Begun as a small teahouse in 1850, Blatten is another classic mid-mountain lunch choice with fresh local produce, cheese, an herb garden and amazing views. The Taugwalder family has roots in both gastronomy and mountaineering, and has created a warm, interesting and creative restaurant environment. A unique option they offer is to hike in the moonlight to Blatten to have fondue before sledding down into town.
Mid-mountain on Blauherd, Blue Lounge offers fantastic views, live bands and a buzzy atmosphere. Skiers can enjoy après drinks on the large couches or loungers, while families with strollers can take the funicular up from Sunnega to enjoy the views and food.
This Michelin-starred restaurant with just 28 seats is one of Zermatt’s hardest reservations to land. From their open kitchen, chefs Luis Romo and Tommaso Guardascione prepare a nightly six-course menu with flavors that span the globe using ingredients that come mostly from within mere miles from Zermatt. Every evening offers something different. One constant: fun, inventive dishes served on country-chic porcelain plates by a small team of friendly waiters (often including owner Andreas Alm). The vibe is relaxed, and Brasserie Uno makes for a good break from traditional Swiss dishes.
Chez Heini is a unique, not-to-miss experience that you’ll only find in Zermatt. Indagare tip: Make sure to arrive around 8:00pm so that you’re there for the owner’s show, where he sings and entertains patrons with his own creations of Euro pop songs. The restaurant is decorated in what can only be described as an Alpine S-and-M theme, with glitter, bizarre statues and a corner honoring his close friend Frida, of the band ABBA, with photos and memorabilia. Highlights are the renowned local lamb dishes and the lemon sorbet, which is served in a red high-heel shoe.
Chez Vrony, originally a small farmhouse built in 1900, has transformed into a popular mountain restaurant serving true farm-to-table menus. Every year the family raises five cows, producing milk and cheese and, finally, homemade dried beef for the next year. Located mid-mountain, the restaurant can be reached by taking the tram up to Sunnega and walking back down the mountain for 20 minutes, or by hiking from town directly. After enjoying the extensive, homegrown meal, many people will lounge on the deck to enjoy a glass of wine and the incredible views.
Franz & Heidi Findlerhof
Located mid-mountain in the small town of Findeln, this restaurant serves primarily traditional Swiss items as rösti, strudel, and raclette in a quintessentially Swiss setting with views of the surrounding mountains.
Take a quick break while skiing or spend the day, enjoy dinner or even overnight at the igloo village located on Gornergrat, which offers accommodations ranging from romantic suites for two to group igloos for six in a unique ice setting.
Le Gitan Grill Room
A small, rustic restaurant located right on the main Bahnhofstrasse, Le Gitan centers around an open grill that churns out amazing lamb, meat, fish and fresh salads. They have a large selection of local wines, and everything is served in an intimate and laid-back environment.
Le Grill Cervin
The high-ceilinged grillroom in the Mont Cervin Palace, boasting 14 Gault Millau points, offers a warm aesthetic, with light pine wooden railings and Alpine decoration. The star of the room is the charcoal grill, from which they serve local meats raised right in the area, as well as fish and fresh produce. For dessert, don’t miss their decadent chocolate cake that pours onto the plate once it is cut open.
Situated right on the water in the center of town, Le Mazot features tasty local ingredients in its fresh creations like the chanterelle mushroom salad and impeccably cooked "lamb duo," as well as an incredible apple tart. Guests can enjoy dinner with a view, as all of the preparation and cooking happens in the restaurant's open kitchen.
Metzgerei Bayard, Butcher
The town butcher is located on the main street and during the afternoon will serve freshly cooked Bratwurst from a grill outside the side of the store. Served with a piece of Zermatt’s traditional wheat bread and a squeeze of ketchup or mustard, its the ultimate afternoon snack.
Michelin-starred 1818, with an interior created by design and architecture expert Heinz Julen, was created to provide a unique gastronomic alpine dining experience. Chef Christian Geisler pairs his surprise menu with both local and international wines (you can choose a la carte as many appetizers, entrees and desserts as you wish). The restaurant can accommodate private parties and larger groups with a specially designed menu and wine pairing.
