Apres Ski in Chamonix
Chamonix has an abundance of bars and a huge variety of restaurants serving every food type including Italian, Japanese, French, Tex-Mex, Indian and fine dining.
Bars & Restaurants in Chamonix
The Gault Milau-rated Le Chaudron is probably the best for local specialities though it is very small, so book ahead. Alternatively try La Bergerie or Le National. If you have overdosed on traditional Savoyard cheese dishes,Munchie is the perfect restaurant to visit excellent for Thai and modern European fusion that won’t hurt your wallet. The fresh sushi served at Satsuki is another good alternative to Savoyard overload – the lunch-time menu is a bargain. The cooking at the Maison Carrier, the non-Michelin starred restaurant at the Albert Premiere, is also extremely good. For excellent fish dishes try the French formality of L’Atmosphere restaurant.
The Micro Brewery de Chamonix (MBC) is a good choice for more casual dining with a menu of burgers, Thai curry and pleasing appetisers. Often overlooked by the tourist crowds it is well-known by the guiding community and seasonnaire population so book a table before you go. Back in town Casa Valeria is the top choice for pizzas and pasta – the Dolce Vita next-door deals well with the over-spill of customers unable to get a table. If you can’t quite handle a fondue for lunch the popular Bistrot des Sports does a good menu of salads and simple French dishes including a reasonably priced ‘plat du jour’. There are plenty of places to take-away: from toasted sandwiches from Belouga, burgers and chips at Poco Loco, pizza from Pizza Salsa and kebabs at Cappadoce.
Chamonix Restaurant Listings
123 Place Balmat – Tel: +33 4 50 55 97 97
Classic French restaurant enjoying a river-side location, the entrance to L’Atmosphère is missable but shouldn’t be missed. Diners are organized into two sittings.
56 Avenue Ravanel le Rouge – Tel: +33 4 50 18 47 26
Take-away for excellent hot sandwiches toasted in minutes and an ice-cream counter for warmer days.
232 Avenue Michel Croz – Tel: +33 4 50 53 45 04
A deceptively large Savoyard restaurant with enough room for big parties for fondue, raclette and meats grilled over an open fire.
Le Bistrot des Sports
182 Rue Joseph Vallot – Tel: +33 4 50 53 00 46
A French clientele, a menu of French staple dishes and service in the French style. Le Bistrot is the perfect place to escape the tourist hordes. The Ultimate ski team had an excellent lunch in there.
3 Route Salle – Tel: +33 4 50 53 20 04
Chamonix’s only kebab shop.
79 Rue Moulins – Tel: +33 4 50 53 40 34
A small, sweet, family-run restaurant on the Rue des Moulins serving classic French & Savoyard dishes with room for a handful of lucky diners.
Address – Tel: +33 4 50 53 31 23
Tasty Tex-Mex restaurant and a laid-back atmosphere.
350 Route de Bouchet – Tel: +33 4 50 53 61 69
For burgers, beer and relaxed dining in this edge-of-town micro-brewery; it’s best to book a table.
44 Route de Bouchet – Tel: +33 4 50 53 00 03
Maison Carrier in La Ferme – the annexe to the celebrated Hotel Albert 1er – offers classic French dining in a delightful rustic chalet setting. Pork dishes are a speciality, though leave room for the extensive cheeseboard and the delicious desserts. If you can afford the Albert 1er itself it will be one of the best meals you will have in your lifetime.
87 Rue Moulins – Tel: +33 4 50 53 45 41
Always reserve a table as Munchie is popular with locals and holidaymakers alike for its quality Asian and Scandinavian fusion food. Good alternative to the Savoyard cheese feast.
3 Rue Docteur Paccard – Tel: +33 4 50 53 02 23
Chamonix’s oldest Savoyard restaurant and a landmark among the mountaineering community, the food and service at Le National is reliably good and well-priced.
215 Avenue Michel Croz – Tel: +33 4 50 53 96 90
Good pizzas served quickly with no option to sit-in.
