Morzine is primarily a holiday destination, with the majority of businesses in town aimed predominantly at tourists. One important part of any holiday is dining - eating out, trying the local specialities, treating yourself and experiencing the local environment and ambience.
Morzine is no exception, with plenty of different options on offer for anyone looking to dine out, or even options for those looking to have a chef visit their home for private catering.
What Kind Of Foods Are Available In Morzine?
There really is something for all tastes in Morzine, from the traditional to the modern, local specialities and world cuisine. Some visitors want to try the local food whilst others might want to try each restaurants specific specialities. Others might want convenience or take away to keep their children happy or to save time. Below are some of the different options in Morzine.
Morzine is in the heart of the Haute Savoie region and is grounded in the traditions and history of the area. Throughout the history of the Haute Savoie the local food has been a key part of the culture of the region. The local food is connected to the environment. Many of the foods that became popular could be stored and kept over the long, cold winters. As people began to settle in the area they began to raise cattle, which provided the basis for the cheese centric food of the area.
A few of the local cheeses include:
Tomme de Savoie: Tomme De Savoie dates back to ancient times and is a semi firm, mild cheese with a low fat content.
Raclette: Another semi firm cheese, Raclette usually comes in large wheels of about six kilos. Mentions of the cheese date back to 1291, when it was popular with peasants in the Valais and Savoie regions. They would take it into the mountains with them when they were moving cows in the mountains and melt the cheese around the fire before scraping it on to their bread. This was the fore runner of the modern Raclette dish.
Reblochon: Reblochon is a soft, unpasteurised cheese that originated in the Aravis massif. The name comes from the old French word Reblocher or "To pinch the udder again". This is due to the fact that in the fourteenth century the landowners would tax the farmers based on the amount of milk their herds produced. The farmers would return after the yield had been weighed and milk the cows again. The farmers would use the much creamier milk to make their own cheeses.
Abondance: The Abondance cheese is a semi hard cheese made exclusively in the Abondance valley close to Morzine. The earliest mention of the cheese is in the fourteenth century when the local monks delivered cheese to the papal conclave at Avignon.
The cheesy delights of the Savoie include:
Fondue: Although often considered a Swiss dish it has also been popular for many years in the French Savoie regions. It involves melting cheese and dipping bread into the cheese, creating a perfect dish to warm diners up on cold winter nights!
Tartiflette: Tartiflette is made from the Reblochon cheese. It consists of onions, bacon pieces and sliced potatoes with the cheese melted on it in the oven. It is usually served with a side salad.
Raclette: Raclette involves melting the cheese of the same name and is usually served with potatoes, cured meat and salad. It is usually served as either a half round of cheese or slices.
Other local speciality foods include meats: The Diot De Savoie pork sausages as well as cured meats - hams and saucissons, with the saucissons coming in many different varieties and flavours. As with the cheese the cured meats reflect the need for foods that could be stored over winter. Other foods that could be stored included the jams and preserves made out of local fruits and honey.
A perfect accompaniment for a meal of local specialities is the local Savoie wines followed by one of a digestif of one of the local liqueurs. These included Chartreuse, made by Carthusian monks since 1737 from a mix of one hundred and thirty herbs and plants, Genepi, made from Alpine plants known as Wormwood, Poire, made from locally grown pears and Marc De Savoie, a brandy made from the remains of the grapes used for wine making.
Another popular dish is Pierrade, where diners cook their meat on a hot stone at the table. People often associate it with winter rather than specifically the Savoie region. Pierrade dates back to prehistory.
Over the years Italian cuisine has become increasingly popular. It is a great choice for dining on or off the mountain as it is hot and filling, as well as containing plenty of carbohydrates to keep people going during a day of skiing or refuel after a busy day. The most popular Italian dishes include:
Pizza: A very popular dish with plenty of different varieties, Pizza is a traditional flatbread, first recorded in the tenth century, usually topped with tomatoes, cheese and a selection of meats or vegetables. The modern Pizza as invented in Naples and has spread worldwide. In many restaurants in the Alps Italian and Savoie dining traditions combine in the Tartiflette Pizza, topped with bacon pieces, sliced potato and Reblochon cheese.
