Val’s snowsure slopes make it an ideal venue for a number of ski and snowboard events each year. Most important of these is the Critérium de la Première Neige, a Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) competition in mid-December that has been running since 1955. The races are part of both the men’s and women’s World Cup circuit and are a joy to watch.
Eating out tends to be exorbitant in Val d’Isère and it’s a challenge to find budget options on the slopes. On the upside, standards are high and gourmands will love the burgeoning number of smart new establishments serving top quality traditional and contemporary dishes. Top of the tree is the two-Michelin starred L’Atelier Edmond but there’s also plenty of less fancy cooking for hungry families.
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La Peau de Vache — The rising star of the mountain eateries, with some old hands claiming La Peau de Vache now has the best food and service of all. This is the kind of smart but welcoming mountain eaterie that you find in the Trois Vallées but not, until now, in Val d’Isère. Half way down the La Face black run, it’s reached by the Bellevarde Express chair.
La Baraque — By far the most popular restaurant in Val among the locals, which says a lot, La Baraque remains open for much of the year. It provides consistently good food at reasonable prices and is also a resort rendezvous for those wanting a quiet drink in convivial surroundings.
L’Atelier Edmond — In Le Fornet, presided over by master chef Benoit Vidal and with two Michelin stars, L’Atelier Edmond is a wonderful, but pricey, place for a special celebration. However, there’s also a well-priced brasserie adjoining the restaurant with more moderate prices.
La Folie Douce — If you’re skiing in Val d’Isere, you absolutely must spend a ridiculous, silly, crazy afternoon at the legendary La Folie Douce bar. One of the most famous on-the-mountain après ski spots in Europe. With great live bands and a fantastic atmosphere. La Folie Douce is French for “soft party”, referring to the fact that it starts at 4 and ends by 6pm.