Home » Food » Zermatt – The Mountain Gourmet Capital of the World
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 in 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.
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 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 the 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 winter, 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 millefeuille 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
About Alexandra Baradi
Alexandra Baradi is founder and owner of Exceptional Villas. She set the company up in 1992. Alexandra is a hotel manager by background and is absolutely passionate about travel.