Spaghetti Bolognese: Originating from near Bologna, the town which gives its name to the dish, Spaghetti Bolognese is a dish of Spaghetti, tomatoes and minced beef. Spaghetti and meatballs is a similar dish, where the mince has been made into meatballs.
Carbonara: Carbonara is a dish made from pasta, bacon, hard cheese and egg. Cream is also often added to the recipe.
Lasagne: Lasagne is made from flat sheets of pasta, Bechemel sauce and a Bolognese style mix, layered and topped with cheese. There are also vegetarian varieties of the dish.
Indian Cuisine usually refers to different styles of curries from the Indian subcontinent. Curries are dishes that can contain meat, fish or vegetables and are flavoured with spices such as turmeric, cumin and coriander and are usually served with a spiced sauce. The earliest evidence of food from the region being flavoured with crushed spices dates from around five thousand years ago. The Mughal empire of the early sixteenth century influenced the food of the area, and Portugese traders in Goa introduced chilli from the Americas.
Curries were first introduced to the British in the seventeenth century with the first curry house opening in 1810, and since the mid to late twentieth century they have grown in popularity in Britain to the point where it is now widely considered to be the national dish.
Curries are usually served with rice and naan bread or onion bhajis.
A selection of the most popular curries are:
Vindaloo: A popular hot curry
Bhuna: a medium spicy sauce with fried meat or vegetables
Madras: A hot, slightly sour curry
Balti: A curry that is believed to have originated in Birmingham, England, cooked in a traditional Balty oven.
Tikka Masala: There is no standard Tikka Masala recipe but it usually involves chicken pieces served in a spicy tomato and yoghurt sauce.
Korma: A mild, creamy curry
Roghan Josh: A mid spicy curry, usually featuring lamb
Most Indian restaurants also serve their own speciality dishes so there are usually some lesser known dishes to try as well. Curries are also a popular vegetarian dish.
As well as these specialities from different regions of the world many of the restaurants also offer full menus of dishes providing plenty of options. These include different types of steaks, roast chicken, duck breast, confit duck legs, ribs and a selection of child specific meals such as burgers and chicken nuggets with chips.
Burgers and chicken are also available at the takeaway restaurants in town, with plenty of different types of burgers as well as friend chicken and chicken nuggets. Paninis, kebabs and pad Thai dishes are also available to take away.
Some places in town also offer traditional British Sunday roast dinners and traditional Christmas dinners.
Morzine restaurants and other eating options
There are different eating options available depending on what people's requirements are.
There are a large number of restaurants in Morzine allowing diners the chance to sit down and enjoy their meal.
Pros and Cons
The restaurants in town offer chance to sit down and try some of the best food the resort has to offer. They all aim to look after their customers as well as they possibly can. A great deal of thought goes into decorating the restaurants to provide a certain ambience to enhance the dining experience.
Restaurants offer the best opportunity to try the local specialities. They also often use locally sourced products, in particular the local cheeses.
Many of the restaurants close during the inter season months (May to mid June and mid September till early December) due to the lack of business and a list of restaurants that are open during that time can be found at the tourist information office in the centre of town. The opening hours can change between winter and summer as well, with some restaurants only open for dinner during winter due to the fact that most people are up the mountain skiing during the day.
However, eating out can be expensive, especially when factoring in the cost of drinks and a full three course meal. Also, in the middle of winter when the snow is falling and the wind is howling sometimes going out in the evening is not a particularly enticing prospect! On top of that, if you are staying out of the centre of town the cost of a taxi can make the evening even more expensive.
Some mights of the week it can also be harder to get a table at a restaurant without booking in advance, particularly on Wednesday evenings when most of the chalet staff in resort have the night off and all the chalet guests head into town to eat. Families with young children might also find they have to eat early so that they can get their children home to bed before it gets too late in the evening.
