Chez Vrony, Zermatt with a view of the Matterhorn. Photo courtesy of @ipekgencer1- Instagram
If you’ve managed to sneak some last-minute skiing in this April then lucky you! If not, don’t despair… there is still snow around but you’ll need to act quickly (call us on +44 1993 899 420 and we’ll let you know where best to go).
But as any spring skier knows, a spring skiing holiday isn’t just about racing about on the white stuff. With the winter over and the longer days here we’re starting to feel some real heat creep into the sun’s rays making it the perfect time to hunt down a restaurant with a view, complete with a terrace to sit on, for a leisurely mountain lunch in the sun!
Here are ten of the best:
1. Chez Vrony, Zermatt
Located at 2,100m Chez Vrony has form. Established over 100 years ago it is now the go-to restaurant in Zermatt. Accessible from the Blue Piste 6 or walkable in the summer, Chez Vrony is without doubt one of the best restaurants in the Findeln area. Take a seat on their terrace, order a gin and tonic, and soak up the incredible view of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains. With the consistently superb service it won’t be long before you’re sampling a dish or two from the excellent (and organic) menu which includes homemade cheese made with milk from Chez Vrony’s own cows which graze on the high alpine pasture during the summer months.
Reservations (understandably) essential in the winter months.
T: +41 27 967 25 52
2. Bella Lui, Crans-Montana
The sun-drenched terrace takes in a sweeping mountain view with both Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in sight. Located on the slopes of the Crans-Montana resort at over 2,500 metres, Bella Lui is the perfect stop off point for cake and coffee (their Carrot cake ‘Café Bellalui’ served with Crème Fraiche and Kirsch is particularly popular!) or enjoy something more substantial from their varied menu. Adding to the view from the terrace is the occasional sight of paragliders taking to the skies.
And want a sneak peak of the view from the top? Take a look at the Crans-Montana live feed webcam here.
T: +41 27 481 29 95
3. Chalet de la Marine, Val Thorens
Photo courtesy of @chaletmarine - Instagram
A restaurant that has it all. Nestling in the heart of the mountains, Chalet de la Marine is only accessible by ski or on foot (or if you’re not in in the mood for exercise then call and they’ll arrange a snowmobile to pick you up). Established by brothers Arnaud and Cedric Gorini, Chalet de la Marine is the perfect spot for an on-piste lunch. Choose between their Bistro for those of you on the go (a great selection of pasta, burgers and pizza) or head to the Restaurant balcony for a more leisurely lunch. We’d recommend the Lobster Caesar Salad followed by the Honey Glazed Iberian pork with Cep mushrooms. Oh, and leave room for dessert… their Pastry Chef, Xavier Brignon, was a twice winning entrant of the French Dessert Championships (Championnat de France du Dessert).
T: +33 4 79 00 11 90
4. La Caves des Creux, Courchevel
Photo courtesy of La Caves des Creux - Facebook
With a large south facing terrace, La Caves dex Creux is definitely a restaurant for those who want to soak up the sun whilst enjoying their lunch and a firm favourite of ours. Located on Courchevel’s 1850’s ski area (at a very precise 2,112 metres!) the restaurant has an epic view of Mont Blanc and the Courchevel valley. Run by brothers and local ski instructors Florian and Boris Glise the restaurant offers a simple but refined brasserie menu. The Chef, Daniel Thibault sources ingredients from local suppliers ensuring only quality produce makes its way onto your plate. Bookings are recommended and only accepted by phone.
T: +33 479 07 76 14
5. Chalet Etoile – Cervinia
Photo courtesy of Chalet Etoile - Facebook
With a more price friendly menu than restaurants in neighbouring Zermatt you’ll find a busy Chalet Etoile located next to the blue run No 6 above Plan Maison. A resort institution for the last 40 years it is still owned by Cesare Frassy and his wife Ulla. The seriously tasty King Crab Ravioli is a popular choice or, for those who prefer meat to fish, you might want to give the Reindeer Tempura Fillet a go! Listed in the ‘Top Ten Best Mountain Restaurants in Italy’ by The Telegraph, Chalet Etoile is well worth a visit.
