Val d'Isere Mountain Restaurants

The good slopeside lunch is Val d'Isere's one weakness - there are some very good mountain restaurants above the ski resort, but not enough in such a vast ski area. If you plan your day carefully and reserve your table in advance, however, it is possible to eat and drink well on the mountain.

With the convenience and lift speed in Val D’Isere, many prefer to go back down to village level, where there is a plethora of excellent eating options. For instance, The Bar des Sports in the Brussels square is one of the liveliest venues for good honest French food at reasonable prices. On a white day, you will have to fight for a table there. The various self-service restaurants on the mountainside are variable in quality and a few are downright disappointing – Italy, this is not. Pick and choose your mountain restaurants carefully, however, and you will get a decent lunch although whether you feel what you paid for it is value is another matter entirely. 

L’Edelweiss

L’Edelweiss was built for the 2003/04 season and for over a decade now has been pumping out some of the best food on the mountain. It specialises in food from the south west of France. The restaurant has sumptuous views over the forest in to Val d’Isere and is an excellent spot to enjoy lunch after skiing though the woods after a decent dump of snow. There is a lovely terrace overlooking the Mangard blue at the far end of the Col de l’Iseran sector. The menu is short but well formed food and often includes the gout-inducing monster Burger Landais, filled with duck breast and foie gras. Veal with morelle mushrooms was a particular favourite of our party, while starters remain pricey but delicious, much like the plates of pasta. For those on a budget, the set meal deals are well worth investigating.

Tel: +33 6 10 28 70 64 | Web: www.restaurant-edelweiss-valdisere.com

Signal

A modern restaurant located at the top of the Fornet gondola and at the bottom of the Pyramides chairlift and Vallon gondola. The Signal has a ground level self-service restaurant with trendy lighting and modern art, whereas upstairs the restaurant concentrates more on gastronomy. The Signal is made out of stripped wood, and there are large windows that provide soaring views down the valley. In the self-service restaurant you can get mainly pasta with a very small selection of desserts – the tarte maison is the safe bet. Upstairs is a thoroughly different proposition with foie gras, snails, and rabbit on a menu that is dominated by fresh seafood such as scallops with risotto, jugged salmon, pike, crayfish and tuna. Signal has an excellent wine list.

Tel: +33 4 79 06 03 38 | Email:  brigitte@lesignalvaldisere.com | Web: www.lesignalvaldisere.com

La Cascade

The Cascade is a self-service restaurant at the Col D’Iseran located at the foot of the Cascade chairlift. It is a clean, efficient and pleasing place to eat, and offers good value for money in an expensive resort. It certainly lacks charm, but the food is decent with the likes of trout in almonds for £14 highlighting you can steer away from the usual Savoyarde food within a budget. There is a good fireplace and terrace. The Cascade for a pit stop if you have done the glacier early in the morning.

Tel: +33 4 58 00 11 54

La Datcha

La Datcha is based at the foot of the Glacier chairlift and has easy access to the L’Ouillette draglift. You can walk in under ten minutes from the Solaise chairflift and Solaise Express so it is a good place to meet for mixed groups, although with the nearby Yacht Club de L’Ouillette much the better destination we see little reason coming here. When we visited La Datcha had added a small outdoor snack bar that had a pavilion around it for warmth called l’Igloo. La Datcha has a decent selection of salads, but sticks mainly to the Savoyarde template with Jambonneau, the knuckle of a pork leg, the most expensive dish on the menu at around €20. The Spaghetti Bolognese was solid. It has a small wine selection, but is cheap enough.

Tel: +33 4 79 06 21 14

Yacht Club de L’Ouillette

What a find. The Yacht Club at the foot of the Madeleine chairlift is named as such because it sits on the frozen lake and is open for business around it during July and August. It is a unique restaurant that does everything brilliantly. Inside the restaurant and snack bar provide a very interesting selection, most of which are good value for money also. The self-service restaurant has an astonishing selection of quiches and pies, and large pieces of rustic bread dolloped with two large rounds of goats cheese, or Beaufort and ham, or any topping you might think of. They also do plain sandwiches for those on a shoe-string. In good weather their vast decking overlooking the frozen lake stages a barbecue that gives those on the decking terrace outside options from delicious and spicy Merguez sausages for €15 to beef fillet in marinade for €23. With a large selection of desserts, a decent wine list and one of the best hot chocolates on the mountain the Yacht Club is worth at least one stop throughout your week away. Add in that Madame Chevallot, the Val d’Isere institution patissiere, provides the pastries and the cool sofas and colourful tables make this a place definitely worth a visit.