For these reasons dining at a restaurant is probably not a realistic option for every night of your visit although it is definitely recommended at least once while in Morzine in order to see what the town has to offer.
The Restaurants Of Morzine
There are plenty of restaurants in town to choose from, with most of them around the centre of town. They range from cheaper options all the way up to fine dining. Here are some of the options.
Le Clin D'Oeil: Located close to the Carrefour supermarket and the Post Office in town, Le Clin D'Oeil is right next to the supermarket which is perfect for anyone who decides to drive in to town for dinner. The restaurant was taken over ten years ago by Jean Noel and Kristel, a couple from the South West of France. The cuisine in the restaurant is therefore influenced by the dining of the South West, with Cassoulet, duck breast and duck legs on the menu along side the traditional Savoyarde cheese dishes. They also offer steak, chicken, risotto, vegetarian and fish dishes as well as a kids menu, Christmas dinner and New Years dinner.
The restaurant can seat over ninety diners, yet because it is split into three distinct areas it maintains a warm and cosy atmosphere.
La Grange: La Grange can be found near the top of the high street close to the central square of Morzine. It is a small, friendly restaurant that specialises in traditional French cooking with an emphasis on sourcing the best local ingredients. Some of their specialities include a winter wild boar stew, cooked in the same manner as Beef Bourgignon, a fondue featuring the addition of cepe mushrooms, a savoury tart featuring the local Abondance cheese, a creamy ham and cheese bake, a shallot and sun dried tomato tarte tatin and a duck confit and apple parmentier. Some of their most popular desserts include a warm bilberry cake served with pistachio cream and their lemon and lime cheesecake.
They also offer steak, lamb, chicken, locally sourced Fera fish from lake Geneva and Trout from Morzine as well as vegetarian options and a children's menu.
La Chaudanne: This restaurant is located a short walk from the centre of town. The building used to be a barn before being converted to a restaurant in 1979. In 2010 the restaurant underwent a full restoration. A wine bar was also opened downstairs in the restaurant serving a selection of wines, with the focus on French wines but also a selection from around the world. The wine bar also serves a selection of tapas, including a cheese selection, home made foie gras and a mini sweet selection.
The restaurant can be found upstairs from the wine bar, on the ground floor. The restaurant has a wide selection of meat dishes, including cote de boeuf, veal kidneys, beef tartare, and a duck breast "duckburger", topped with foie gras. They also have all the Savoyare dishes, such as Tartiflette, Fondue and Raclette as well as a children's menu.
La Rotonde: La Rotonde is a small restaurant located close to the bottom of the Pleney lift near the tourist information centre. It has a nice, sunny outside terrace for summer. The interior is decorated in a traditional Alpine style which is reflected in the choice of Savoyarde specialities on offer. As well as these the restaurant also specialises in pizzas and also offers a selection of meat and vegetarian dishes.
L'Etale: L'Etale has the same owners as La Rotonde and offers similarly priced cuisine. It is quite a large restaurant although the lighting and ambience make it feel like a more intimate setting. There is a large menu incorporating the usual local cheese based dishes such as raclette and fondue as well as pierrade, Italian dishes including lasagne and a large pizza menu, vegetarian and vegan options, an extensive menu of meat dishes such as confit duck, ribs, steak and the restaurants speciality - potence, a "meat tree" featuring steak soaked in whisky hanging from a "tree" and set on fire. Their French onion soup is another speciality worth trying. The restaurant is located right at the bottom of the Pleney and also has a bar that is perfectly located for a few apres ski drinks at the end of the day. Throughout winter and summer months the restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, as its proximity to the slopes make it a good place to stop for lunch for anyone skiing on the Pleney side.
La Dez Alp: Located on the high street of Morzine is La Dez Alp, offering a truly Savoarde experience with a warm and welcoming environment and a wooden interior that was sculpted b the owner himself. It also has a heated terrace commanding impressive views across the valley and along the Ardoisieres valley up to Avoriaz. It offers traditional Savoyarde dishes as well as meat and fish dishes, a plat du jour, pizzas, burgers and a selection of crepes.
