The Culture Trip describes Chamonix as the ski “playground to the rich and famous,” and goes on to say that it has no shortage of fancy and fabulous restaurants. That is not an exaggeration and there are a surprising number of low-key and high-end eateries for skiers, and the many non-skiers who visit, to enjoy.
Below are two amazing options that all visitors recommend, and a general suggestion for dining that will enhance any sort of ski experience, the experience known as “apres ski”.
Restaurant La Tablee
Specializing in Savoyard specialties, this remarkably popular eatery is a consistent award winner situated in a quiet pedestrian area close to the Aiguille de Midi cable car and just a short walk from the cogwheel train, it is a relatively new establishment. It emulates a classic mountain chalet and ensures that everything is prepared with only the freshest local products.
And though the restaurant is touted as a premium eatery, it is also noted as a good value and ideal for any budget. Non-stop service has them offering homemade dishes from noon to ten o’clock every evening, and their menu features lots of local specialties that include, “onion soup with Beaufort cheese, foie gras, tuna tartare, duck, fera fish, fondue, tartiflette and croute, as well as meat, fish and salads,” as well as “set menus” to enjoy.
La Cremerie du Glacier
Taking its name from the glacier that it faces, La Cremerie du Glacier is part of a boutique hotel that “has cosy rooms and chalets, a cosy, authentic and athletic atmosphere and a renowned restaurant,” that is open every evening.
It offers family-friendly dishes and Savoyard specialties, with outdoor and garden dining in the summer season and cozy interior spaces for the winter months.
As their website explains, guests of the hotel are welcome to enjoy evening meals in the restaurant and savor “delicious Savoyard gratins, hotpots, soups, salads, pot-au-feu, fondues, ‘raclettes’, ‘croutes’, ‘tartiflettes’ and other ‘braserades’… not to mention the ‘farçon’, a Chamonix specialty.”
Naturally, there are many other spots that offer Savoyard cuisine and even some Michelin-starred options. They include:
· Albert 1ER – A two Michelin Starred eatery features some of the finest views and offers up the “Masion de Savoie” menu along with amazing choices from the cellars
· Le CapHorn – With its innovative French and Asian cuisine, it is one spot where a reservation is essential
· Le panier des 4 Saison – This is a low-key restaurant with French specialties, and like the Restaurant La Tablee, is part of a residential district. Open for only four hours daily, it is another spot where reservations are a “must”. This is also a spot where desserts are an essential part of the experience
· La Bergerie de Plan-Praz – On the slopes, the award-winning restaurant emphasizes local ingredients and offers amazing terrace views of Mont Blanc. Its specialty, entrecote Simental is a must.
· Chez Constant – This is an Alpine-inspired bistro with a family-friendly menu that includes popular fondue options (including one with mushrooms, one made with sparkling wine, and another with three types of cheese)
· Le Vert Hotel – This casual eatery is a spot for flawless burgers and great mountain views
· Le 3842 – Offering stunning views (it is one of the highest restaurants in all of Europe) it is also deemed one of the finest restaurants of the Chamonix areas thanks to its amazing array of menu options
There are many other fine dining, casual and local favorites from which to choose and part of any visit to the Chamonix area is at least one meal at the choices above.
Après Ski Bars
In the world skiing and luxury travel, there is always the “apres ski” event, bar or activity that many anticipate as a key component of their ski holiday. As an article in Travel + Leisure noted, “A happening bar scene is as crucial to a ski town’s success as stellar snow conditions…Skiing is a social sport by nature, but it’s the après-ski culture of relaxing with friends and recounting the day’s adventures that really makes a ski vacation awesome… it doesn’t matter whether you aced a black diamond mogul, skidded down the bunny hill, or spent the afternoon curled up by the fire. Any and all such daytime activities warrant an invite to lift a glass and kick up your heels as the sun begins to kiss the mountaintops.”
And in Chamonix, there are many spots that easy fit that bill. Some of the top include, what The Telegraph describes as “bars with food, beer, cocktails, outdoor tables and live music.” The best include:
· L’Alibi – With its town center location, and interior design inspired by The Great Gatsby, this fun and funky wine and tapas bar remains hopping until 2 AM and features a DJ
· The Office – This is in the Argentiere area and is close to the Grand Montets challenges. It features pizza and pitchers and is a popular area for sports on TV
· Elevation 1904 – This is noted as a mellow bar for its diversity of beer options, artisanal cocktails, burgers and small plates. It always has DJ sessions later in the evenings and there are theme nights to amp up the fun
· Les Marmottons – This is a popular spot for music enthusiasts
· Le Chamonix Social Club – Guest DJs, artisanal cocktails and the Rue des Moulins area make this a hot spot for the after 11 PM crowd
· La Folie Douce – With dancers, DJs and live music, this is located in the city center and is active every evening from 4 to 8 PM
Naturally, there are jazz bars, nightclubs, and other apres ski options from which to choose, and asking a concierge for some advice is a great way to make the most of a luxury rental or premium accommodation, while making the most of a ski trip to Chamonix.