47 Rue Doct Paccard – Tel: +33 4 50 53 43 03
A narrow strip of a restaurant serving tasty burgers and chips, including the ultimate American burger and chip butty combo. Take-away available.
288 Rue Joseph Vallot – Tel: +33 4 50 53 21 99
Fresh tasty Japanese sushi with a bargain lunch menu. Like Munchie the restaurant offers a good alternative to Savoyard fare. Satsuki has outposts in Megeve and Tignes. Also does take-away.
Restaurants and bars in Argentiere
Argentiere’s few restaurants and bars heave in the peak season weeks and it is best to reserve a table at popular places such as The Stone Bar, which a popular choice for good pizzas and pub games with beer. The Office Bar by the Tourist Office is another hub of apres ski resort life in Argentiere, with the emphasis on beery socialising. The Rencard in the Commercial Galerie appeals to seasonnaires with its down-at-heel charm – and hot sandwich counter for lunch on the go – while The Rusticana, better known as Rusty, has a welcoming feel and also serves good food. For a slice of local life check out the traditional La Savoie Bar.
The Office Bar
274 Rue Charlet Straton, Argentiere – Tel: +33 4 50 54 15 46
Sunday roasts, tasty nachos and well-filled baguettes, the Office serves something to suit every taste plus live football and rugby on TV.
20 Galerie Grand Roc – Tel: +33 4 50 54 14 02
A funky venue in the Galerie Commercial with Wi-Fi internet access serving decent pizzas and take-away a hot sandwiches for lunch.
216 Rue Charlet Straton – Tel: +33 4 50 55 88 28
Open from 4pm and a good choice for pleasant apres ski, often with live bands, and a good menu for dinner later. Free Wifi.
La Savoie Bar
The Stone Bar
390 rue Charlet Straton – Tel: +33 4 50 54 13 17
The best pizza in the valley served in a buzzy, smoky atmosphere – bookings advised. Drinkers are welcome to sit at the bar; and there are pool tables in a separate room.
Other restaurants and bars elsewhere in the Chamonix Valley
Some of the best eating experiences are found away from Chamonix’s town centre, in the outlying villages of Vallorcine, Le Buet and Les Praz. One of the nicest is La Ferme des Trois Ours over the Col des Montets in Vallorcine. Still a working farm – the cows live beneath the restaurant – diners choose between Savoyarde favourites and excellent beef dishes. Another good choice is Sarpé, tucked away in the woods behind Les Praz, and known by a lucky few for its wonderful menu, including a daily selection of fresh fish. Also in Les Praz, the restaurant at the Hotel Eden has a loyal following.
Plan de l’Envers, Vallorcine – Tel: +33 4 50 54 63 04
Only open at lunch-time, make the most of the limited hours to enjoy bubbling hot croutes, good salads and simple omelettes.
La Fermes des Trois Ours
Les Plans, Vallorcine – Tel: +33 4 50 54 63 06
A charming chalet-style restaurant with an open log fire and a large terrace for sunnier days offering excellent cooking and good value set menus.
Hotel Le Buet
Lu Buet – Tel: +33 4 50 54 60 05
While Le Buet will not win any prizes for decor, the simple dishes are tasty and good value.
Les Praz – Tel: +33 6 67 36 21 43
Sarpe in Les Praz is a simple room with a sophisticated menu. Local clientele are prepared to pay the relatively high prices for the wonderful cuisine.
Bars in Chamonix
There are over 30 bars open from late afternoon until the early hours. During the peak weeks of the ski season, the bars are full to over-flowing: at other times nightlife can be a surprisingly quiet affair. The Rue des Moulins was the centre of Chamonix’s night-time entertainment until a fire in 2006 destroyed the popular Cybar and the Dick’s T-Bar nightclub, as well as damaging the Queen Vic. Le Privilege escaped the fire and has established itself as the top choice for apres-skiers looking for a more refined place to drink. Bar’d Up, further down the Rue des Moulins, draws in the younger tourist crowds while Mix Bar has emerged from the ashes of the 2006 fire and serves good cocktails in a small but stylish property.
