Beyond amazing skiing and breathtaking vistas, Verbier offers dining and drinking for all wallets. You just have to know where to look. Which you will after reading this guide.
Verbier, an icon in the world of skiing and alpine destinations. This gorgeous little mountain town, nestled among the majestic peaks of the Swiss alps has been a prized destination for jet setters and adventurers for decades. Here, billionaires and seasonaires (seasonal workers) rub shoulders in the lifts during the day and at bars during the evening. It’s a town that provides both rugged mountain charm and understated luxury at the same time – all powered by the incredible backdrop of nature at its most dramatic.
Now, let’s get one thing straight. It’s true, dining in Verbier can be a pricey affair, with some establishments charging eye-watering prices for less than average fare. You can easily hit up a restaurant that looks fantastic from the outside (and may even come recommended by the locals), and then at the end of the meal you wind up with a bad taste in your mouth and a terribly inflated bill in front of you. This rings especially true at some of the more famous names in town, including many of the most exclusive hotel restaurants.
But fear not! There’s good news ahead. The savvy traveler can still uncover gems that offer delightful meals without the hefty tag. Our guide is tailored for those looking to explore (and enjoy!) Verbier’s culinary offerings without breaking the bank. Or at the very least, we will tell you were to go to find true value for your hard earned money.
We’ve scoured the town for spots that capture the essence of Verbier’s culinary landscape – quality meals, heartwarming service, and an ambience that complements the scenery. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks or dancing – this town has something to offer at all times of the day.
Arctic Juice & Cafe
This mini-chain of coffee shops and juice bars, with outposts across the French and Swiss alps, is a life saver for many a caffeine needy skier in the morning. A coffee shop with an urban vibe just at the bottom of the main Medran lift, it’s a great pit stop for a double espresso and a sandwich in the morning. Unlike most other cafés in town, this isn’t a restaurant or bar in disguise, instead, here the focus is on fresh, healthy fare with good ingredients.
Drop in for lunch and order one of the grain bowls or a fresh protein smoothie, both great, fresh choices. Prices are slightly above moderate, but in a town like Verbier, we’ll take it.
Arctic Juice & Cafe
Rue de Médran 70
Okay, so whenever you mention Shed Burgers to anyone in Verbier – the immediate reaction is almost always “I’ll never pay 35 Swiss Francs for a damn burger”, and while we understand the sentiment, hear us out.
First and foremost, the burgers go from 28-40 CHF (which includes fries) depending on topping and size. So, no, Shed Burgers aint cheap, but unlike many other restaurants in town, these guys aren’t phoning it in. The burgers are absolute top class. Prepared with high quality Race d’Hérens beef, and served with excellent French fries, I’d put Shed Burgers up against almost any other burger – in the world. Lofty praise, I know, but strictly based on quality and taste, these are burgers on a very high international level. Best burger on the menu? The Mamba; Beef, cheddar, gruyere, caramelized onion, bacon and chili mayonnaise. Perfect.
The vibe at Shed Burgers is that of an ongoing apres ski – or even pre-party. It’s a fun vibe, with lively music and a broad span of ages among customers. To me, Shed Burgers is really one of the few restaurants in the center of Verbier town that I could definitely see myself visiting if they had an outpost in New York or Paris. Maybe some day.
Rue de Médran 5
Best Lunch Deal
So, here’s what you need to know about La Grange. This is one of the most classic restaurants in Verbier. Located in the lower part of central town, it has the interior of a typical mountain chalet – and the menu is stock full of traditional French and Swiss classics. Salade Chèvre chaud, escargots Bourgignon and terrine de foie gras join forces with perfectly grilled steaks of beef, pork and veal. Now, La Grange isn’t cheap, most of the main courses run in the 50-60 CHF, so dinner here comes at a premium.
But there’s a way to hack it. Their lunch menu. Every day, La Grange serves up a menu of the day – a three course meal with soup, main and dessert, for a mere 20 CHF. Same wonderful service, same quality ingredients. Prepared simply but really well, and with the elegant surroundings making you feel like you’re getting the bargain of the week. It’s a big lunch, so you won’t be skiing in the afternoon, but to be honest – who wants to ski after a perfect lunch anyway?
