Perfect Piste Stops: the Best Mountain Restaurants in Europe

Plant your poles and dig into these top-tier mountainside eateries, from Swiss sun terraces to French fondue spots and a wallet-friendly tex-mex joint spicing up the Spanish slopes.

Skiing can take it out of you (particularly after two years of lockdown-induced dwindling fitness levels). In need of a piste-side pick-me-up? We've toured the slopes and scaled the peaks to pick out Europe's very best mountain restaurants - so you can forget the soggy slopeside sandwich. From gourmet grills to paninis with panoramic views, here's what to order and where to eat on the continent's best ski slopes.

Feature image credit: Ted Gushue

Seven of our favourite ski-to restaurants in Europe

restaurant

Le Panoramic, Tignes

France

Scratching the sky at an ear-popping 3,032m, Le Panoramic sits on the Savoie’s Glacier de la Grande Motte, and, while it could easily rest on the reputation of its 360-degree views alone, the restaurant delivers a punch on the grub front, too. If that’s not enough to tempt you, cosy touches like toasty slippers that are provided as your ski boots are whipped away to be warmed and a friendly resident St Bernard who roams around the sheepskin-clad indoor dining area might just reel you in.

Address

Le Panoramic, Glacier de la Grande-Motte, 73320 Tignes, France

restaurant

Chalet de la Marine, Val Thorens

France

Dripping with sheepskin rugs and alpine-chic wooden furnishings, Chalet de la Marine offers punters a self-service bistro (pizzas are the winner here), as well as a traditional, slightly more refined restaurant upstairs. Staying true to its name, the restaurant proper is decked out with life rings and other nods to its nautical theme, while an open fire makes for a cosy atmosphere on chillier days.

Address

Chalet de la Marine, Piste les dalles Télésiège Cascades Val Thorens, 73440 Val Thorens, France

restaurant

Chalet Etoile, Cervinia

Italy

It’s a big call, but we consider this starry spot to be one of the best mountainside restaurants in the world. A honeypot for VIPs, the family-owned chalet has been drawing in visitors from far and wide from its prime position at the bottom of the Matterhorn since Cesare Frassy first opened its doors in 1974. Renowned for serving up traditional dishes with innovative flourishes, favourite orders – all cooked up by Ulla, Cesare’s Swedish wife – include reindeer fillet tempura and deliciously fresh ravioli with king crab.

Address

Chalet Etoile, Localita’ Plan Maison, 11028 Cervinia, Italy

restaurant

Hotel Bergkristall, Lech

Austria

Touted as the cradle of modern skiing, Austria’s Arlberg mountains are home to some of Europe’s best slopes, with Lech – its most popular ski resort – stealing our hearts for its down-to-earth approach to alpine fare. Our favourite on its long list of excellent restaurants? Hotel Bergkristall, a ski-to, family-owned local institution that dishes up the best meat specialities in town – all sourced from the local butcher – as well as top-notch seafood plates, including a tutti frutti pasta packed with fresh lobster, scallops and shrimp.

Address

Hotel Bergkristall, Oberlech 382, 6764 Lech, Austria

restaurant

Cisco's, Andorra

Spain

Ditch the typical mountain fare for a day and warm up with sizzling barbecue ribs and spicy fajitas at this fiery tex-mex joint in Arinsal. Not after meat? There’s also a well-stocked selection of veggie, vegan and gluten-free options to satisfy all dietary requirements. Perfectly poised at the bottom of the Arinsal gondola, this convivial spot is the place to glide into for a warming dash of spice (at a very reasonable price).

Address

Carrer del Serradell, AD400 Arinsal, Andorra

restaurant

Paradiso, St Moritz

Switzerland

From the brains behind legendary Badrutt’s Palace Hotel comes Paradiso, a mountaintop restaurant and après-ski haunt with an open deck flooded with sun and affording breathtaking mountain vistas. Nestled in the Engadin valley, the stylish timber-clad dining room is known for its Michelin-recommended alpine comfort food (melt-in-your-mouth traditional Swiss fondue tops our list) and thumping bar.

Address

Paradiso, Engiadina, Via 3, St Moritz, 7500 Switzerland

restaurant

Capalari, Laax

Switzerland

Earning our respect for its reverence to local culinary tradition, Capalari serves simple Grisons fare in its refreshingly modern dining area. With floor-to-ceiling widescreen windows that look out over the dazzling pistes below, this is the place to come for good traditional grub made from recipes passed down through generations. Don’t leave without sampling Grandma’s pizokels – a savoy cabbage, bacon, beans and beurre noisette – and, if you’ve any room left, sweet apple strudel.

Address

Crap Sogn Gion, 7032 Falera, Switzerland

ski chalet roofs in sers chevalier
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