Think of dinner in a ski resort and the mind instantly conjures images of hearty dishes such as pizza, Wiener schnitzel and tartiflette. As delicious as these traditional mountain meals are there is so much more to the food served on the slopes.
Those in search of Haute Cuisine in the Alps need look no further. We’ve revealed the culinary highlights across the mountains and picked the best places to go to ski and eat…
Best for: Stylish Swiss cuisine
Zermatt is an obvious choice for gourmet connoisseurs. This amazing ski resort has not one, not two, but four Michelin starred restaurants!
The most recent restaurant to receive this prestigious award is the After Seven. The celebrated chef, Ivo Adam is renowned for his creative flair and innovative menu. Instead of a choice of dishes you choose from a list of ingredients.
There is a huge and diverse range of high quality restaurants in Zermatt. One of the most popular is Chez Vrony, which is also mentioned in the Guide Michelin. Not only does the terrace provide stunning views of the Matterhorn, but the menu created from locally sourced, organic ingredients is simply divine.
What to eat in Switzerland?
You can’t visit Switzerland without having the most famous Swiss dish - a fondue. Melted Gruyère cheese, white wine and garlic served in a communal pot, sometimes fondly referred to as ‘the Grandmother’, a fondue is great for sharing with friends and family.
We’re also big fans of rösti, a potato fritter that was traditionally served as a farmers’ breakfast. The basic ingredients are grated potato and sautéed butter, but don’t be surprised to find it served with extras. Bacon, onion, cheese, and a fried egg are all acceptable additions.
The Alta Badia, Italy
Best for: Great food on and off the mountain
The Alta Badia ski area, in the heart of the Dolomites, is renowned for its exceptional cuisine. It is a paradise for passionate foodies and skiers, with its ready access to the remarkable Sella Ronda ski circuit and world-class restaurants.
There is a genuine gourmet scene here, with three Michelin starred restaurants. The St Hubertus in San Cassiano has two Michelin stars and is recognised for using local ingredients to create colourful dishes full of flavour. There are only 11 tables, so make sure you book in advance!
La Siriola is run by the youngest Italian chef to have a Michelin star, Matteo Metullio. You should visit his restaurant for the Chocolate Room alone, where guests can sample and buy up to 40 varieties of chocolate.
In Corvara the Stüa de Michil, run by chef Nicola Laera, creates innovative modern cuisine based on traditional Ladin dishes. The delightful décor of homely wooden furnishings and soft lighting also make this one of the most charmingly attractive restaurants in the region.
There are too many excellent mountain restaurants to mention. From the cool and lively Las Vegas to the incredible Col Alt, you can’t really go wrong. However, if you want to ensure you visit the very best restaurants in the region you should take advantage of the Gourmet Ski Safari.
Starting in December this tour provides the opportunity to explore the ski slopes while sampling the local delicacies. It is also provides the chance to meet the chefs behind the scenes.
Val Thorens, France
Best for: Bistronomy
The self-styled home of ‘snow bistronomy’, Val Thorens has a proud culinary heritage, as well as fantastic skiing. As Europe’s highest ski resort it has incredible season long snow conditions.
Epitomising ‘snow bistronomy’ is the ever popular Chalet de la Matine which combines a cosy, friendly atmosphere with gourmet style food. And its on mountain location is ideally suited for a ski-lunchbreak.
Another on mountain treat is Le Bouche à Oreille, between Val Thorens and Les Menuires. It’s a sister restaurant of La Bouitte, the first restaurant in Savoie to be awarded three Michelin stars and itself only a short distance from resort.
In resort, there are wealth of high quality hotels and restaurants serving incredible cuisine. Among these are two Michelin starred restaurants: Jean Suplice and L’Epicurien. Both provide modern interpretations of classic, regional dishes.
What to eat in France?
If you didn’t know we were going to say tartiflette then we’d guess you’ve not been skiing in France yet! This tasty classic is ubiquitous in French mountain restaurants and with good reason. Slices of potato, chunks of reblochon cheese and bacon, it’s the perfect meal after a tiring work-out on the slopes.
Another delicious, regional speciality of the French Alps are Savoyard sausages, otherwise known as diots. These pork sausages are typically served in an onion and wine sauce, often accompanied by another regional speciality - crozets.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Best for: Rooms with a view
Cortina is one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world and the restaurants in the area take full advantage of this. Not only do they serve delicious meals, but they come with a generous side order of spectacular scenery.
One of the most highly regarded restaurants is the Michelin-starred Restorante Tivoli, which has spectacular views over the town. The menu is full of creative dishes which expertly uses local ingredients to flavoursome effect.
Il Meloncino is another gem, serving spectacular food on the outskirts of town. The amazing restaurant terrace has one of the most dramatic views of the Italian Alps.
On the mountain, the Rifugio Averau, provides piste-side panoramas with award winning cuisine. Included in the Sunday Times list of the ‘10 Best Mountain Restaurants’, this delightful mountain hut serves traditional dishes with a twist.
What to eat in Italy?
There is more to Italian food than pasta and pizza, although these perennial favourites are naturally abundant. Typical ingredients used in Alpine Italian cuisine include cured meats and cheeses.
Cheeses to look out for include the richly flavoured Fontina, which has protected status, and Montasio, a cheese invented by Benedictine monks. The delicious Zuppa valdostana is a soup made from Fontina cheese. It’s a proper guilty pleasure.