Rte de Verbier Station 70
Best On the Mountain
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Ski-slope food generally sucks. And unfortunately, ski-slope food in Verbier is no exception. Well, with the exception of a very very few places – of which La Pasay is the absolute best. Situated on the top of Bruson, the mountain across from Verbier, and just a couple of lift rides from the center of town, La Pasay is new to the Verbier area – something as unusual as a modern restaurant on the top of a mountain.
La Pasay is chic, but at the same time welcoming of all, and with prices that are not nearly as high as they could (or perhaps should) be. The menu is mainly focused on traditional Valaisanne food, but upgraded, with lovely presentation and very high quality ingredients. Try the homemade Röstis, topped with cured ham and fried egg, or perhaps the silky smooth polenta with forest mushrooms. The nettle soup is another major hit.
Sommet de la Pasay
1934 Mayens de Bruson
If you don’t feel like venturing to the other side of the valley to La Pasay, there’s good news in Verbier as well. Le Carrefour, is your best bet. This is a classic local restaurant, having served hungry (and thirsty) skiers for as long as anyone can remember on the side of the mountain – accessible from all parts of Verbier either by ski or by the free local shuttle buses.
Take a seat on the terrace (but make sure you have a reservation), and throw yourself at a menu that covers both French bistro fare and Swiss traditional dishes while sipping on a glass of local wine in the sun. The servings are big, and while the food isn’t exactly innovative, you’re skiing and the sun is shining – and who needs innovation when you have a perfectly seared beef tataki, a mille feuille of foie gras, or a crispy rösti served with doe medallions in front of you?
Rte du Golf 95
Best Drinks on the Mountain
After a long day of skiing – or well, let’s be honest – during a long day of skiing, you will inevitably need a break for a drink in the sun. And when you do, Ice Cube, situated at Ruinettes, the top station of the Medran lift, is the most fun place you can be. Featuring a lovely sundeck, great and friendly service, and a DJ most days of the week – this is definitely the best vibe you’ll find on these mountains. And if you get hungry, don’t sleep on their menu. While simple (think hot dogs and burgers), the food is very good, well made and at prices that are way more reasonable than elsewhere on in Verbier – especially mountainside. It’s a sympathetic, welcoming bar-slash-restaurant that I find myself returning to time and time again.
Because with 90’s rap music as your backdrop, a cold 1936 lager in your hand, and the sun in your face while you’re gazing out across the spectacular mountains that surround you, who can blame you for coming back?
Les Ruinettes 2200m
Le Dahu Bar
At the bottom of the La Chaux area of Verbier lies Le Dahu – a monster of a restaurant that serves thousands of people every day through their main restaurant and their lower floor self service fast food joint. And while the main restaurant remains popular with locals and tourists alike, it’s definitely not the reason I find myself taking a pit stop in this area more and more often.
Instead, it’s the Le Dahu bar that’s the draw. To the left of the entrance to the main restaurant, Bar Manager Thibault and his crew are serving up drinks and oysters to skiers that want a little glamour in their lives – at surprisingly decent prices. So order a dozen ultra fresh oysters and a glass of Champagne, take a seat in one of the sun loungers and let Thibault take care of you while you congratulate yourself on making yet another good decision in Verbier.
Le Dahu Bar
Best Sun Terrace
The Lounge at Le Chalet d’Adrien
Le Chalet d’Adrien is a five star hotel just at the bottom of the Savoleyres lift in the upper area of Verbier. The hotel boasts two restaurants, one of which (Le Table d’Adrien) proudly carries a Michelin star, and the other (Le Grenier) a more classic alpine fondue style restaurant. And while the classic restaurant has a wonderful sun terrace, it’s not the one we love the most.
Instead, we make a left at the entrance, and head straight to the outdoor lounge. This is a smaller, slightly hidden terrace that has what is possibly the best views in town. On a sunny day, there’s no better place to be, if just for a quick drink while you’re waiting for the shuttle just outside to take you back to your measly four star hotel.
