Zermatt is without a doubt home to the best and largest selection of mountain restaurants in the world. The beautiful car free town of Zermatt features more than 40 mountain restaurants in three linked ski areas. That’s not including the restaurants on the neighbouring Italian side of the mountain which you can easily ski to during the day in Winter. Even if you are a passionate skier and normally do first lift/last lift with few stops in-between, it is worth taking the time to have a couple of really leisurely lunches and experience some of the best food on the planet.
Alexandra Baradi who spends much of her time in Zermatt hand picking the best and most luxurious ski chalets in Zermatt and the Alps has tried them all!! She has chosen 10 of her favourite restaurants:
Franz and Heidi’s Findlerhof is a modest hut on the outside but it serves some of the best mountain food in the world with an incredible atmosphere and view. Findlerhof is located in Findeln which is a picture perfect alpine hamlet of old wooden chalets just below the main Sunnegga lift.
In the winter, getting to Findlerhof is a bit of an adventure.
You leave your skis by a small white church and then slip and slide a 100 feet or so where you will be welcomed with a big smile by Franz and Heidi. The food is to die for. I can thoroughly recommend the truffle ravioli and one of their house specialities – The Matterhorn Quiche. Even non-Quiche lovers find it delicious. It is extremely light and flavoured with fresh herbs and served with a stunning green salad. The trio of pasta with prawns is also amazing. For dessert, the hot chocolate pudding is fabulous and the “Lovers Surprise” is perfect for the person with a sweet tooth. The only other thing that matches the food is the view.
Findlerhof has without a doubt one of the best views of The Matterhorn in Zermatt. It is also very sheltered so on a lovely spring day; you will be able to bask in the sun whilst enjoying the food, wine and great atmosphere. Reservations are essential.
Located just above Findlerhof, Chez Vrony has the best terrace of any restaurant in Zermatt with great food to match. Owned and run by Vrony and her husband Max, the restaurant was designed by Vrony’s famous artist brother Heinz Julen who also designed a couple of our best chalets The Heinz Julen Penthouse and the The Heinz Julen Loft. The result is an interior that is more Hip than Heidi and is a brilliant combination of traditional and contemporary.
For food purists, Vrony and Max keep their own cattle on the hillside beside the restaurant, and slaughter and butcher them to make the air-dried beef seen hanging from the rafters. They make their own cheese too. A tradition in Chez Vrony is to start with the mixed platter of cheeses and dried meats served with a variety of pickles and chutneys. Then choose from mouth watering risotto, ravioli filled with mountain cheeses, pan-fried foie gras with apple, pear and berries or try the famous Vrony Burger.
The terrace is just beautiful on a sunny day. Enjoy an ice cold glass of champagne whilst looking at the stunning view of the Matterhorn or if there are just two of you dining; ask for one of the double lounge chairs at the front. They are not to be missed. Reservations are essential
Zum See, Zermatt
Zum See is another firm favourite. Owned by Max and Greti and now run by their son, it is a wonderful family affair located just down from the Furi lift station and next to a lovely 17th century church in another stunning little hamlet. In the spring and the summer, the hamlet literally turns into the restaurant with tables scattered to face the sun and the Matterhorn. On a cold winters, day, you might sit inside where you will notice that the walls are so ancient that they are crooked or is it the great wine! The food is incredible. Possibly the best on the mountain. The starters include a home-made duck liver terrine, served with toasted brioche, or paper-thin tuna Carpaccio.
