For a fine dining experience then the Hameau de Albert Premier is home to the double Michelin starred Albert Premier restaurant. The menu centres on fresh local produce and makes the most of the abundance of herbs and vegetables grown in the hotel’s own vegetable garden. The wine cellar counts no less than 20,000 bottles, comprised of the 950 appellations presented on the wine list. Whilst you might expect the Albert Premier to be a traditional formal dining experience, it is actually very accessible and extremely welcoming. The staff are charming, the service impeccable, and the surroundings tranquil but not austere. The à la carte menu is not cheap but you are sure to experience one of the finest meals to be had in the Chamonix valley.
La Maison Carrier is a classy, traditional French restaurant also run by the Albert Premier hotel. Expect smart service and elegantly presented food in rustic farmhouse surroundings. Whilst vegetarians are catered for, it’s the meat that takes centre stage here with steak, lamb, pork and foie gras being well represented on the menu. The wine list includes some of the very best French wines as well as more modest regional ones, in addition to wine from local vineyards in the Aosta Valley in Italy and the Valais region of Switzerland.
At the top of the pedestrianised Rue Joseph Vallot is the Bistrot des Sports, the oldest bistro in Chamonix, established at the dawn of the 20th century. It played a crucial role during the first Olympic winter games of 1924 and was later owned by Frison Roche, one of Chamonix’s most famous alpinists. This Chamonix bar has a friendly French atmosphere partly because of of its mix of ski instructors, mountain guides, locals, seasonal workers and tourists and partly due to the well-priced, lunch/dinner menu. The restaurant serves a varied menu, featuring a host of local specialities, alongside everyday Gallic classics.
The Beurre Noisette is a small restaurant and wine bar in the centre of Chamonix that serves refined French cuisine. The menu may be small but each dish is well-executed and beautifully presented.
If you want a more peaceful location with unrivalled views of Mont Blanc then L’Auberge du Bois Prin is where you should head. Nestling high above Chamonix in the winding mountain lanes of Les Moussoux, the Bois Prin is a delightfully quaint 4 star hotel, with a renowned gastronomic restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant also has a beautiful terrace with unsurpassable views across to the Mont Blanc chain.
Chez Constant on the main street of Avenue Ravanel le Rouge has a ‘modern’ Savoyard feel with welcoming and laid back staff. If you are hungry and want rich, traditional fare (with a modern twist) then Chez Constant is ideal. There are a variety of set menus made from fresh local products. They aren’t cheap - but great for a treat. The lunch menu is better value - the formula 2 plat for 21€ for starter and main or main and dessert of the day- 27€ for all three. The food is typically rich and you’d need to be hungry to finish them, but they have a modern twist and are elegantly presented.
Le Panier des 4 Saisons is tucked away in a little alley off the main street in Chamonix. As the name suggests this wood-paneled, semi-formal bistro offers cuisine based around local food, changing with the pace of the seasons and quality wine produced in the region to great vintages. Their traditional French dishes include thick-cut pollack in a sweet-and-sour red-wine sauce and roast venison with quince purée, accompanied by wines of the Haute Savoie.
For a reasonably priced cheese-fix Le Boccalatte is the place to go for all the best regional specialities from tartiflette to fondue, situated on the Avenue l'Aiguille du Midi by the level crossing.
Back in the centre of Chamonix is La Telecabine, tucked away on a quiet street behind the casino and with a fantastic view of the Aiguille du Midi. It serves very good French cuisine in a polished dining room that also manages to feel lively and atmospheric. Set menus start from two courses at lunchtime for 21€ and go up to 38€ for a three course evening meal. They have a good selection of French wines and champagne.
Located a couple of kilometres from Chamonix, in Les Praz, La Cabane restaurant is set in an elegant log cabin, and serves modern French cuisine and Savoyarde favourites. Whilst holding fast to its rustic origins with cow skins adorning the floor around the open fire, there are numerous modern, stylish fixtures and features to draw the eye. The food here is excellent and as well as the à la carte options, they offer a number of very good value menus including a midday option with a choice of two main courses and two desserts for €19 per person. It’s well worth taking a woodland stroll up the river from Chamonix to Le Praz and reward your efforts with lunch or dinner at La Cabane.
Les Praz is also home to the cosy bar and top class Rendezvous Restaurant at the Hotel Les Lanchers. They have an extensive and varied menu featuring local Savoyarde classics, alongside traditional French cuisine and more contemporary dishes. There are daily specials, reflecting the seasons and the associated fresh produce. The restaurant also has a nice ambience and is great for coffee, lunch or dinner.
You wont regret the climb to Argentiere if you’re after cheese. Restaurant Carnotzet specialises in it - as well as Savoyard and Swiss cuisines and wines. Try toasts with cheese, wine fondue, tartiflettes, steaks all with specialty raw milk cheeses like Tomme d’Abondance, Beaufort, Chevrotin, Gruyere, Fir Bark, Mont-d’Or, La Raclette de Savoie, Reblochon de Savoie, Roquefort and Bellelay amongst others.
Also in Argentiere, Le Bistrot du Dahu has a warm and friendly atmosphere and offers dishes made from fresh local produce such as chicken casserole, perch fillet cooked in court-bouillon, or the ever-popular foie gras, braserade, and steak tartare. They also organise themed evenings throughout the season (magic, fairy tales and legends, Easter egg hunts, etc).
Just outside Argentiere on the main road in Les Grassonets is La Remise. This restaurant has an excellent reputation and serves modern French cuisine. You can eat on their chic terrace and enjoy views up to Mont Blanc as you dine.