Live Young Abroad: Culinary secrets of Villars ski resort
Getting ready for skiing season in Switzerland? Hannah shares the culinary secrets of the Swiss ski village she's been visiting every year since she was a little girl.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have gone to the same ski village called Villars-sur-Ollon every year. This is why I am sharing all my good addresses with you today. Enjoy!
In winter, you have to keep warm... This is why I suggest that you start eating more! Below you can find some good restaurants to visit with friends and family around the village and on the slopes.
Pizza & pancakes
A great place I like to return to every time I am craving a big fat pizza is Francis. And each time I end up ordering the same 'Hawaiian pizza' without ever getting bored. But you don’t have to take this one – Francis has a very large choice of different dishes, Italian or not, and if you are on a diet, they have a nice little salad bar. The restaurant is quite big with two rooms. During the peak ski season and especially during the weekends, it is better to make a reservation. In terms of dessert, you should try the pancakes, which are large, fatty and super yummy! I used to come here with my summer camp friends in the old times to gather around some nice 'dude food' and chill… but it is also a very nice family place.
Traditional Swiss food
If you want to have the best fondue in town, have a few Malakoffs (fried cheese balls) and enjoy an amazing double-creme tart, go to the Restaurant de la Gare (next to the train station). This traditional, cozy, and typically Swiss restaurant will definitely please you if you are here with family, friends, or kids. The service is impeccable and the food is divine. Prices are a bit expensive, but definitely worth it!
Le Grizzly is the Swiss chalet or cheese restaurant of the Royalp (5* resort of Villars-sur-Ollon). What I really like about this place is the atmosphere: there is a huge fireplace in the middle of the room which gets you in a warm winter mood. Enjoy a glass of wine, order yourself a raclette and just enjoy the moment. Perfect place for a dinner 'en amoureux' after a hard day of skiing.
Tea-rooms & cakes
I think La Chaumiere is a traditional and must-try tea room in Villars. Ok, the prices are pretty high, the service is not great, but it still has its own little charm. Especially if after a day of skiing you want to enjoy a hot chocolate and pastry.
On the slopes
There are several slope restaurants in Bretaye (the skiing area above the village) where you can enjoy a little snack or a proper lunch during the day without having to go back to the village.
- Sandwich: If you just want to have a little snack and not waste quality skiing time, then you should try grabbing a sandwich at the 'Hotel du Lac'. They also have amazing homemade tarts and a big buffet. The advantage of the place is their terrace, which can accomodate many people when the sun is out.
- Fondue: As soon as you enter the skiing area (Bretaye), you have a selection of two restaurants above the skiing shops and the Swiss ski school that serve very good cheese dishes. There is also a self-service area where you can help yourself and choose from a choice of salads, cold plates, sandwiches, soups, pasta etc..
- Burgers & cookies: A recently opened cafe called Cookie offers skiers and visitors a very cool selection of fast food. Indeed, it is the easiest and cheapest lunch you can have between the two pistes. Cookie serves burgers, sandwiches, paninis, nuggets, fries, choc&chip cookies, and I noticed a very interesting drink on the board called the 'cookie hot chocolate' which has Baileys in it…. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Enjoy your winter season wherever you are!
Hannah is 22, half-French and half-German, and grew up in Prague and Paris. Nowadays when she wants to go “home” she spends her time between Paris, Brussels, Prague, London and Bulle, “which can be confusing but with some organization, somehow I manage :)”. On her blog, she writes about bars, restaurants, travels and more.
Photo credit: 663highland (cheese fondue).
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