In the summer, the salads are uniquely fresh and delicious. Once you have ordered, you will literally see the chef going out to the garden and picking the lettuces and fresh herbs for you. The herb crusted lamb is meltingly tender and is a firm favourite as well as the asparagus and garlic prawns. The desserts are so amazing that some regular customers actually book them in advance so as not to be disappointed. Try the amazing cremeschnitte (cream slice). It is a super-light millefeuilles of puff pastry filled with cream and if you share one there are of course no calories! The meringues are also amazing and Max does the best homemade ice cream on the planet. Zum See is also easily accessible by foot for the non skier. It takes just over 20 minutes to walk from the village. Reservations are essential
Fluhalp is tucked away to the back of the Rothorn valley. It is beside a glacial moraine and has spectacular views of the Matterhorn. The best time to visit is between February and April when you will be able to enjoy the Murphy Brothers playing and singing. The atmosphere can be amazing and be prepared for a party or at least a sing along. The lamb in Fluhalp is always great and they also do excellent Rösti. Rösti is often considered to be the Swiss national dish. It is made with coarsely grated potato and served in a variety of ways with Sausage, egg, bacon, tomato or a combination of all four. Reservations are essential
Another amazing Zermatt restaurant, StafelAlp is accessed by taking the no 52 red run down from Schwarzsee. It is located at the very foot of the Matterhorn and has stunning views. Tuna Tartar, Carpaccio and StafelAlp Bruchetta are just some of the mouth-watering starters. StafelAlp’s signature dishes are the hot stone tuna and beef where you get to cook the food yourself to exactly your liking. They serve each of the dishes with several different sauces and your choices of salad and the most delicious French fries you will ever have tasted. Reservations are essential.
Blatten Restaurant has a wonderful rustic and cosy atmosphere matched with even more wonderful food. To get there go to Furi first and ski down the red run (50), passing Zum See. Blatten is on the left of the piste about half way down to the village. You can also walk from the village to Blatten in about 40 minutes for non skiers. Wild mushrooms with truffle sauce and melt in your mouth lamb with fresh herbs and covered in pastry are some of their specialities.
If you don’t have time to eat in Blatten, it is worth stopping on the way down to Zermatt for one of their house specials – a Vodka Feige (a shot of vodka with a fig floating in the glass, topped with whipped cream). In the Summer, a great lunch in Blatten followed by a walk down the stunningly beautiful Gorner gorge is wonderful way to spend a day. Lunch reservations are essential.
Located just above the Furi lift station, Les Marmottes specialises in all types of game such as venison, rabbit, and even Marmot. The food is delicious and it has a nice atmosphere. For skiers, you can ski from Schwarzsee, take the Stafelalp (52) or Weisse Perle (51) runs or, the black run directly from Furgg will bring you directly to the front door of Les Marmottes. Alternatively, it is just a short walk from Furi lift station up to Les Marmottes.
Othmar’s Hutte is another wonderfully unique restaurant in Zermatt. The owners Othmar and Betty Kronig spend the summers in Alaska where they fish for salmon and King Crab and bring it back to Zermatt for the winter. There are some fabulous pictures of them fishing and the atmosphere inside is warm and cosy. Othmar also specialise in homemade cakes so it is a great place to stop for dessert on the way down the mountain. Othmar’s is located on the Reid run (2) and is the last but one restaurant before the town. It’s on the right hand side of the piste just after a bend. Alternatively, follow the signs on the right of the lower National piste.
Non skiers: Not accessible
Located above Trockener Steg and just below the Klein Matterhorn, the Gandegg-Hutte is a great choice if you are skiing on Klein Matterhorn side of the mountain. It was originally a climbers hut and dates back to 1888. To get to the Gandegg-Hutte, you have to take a narrow run with a little bit of uphill so be prepared for some side stepping.
But it’s worth the work as the restaurant has a really fabulous sun deck with views of the glacier to one side and a lovely atmosphere inside. The food is good hearty mountain food and specialities of the house include excellent smoked sausages, served with fried potatoes, and a range of Käseschnitte – bread soaked in wine and baked with cheese and crispy bacon – served with pickled onions and a gherkin.
Chalet Les Anges
Not technically a mountain restaurant but if you are lucky enough to be staying in the incredibly luxurious Chalet Les Anges, it would be a shame not to enjoy at least one lunch on the Terrace of the best chalet in the Alps. Angeline is an incredible chef and I have rarely met anyone more passionate or knowledgeable about food.
You could choose to have a good mornings skiing and have a late lunch or if you are a real ski fanatic, it is easy enough to go back up for a couple of last runs. The chances are though that after some of Angeline’s exquisite food, you will just want to relax in the huge outdoor Jacuzzi and enjoy a glass of champagne and the incredible view of the Matterhorn for the rest of the afternoon.