With 35 years in the ski industry and having employed thousands of seasonaires over the years, who have spent literally millions of hours on the slopes, we’ve managed to build up some pretty comprehensive knowledge of where is best to eat in the Alps.
After much debate we narrowed our favourites into a top five… taking into consideration the food (obviously), ambiance, location/views and even the journey to the restaurant. We’ve included a decent range of culinary destinations from the well-known to darn right obscure.
This isn’t in any order of preference… more of a recommendation to add all to your bucket list.
Albergo Maison De Neige – La Thuile, Espace San Bernardo
You can find this restaurant in the largely untapped resort of La Thuile, Italy on the other side of the mountain from La Rosiere (both resorts make the Espace San Bernardo area). When you choose to eat at Albergo Maison De Neige you’ll soon discover that your experience starts before you even get there. At the point of booking they’ll arrange a unique pick up service for you… from the piste, they’ll tow you to the restaurant behind a snow mobile or piste basher.
Once there you’ll immediately appreciate the stunning views on offer (both from the veranda and restaurant which has floor to ceiling windows) both areas look over the Col De Petit Saint Bernard. The kitchen serves fantastic Italian dishes which are complimented by a comprehensive wine list. They pride themselves on fresh seafood dishes and the salmon carpaccio starter and pappardelle (broad pasta) with lobster are two of the best… although it’s not easy to say no to the roasted beef fillet after a tough morning skiing.
This is a wonderfully secluded part of the Alps and a great place to relax. The Albergo Maison De Neige is a small four star hotel so you could stay there overnight and do some snow shoeing on the wild side of Mont Blanc.
Das Bergrestaurant Muttjochle – Sonnenkopf, Arlberg
Our next place is our European Operations Manager’s favourite place in the Alps and is one of those hidden gems that you just wouldn’t naturally stumble across. It is hugely popular with locals and those in the know, nestled in the far corner of Arlberg ski area, in the resort of Sonnenkopf and as such requires a bit of effort to get to. Sonnenkopf is the only resort in the Arlberg region which is still not linked to by the new ski lifts at the beginning of this season. To get to Sonnerkopf you have to either have to drive or ski to Stuben (easily accessible from St. Anton) and get the bus across, the restaurant is at the top of the resort.
The journey is made worthwhile however as the views on offer are second to none and no matter how active you are Instagram, you’ll want to snap a few pictures here. The restaurant overlooks the Austrian National Parks which look incredible, especially covered in a white blanket of snow. You can eat on the restaurant’s veranda or have drinks and chill out in one of the many deck chairs available.
Something which enhances this restaurant is the quality of skiing in the area. If you like your powder skiing then you have to head over to this part of the Arlberg, it has plenty of ski routes and the powder skiing in-between runs is the best in the area.
This place is so under the radar that it doesn’t have a website and the only digital footprint we could find was its location on Google Maps >
La Fruitiere – La Daille (Val d’Isere), Espace Killy
La Fruitiere is an über chic venue located in the Folie Deuce in Val d’Isere. It produces a high class dining experience with a menu which has taken local ingredients and regional classics and raised them to another level. For sheer indulgence, it takes some beating with classics such as foie gras, duck confit and beef tartare as well as a few foreign invaders like their Iberian bellota ham, squid-ink linguine and posh fish and chips. Equally if you’re just looking for a light lunch then there’s always oysters and champagne.
However it is not just the food coma which will make it hard for you to leave. To say the drinks menu is enticing is simply an understatement; they stock pretty much every big name wine from France, ranging from the big reds of Bordeaux and Burgundy to the fruity Sancerre’s and crisp Poilly Fumés of the Loire valley.
After eating here your skiing for the day is over, and if the food doesn’t get you then the booze will… in this eventuality you can take a bubble lift back to La Daille. That is providing you manage to avoid getting sucked into the entertainment emanating out of The Folie Douce… which may seem less weird after a couple of bottles of Margaux.
L’Armailly – Le Brevières (Tignes), Espace Killy
Located at the bottom of one of the best mogul runs in the world (the mighty Sache), L’Armailly offers the perfect place to stop and refuel. It is particularly good for groups as it has a lively atmosphere with long tables on the sunny terraces outside or cosy benches inside.
This is the place that you go to for good food with minimal fuss, there’s nothing too fancy here just hearty food that hits the spot for a group of hungry skiers. On their menu you can find a range of top notch pizzas or for meat lovers they have La Braserade (a grill where you cook thin strips of beef)… a great option for groups and a bit of fun too. They also have Raclette and fondue which fits the same bill. If you’re not up for sharing, they have a range of tasty dishes from popular options like the grilled ribs of Aberdeen Angus beef to the more adventurous, lamb sweetbreads. For those with a sweet tooth they have the classics including tart tatin, crème brulee, tiramisu and French chocolate pud.
This restaurant is as well known for its wine cellar as its food and atmosphere. Alternatively you can book a discovery experience which includes wine and accompanying meat and cheese if you are looking for a more refined experience here.
Chateau Branlant – Courmayeur, Aosta Valley
Our guys in Chamonix heard of this restaurant’s reputation and made the journey across to Courmayeur with a mountain guide. It’s a world famous off piste route from the top of the Aguj de Midi (France) down into Italy.
This one is one for the foodies, with a completely unassuming exterior you could easily mistake this restaurant for a rundown alpine bar… but as every foodie knows, it’s what comes out of the kitchen that counts and this place really delivers. The reports from our staff is that this is the place to get the best Italian pasta. Being Italian they are incredibly passionate about food they produce and wish to ensure that you have the most enjoyable experience possible. They offer a series of set menus options, currently there are 10 different options… so you’ll hardly be stifled for variety. Aside from some great pasta dishes (such as pappardelle with game or speck ragu, leeks and soft cheese or ravioli with cheese fondue, butter and marjoram to name but two) there are a number of risotto dishes as well as meat and fish options (the fillet steak with chanterelles, potatoes and rosemary is worth singling out).
Without a shadow of a doubt we have over looked some great restaurants… if we’ve missed out your favourite place to eat, let us know why it should be in our list and we’ll look to add it.