With so many mountain restaurants to choose from in the Three Valleys, we’re spoilt for choice. It’s easy to ski around aimlessly and pop into the nearest restaurant whenever you feel the energy levels start to drop, but at Ski Talini we’re dedicated foodies and its quality over quantity for us – and our guests – when it comes to fueling up!
We’re passionate advocates of the idea that you should plan your ski day around your lunch venue, especially when skiing in a larger group or meeting up with others. The hardest thing is deciding which of the many Three Valleys restaurants to pick on a week’s ski holiday. So we’ve put together a guide of those we like to frequent and recommend to our chalet guests.
Don’t forget to make sure that everyone knows how to find it on the piste map! In our opinion, the following are the best Three Valleys restaurants on the hill:
The Best Three Valleys Restaurants
This wouldn’t be a respectable mountain restaurant guide if we didn’t start with the legendary Folie Douce! There are two in the Three Valleys: one in Meribel (access via the mid station of the Saulire Express) the other in Val Thorens (Les Pionniers or Plein Sud lifts). Both offer two dining experiences – La Fruitiere is the smart restaurant, or there is a more informal self-service option offering simple but tasty fare. But what most visitors come for is the DJs, the music, the dancing on tables and the incredibly flamboyant dancers and musicians shaking their thang in spectacular costumes and sky-high heels! You’ve not done après unless you’ve done Folie Douce après.
But if you’re searching for a more civilised and relaxing meal, then read on.
Skiing in Méribel? Try these:
La Blanchot, Méribel Altiport
Located at the top of Le Lapin run to Meribel Village, Le Blanchot is a pretty chalet-style restaurant with a great sun terrace. It serves elegant French food and is a great lunch spot for beginners. Don your straw hat (supplied!) and enjoy a long rosé lunch!
This relatively new restaurant has proved very popular – either opt for white table clothes and posh nosh in the restaurant upstairs or something from the good value snack bar downstairs. Le Plan des Mains is extremely well located at the base of Mont Vallon with unbeatable access to the Three Valleys.
Famed for it’s après-ski with music and DJs on the terrace, as a lunch spot The Rond Point, more affectionately known as ‘The Ronnie’, offers decent value pub grub. The snack bar has noodles, burgers, and the infamous ‘American’ sandwich. If you stay for après, don’t miss the last lift home!
Skiing in the Belleville valley? Try these:
This fabulous little Michelin 2* restaurant is ideal for a cosy indoor lunch on a snowy, cold day, or dine al fresco with a view to die for! This delightful family-run restaurant serves fabulous food at reasonable (for the quality!) prices, and with less of a fanfare than at the 3 Michelin star La Bouitte. We love it!
An unexpected nautical-themed restaurant in the lofty heights above Val Thorens! A beautiful terrace, wonderful food from a large menu and friendly staff make this a popular choice. Watch out, they only take bookings on a daily basis so be sure to decide early if you are going to dine at 2500m! There’s a more formal restaurant as well as a self-service Bistro with meals around the 15€ mark. La Marine is located on the Dalles piste off the top of the Cascades chairlift.
Not only does Chez Pepe Nicolas have friendly staff, a gorgeous terrace, beautiful views, and quirky décor, it also has fabulous local food – quite simple, but elegantly done. The cheeses are made on site during the summer months, when you can visit the restaurant and shop, meet the animals, milk the goats and enjoy an ice cream! The ski access is via Les Bruyères piste from Les Menuires or La Pluiviomètre from Val Thorens.
Located in Reberty 2000 – La Ferme has a welcoming interior which opens onto a large terrace on the slopes and has extensive lunch and dinner menus. Though this one of the top three places in Les Menuires, the fixed-price menu can be relatively affordable at about €30 for 3 courses, or for a bargain, try the hearty French onion soup.
Expect warm and friendly service and great mountain food at this quirky little mountain restaurant. Situated just above the St Martin Express on the Biolay piste, their huge south-facing terrace makes for a lovely place for lunch and of course, you get to ski Jerusalem to get there! It’s a favourite with Ski Talini guests who stop for a vin chaud or refreshing beer before the short ski back to the village.
Skiing in Courchevel? Try these:
One of the most popular restaurants in all the 3 Valleys, Le Bel Air has a great sun terrace facing out onto the piste aligned with plenty of deck chairs in which to sit back and relax. The food is simple and yummy – plus very good value. Reservations are essential, as it gets very booked up on sunny days. Access it from the Ariondaz piste.
Found at the top of the La Tania bubble this efficiently-run restaurant with a gorgeous terrace serves HUGE omelettes, salads and offers a reliably good plat du jour, all at very reasonable prices. There’s a snack bar too if you’re after something speedy. It’s well worth a visit to Le Bouc Blanc, if only for a hot drink or a plate of frites.
Ski all the way down into Courchevel Moriond 1650 and you’ll find the Portetta hotel on your right. Well-known British chef Angela Hartnett has designed the menu which celebrates local food and adds her signature Italian twist. Expect sumptuous homemade pasta and meat cooked on the open fire. If you’re on more of a budget there are fab pizzas on the gorgeous ‘Fire and Ice’ terrace which you can nibble on whilst happily installed on a huge sofa and wrapped in a fluffy blanket.
If you ski down Park City from Saulire then you’ll find this swanky new restaurant just on the Cave des Creux piste. It’s beautifully designed with plenty of terrace space and fabulous views. The menu is on the pricey side and is good if you fancy something less traditionally ‘mountainy’. That said, the Beaufort tart is usually very good! You’ll spot the fabulous dessert buffet on your way in, so you’ll want to make sure you leave room…
How to book a restaurant in French
If you are in a large skiing group, we would definitely advise booking restaurants in advance. Ask your chalet team or your ski instructor if they can help you to reserve a table, or maybe take the opportunity to try out your French!
Most restaurant staff will be able to speak enough English to understand, but it’s always good to try. Here’s how the conversation might go…
- You : ‘Bonjour, je voudrais réserver une table s’il vous plait’
- Restaurant : ‘C’est pour aujourd’hui?’ (today?)
- You : ‘Oui’ or ‘Non, pour demain’ (tomorrow)
- Restaurant : ‘D’accord, combien de personnes?’
- You : ‘Dix’
- Restaurant : ‘Vous voulez manger à quelle heure?’
- You : ‘Treize heure’ (= 1pm) or ‘Midi’ (= 12pm)
Ski Talini is an independent chalet company with 3 catered chalets in St Martin de Belleville. Owner Daisy believes in creating a ski holiday that she’d like to go on herself, so guests can expect creature comforts, beautiful interior design, seriously good food and wine, and lots of little extra touches.