In Switzerland, a buvette is generally known a seasonal tavern that serves food and drink. I recently visited a rural buvette in the Jura mountains on a rainy Sunday. If a Swiss hiking trip is in your future, you may want to map out some buvettes d’alpage along your route to take advantage of delicious meals and warm hospitality.
La Buvette des Pradières-Dessus
Situated near the summit of Mont Racine, La Buvette des Pradières-Dessus is housed in a 17th century farmhouse. An association oversees the property, and members take turns operating the tavern during the weekends. It’s open eight months of the year—closed in March and April, and again in November and December.
Inside the buvette, on the second floor above from where the cows live, you will find a kitchen with a wood-burning stove that’s still fully operational. When we stopped in, the volunteer cooks had a big pot of minestrone ready for us. Their children were excited to lead us to our table and take our orders.
We sat in a cozy, wood-paneled dining room and warmed up with our bowls of soup and fresh bread.
Along with our soup, we ordered a planchette with local cheese and sausage served on a wooden board. In English, planchette apparently refers to the wooden object that delivers secret messages on a ouija board, but it’s actually an old French word meaning “plank.” You are likely to see a planchette like this at my next apéro!
Locating a Swiss Buvette
To locate a Swiss buvette (or several along your hiking route), I have a few suggestions for tracking one down. I’ve recently come across an online directory of buvettes d’alpage for Suisse Romande, as well as a guidebook. You could also check with the national and regional tourism agencies for Switzerland. For example, I’ve seen dozens of buvettes listed on the website for La Gruyère Tourisme.
If you have any recommendations for exceptional buvettes in unique Swiss settings, please let me know by leaving a comment below or sending me an email. Have a great weekend, everyone!