Away from the Rue, the cocktail bar at the Clubhouse is very laid-back chic but is members only, so either join up or befriend a member. Its main competition is Alpes Angels (formerly No Escape) which used to be a slick operation but is now a lap dancing venue that turns into a nightclub – great for stag and hen parties. The lovely art deco architecture of La Terrasse’s first floor gives the bar a classier feel, in contrast to the more grungy ground floor. Along Rue du Docteur Paccard The Pub doesn’t try too hard to be anything but is a pleasant place for a beer and a chat. Le Choucas just across the road has a very different feel to it altogether with a very male clientele. The South Bar is the heart of Cham Sud’s social scene famous for its Swedish contingent and one of the few bars in the valley to have a more equal male to female ratio.
Chamonix bars listings
Rue des Moulins – Tel: +33 4 50 53 29 10
One of the few bars to survive the fire on the Rue des Moulins that took out Dick’s T Bar in 2006, Le Privilege is a laid-back lounge bar serving good cocktails with low-key live music.
123 Rue Moulins -Tel: +33 4 50 53 91 33
Popular with Chamonix’s younger crowd, Bar’d Up is good for most things: beer, bands, sports and fun.
90 Rue des Moulins -Tel: +33 6 11 14 96 71
Risen from the ashes of the 2006 fire, Mix Bar is a small, cool cocktail bar on the main drag open until 2am.
74 Promenade des Sonnailles – Tel: +33 4 50 98 42 20
This Alpine outpost of London and New York’s Milk and Honey Bar offers good cocktails, decent music and a more bling crowd than you find elsewhere. Non-members need to go with a guest or go for dinner.
27 Route de la Tour – Tel: +33 4 50 93 80 65
Used to be No Escape cocktail bar and nightclub, but now has added cabaret into the mix. Chamonix’s only pole dancing and lap dancing club which also promotes stag and hen parties.
43 Place Balmat – Tel: +33 4 50 53 09 95
A Jekyll and Hyde of a bar: music pumps out from the lively ground floor while the atmosphere in the first floor bar is more restrained.
215 Rue Docteur Paccard – Tel: +33 4 50 55 92 88
The Pub is Chamonix’s little corner of England in appearance, drinks and clientele.
206 Rue Docteur Paccard – Tel: +33 4 50 53 03 23
Dark, dirty and full of fun, but don’t expect to see many girls.
Place Edmond Desailloud – Tel: +33 4 50 55 43 07
Swedish-run with Swedes in front of, and behind, the South Bar is a fun place to warm-up before heading to the Garage nightclub.
Chamonix nightclubs listings
Nightlife dies down from about 1am unless you venture into one of Chamonix’s nightclubs – with nothing much beyond 1am in Argentiere or the other smaller villages. Le Garage in Cham Sud is the biggest nightclub in the ski resort where it is easy to stay until the small hours. The music is what matters at La Cantina and it attracts a clubbier crowd than a typical ski resort nightclub. Another late night option is BPM.
52 Rue Moulins – Tel: +33 4 50 53 64 69
Theme nights, queues to get in, baguettes for late-night munchies… the ‘Gay Rage’ is Chamonix’s quintessential night-club experience.
37 Impasse des Rhododendrons – Tel: +33 4 50 53 83 80
Regular guest DJs and dance-music lovers squeezed into a small space.
Address -Tel: +33 4 50 53 63 52
BPM is best known for its weekly Scandinavian party.
The apres ski scene in the Chamonix valley has an international flavour, but unlike many resorts most of the action takes places in Chamonix town or Argentiere rather than on the mountains.
Chamonix’s apres ski has a metropolitan feel, with English, Swedish and French bars. This is not the lively ski-boots-on apres ski scene found in Austria – the detached nature of the ski areas means there is no natural meeting point for drinking at the end of the day’s skiing.
Chamonix really wakes up later in the evening when ski boots are off. In the meantime Chambre Neuf, near the SNCF train station is the best bet for happy hour prices, live music and a pub atmosphere. Take a break from the relentless partying to enjoy the sunset visible from the terrace outside. Elevation 1904 across the road from Le Neuf is also popular.
