Eating on the mountain in Le Grand Domaine Ski
Finding the right mountain restaurant for your lunchtime skiing needs is not always easy.
A quick snack or a full-blown French lunch? Hungry children? Atmosphere? Cheap eats? Need to gather skiers and non-skiers in the same place? Bad weather refuge? Party?
These are available all over the resort and almost all are accessible either by lift and walking or by skiing on a Blue run.
Alpe d’Huez is spread out over 4 mountains so I have grouped them accordingly, reading left to right as depicted on the Piste Map and with the name of the nearest area as displayed on the map. I have concentrated only on those restaurants that are on the mountain and not “attached” to any of the resort villages.
If you want to see the lunchtime restaurants that are next to the piste but in the resorts, click here:
All restaurants have a BC rating, this is the price of the cheapest Burger and Chips offered on the menu.
This semi-independent ski area on the left-hand side of the piste map accounts for around a third of all the skiing in the Grande Domaine and has the greatest concentration of restaurants at Montfrais 1650 and Alpette 2050.
Au P’tit Truc : A snack bar with hamburgers, sandwiches and paninis right at the bottom of the Vallonets and Montfrais chairlifts and a 50m walk from the top of the Montfrais Gondola. It has a small interior and most of its customers are served outside where there is seating. Table service. BC=??
The Vaujaniat: This restaurant is near the bottom of the run that starts at Alpette 2050, on the piste and a 100m walk from the top of the Montfrais Gondola. It has cafeteria and offers fast food, burgers etc. as well as more traditional dishes. Seating is either inside or on the piste-side terrace. Cafeteria service. BC=??
Les Airelles: This is known locally as “The Cow Restaurant” as it has a couple of full-size black and white plastic cows outside, making it easy to locate as long as you don’t ski too fast. Located 300m from the top of the Montfrais Gondola and on the run that comes down from Alpette 2050. Built into an old chalet this has all the alpine atmosphere you could want inside. Outside there is a big piste-side terrace. Tasty food with generous portions. Table service. BC=??
Alpette 2050 :
A major crossroads of lifts with the Vaujany-Alpette cable car from Vaujany and the Alpette gondola from Oz arriving and the Alpette-Rousses cable car departing for Dome des Rousses 2800.
La Grange : An old Chalet set back off the piste 150m from Alpette 2050 with a large sunny terrace; limited space inside. If you are skiing from the central part of the resort it’s near the bottom of the Les Rousses Red run with a small access piste to the terrace. They specialise in Pizzas from a wood-fired oven. The pizzas are large so you might want to share, unless very hungry. Other dishes available. Table service. BC=??
L’île d’Oz : An old chalet around 500m from Alpette 2050. Easy ski access on the Carrelet Green run which leads to the Red Alpette run down to Oz Station. There is a short Poma button lift to get you back to Alpette 2050. It’s a 500m walk on a prepared path. An old Alpine Chalet it has limited seating inside. Outside there is a terrace with one of the best views anywhere in the Alps, hard to beat on a sunny day. Lots of locally sourced and bio (organic) products. Table service. BC=??
Oz en Oisans Sector
Le Chalet d’Oz : On the sometimes challenging Olmet Red run on the way down to Oz, it is very hard to access by foot unless you are on snowshoes; not recommended for pedestrians. Comfortable indoor seating heated by a traditional wood stove. There is a nice terrace and a view of the mountains. It is usually very quiet as it’s on a flat-out schuss and most skiers have gone past in a tuck before they realise it’s there. That’s a pity as the owners are very friendly and the food is good, if simple, fare. Table service. BC=??
Just the one restaurant on the piste in Villard-Reculas but a nice one in an old Chalet. It’s a short walk from Villard-Reculas village or nice ski from Signal 2100 down the Villard Blue run. A lovely terrace with great views down the valley. The interior is traditional with a huge wood fire keeping everything warm. Table service inside but order at the outside hatch for service on the terrace. Snacks and traditional food. BC=??
Alpe d’Huez Sector
There are more restaurants in this sector than elsewhere, but they are somewhat spread out.
Le Signal: They claim the best view in l’Alpe d’Huez though this is probably better described as the best view of Alpe d’Huez, not noted for its architectural beauty. The building is a severe modern structure all glass and stainless steel in various triangular shapes. Access for both skiers and pedestrians via the Telemixte du Signal or up from Villard-Reculas on Le Villaris chair.
