Nestled in between gorgeous mountains and accessible only by train, Zermatt is a dreamy destination in the heart of the Swiss Alps with year-round appeal. In a small town like Zermatt, you might not expect to find an abundance of good restaurants; but you’ll quickly come to realize that is an inaccurate assumption. There are some delightful culinary outposts in Zermatt!
Whether you’re visiting Zermatt for a ski vacation in the winter or a hiking trip in the middle of summer, the delicious assortment of restaurants, bars, and après ski patios will give you the sustenance you need to keep your adventure going. Although many of the restaurants are focused on Swiss cuisine, there are plenty of other options and lots of variety to choose from. I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful things we ate while exploring Zermatt!
Offering what might be the best patio view on the mountain, Chez Vrony is a must-visit restaurant while traveling in Zermatt. Their massive yet cozy patio looks up at the stunning Matterhorn and gets sun throughout the afternoon. It is a perfect place to grab a bite in between ski runs or after a long hike the morning. In fact, this restaurant won Trip Advisor’s best host in Switzerland award in 2020. All this hype means you’ll need a reservation – it gets busy in the afternoon! The menu has lots of approachable and recognizable Swiss options, prepared with a little extra flair and creativity. I had Rösti topped with cottage cheese, cherry tomatoes, and bacon which was so filling and enjoyable. My husband really enjoyed the burger, topped with melted bergkäse and cabbage slaw on a hearty but soft bun.
For something a little different, Bazaar is a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Their 100% vegetarian menu specializes in Mediterranean and Asian food. Don’t let the dizzying array of dishes fool you – this restaurant really can do it all! From momos to shakshuka to gobi Manchurian, you are bound to find something interesting on this extensive menu. Pair it with one of the creative cocktails on the menu, such as a Szechuan pepper whiskey or the rose hip gin fizz. The stunning interior is an added bonus to the dining experience!
Located across the border in Italy, this out-of-the-way spot is worth the trek. Offering affordable and delicious Italian food, the sun-filled patio at Foyer des Guides is an optimal place to take a rest on the mountain. Their extensive drink menu makes it a great spot for après ski beverages as well! With delicious main dishes that are much cheaper than over on the Swiss side of the border, you’ll feel like you’re getting a steal. Plus, the tucked away location feels private and off-the-beaten path. I can recommend the bruschetta — it was absolutely to die for! With bubbly fresh baked ciabatta bread topped with buffalo mozzarella, marinated cherry tomatoes, and olive oil dressed arugula, this is a delightful dish regardless of the time of day.
Another awesome restaurant located on the slopes is Findlerhof. Similar to Chez Vrony, this place is only open for lunch, and you’ll need a reservation, thanks to its popularity and incredible views. Located about 80 meters walk through a tiny sheep farming town, Findlerhof has a beautiful patio that is styled in the most charming Alpine way – think cozy sheep skin throws, colored textured glassware and striped blankets with the Swiss flag. The menu is somewhat limited, but everything on it is a 10 out of 10. I especially enjoyed the garlic cream soup, which was the most hearty, warming, and delicious thing to slurp down after a long morning on the mountain. If you are a fan of fresh pasta, try the truffle ravioli or penne arrabiata both of which are fantastic.
This cozy traditional Swiss restaurant has all the alpine stylings you’d expect to find in a ski town – wood beams, tight quarters, and sheep paintings on the wall. The service was very friendly, making you feel like you’re eating in someone’s home. There are several grilled lamb dishes on the menu, as well as meat fondue, all of which will satisfy your taste buds. The meat fondue comes with five different sauces, each better than the last. The classic garlic aioli and curry aioli were two of our favorites.
Focused on classic Italian dishes prepared with a modern flair, Madre Nostra is a great choice for fresh pasta. The cozy restaurant is located inside the Cervo hotel near the base of the slopes. We loved the carbonara made in the traditional way without cream, only egg yolk, as well as the delicious ravioli options like braised goose or pumpkin. The wine list here is especially noteworthy, particularly when paired with their perfectly cooked secondi meat courses.
For an almost entirely cheese-based menu, look no further than Ferdinand. Located inside the Cervo Hotel, you can sample Swiss favorites like Raclette or Fondue. The Fondue menu is robust with multiple varieties, blends, and topping options to choose from. My family absolutely loves fondue (we eat it for Christmas Eve dinner every year), so we opted to get four different varieties – two classic cheese fondues and two signature cheese options. My favorite was probably the Deluxe fondue, which is made with black truffle and champagne, giving it a light bubbly texture and strong punchy flavors. Another family favorite was the Lumberjack. This traditional cheese base also includes mushrooms and bacon inside and topped with roasted onions.
From the minute you walk into this quirky restaurant, you know you’re in for a good time — the disco balls, celebrity photos on the wall, mirrored chandeliers and odd décor give it away. The menu is limited, predominantly focused on wood-fired cuts of lamb. I would recommend ordering the melt in your mouth beef cheeks as a starter. They are served with a delicious red wine beef jus over a cheesy polenta and topped with blueberries and popcorn. If you opt for the lamb (which you should), you will get two different cuts with all-you-can-eat portions. The first cut is a rack of lamb lollipops followed by filet. They are served along with a bevy of sides like au gratin potatoes and braised vegetables. I highly recommend staying for the ‘unique show’ at 22:30 as it is billed in the menu. You’ll be serenaded by the restaurant owner Dan Daniell, who is a local celebrity known for his songs dedicated to the Matternhorn and local history. He makes sure the guests have lots of fun!
Offering one of Zermatt’s few Michelin star experiences, After Seven is located in the heart of the city. Dishing up modern eclectic cuisine with a flair for local wine pairings, this fine dining restaurant hits all the right notes. We opted for the four-course tasting menu as well as a cheese course. Settle in for the three-hour affair, but you won’t be disappointed. Creative plating and pour over sauces were highlights for me. The signature halibut was probably my favorite of the dishes we sampled, thanks to the rich beurre blanc sauce. We also loved the beef three-way course. This included souvee short rib and braised beef cheek topped with sweetbreads and a side of Jerusalem artichokes.