La Flamme: This restaurant can be found right at the bottom of the Super Morzine bubble La Flamme is a small and welcoming restaurant with decor that brings to mind a traditional Alpine chalet. La Flamme has seating inside for thirty five diners with twenty four seats on the heated terrace. The cuisine features Savoyarde and Jura specialities including an unusual red wine fondue. There are also plenty of pizzas on offer and regional dishes from the south west of France such as duck breast stuffed with foie gras and a traditional vegetable soup known as Garbure. They dessert menu features traditional French desserts such as Pain Perdu and Creme Brulee. The restaurant is open throughout the day in summer and winter till eleven PM and also offers a children's menu.
Le Grillon: Le Grillon is a large,welcoming restaurant with seating for approximately one hundred inside. The restaurant features a large open fire place to warm you up in the middle of winter. The restaurant serves local dishes such as raclette and has its own version of the popular tartiflette featuring mushrooms. They have a child specific menu for anyone taking their family out for dinner as well as a selection of pizzas and a highly rated cote de boeuf. The restaurant has a small outdoor terrace for warmer weather.
La Chamade: It's hard to miss the impressive Chamade restaurant with sculptures and plants dominating the exterior. The restaurant first opened in 1969 and has stayed in the same family, the Thorens. Thierry, the son of the original owners, took over in the 1980s and brought with him his extensive cheffing experience. In 2010 they expanded across the road to open up Coup De Coeur, a wine bar serving tapas style food. The Chamade restaurant was fully renovated for the 2013-2014 winter season to fuse modernity tradition creating a functional yet warm and welcoming environment. Combining the two restaurants, it is possible to have a cheese and wine tasting at Coup De Coeur before heading to La Chamade for dinner. The cuisine in the restaurant also brings the modern and the traditional together. As well as traditional dishes, including a fondue featuring cheese from the local Serrausaix fromagerie the restaurant also offers whole roasted pigeon, lamb, a selection of fish, steak, chicken and vegetarian options. There is also a children's menu and excellent pizzas cooked in a wood fired oven.
Le Tyrolien: Le Tyrolien is located a short walk from the tourist office and has plenty of seating, including a large covered terrace, making it a great option for larger groups. Their menu includes all the local favourites as well as pizzas, meat, fish and pasta. During the season the restaurant is open from ten AM with the bar open till two AM.
La Ferme De La Fruitiere: The Savoyard cuisine is famous for its cheese based dishes, and there is nowhere better to sample them than La Ferme De La Fruitiere. This stunning stone and wood restaurant is a part of the Fruitiere L'Alpage which makes its own cheese in town using milk from local cows. This is perfect for anyone wanting to try truly local Morzine dining! They also offer other French cuisine and have an extensive wine list. The Fruitiere L'Alpage also offer tours of their cheese making facilities and have a shop selling the local cheeses and other local delicacies. The restaurant has an outdoor area for summer months.
Le Vents D'Anges: Away from most of the restaurants in town, located at the bottom of the high street nestled next to the mairie is Le Vents D'Anges. It is easy to miss this out of the way restaurant but it is well worth a visit. The restaurant is not the typical Savoyard restaurant, combining locally sourced ingredients with original ideas to create surprising and unexpected dishes.
L'Atelier: Right in the centre of town, facing the tourist office, is L'Atelier, offering fine dining in a traditional environment. The chef, Alexandre Baud-Pachon, takes the traditional mountain cuisine and uses it as a starting point to move further afield. Whilst using local ingredients, such as the fish from Lake Geneva, but also offers a lobster ravioli. The restaurant offers an eight course tasting menu and also has special Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve menus. The menu changes regularly as the chef tries new dishes,and new food comes into season. The "Fantasie Chablisiene" is a seven course meal that can be paired with carefully selected wines. The wine cellar has over two hundred different wines and an impressive ten thousand bottles, showing off the best of French vineyards. This is a truly luxury restaurant in the heart of Morzine offering more than the usual meat and cheese!The restaurant also has a summer garden for the warmer summer season.
