Slope-side restaurants have ditched cold croque monsieurs and over-priced cans of coke for regional wines and sustainably-sourced ingredients.
Here are nine leading the way…
Hospiz Alm restaurant in St Anton am Arlberg, Austria
A luxurious take on the traditional Austrian ski hut, Hospiz Alm restaurant is known for its enormous wine cellar (if you’re feeling flush splash out on one of the 18-litre bottles) and easy access to the slopes — it’s right next to the no 64 piste, one of the resort’s most popular runs. You’ll find the restaurant in a former farmhouse and our favourite feature is the original rauchkuchl — an open fire once used to cook food. If you’re hitting the slopes after lunch opt for one of the lighter dishes, such as the delicious wild garlic soup.
The Japanese Restaurant in Andermatt, Switzerland
Thought food in Switzerland was all raclettes and fondues? Think again. The Michelin-starred Japanese Restaurant at the five-star, ski-in, ski-out Chedi Andermatt hotel has a sushi and sashimi bar, Europe’s most extensive collection of rice wines (along with a sake sommelier to serve them) and a fantastic selection of Japanese beers. We recommend opting for the kaiseki-style dining — multi-course meals featuring the finest Japanese produce. The best bit? The restaurant is just a short walk from some of the resort’s top slopes, and if you’re staying at the hotel, a butler will happily carry your skis to the nearest lift.
Albert 1er in Chamonix, France
You’ll find this restaurant, which has two Michelin stars, in Hôtel Hameau Albert 1er. The guesthouse dates back to 1903, when it was first opened by the Carrier family, and it’s their descendants who run it today. Cuisine is thoroughly French — there’s fish from Lake Geneva, Dombes duckling and Bresse chicken. You’ll also find references to the hotel’s proximity to Italy’s Piedmont region in the form of dishes such as beetroot gnocchi and Alba white truffle. Make sure you pair your food with wine from the restaurant’s 19,000-bottle cellar.
Sumosan in Courchevel, France
Sticking with the Japanese theme, December will see the opening of the first alpine outpost of Sumosan, the Japanese restaurant chain beloved by A-listers like Penelope Cruz and Nicole Kidman. It will open inside the new Six Senses Residences Courchevel, and dishes on offer include tuna and truffle rolls as well as black caviar rice pizza. We’re also smitten with the decor — you’ll find cushions covered in kimono fabric and an origami-like chandelier, although there are flashes of humour too, including a sumo wrestler dressed in ski gear and a painting seemingly depicting Mount Fuji at sunset, but look closely and you’ll realise the peaks are the ones which frame Courchevel.
Stube Hermitage in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
The Stube Hermitage became Madonna di Campiglio’s first restaurant to earn a Michelin star in 2008, although chef Giovanni D’Alitta is unlikely to rest on his laurels — this tiny ski village now has three restaurants with Michelin stars. The menu is both rustic and refined; D’Alitta uses local ingredients to create luxurious versions of Italian classics, such as ravioli stuffed with organic Trentino oxtail and served with truffle sauce. This is one of the Dolomites’ cosiest restaurants — a wood-paneled, antique-stuffed retreat tucked inside a hotel dating back to the 1900s.
Koori in Courchevel, France
Koori’s head chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois takes his job incredibly seriously, regularly visiting Japan to ensure the authenticity of his menu at this beautiful Japanese restaurant. Popular dishes include the Koori carpaccio and the black cod in miso sauce, while sweet-toothed skiers are in for a treat, too —desserts include coconut milk pearls with fresh mango and peppercorn. Keep an eye out for the spectacular marble sushi counter, topped with two glass candle holders created for the 1992 Olympics.
St Hubertus in Rosa Alpina, Italy
This Italian restaurant (named after the patron saint of hunters) started life as a humble pizzeria before renowned chef Norbert Niederkofler took the reins, and by 2018 it had bagged its third Michelin star. It is famous for its sustainable approach to fine dining — all ingredients are seasonal (think alpine herbs in spring and beets during winter) and produced by local farmers. There are just 10 tables, with the most sought-after spots being the one by the fireplace and the one next to the window into the restaurant’s kitchen.
Les Explorateurs in Val Thorens, France
Hôtel Pashmina’s Les Explorateurs restaurant (the highest Michelin-starred restaurant in France) didn’t hang around and earned its first star in 2017, just a year after opening. The menu is a tribute to French cuisine. Highlights include the snail ragout served with mushrooms and a garlic parsnip mousse; and the roasted squab fillet with butternut squash puree and liquorice sauce. The decor is inspired by historic mountaineering expeditions — hence the photos of famous explorers summiting various peaks, the compasses engraved into the windows and the collection of old climbing tools.
Flocons de Sel in Megève, France
Megève has some of the best places to eat in the Alps, including four Michelin-starred restaurants. Flocons de Sel is the pièce de résistance — one of just 27 restaurants in France to have three Michelin stars. Chef Emmanuel Renaut is passionate about alpine cuisine, spending his time scouring forest paths for mushrooms and herbs for dishes, such as lamb served with fresh garlic and wild thyme. Tempted to channel your inner alpine chef? Sign up for one of the restaurant’s cookery lessons, which include lunch prepared by Renaut himself.