Le Vaffieu is a traditional Savoyard style chalet-restaurant located walking or skiing distance from the top of the Pleney cable car. With an interior dining area full of traditional exposed wooden beams and alpine paraphernalia, and a large heated indoor/outdoor terrace, you would be forgiven for turning up without a reservation. But this sunny mountain restaurant is a favourite for locals and tourists alike. The delicious regional fare is perfect after a morning skiing, as is the fine red wine. Their ‘croûte’ is the best on the mountain but if cheese is not your thing then their lamb cutlets are amazing as is the seabass. On a sunny day reserve a table on the terrace but in the depths of winter try and get the table closest to the bar where you can listen to the owners and locals in high-octane conversation as they work.
On piste, Morzine/Nyon
Chez Nannon is the mountain refuge we think we want to hike to, but probably never will. Thankfully this Morzine mountain restaurant is accessible from the Ravarettes or the Troncs Express chairlifts so just requires you to gently slide. As you approach the quaint wooden structure (that can be partially hidden on a truly snowy day) you will be greeted with the scent of bubbling pans of melted Reblochon cheese, a plume of smoke dancing up from the chalet chimney and an open fire oven on the terrace. This is a classic Savoyard mountain restaurant of the highest order and inside it feels more like a mountain hut with small windows, cosy wooden furniture and with the same family working the kitchen every year. They might be busy but they will feed you well. Book ahead to ensure you are not disappointed. We recommend reserving a table inside in either of the furthest corners to avoid the incoming and leaving foot traffic. Chez Nannon is famous for its tartiflette (Reblochon cheese, potatoes, lardons a large side salad and chunks of fresh bread) which is served in a bubbling pan to your table. The Côte de Boeuf and cheesy potatoes are also good, as are the steaks and burgers.
Behind the otherwise unassuming façade of the three-star Hotel Le Samoyède in the village centre, you’ll find L’Atelier, one of the finest dining experiences in the region. In a class of its own L’Atelier was the brainchild of local chef Alexandre Baud-Pachon who, after working in top restaurants in Geneva and Courchevel, came home in 2004 to set up on his own. The restaurant offers a fabulous fine-dining experience and is popular with people in the know (it would be easy to pass through Morzine and remain unaware of this luxurious dining experience). We recommend the Fantaisie Chablaisienne tasting menu along with the wine pairings, featuring a number of local wines. This is an eight-course feast inspired by seasonal local specialities, crafted to perfection and concluding with the best cheese trolley we have ever seen! Ask for a table in the far right corner by the window where you have a fantastic views of the staff gliding around the restaurant.