The Canadian-owned Micro Brewery de Chamonix (or MBC), a five minute walk from the town, is another popular apres ski stop. All beer is brewed on the premises and they do a nice line in bar snacks and live music. The Jekyll, on the other side of town, is the venue for Henry’s Avalanche talks (www.henrysavalanchetalk.com), held weekly at 6pm on Tuesdays.
Despite its party reputation, apres ski in Chamonix also has a quieter side. The Italian-run Lapin Agile is a charming wine bar on two floors, with a predominantly Italian wine list, decent beers and tasty free tapas from 6:30pm.
Grand Central opposite, on the ground floor of the Hotel Pointe Isabelle, has a lengthy menu of coffees and smoothies to drink and delicious bagels, muffins and carrot cake to munch on. L’Atelier Cafe just off the Place Sassure has a pleasant location by the river.
There are also relaxed end of day drinks at the restaurants and bars at the foot of the Grands Montets ski area as a last stop before heading back into Argentiere or Chamonix. In Argentiere village the Office Bar gets the bulk of the apres ski drinkers. In Le Buet, the bar at the Hotel Buet is popular with thirsty ski-tourers, while L’Arret Bougnete at the Vallorcine train station does probably the best vin chaud in the valley.
Apres ski bars in Chamonix
Hot drinks, beers and a menu of light snacks with comfy benches outside for sunny days.
Tel: +33 4 50 52 32 36
272 Avenue Michel Croz
The hub of Chamonix’s apres-ski with excellent live music, ever-flowing beer and a rowdy crowd.
Tel: +33 4 50 55 89 81
259 Avenue Michel Croz
A small triangular bar close to Chambre Neuf popular with locals and seasonnaires for a mid-morning coffee or afternoon beer. Sandwiches are available from the kiosk.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 00 52
62 Promenade Marie Paradis
Decent coffee and healthy smoothies, the bagels and cakes are perfect for lunch or afternoon tea. Run by Swedish sisters, and staffed almost exclusively by Swedes. Take-away is possible.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 56 09
71 Route Pelerins
The friendly bar staff serves a loyal, local crowd in this wooden chalet on the fringes of Cham Sud. Henry’s Avalanche Talks (www.henrysavalanchetalk.com) held weekly, 6pm on Tuesdays.
Tel: +33 4 50 55 99 70
Le Lapin Agile
11 Rue Whymper
A well-chosen wine list, blonde beers and a hot chocolate to die for. Free Wi-fi connection all-day and free tapas are available from 6:30pm.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 33 25
350 Route de Bouchet
Excellent draught beers and tasty nachos fill the post-ski, pre-dinner gap. The very thirsty should ask for a ‘camel’.
Tel: +33 4 50 53 61 69
74 Promenade des Sonnailles
Only open to residents, members and their guests, the Clubhouse is a good spot to read the newspapers and enjoy the daily apres-ski freebie snacks. The Clubhouse is linked with London’s The Player and Milk and Honey members’ bars and serves great cocktails in a classy setting.
Tel: +33 4 50 98 42 20
Apres ski bars in Argentiere
The Office Bar
274 Rue Charlet Stratton
Open from breakfast to late evening and popular with all nationalities for drinking, snacking and playing pool. Live sport shown and free Wi-fi from 4pm.
Tel: +33 4 50 54 16 32
Apres ski bars in Les Houches
130 Rue de l’Eglise
English-run bar/restaurant in an old bakery and popular with the local English population. Open until 2am.
Tel: +33 4 50 91 52 06
Apres ski bars in Vallorcine
Hotel Le Buet
Ski-tourers and mountaineers mix with local workers. A standard drinks menu in a very French bar.
Tel: +33 4 50 54 60 05
Plan de l’Envers
In the railway station, over the railway tracks at the end of the Verte piste down from Le Tour. Excellent vin chaud, hot chocolate and the usual list of other drinks.
Tel: +33 4 50 54 63 04