Good food is as important to a ski trip as the right ski equipment is and is as much part of the après-ski culture as the drinks and entertainment.
After all, skiing is often associated with luxury and wealth, so the restaurants in and around the resorts tend to reflect this, meaning that in some of the top European ski resorts, you will find finer dining than anywhere else in the world.
Courchevel, for example, is home to SEVEN different Michelin starred restaurants, one of which has an extremely prestigious three stars.
Here’s our guide to the best places to eat across the big ski resorts:
France is known for its outstanding cuisine. After all, the word cuisine is French; so in a way, they invented fine dining. Anywhere you go in France, you can be assured that you will eat well.
Megeve near Mont Blanc is a charming alpine town in a world class ski area and has many designer boutiques and gourmet restaurants to enjoy when you’re not on the slopes.
One of the best-known restaurants here is the Flocons de Sel, where gourmet master Chef Emmanuel Renault concocts inventive culinary creations inspired by the very mountains that surround him. He is a keen natural forager too, so you will find his innovative dishes are seasoned with fresh herbs and flowers that he’s sourced himself.
His very special ‘alpine wilderness’ take on regional cuisine and local specialities is truly inspiring, and not only will you eat well, but your custom will help ensure you lobby for their fourth Michelin star.
Elsewhere in France, over in the little village of St Marcel near the glorious ski resort St Martin de Belleville in the Savoie region, is where you will experience another culinary revelation.
La Bouitte is a 3 star Michelin restaurant and luxury hotel and spa situated in this village. La Bouitte means ‘small house’ in the Savoie dialect and it oozes Savoie charm in both its décor and cuisine. The restaurant is run by Rene and Maxime, a father and son team who specialise in taking foraged local ingredients and turning them into innovative and theatrical dishes that wow diners. A three course meal here starts at 135 euros.
We have a selection of gorgeous ski property listings in St Martin de Belleville for you to peruse while you plan your meal at La Bouitte.
Another honourable mention for France and its world class chefs, would be Courchevel. As one of the largest and most popular ski destinations in Europe, it’s only natural that visitors should be able to eat like kings there too.
As we mentioned earlier, Courchevel is home to seven Michelin starred restaurants. If you’re in town for a week, you can enjoy gourmet dining every night of your stay!
The most prestigious has three stars and is called Le 1947. It’s exquisitely decorated and the wonderous chef Yannick Alléno famously concocts an array of outstandingly unique gourmet dishes, once again inspired by foragedwilderness ingredients, a common theme in this region due to its splendour and variety. On his menu you will find such delights as wild seabass, celeriac, Chanterelle mushrooms and hazelnut butter emulsion. Or veal tartare, Bergamotte lime, ponzu and oyster leave.
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Swiss cuisine is heavily influenced by the surrounding countries and is prone to being described as ‘comfort food’. Make no mistake, great chefs can transform the most ‘paysanne’ dish into a gourmet masterpiece. Iconic Swiss dishes include tartiflette, raclette, rosti, braised beef, veal ragu and the national dish: fondue. Deliciously warming winter foods that are perfect for nourishing hungry skiers after a day up the mountain.
Let’s start in Zermatt, an obvious choice for a gourmet ski destination, as it’s home to four Michelin starred restaurants run by some of the most celebrated chefs in the country. There are 50 restaurants on the mountain and another 100 in town, so foodies will be spoilt for choice here.
Chez Vrony is located at 2100 metres, with breath-taking views of the Matterhorn and serves a breakfast, lunch and aperitifs that will continue to tantalise your tastbuds long after leaving. Their delicious dried meats, homemade cheese and sausages hail from the chef’s own pasture animals that graze on fresh alpine grass nearby. Their recipes are traditional and have been passed down from generation to generation, so as you tuck into deer carpaccio with roasted foie gras, Flammeche onion tart or goats cheese ravioli with black truffle oil, you will be experiencing historical tastes that have reigned supreme on the mountain for hundreds of years.
Whilst in Zermatt, make sure you book a table at one or all of these Michelin starred eateries for the ultimate culinary treat; After Seven, Findlerhof or Ristorante Capri.
Elsewhere in Switzerland, you’ll find Verbier to be an exquisite destination for foodie skiers.
Local favourites here include Le Carrefour and Le Sonalon, both situated pretty much on the slopes, offering great views and excellent local food.
If you’d like to experience the best of traditional Swiss cuisine while you’re in Verbier, then dig into a communal fondue pot which consists of melted gruyere cheese, white wine and garlic. For the best fondues in Verbier, head to La Marmotte, Le Caveau, La Namaste or La Grange. The fondue at Le Carrefour is also famously delicious.
View our stunning ski property listings in Verbier if you’d like a piece of the mountain, close by to all of these gastronomical gems.
Italian food is enjoyed and adored all over the world, so if you happen to be skiing in the motherland, you can guarantee that your taste buds will have a treat indeed.
The Alta Badia ski area is probably the most famous ski destination for gourmet connoisseurs. Here is where you will find restaurants such as St Hubertus (which has been awarded three Michelin stars) where local wizard chef Norbert Niederkofler works his magic with locally sourced ingredients and internationally acquired culinary skills.
Sample his beetroot gnocchi, mountain cheese ravioli and chicken broth. You will be transported.
Elsewhere in Alta Badia, you can experience a foodie paradise in establishments such as Ristorante Gourmet La Gana, La Siriola, La Stua de Michil and Maso Runch. You’ll be able to taste delights such as slow cooked barley soup, spinach ravioli and pork tortelli. Porcine dishes feature heavily in Alta Badia menus, though most top of the range restaurants will offer extensive vegetarian options.
View our selection of beautiful ski properties in Italy, so you can access these Gourmet Ski Safari destinations whenever you wish!
Finally, we have Austria. Another alpine paradise that has a cuisine known for being hearty and delicious. Think apple strudel, wiener schnitzel, sachertorte, and potatoes in many forms. Of course, there’s Schnapps and Gluweiin to enjoy in the Austrian beverage department too!
When you’re skiing in Austria, there are a few gastronomic destinations that should most definitely be on your radar.
Hospiz Alm is a renowned gourmet restaurant in the village of St Christoph at the St Anton resort. This place is full of atmospheric charm, has one of the best wine lists in Austria and serves traditional Austrian fare cooked to perfection and with an air of elegance.
Next up you have Alpengasthof Schroll in Kitzbühel where you can enjoy simple country cooking, based on generations old family recipes, served in a beautiful 400 year old farmhouse. This is a very affordable restaurant as well, in comparison to more luxury eateries.
View our excellent list of ski properties in Austria so you can find a pied a terre in this marvellous country while you sample the gastro options as well as the slopes!