The best lunch spots on the slopes
Lunch on the slopes is an important part of a ski vacation, as it provides the chance for a pitstop, re-fuelling and re-charging before the afternoon exertions! It is often a good opportunity to try local specialties and with the second half of the ski season in full swing, being able to sit outside enjoying the fabulous views with the warmth of the sun on your face is one of the major benefits of skiing in March and April.
We have asked our ski specialists to give us the lowdown on their favorite lunch spots...
Courchevel 1850 – Le Chabichou
Le Chabichou in Courchevel 1850 is a great alternative to some of the resort’s better known lunch venues, which can be horribly expensive in spite of often disappointing service and ordinary food. Because the Chabichou is slightly off the beaten track (and seen as more of an evening restaurant), the slope-side sunny terrace and reasonably priced menu du jour are ignored by many. This is a Michelin starred restaurant so the food is sublime but also hearty enough for hungry skiers.
Oliver Evans, Commercial Director
Val d’Isère – Les Tufs
My favorite restaurant in Val for the past couple of seasons is Les Tufs in La Daille, at the base of the slopes, just a stone’s throw from the Funival. Renovated a couple of years ago, it has a really pleasant, light, clean, modern décor, but they have retained the fireplace, which is great on really cold days. Friendly and efficient service, a wide variety of lunch options, including salads (with the best salade niçoise served in Val!), a variety of meat/fish options as well as pasta/pizza, tartiflette, and usually an interesting plat du jour at 16 Euros which is always good value for money. A good selection of wines available, but the house rosé is very drinkable.
During busy weeks they run two lunch sittings, 12.30pm and 2.00pm and during these weeks you would definitely need to book in advance. During March/April when it starts to get warmer, you can lunch outside on the large terrace which is a great suntrap and the perfect opportunity to top up your goggle tan before heading home. Once you have eaten, you can either jump straight back on to the bubble, or call one of our drivers who can pick you up practically from the front door.
Overall, great service, great food, reasonably priced and it never fails to deliver.
Karen Payne, Head of Overseas Operations
Zermatt – Franz & Heidi
My favorite restaurant is Franz & Heidi at Findlerhof on the Sunnegga side. It is in a fantastic location with breaktaking views over the Matterhorn. There is a large outdoor seating area (with blankets if you get a little chilly) and a smaller indoor area with an additional covered conservatory. Really easy for everyone to reach: it is just off one of the easy blue slow slopes and on a walkers path. My favorite dish on the menu is the lamb salad – a lovely fillet of lamb cooked pink, sliced up and served alongside a lovely green salad. Other favorites include a starter of a trio of goose-liver terrine, sashimi and beef tartare, quiches, rostis, and beef or lamb fillet and cote de veau. With a lovely dessert menu (including a sharing platter) and a great wine list, there’s plenty to appeal to everybody.
Lucie Scott, Resort Manager, Zermatt
Val d’Isère - Edelweiss
Edelweiss in Le Fornet is my favorite mountain restaurant in Val d’Isère. Good food and hospitality in a spectacular setting. Even better, half of Val d’Isère’s clientele never even venture over to Le Fornet in spite of the excellent on and off-piste potential.
Oliver Evans, Commercial Director
Vail – The Tenth
'The Tenth' in Vail is the most recent addition to Vail’s mountain restaurants. The food is good, the wine list substantial and the huge glazed wall makes for wonderful views. But the best thing – lunch without ski-boots thanks to lockers with complimentary slippers!
Oliver Evans, Commercial Director
Courchevel 1850 – Cap Horn
Once a former mountain refuge, now a paradise for people-watching on the large sunny terrace, overlooking the Altiport a-buzz with Lear jets and helicopters. It is not cheap but definitely worth it just for the experience. Beef, sushi and seafood platters seem to be the order of the day here. A DJ sitting in a piste basher at the end of the terrace gives the place a great atmosphere and an experience to remember. Recently voted one of the top 10 ski restaurants in the world.
Peter Taylor, Resort Manager, Courchevel
St Anton – Rodel-Alm
The Rodel-Alm is located on the side of the piste running down into Nasserein and has had a massive face lift over the past few years. It now boasts a beautifully presented restaurant and an impressive large open kitchen. On a sunny day, their outside terrace overlooks the whole of St Anton and has live music. The food is fantastic, the best Tiroler Gröstl (sautéed potatoes and meat, topped with fried egg) in St Anton, but their specialty is, without a doubt, their Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) which is served with dumplings and sauerkraut. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted and more than enough for two people to share. If you can just about fit in a dessert afterwards, their Kaiserschmarren (pancake pieces with raisins and blueberries) and Germknödel (Yeast Dumpling with blueberry filling and hot vanilla sauce) are both equally delicious.
On Tuesday and Thursday evening, the Rodel-Alm stays open until late (around 11pm) as it is located next to the toboggan track. The toboggan track stays open for late night tobogganing which involves lots of fun, food and drink!
Rhiannon Curtis, Resort Manager, St Anton
I love the Rodel-Alm because it is an attractive mountain restaurant in a good location. There is one wonderful table with a fireplace in the middle – perfect for thawing out. Alternatively, sit in one of the alcoves and enjoy the biggest ham hock ever – only order one and share between two people. Wash down with a little Grüner Vertliner and then ski the short way back to the Nasserein gondola.
Andrew Dunn, Founder of Scott Dunn
St Christoph – Hospiz Alm
With a prime piste-side location, the Hospiz-Alm is a must-stop if you’re skiing in St Anton, Lech or Zurs. The large terrace is perfect for sunny days although it can get quite busy. Quieter tables can be found on the first floor. A Wiener Schnitzl washed down with a glass of bubbly is what the locals go for, but another house specialty is the Kaiserscharm, a sort of caramelized pancake. Our insider’s tip is to book a table at the Kulinarium, a balcony above the terrace which has its own private waiter and a more refined menu. And when nature calls, rather than clattering down the stairs in your ski boots, opt for the helter-skelter-style slide and put your feet up as you whoosh down to the basement. Never fails to entertain!
Kirsty Edwards, Ski Product Manager
Zermatt – Zum See
Zum See is just one of the best mountain restaurants in the world. Located in a tiny farming hamlet it is amazing what the kitchen produces. Try the lambs liver followed by their mille-feuille and just before you head off, sample a Café Zum See, or if there's a group of you, go for a Café Grolla. Very warming! Max and Greti are charming owners and Marcus their son is always on hand to look after you. A must if you are in Zermatt.
Andrew Dunn, Founder