We like to think we know a thing or two about mountain dining – after all, we’ve been creating the perfect ski holiday for you since 1986 and our team is full of in-depth knowledge and most importantly, first hand experience.
Our philosophy is simple: a ski holiday is about maximising pleasure in every area. We want you to lap up the fresh snow, but equally we believe that lunch on the slopes should be just as enjoyable as the skiing.
Forget wet-floored self-service mountain canteens with plates of greasy chips, over cooked pasta with grated cheap emmental, wine served in plastic cups, plastic knives and forks, espressos that taste like dishwasher liquid, cheap machine-made hot chocolate and loos that you have to pay for with coins – why not enjoy gorgeous unique cuisine whilst simultaneously admiring the breathtaking glacier views around you with tablecloths, proper wine glasses and a friendly patron or chef looking after you.?
Check out a selection of just some of our favourite mountain restaurants from simple mountain huts to gourmet cuisine. There are of course so many more…
Nowhere Does Food Like Italy
Italy is renowned for its love of food, and that doesn’t change with altitude. Here’s what some of our favourite Italian resorts have to offer.
Courmayeur is of course the obvious place to start and I could write a whole article just on the long list of amazing eateries here (in fact we have already featured many like Maison Vieille, Chateau Branlant, Chiecco and Christiania) :
La Chaumiere, Courmayeur
Spectacular views from a panoramic terrace and a smart interior of wood and stone, paired with a gourmet take on traditional Aosta Valley cuisine and a superb wine list makes La Chaumiere the perfect place to stop for lunch. Or, if you aren’t in the mood for finer dining, you can just head upstairs to the more relaxed pizzeria.
Located just steps away from the lifts, you could just as easily drop in for an evening of gourmet Italian delights, but don’t forget to make a reservation – this is one of Courmayeur’s most popular eateries!
Chalet Etoile, Cervinia
A ski holiday to Cervinia isn’t complete without a leisurely gourmet lunch at Chalet Etoile. Running for over 40 years, the Frassy family are still doing everything right, with renowned gastronomic experiences (like reindeer fillet tempura, and king crab ravioli) created by Ulla, the Swedish matriarch.
Just take a look at the video (bonus if you can speak Italian) for a glimpse behind the scenes and a snapshot of the delectable dishes on offer..
Rifugio Averau, Cortina d’Ampezzo
As described by the New York Times, Rifugio Averau is “fresh powder meets fine dining”. Also known as the “Restaurant at the End of the Universe”, this award winning restaurant offers spectacular views paired with stunning dishes and is the perfect place to stop for lunch.
Fun Fact: Rifugio Averau is located in the Cinque Torri area of Cortina where they filmed Stallone’s Cliffhanger.
Chalet Fiat, Madonna di Campiglio
A restaurant branded like a car…a novel idea, and one that works!
Spectacular views overlooking the Dolomites and high-end meals paired with designer interiors will ensure an end to the “quick sandwich” kind of lunchtime. However as well as the smart and cosy table-service restaurant there is also an excellent self-service section – there’s no excuse to not pay a visit if when you’re in Madonna di Campiglio.
Ciao Pais, Sauze d’Oulx
Dating back to 1931, Ciao Pais has been a popular stop-off for hikers, bikers and skiers. A log cabin, nestled in the woods is the perfect place for a leisurely dinner in cosy surroundings. You don’t even need to worry about how you’ll get there and back if you want to go there for dinner, especially after sampling Caio Pais’ “extensive wine cellar”, as we can arrange a snowcat transfer for your group.
If you’re a real foodie, why not discover something really special in the Italian Alps – Momentum’s Gourmet Ski Experience with Heston. It’s a chance to experience two incredible dinners curated by Heston himself, set in the rustic mountains, described by the FT as a “three-day foodie extravaganza”
Gourmet is a French Word, After All
The cheese, the wine, the bread…the list could go on. Here’s what France has to offer by way of lunch and dinner in the Alps.
Le Signal, Val d’Isere
Voted Best Mountain Restaurant at the World Snow Awards 2015, Le Signal combines food, art and music. Sample local produce and whilst looking around you at contemporary art – the restaurant is also an art gallery.
And if you don’t have time for a sit-down lunch, you can drop in for a Diot hot dog (Savoyard speciality) in the morning, or a bottle of one of their many beers on the terrace.
Le Peau de Vache, Val d’Isere
“Don’t plan on skiing after lunch” is a valid comment on Trip Advisor for this place.
