Ski playground to the rich and famous, the French resort of Chamonix has no shortage of fancy and fabulous restaurants. From Michelin-starred to chalet-chic, we pick 10 of the best on (and above) the slopes.
Le Cap Horn – Image courtesy of Le Cap Horn
Le Cap Horn
Restaurant, French, $$$
This two-storey former chalet is decorated with a distinctly nautical theme, full of model sailboats. Serving up French-Asian fusion, with great vegetarian options, it’s a spin that works. Duck with honey and soy sits alongside fisherman’s stew, but both options are tasty. The restaurant can be busy, so make a reservation if you want to dine during the weekend or other busy slots.
Upscale but not stuffy, Le Panier des 4 Saisons plates up traditional French dishes perfectly matched with wines. Tucked away in a pedestrian side street, it almost seems to be hiding from the world, a mood that’s reinforced inside, with the low lighting and low ceilings. It’s only open for four hours, and it fills up quickly, so arrive early or make a reservation.
Settled in a hotel against a mountainous backdrop, this restaurant is an informal dining experience. Reasonably priced, with friendly service, and a bustling atmosphere, it’s a good spot for some laid-back eating. A stylish place with modern decor, the house speciality are the burgers, which are simple but excellently cooked and served.
Family Friendly, Traditional, Countryside, Remote, Sporty
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Simple decor with red accenting accompanies an extremely simple menu here. The choice of a few starters, a few mains, and a few desserts allows the chef to perfect each dish. Warm and chic, with excellent presentation of meals, it’s an understated sort of restaurant. Away from the tourist area and easy to look over, it’s worth the short walk for the simple set menus and French cuisine.
For 18 years, Poco Loco has been serving up some of the biggest and best burgers in Chamonix. With the option to take away, eat upstairs, or settle down outside, the versatility of the burger is really brought out. Likewise, their menu has a decent variety, with “The Spicy” in particular having a great flavor. The interior is snug, colorful, and a perfect place to have lunch.
A short journey out of town takes you to this beautiful building, a white-fronted hotel nestled in the mountains. The restaurant is great, with several dining areas and some interesting dishes on an otherwise traditional menu, such as the smoked salmon and avocado bavarois.
L’Aiguille du Midi might be named after the mountain, but Le 3842 is on L’Aiguille du Midi. With its name matching its elevation (in metres), it’s the highest restaurant in Europe, settled on the peak of the mountain itself. Obviously the views are phenomenal, but the food is also fantastic, with some of the best crepes in Chamonix. Access is by cable car, so even getting there is a spectacle.
Its website self-describes as “Home-made, Cosy, and Fresh”, and it’s pretty accurate. A simple wood interior is decorated with cushioned chairs, portraits on the walls, and cowskin throws, and the food treads the line between traditional and gastronomic. Lunch is the best time to go, with two or three new dishes every day. Similarly, the menu changes four times a year, to match the seasons. Popular consensus is that it’s only a matter of time before Chez Constant gets its Michelin star.
A resto-bar combo, The Jekyll is good for après ski drinks as well as for food. From 6:30pm, the bar transforms into a restaurant plating up hearty pub food. Standard but good, the portions are large and the prices are great. The lively bar upstairs, The Jekyll, is complemented by a cozier, more intimate bar downstairs, The Hyde. Like the characters, the two venues come together to form one whole, but this one is less horror story, more fairytale.
The decor at this French-Asian fusion restaurant is understated and contemporary, and the food is just as inventive. Full of Asian aromas like soy and hoisin, the menus pack a flavorful punch. The meats in particular are marinated and well-cooked, but the vegetarian options are also plentiful, which is unusual for France. Despite the quirky name, the atmosphere in here is sophisticated, and the tables are often full, so reservations are recommended.