T: +39 016 694 02 20
Visit Website (although when we last checked their website was down).
6. Cloud 9 - Highlands, Aspen
Photo Courtesy of Cloud Nine/Aspen Snowmass
We’re hopping across the Atlantic for our next pick… Cloud 9 looks out across the Maroon Bells (apparently the most photographed peaks in the USA… although who kept count we’re not sure!). A European style cabin awaits you as you ski in (the only way to reach the restaurant). Lunch on the terrace is reminiscent of eating out in Switzerland with fondue and raclette, steak tartare and some delectable daily specials. If you can ski home slowly we’d recommend ordering a bottle of champagne to drink on the terrace whilst taking in the afternoon views.
T: +1 970 923 8715
7. Le Panoramic - Courchevel 1850
Photo courtesy of @rachellelunnon - Instagram
Aptly named, Le Panoramic is perched 2,700 metres up on the summit of the Saulire at the junction between Courchevel and Meribel and can be accessed via the Saulire cable car from Courchevel or the Saulire Express cabin from Meribel. It’s worth the trip up as the views are quite incredible! The restaurants location allows for a sweeping 360 ° view of the Alpine massifs and Mont Blanc. Take a seat on one of the restaurants several outdoor terraces and order from a sumptuous, traditional menu created by Chef Sylvain Piguet. And if you don’t fancy a large lunch then there is a snack bar open from 9.00am to 4.00pm for those of you just skiing by.
T: +33 479 08 00 88
8. La Fruitière, Val d'Isere
Photo courtesy of La Folie Douche
La Fruitière is located right next door to and is part of the Folie Douce, a self-service restaurant and popular afternoon party venue. Meaning ‘dairy’, La Fruitière plays to its name with milk churns, whitewashed walls and a menu offering different cheeses from all over France (and unusual wines to pair with your selections). The restaurant is definitely modern in both appearance and atmosphere and a great choice if you’re after a lively venue for lunch. Enjoy simple but delicious dishes including burgers, roasted suckling pig and veal thigh steaks. Their Spaghetti Bolognaise served in a glass jar is a house speciality. We often hear this restaurant described as ‘crazy but a must’ and would have to agree!
T: +33 479 00 58 31
9. Bel Air, Courchevel
Located in one of the best parts of the valley on the Courchevel 1650 ski run (next to the cable car station), Bel Air is consistently highly rated for its good quality food and friendly staff. With a south facing terrace this is a restaurant you shouldn’t miss. But make sure you book – it is popular! And if the weather isn’t good enough to let you sit outside then the restaurants massive picture windows allow you to make the most of the view without getting cold. Enjoy traditional dishes prepared with quality ingredients including some great salads. And, in a region where meat is the predominant feature on restaurant menus, there are some great options for the vegetarians amongst us.
T: +33 479 08 00 93
10. Rud Alpe, Lech
Photo courtesy of Rud-Alpe - Facebook
We’re off to Austria with our final pick of restaurants with a terrace! And we promise it was worth the wait. Rud Alpe has some serious history dating back as a house to 1750. Things have moved on since then and you’ll now find a cozy restaurant with an open fire and plenty of antique wood decorative features. It feels very ‘Alpine traditional’ which can be a welcome change to the sometimes over modernised restaurants found on other slopes. Their large sun terrace has been equipped with bespoke furniture allowing you to enjoy your lunch in comfort. Whatever you choose for lunch just make sure you also order a traditional hot chocolate – a glass of warm milk served with a chocolate bar for you to stir in. Delicious!
T: +43 558 341 8250
Our dedicated concierge team love researching mountain restaurants and who can blame them! There are many more that we could recommend and each time you book a holiday with us we will always be happy to help you plan your lunch, hot chocolate & après ski stops ahead of your trip. Take a look at what else we can help you with when you book a holiday with us here.