3 Rue Docteur Paccard
Tel: 33 4 50 53 02 23
The National is a resort institution with lots of ambience, Inside there's exposed stone walls, wood paneling, and ancient sepia photographs of a bygone rural life in the Chamonix Valley. It's been through a poor patch but the cooking is now back on form. Steaks are a specialty, along with cheesy Savoyard dishes and game in season.
Open daily mid-December through mid-November, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm and 6:30 to 10:30 pm.
88 Rue du Lyret
Tel: 33 4 50 55 93 40
If you can't stand to look at another fondue, try one of Valerio's pizzas. This Italian restaurant has all the classic trattoria trappings (Chianti bottles, red-and-white checked tablecloths) and an enormous following among locals and visitors alike since its opening in 1983. Colorful owner Valerio Comazetto fusses over his cherished wood-burning oven as if it were a vintage Ferrari. It's not all pizza, however, don't miss the spaghetti with king prawns or the beef carpaccio with crumbled Parmesan. Comazetto also makes a mean margherita.
Open noon to 11:30 pm.
71 Route des Pèlerins
Tel: 33 4 50 55 99 70
"Great food! Great drink! Great party!" The Jekyll's motto is as unpretentious as the place itself. This lively Irish bar/restaurant will take care of all your après-ski needs, from nosh to nightlife. With excellent Guinness and friendly staff, the Jekyll's happy hour is one of the best in town. Downstairs, the Hyde, a stone-walled cocktail and shooter bar, has two-for-one specials between 8 and 10 each evening. The rib-sticking fare includes Irish lamb stew, seafood chowder, and fillet of beef with pepper sauce. After dinner, there's live music or guest DJs.
Open December through October, 4 pm to 2 am.
123 Place Balmat
Tel: 33 4 50 55 97 97
Situated on the banks of the River Arve in the middle of town, L'Atmosphère's tables are packed but the service is impeccable. Dishes are dictated by what's available in the market on a daily basis, and could include snails in sweet garlic cream or lobster roasted in basil and tomato. The restaurant also specializes in traditional mountain dishes such as fondues and pierre chaude (a hot stone on which you grill your own beef, duck, and chicken).
Open daily noon to 2 pm and 7 to 11 pm.
9 Chemin du Cry
Tel: 33 4 50 53 20 36
Housed in a magnificent wooden barn that dates back to 1754, this restaurant is in Chamonix Sud, close to the L'Aiguille du Midi cable-car and a ten-minute walk from the town center. The focus is on hearty local fare such as roast chicken in mushroom sauce, rack of pork with honey, and quail stuffed with foie gras. The wine is reasonably priced; try a bottle of the Saint-Joseph.
Open daily December through October, 10 am to noon and 5:30 to 1 am.
Reached by the Planpraz Gondola
Tel: 33 4 50 53 05 42
This "ancient" shepherd's hut made of wood and stone was in fact built from scratch in the mid 1990s. Specialties include delicious steaks and Savoyard dishes such as tartiflette (cheese pie), and andouillette (tripe sausage), which is an acquired taste. There are also fantastic views of Mont Blanc.
Open mid-December through late April and mid-June through September.
333 Route des Rives
Tel: 33 4 50 55 90 10
Le Crèmerie is tucked away in the woods above the Lognan cable-car and chair-lift at Argentière and is one of the few mountain restaurants not owned by the lift company. The old dairy has been converted into a simple restaurant serving mostly cheese-based dishes and it's renowned for its croûte fromage (toasted cheese on baguettes), wild mushrooms, cheese fondue, and homemade pizza fillings.
Open daily December through September, 8 to 10 pm.
38 Route du Bouchet
Tel: 33 4 50 53 05 09
If you want to splurge, come to this hotel restaurant for renowned chef Pierre Carrier's superb cuisine and the vast 20,000-bottle wine cellar. Dinner might include pan-fried scallops with risotto and lobster sauce, or foie gras with truffled chicken rillettes. Carrier also pays his respects to traditional Piedmontese cooking (Chamonix was part of Piedmont until 1860), with dishes such as gnocchi with Alba truffles. Bay windows offer a view of Mont Blanc.
Closed May and November and every Wednesday; closed for lunch on Tuesday and Thursday.
24 Galerie Blanc-Neige
Tel: 33 4 50 53 98 77
Le Panier is hidden away at the back of a shopping center but is well worth searching out; it serves some of the best-priced gourmet cuisine in Chamonix. Much of the menu is dictated by what's in season, such as fillet of roast duckling in a honey sauce, but a few favorites—goat cheese ravioli in butter, for example—are always available. There's a great choice of some 40 wines available by the glass. Leave room for the chocolate soufflé.
Open late June through late May, Thursdays through Tuesdays, noon to 2 pm and 7 to 10 pm.