Restaurant Adler Hitta
Located mid mountain on Findeln, the Adler Hitta offers indoor seating and a buzzy outdoor terrace for lunch and drinks with fantastic views straight on the Matterhorn. Skiers can take the Sunegga Express and ski down from there; non-skiers may hike from the express as well. Try their specialty: the whole chicken in a special rub that they take straight out of the rotisserie off to the side of the restaurant. Downstairs along the walls is an interesting pictorial history of how the restaurant structure was brought up the mountain to its current location.
A hot spot for après ski drinks on the sunny terrace with a Matterhorn view, Cervo restaurant is located near the Sunegga funicular at the end of the Rothorn ski run (10 minutes by foot from the Zermatt train station). The restaurant offers a fresh, contemporary menu, which puts a new spin on traditional dishes. There’s also an à la carte menu to pair your protein with sides and a choice from among six different sauces before capping off your evening with homemade white chocolate ice cream or passion fruit sorbet. The restaurant is open between November and April. (Cervo is also a boutique hotel with rooms spread across four different chalets surrounding the restaurant.)
Another gem of a traditional Swiss grill restaurant, the Shaferstubli is located in the basement of the Hotel Julen. It focuses mainly on lamb dishes and fondue in the cozy environment, with exposed wooden beams and rustic mountaineering decorations along the walls.
Located under the Seiler Hotel Monte Rosa, the Whymper-Stube is one of the original restaurants of Zermatt, frequented (and named after) Edward Whymper, the first man to ascend the Matterhorn in 1865. Serving traditional Swiss raclette and fondue from its traditional oven, which dates back to 1888, the Whymper-Stube remains a Zermatt mainstay.
Ristorante Al Bosco
Located about 2,000 feet above the town of Zermatt, the Riffelalp Resort has wonderful views of the Matterhorn and an indoor/outdoor dining option for lunch and dinner. The restaurant serves Italian food on their outdoor patio in the summer and inside during the winter. While the food is fine, the Ristorante Al Bosco is best for a quick mid-day stop for a drink after taking the train up to Gornergrat.
With 16 Gault Millau points and a Michelin star, the renowned Ristorante Capri on the 4th floor of Le Petit Cervin offers traditional Mediterranean gourmet cuisine reimagined in a contemporary manner. Part of the Mont Cervin's dine-around program, the Ristorante is an inviting place for families to share a meal with views of the Matterhorm, followed by a nightcap in the hotel Rendezvous bar.
The “starlit” bar (the ceiling is adorned with tiny lights to resemble stars) in the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is a cozy setting to enjoy after dinner drinks and listen to the live pianist in an old-world setting. On the wall of the bar are the crests of the major families in Zermatt, which are worth the visit on their own.
The best crèpes in town are sold from a tiny store located on the main Bahnhofstrasse across from the Mont Cervin Palace. Best for an afternoon snack or a treat after dinner, the sweet and savory crèpes are a must. In the summer, you can also get ice cream served in homemade cones.
Tucked back across the river from the main thoroughfare, the two-story Stockhorn restaurant is a traditional gem; the exterior feels like you’ve stumbled back in time, once inside, there’s a cozy Swiss ambiance with the wooden beams, wrought iron entrance and mountaineering memorabilia on the walls. You can watch the meat roasting over the open wood-burning fire where the majority of the excellent traditional menu is cooked; all served by a lively staff (closed on Mondays year round and mid-May – mid-June and October).
Only open in the summer and located about a two-hour hike from Zermatt is the family-owned Hotel Trift, nestled right below the Trift Glacier. Run by Hugo and Fabienne Biner, the restaurant serves classic Swiss fare, including an iced tea so delicious that the Washington Post reportedly tried to get the recipe (the family declined). Quench your thirst with breathtaking views from the front terrace before you hike back down into town.
Zum See remains one of the best mountain restaurants in the area; owners Max and Greti Menning serve fresh home grown salads, pastas, lamb and veal on their porch in the summer and in the cozy dining room in the winter. Don’t miss the legendary apple strudel.