when picking a place to study, Switzerland was a reeaaal funky choice. For someone who considers health and fitness as their passion, there could not be a less compatible country. It’s funny since Switzerland really has this reputation of being extremely healthy (maybe it’s because there are mountains? So it’s assumed people spend their lives hiking?). But let’s be real the national dish is pieces of bread that you dip into a giant pot of melted cheese until the cheese is gone which mean DINNER IS A POT OF MELTED CHEESE. And the classic dessert? Meringue next to A BIG BOWL OF DOUBLE CREAM that you scoop out onto your meringue once again UNTIL YOU’VE EATEN A BOWL OF DOUBLE CREAM. Yeah. Mountains = health. But on the other side, fresh local produce is widely available (sometimes I wonder if the green beans are made with strands of George Clooney’s hair because OMG THE PRICE) but they’re still available, so as long as you’re ready to cook all your meals from scratch (and order any extra health products like superfoods, peanut butter etc. online if you want them) then you can lead a vegan life. Just before you move here, make sure you buy a giant bag where you can put 101 Tupperwares to carry around if you’re heading out for the day, because you won’t be finding a little store to pop-in and grab something healthy to-go. That’s why when A FULLY VEGAN CAFE opened in my small student city of Lausanne, it was as if the angels had descended. Stef and I went to go try out the second we had a chance.
Stef and I were mad hungry and super thirsty as we headed down to town after a killer leg day. I had quickly checked out the Veganopolis menu online and assured her that tasty veggie burgers awaited us. We managed to hike up a street that was probably at a 85% incline AFTER LEG DAY (hello living in the mountains), and found ourselves at the cute little cafe.
Step 1? CONSUME ALL OF THE WATER that was there on tap for us to self-serve. It’s as if they knew two famished and dehydrated #fitchicks would come in with their gym bags after an intense weight session and needed it on hand. Immediately.
So step 1, check. Now time to order our food ASAP and pray it gets brought to our table within 30 seconds of ordering cuz omg so hungry. This was the part where you could see that this whole healthy-vegan restaurant thing is extremely new in Lausanne. When we went to order, there was not a single gluten-free option. There were veggie burgers (on wheat bread) or pasta dishes. Not even any salads available. Stef and I usually don’t eat gluten, but the server suggested we have our burger on a bun they have which is half-wheat, half-rice flour. So in the end, we shared two different burgers on that only-will-give-me-half-a-tummy-ache bread. On the up-side, food was prepared very speedily.
We ordered the Dune (chick-peas, tahini sauce & mayo) and the Red Star (red bean, bbq sauce & mayo). We split them but I preferred the Red Star one. Both were pretty good but maybe a little too much of a mayo over-load for my taste (but I’ve really never been one to eat mayo ever).
Dessert was a cookie (this time gluten-free!) with a homemade chai latte. Both yummy and the perfect way to end the meal.
So as compared to vegan restaurants in London, or North America this place may be a little amateur. But in Lausanne this little cafe is a revolution. And I hope as they grow a little, maybe expand the gluten-free options, this will be the perfect hotspot in the city. And I can tell you that is feels sooo good to actually be able to go to a restaurant and not worry about the fact that in Switzerland a meal where they don’t add in 4 kilos of butter is not a meal.