Tel: +33 4 79 41 94 74

Le Triffollet

On the way down to La Daille on the Coupe Du Monde <OK> Red lies Le Triffollet, a large rustic bar, pizzeria and restaurant. It has a decent terrace and good pizzas, and provides a solid standard in the contest for the best Plat Du Jour in the Espace Killy. But halfway between the maddening fun of La Folie Douce, and the quiet and relaxed modernism of Les Tufs in La Daille it seems Le Triffollet is better than neither. Still, the pastries are home made and the win list is strong, so you cannot really argue with that.

Tel: +33 4 79 41 96 99

La Belvarde

As far as location is concerned, La Bellevarde holds pride of place at 2,800 metres. It is nestled in between the mythical Face De Bellevarde black and the Coupe du Monde <<OK>> red. It tries desperately hard to live up to its billing, too. There is a lovely open fireplace, the experimental food is presented beautifully, and if you want to eat outside there is a lovely terrace. Worth a visit.

Tel: +33 4 79 06 05 76 | Email: infos@bellevarde.fr | Web: www.restaurant.bellevarde.fr

Le Clochetons

Set back at the base of the fearsome Epaule Du Charvet black and the Santons blue Le Clochetons is a delightful spot to stop for lunch. It has a simple but very effective view down the Le Manchet valley and a pretty river trickles past, even in January. It is an idyllic setting, and they are open with a pool in summer. The only drawback really is that you have to pole through town along the Santons blue after lunch – not what you want after three courses. Make sure in good weather you reserve one of the few tables on the outside upstairs terrace – it’s perfect for watching skiers and boarders struggle past and clapping those who have braved the Epaule du Chravet black. Le Clochetons does not specialise in much, but it does everything very well, from pasta, Savoyarde specialities, to a children’s menu. The strong point has to be the grilled meats, all of which are cooked on a vine grill – the Cote de Boeuf is fair value. They also have the largest bottle of Ginepi, the mountain spirit, you have ever seen!  Also does good Spanish charcuterie. Le Clochetons has a large terrace facing down the Le Manchet valley for drinking and sitting lazily in deck chairs.

Tel: +33 4 79 41 13 11 | Email: lesclochetons@orange.fr

Tete De Solaise

At the top of the Solaise Express this is for those who cannot be bothered to seek out something else. Good pizzas and the self-service and restaurant lean heavily towards the Savoyarde. The restaurant adds a little bit extra and the Tournedos Rossini we had for €40 was a memorable dish, as was the duck fillet hamburger. A pop-up champagne bar outside on the terrace was also a great addition, but may not be there in subsequent seasons.

Tel: +33 6 33 12 49 03 | Web: www.lasolaise.com

Les Tufs

Les Tufs is one of the best places to lunch in Val d’Isere. It is perfectly located at the bottom of the slopes in La Daille and has a terrace that captures the sun to die for. It is modern in appearance but does not forget the old fashioned appeal of open-faced stone and a fireplace. Les Tufs does not produce spectacular food, but does the simple things very well. Les Tufs goes through the usual gamut of salads, pastas and pizzas but does go off-piste with things like half a roast chicken with salad and chips. With a glass of excellent house wine on top, that is a satisfying lunch. There have been grumbles about poor service to many of our team but we have yet to experience it. Les Tufs is also open to eat at night, so if lunch turns into dinner and you are still there, there is a private shuttle service on request.

Tel: +33 4 79 06 25 01 | Email: info@lestufs.com | Web: www.lestufs.com

La Fruitiere

Set in the Folie Douce compex La Fruitiere is one of Val d’Isere’s best mountain restaurants. It is not cheap, mind you, but the setting is cool and you can just flop out and dance it all off at La Folie Douce after 3pm. The menu is based on Savoyarde ingredients, but that is about it. There is a good choice of fish and meat and the British will be delighted to get their hands on a T-Bone steak. There is the usual selection of pastas and soups, although snail soup catches our eye every time we stop, and there is a huge puddings menu. As a former dairy, the cheese board is the best on the mountain. Booking is strongly recommended. 

Tel: +33 4 79 06 07 17 | Web: www.lafoliedouce.com/val-disere

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