With a quirky but cosy interior – there are cowhides absolutely everywhere you look and you’ll feel like you’re in a scene of Game of Thrones- this is the kind of place you’ll want to keep all to yourself.
Chalet de la Marine, Val Thorens
In the heart of the Val Thorens ski area, this is a restaurant run by people who know what they’re talking about. Owners (and brothers) Arnaud and Cedric Gorini are ski instructors, and natives of Val Thorens. And they know how to make a decent meal.
Not only is this a great stop-off for lunch, it’s also great for dinner if you fancy having a snowcat transfer arranged for your group or even a torchlit descent on skis or snowshoes..
Oxalys, Val Thorens
If you’re really into fine dining, there’s no place better in the whole of Europe than the 2-Michelin-Starred Restaurant Jean Sulpice at L’Oxalys. Hailed a “gastronomic phenomenon”, there’s really not much more to say – the awards and the mouthwatering video above speak for themselves.
Chez Pépé Nicholas, Les Menuires
In the heart of the 3 Valleys, Pepe Nicolas takes dairy produce seriously.
They have their own pastures for their goats and cows to graze on in the summer, and they’ve turned part of this into a petting zoo for kids! From the milk bottles that light the Dairy Room, to the fondue, raclette-adorned cheese board and sheep’s milk yoghurt – this is not for the lactose-intolerant!
Local Food and Local Wine…
La Bouitte, St Marcel, 3 Valleys
A gourmet destination not to be missed, La Bouitte serves beautifully unfussy Savoie fare matched with an extensive range of local wines. And if a hefty wine list is a priority, it’s definitely worth checking out Las Soucoupe.
Situated at 2,250m, the terrace boasts fantastic views at the foot of the Courchevel slopes.
Megeve: Culinary Delights & Stunning Views
If you’re after a chic bistro serving gourmet dishes, look no further than Taverne du Mont D’Arbois. Favourites include lemon mash and fish cakes with mountain herbs, and prime rib of beef cooked in the fireplace – great for sharing.
For an unrivalled view of Mont Blanc, it’s worth heading over to Face au Mont Blanc. Serving slap-up lunches on a beautiful terrace overlooking the mountain, you’ll certainly have time for a quick meal and a couple of panoramic photos from 1580m.
Dine in Switzerland at High Altitude
Switzerland isn’t all chocolate and watches, there are some amazing gourmet experiences is exceptional settings, so here are just a few…
2100m – Chez Vrony, Zermatt, has come a long way since the small, spartan farmhouse that stood on the same spot 100 years ago. It serves organic produce, made to traditional recipes which have been passed down through generations (like their delectable home made sausages).
2112m – Situated in Crans Montana, Chetzeron “welcomes gourmets, hedonist, skiers, hikers, riders and admirers of dramatic landscapes”. Not many are left out, then, and why would you want to be? Expect “Alpine refined” dishes – traditional and local delights with a twist and a truly stunning terrace. It is also now also a boutique hotel so you can stay the night.
Or for a slightly lower-down-the-mountain option you should opt for Buvette de Pepinet(see the image below). It’s my personal favourite – their wild mushroom croute is to die for – and I hear I’m in good company, I hear it’s also top of Sir Roger Moore’s list.
Translated as “The Black Sheep”, this cosy cabin is far from being the introvert of the Swiss-Alp family. Renowned for their shows, events and festivals, it’s the place to be at the height of the season (and the food is great, too!)
2222m – With a long, detailed history, Jochpass sits high in the resort of Engelberg. It began as “just a hut”, but has played a huge part in the comings and goings of hikers, skiers, boarders alike, feeding them with hearty soups and stews to fuel them through the rest of the day.
2486m– The highest gourmet experience St Moritz has to offer is La Marmite. Serving organic meat and fish, Chef Reto combines “taste with creative experimentation” – and just look at that view…!
And On the Lower Levels…
You’ll find Lac des Chavonnes – situated at 1690 metres amidst beautiful woodland above Villars in the Vaud Alps. And while you’re there why not drop into Auberge du Col-de-Sud? They serve up old Swiss-style hospitality, with “the best rostis in the Swiss Alps.”
Ready to Book a Table?
So there we have it, some of the best restaurants the Alps have to offer.
Of course, we can always help out here at Momentum Ski, whether it’s booking a table, offering recommendations, or making sure there’s a snowcat at the ready to take you down to your lodgings (as long as you have booked your holiday through us!). Just fill in this quick form, and let us know what you’re looking for.
Have I missed your favourite place to enjoy dinner at high altitude? Comment below and let me know.