Alpine Lounge: Nestled amongst the bars between the bottom of the Pleney and the Tourist Information Office, the Alpine Lounge has been recently renovated to seat one hundred and ten diners in the modern interior. The restaurant has an extensive grill and pizza menu and is something of a hybrid between the other restaurants and a fast food location.
Chez Etienne: For anyone staying out of town in Montriond, Chez Etienne is a traditional Savoyarde restaurant specialising in the local cuisine, with a decor to match. The restaurant also serves a Plat Du Jour for lunch and has a bar in which to enjoy a drink after a day on the slopes or before dinner.
Le Rocher: Another restaurant located in Montriond, Le Rocher offers some of the best pizzas in the area, with a separate takeaway restaurant next door to the main restaurant. The main restaurant offers a mix of salads, omelettes, pasta dishes, fish and meat dishes, including a fillet steak with foie gras sauce.
Chalet Philibert: Chalet Philibert is located a short walk from the centre of Morzine. The decor is traditional Alpine, based on a Savoyarde dining room and featuring a fireplace. The food could be described as fine dining and incorporates seasonal and local ingredients to create an ever changing menu and season specific specials.
This overview shows that there is a great deal to choose from for sit down restaurant dining in Morzine.
However, a sit down meal in a restaurant might not suit all people's needs. In that case another option is a fast food or takeaway place.
Pros and Cons
These offer a less formal environment, cheaper and simpler food served quicker. No reservation is required and you can take the food with you, so it can be eaten on the move or back at your chalet or apartment. This is often a better option for people with children, and the convenience of a fast food restaurant means that they are also a good option for people on a night out or people who have not planned ahead. Some of these places also offer deliveries making them even more convenient.
However, fast food and takeaway is not a great way to immerse yourself in the culinary tradition of Morzine or enjoy local delicacies as the dishes on offer- mostly pizzas, burgers, kebabs etc are readily available anywhere in the world.
There is plenty of choice in town offering different cuisine. Here are some of the restaurants you can choose from.
Mamma's: One of the most popular takeaways in town, with some seating inside, Mamma's is right in the middle of the high street and offers a selection of pizzas, wraps, sausage and chips, fish and chips, burgers, pasta and pad Thai dishes. The most popular takeaway in town it's always extra busy on Wednesdays during the season. The restaurant opens around five PM during the season and has limited opening during interseason months.
Pizza Schuss: This restaurant can be found at the top end of the high street. It is a small building with some outside seating. The menu features pizzas and paninis named after classic film actors.
O Chalet: O Chalet is a short walk from the tourist information office close to many of the bars in town. The restaurant offers a selection of kebabs, bagels, wraps, paninis, pasta dishes and crepes. However, it is the gourmet burgers which the restaurant is most well known for. They have plenty to choose from with chicken burgers as well as beef burgers, vegetarian options and different types of cheese to top it with. They also offer smaller meals - plain burgers, hot dogs, croque monsieurs and nuggets for people with a smaller appetite.
Chez Shafty: It is easy to miss Chez Shafty as it is hidden down a side street at the top of the high street. However, it is well worth a visit. Chez Shafty sells hot sandwiches, burgers, crepes and fried chicken. It is the fried chicken which it is most well known for, and anyone missing their favourite fried chicken from home should pay it a visit. The restaurant is also open till late so is a good place for a pit stop on a night out if you start to feel a bit peckish!
Che Pers'yl: Chez Per'syl is located about a ten minute walk from the centre of town and is primarily known as one of the best pizzas places in town, although they have begun trying different dishes, such as sushi in summer and barbecue and kebabs during the Harley Days festival. They also offer home delivery which is lifesaver for anyone who does not want their pizza to get cold on the walk home.
Spice Garden: Spice Garden is Morzine's only dedicated curry restaurant. It is located on the high street and has limited seating but is primarily for takeaway. The restaurant features plenty of different kinds of curry, from mild to extra spicy and also sells smaller "curry boxes" for a cheaper option as well as curry wraps.
