Slope side hole in the wall snack bar with prices to reflect. BUT has fantastic spicy home made soups. "La patronne" travels to India a lot and brings home stocks of exotic spices. The soups are a welcome break from the usual resort offerings of saucisson and fromage and really hit the spot at lunch. Great for a quick aperitif too. Try Peche mignon (like a kir but with peach liqueur)
Place du Tour, Le Tour, near Chamonix
Google map: bit.ly/10ks8zM
Rustic slope side restaurant for fondue and house specialty "croutes aux fromages". Run by the Ravanels for generations. The fondue is the best you will get and the service is super friendly. A genuine hang out for the locals. Great value (12 euros for a fondue made with beaufort cheese, wine by the "pichet" from four euros) and quality all round.
Slopeside in that it's right at the bottom of the home run in Les Houches so you can literally ski onto the top terrace. Funky, kitsch, big and a large inside area for apres ski make it a great stop. They do lunch specials and though evening meals maybe push towards being a bit pricey its all wholesome English/French fusion cuisine so there's a lot more choice than just tartiflette and variations there of.
Live bands play regularly and if you're down in family-friendly Les Houches as opposed to knees-up Chamonix, you'll be thankful for the Kitsch Inn offering a bit of liveliness!
A lovely little Italian place off the main drag in Chamonix which does spectacular pizzas. I had the marinara which was huge and had a beautiful tomato sauce and the dough was just perfect - thin, a bit crispy, bit squidgy. Glass of perfect temperature Barbera topped it all off nicely. The other clientele ranged from gnarly looking climber types, to families and couples. Low lighting, no fuss decor and you can eat at the heavy wooden bar if you want. In a town where eating out generally leaves you broke it's good value, unpretentious and tasty.
A small restaurant in La Balme, recently converted from a series of old cow sheds. It's near the bottom of the Aiguilette (a short red run with a button lift). There's a lovely sunny terrace and they do great value lunches for around €10. Try the assiette de pisteurs, a huge plate of salad, rosti, goats cheese on toast and lardons.
00 33 683 33 86 61 (Booking is essential)
Boule de Neiges is a really great little bar and hotel in the centre of Chamonix town. A great bar, excellent decor and a warm, welcome atmosphere. The Boule de Neiges is run by Brits and all in all is a darn good find for those that want value accommodation close to the ski slopes!
Recommended is the vin chaud, Pete's chicken caesar salad, the house burger, sitting in the sun with a view of Mont Blanc from the upstairs terrace (residents only). Happy hour is a two-minute clomp from the slopes in ski boots.
Hotel Boule de Neiges
362 Rue Joseph Vallot
0844 81 53 530
This sweet and chocolate shop on the main street of Chamonix is delightful with free chocolate samples and gorgeous-tasting white and black chocolate, fill your bag with as much as you want - it's all good, but be warned it's not cheap!
Avenue Michel Croz.
My money saving idea - lunchtimes on the Alps can cost you between £8 and £25 per day! If you're on a budget ski holiday then make the most of your half-board chalet. 1. drag yourself down to breakfast. 2. add several extra slices of french bread, ham & cheese to your plate 3. create a selection of ham and cheese rolls 4. when no one is looking, take out your serviette and wrap around (discreetly) your freshly made rolls, and hide quickly in a pocket or bag... et voila, enjoy on an uncrowded rock, with a view of your choice... ALL FOR FREE!
Great new hotel in Chamonix with shop for kit rental, beer garden with it's own climbing wall and a cool bar and restaurant downstairs. Open year round with regular events/parties in the bar.
964 Routes Des Gaillands, on the South side of Chamonix by the lake and climbing wall. www.verthotel.com
Tel +33 0450 531 358
The Office is a fantastic bar and restaurant next to the town hall in Argentiere. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere and serves great steaks and a delicious sticky toffee pudding. My family ate there four times during our stay and the service and food was consistently superb. They do lots of tasty vegetarian food as well.
Two thousand metres up and with blissful views, La Bergerie serves a very good gratin and decent steak. Those who are squeamish about offal will want to avoid the andouillette (tripe sausage), which is large and horrible.
But if you're willing to wait for service and don't mind paying over the odds for Evian (water has to be hiked up the mountain), it really is a beautiful spot.
At the top of the Planpraz telepherique
Tel: 04 50 53 05 42
An amazing town 80km from Chamonix. Full of culture, fashion and a thriving cafe scene. Great if you want to have a relaxing day away from the valley. Especially good in spring. Really good skatepark too!!!
Return bus ticket 25euros
A lively French bar, featuring the most alternative nights in town. So diverse music, anywhere from salsa to drum n bass! Good place to start/end your night ... Party on!!! Also a great Tex-Mex restaurant upstairs.
Behind Super u.
A little part of Chamonix how it probably was, once apon a time. Hidden away in the mountain, with no roads, no people; just a little mountain hut specializing in fondu, croute (cheese on baguette), and red wine. Be warned: it only has cheese dishes! And don't be surprised when everyone turns around when you walk through the door; it's a local place for local people. The walk/ride home is rather interesting too.
From the Grands Montets Ski Station, take a little road up the mountain, go through tunnel quite obviously used by skaters, and follow signs through the forest to la cremerie; if lost ask a mountain goat/local.
It's a fast food place that has toasted sandwiches that are amazing, though never have more than one as this will ruin the experience. I recommend the Texan or the American (with all sauces).
Ravanel le rouge opp the bp garage
This little restaurant and tapas bar in Les Houches has been open scarcely a year, but has already built up a great reputation amongst the locals. The food is excellent and they cater well for vegetarians, but it's popular so you'd best book in advance.
Les Houches, Chamonix. Tel: +33(0)450915206
This Canadian run microbrewery produces several of its own excellent beers and lagers, and has a great menu of bar snacks (cross-cut fries, nachos, etc) and more substantial evening meals. It attracts a lively apres-ski crowd who flock there to enjoy 'giraffes' of beer, and there's live music several times a week. It's very popular so you'll need to book a table for dinner.
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