Les Jeux 2100
This area is also known as “The Mid-Station of the DMC”.
Le Chantebise: Easy access for skiers and pedestrians either via the 1st stage of the DMC, or by various pistes that arrive there. A big restaurant with a large indoor area, it’s part of the lift station. There is also a big terrace with some delightful cabins where you can huddle up in bad weather. Table service with an extensive menu and big portions. Unusually, this restaurant doesn’t have its own toilets, you must use the public toilets in the lift station; have 0.50€ handy.
Le Chantebise Snack Bar: You walk past this to get to the main restaurant. Access as above. Burgers, Paninni, Fries and similar snacks. There is limited seating and standing at high tables outside. Don’t sit at the tables on the main restaurant terrace, they will turf you out. Counter service.
La Plage des Neiges: Easy access from Jeux 2100 on the Les Jeux Green run or a 500m walk on a prepared track. Right on the piste and with a nice terrace as well as a good-sized interior. There are also a couple of spherical balls/cabins that can be reserved, fun in bad weather. Table service.
Chalet Lac Besson: This set well away from the main pistes and mainly serves the Cross-Country skiers. Easy to access for pedestrians from Jeux 2100 on the prepared paths. The usual way skiers get there is via the Chamois Red run starting at Lac Blanc 2700 and then branching off on the Blue Boulevard des Lacs. There is a nice terrace and a cosy interior. This is an excellent place to get away from the usual hustle of the other places on the pistes. Traditional menu and Table service.
Le Spot: This is a funny little snack bar tucked away on the Lac Blanc Green piste right in the middle of the lower pistes. Outside seating only on sheepskins placed over a shelf made of snow or on folding deckchairs. It specialises in Nasi Goreng (tasty but not the slightest bit authentic) and burgers. It is cheap, has absolutely no pretensions (instant coffee) and is a firm favourite amongst locals and seasonal workers. The toilet is an eco-friendly sawdust arrangement best avoided by any sensitive souls.
La Folie Douce : A complex of several offerings all usually referred to collectively as The Folie Douce. Access is easy for skiers and pedestrians from the Marmottes 1 chairlift or by various pistes.
Inside the building there is La Fruitière, a good quality (read expensive, the Onion Soup is 14€ and the Burger 29€) restaurant with an extensive wine list.
They call La Petite Cuisine a gourmet canteen. Which is a subtle way of conditioning you to expect to have to pay a bit more for everything. The cuisine is tasty and generous. Tartiflette, croziflette, soup, burger, salad & vegetables, there’s something for everyone … children’s menus are available. South facing terrace. After lunch enjoy a cabaret and some festive après-ski.
Then there is the Terrace where you can enjoy serious Après-Ski after 14.30. A VIP area is available where you can drink Champagne lounging on giant cushions. You may need to lie down after you have seen how much you will have to pay for a normally modest bottle of Champagne.
La Cabane : Halfway down the pistes underneath the Marmottes 1 chairlift this is easy for skiers to get to via the Bergers Blue or the Olympique Red runs. Pedestrians face a stiff 1.2Km uphill walk using the path from Les Bergers, starting near the bottom of Marmottes 1. Under new ownership this year but in the past has provided good meals. A big terrace with magnificent views. Big interior.
La Combe Haute: At the bottom of the Sarenne Black run and the bottom of the Chalvet Chairlift this is easy for skiers to access either via the Sarenne Black or Le Gua Green run in Auris. Tricky for pedestrians except perhaps on snowshoes. It is often full of skiers celebrating their first descent of the Sarenne; some are grateful just to be alive. The restaurant is in 2 parts; an outdoors snack bar with counter service and a traditional chalet with indoor seating. The snack bar has a small indoor, but unheated, area and serves sandwiches, burgers and fries etc. The restaurant has a good menu with traditional mountain foods and table service.
L’Hermine: At the bottom of the Frontfroide Chairlift. Access is easy for skiers from various pistes and for both skiers and pedestrian via the Alpauris chairlift that connect the Auris and Alpe d’Huez sectors. It has a terrace and a small interior. Service is via a counter/cafeteria and the food is basic.
La Forêt de Maronne: Tucked away in the tiny hamlet of Maronne at the bottom of the Tardis Blue run is La Forêt de Maronne. Its just beyond the bottom of the Maronne 2-man chairlift, down a small track through the garden. Impossible for pedestrians unless you have driven to Maronne. There is a small terrace and a nice interior. Food is the usual varied mountain fare though well done.