Pleney Burger: Right at the foot of the Pleney lift, Pleney Burger specilises in a variety of burgers and hot dogs and is a popular stop off for lunch time as well as for a takeaway dinner. It has indoor and outdoor seating, and the sunny outdoor seating is particularly popular for lunch in summer when there are always lots of mountain bikes parked up outside.
For something slightly different to a restaurant or a takeaway another potential option is bar food.
Pros and Cons
Many of the bars in town offer sit down food at good prices, and the standard of "pub grub" in town has increased over the last few years so that now it is a good option for anyone looking to sit down and eat in a relaxed environment, and also doesn't break up the evening for anyone who is on a night out.
However, they do not usually have as extensive a choice as the restaurants and the bars of Morzine can get a bit rowdy in the evening which could ruin our meal!
Marmotte D'Or: The tabac bar in Montriond has been expanded and renovated over the last few years into the Marmotte D'Or. They offer brunch specials at the weekend and throughout the day serve burgers and wraps as well as bar snacks such as stuffed jalapenos and loaded fries. They also offer home delivery on orders over a certain amount.
L'Aubergade: L'Aubergade is a hotel/bar close tot he bottom of the Pleney that sells a selection of burgers and bar snacks throughout he day as well as summer barbecues every Tuesday, special themed evenings, Sunday roasts and a Christmas dinner menu.
Haka Bar: The Haka is a small bar tucked away behind the main bars near the Pleney. It sells a selection of burgers, specials such as curry or tartiflette and smaller snacks.
Rhodos: At the bottom of the high street is the Rhodos bar. Offering an ambience reminiscent of Bristish Wetherspoons pubs the bar is open all year round and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. As well as pizzas and burgers the bar also sells pasties, steak, tartiflette, duck breast, fish and chips and vegetarian dishes. Every Wednesday there are special deals on steak and a two for one pizza deal every Thursday.
Sherpa: Just out of the centre of Morzine Bar Sherpa offers a selection of food including wraps, burgers and more. During summer they also host their famous Bring Your Own Meat barbecues, where they will cook your meat to order and provide free side salads.
For all these options, however, some people still will not be able to leave the chalet to eat out. To recreate the dining out experience without leaving home, and save yourself the effort of cooking, there are companies that will send a chef to your chalet to cook for you.
Pros and Cons
Home chefs offer restaurant quality food with the convenience of never having to leave your chalet. This can be a great option for people with children or far out of town. Having said that though, it would be a shame not to go and experience the ambience of the local restaurants, a great way to get a taste for the local culture.
Here are a selection of home chefs:
Chez Toi: Chez Toi offer to come to your chalet and cook for you, with different options to suit all budgets. The Family Service offers simple catering, with a continental breakfast and a two course evening meal. The Traditional Chalet Service is the next step up offering a three course evening meal instead. The Luxury service allows you to request your own menu or have a bespoke menu made specially for you. If you prefer the privacy of not having a chef in the chalet then they can also deliver meals to you instead.
Doorstep Dinners: Doorstep Dinners can tailor their service to our individual requirements, whether it's a two course or three course dinner or even just meals delivered to the chalet on disposable trays. They are flexible so that you can choose which days of your stay you wish to be catered for.
La Grange Chez Vous: The restaurant La Grange offer a delivery or collection service allowing you to eat some of their delicious restaurant meals in the comfort of our own home.
Chalet Kitchen: Located all over the French Alps, Chalet Kitchen offers a home delivery service from seventeen euros per person.
Griffin Private Chefs: Run by two local chefs with over fifteen years experience between them, Griffin Private Chefs offers a full catering service for your chalet including breakfast and dinner, with professional hosts on hand to serve your food.
With so much to choose from there should be something to please everyone when looking for somewhere to eat. Whilst people book their holidays to Morzine with skiing, biking or hiking in mind the culinary side of a visit should not be overlooked and can be planned in advance or visitors can look round the village and see what takes their fancy!