The Lounge at Le Chalet d’Adrien
Rte des Creux 91
Best Pub Grub
Alp & Horn
Once you’re back down from a day on the slopes, chances are you’re not exactly looking to jump into the kitchen to cook dinner. But you’ll probably be up for a hearty meal that feels like it’s home cooked. Head down to Alp & Horn, just behind the Place Centrale, order a pint of beer and brag about your accomplishments on the mountain that day. And while you’re at it, order a couple of their fabulous hand-pies and a flammenkuchen, the Alsatian version of pizza to provide some sustenance.
The food here is simple, but very good, and Alp & Horn is one of the few restaurants in the center of Verbier where you don’t feel taken advantage of once the bill comes due (which is when you order at Alp & horn, so no nasty surprises there). Our favorite pies are the British beef and ale pie and the wild mountain mushroom. As for flammenkuchen, the forestière with cream base, onions, bacon and mushrooms will complement perfectly.
Alp & Horn
Pl. Centrale 16
If you’re looking to splurge a little bit on one of your evenings in Verbier, Intenso, located on the Place Centrale, is one of your best bets. This is an ambitious Italian restaurant with just as ambitious of an interior. It’s a big restaurant, and on weekends it gets quite “sceney”, but the food is really very good. While many Verbier restaurants don’t live up to their prices, Intenso actually mostly does.
Their many pasta dishes are fabulous, as are their appetizers and risottos – which is where you want your focus to be. Skip the meat and seafood mains, stick with the classics, and you won’t be disappointed. Now, this isn’t exactly Milano, but it’s by far the best Italian food you’ll have in Verbier.
Place Centrale 2
The Rabbit Hutch
This tiny bar is located away from the crowds, in a hidden corner close to the main parking lot in town. This is where the best cocktails in town are made, and it’s not even close. The cocktail list is fun, eclectic and well rounded – and whether you order one of the bar’s own creations or choose to go for one of the classics – you can’t go wrong here.
This is the perfect place to hit up before dinner in the area – or to wind down following a full meal elsewhere. The bar gets busier as the evening goes along, and it is open all the way to 2 am if you’ve decided to skip skiing the next morning. You don’t have to decide now, just see where the evening takes you!
The Rabbit Hutch
Rte de Verbier Station 100
Best Apres Skis
One of the most classic apres ski joints in all of the alps, Le Rouge has a well deserved reputation as the place to be in Verbier once the clock strikes 4pm. Personally I like to get there earlier, start with a late lunch around 2pm, enjoy a cheese fondue in the sun while sharing some rosé wine with friends. The service is fun and friendly, and the food is way better than it probably needs to be (the place would be busy regardless).
Le Rouge is a great place for people-watching in the early afternoon on a sunny day, and then once the apres ski starts, it’s time to head to the upstairs bar to practice a few ski-boot dance steps as the party increases in intensity. If you are a group, order a ski-full of shots, and then, well – the evening is still young, and anything can happen!
Rue de Ransou 37
Lumi has a couple of great things going for it. First, the location, just across the street from the main Medran lift ensures that almost anyone who skis in Verbier will pass it at least once per day. Secondly, it’s been there (under other names) for more than 50 years, and the building oozes of ski-tradition. And last but not least, Lumi serves really good pub food, at decent prices and with friendly service. It’s the kind of joint you want to be a regular at, even if you’re just in town for a week – and don’t be surprised if you are treated like one after just a couple of visits.
The apres ski experience at Lumi varies from chill to crazy depending on the day you visit, but there’s live music most afternoons – and if you don’t feel like singing along to classic apres ski tunes, there’s a lovely, sunny terrace in the back where you can enjoy your post-mountain libations while watching the sun set over the mountains.
Rue de Médran 38
La Boucherie de Verbier
So, you’re up for some in-chalet cooking are you? Great, here’s what you need to know about buying food in Verbier. For general groceries, you go to Migros. It’s not always super-inspiring, but if you show up during the busier weeks – they bring in gourmet ingredients they don’t carry normally. Migros is where you’ll get all your normal stuff (except for wine, booze and beer). However, this is not where you should be buying your meat.
Instead head to La Boucherie de Verbier, a local institution and the place where you can get some of the best cuts of steak around. Swiss meats are leaner than most Americans are used to, but the friendly butchers will expertly guide you to the stuff you’ll love. And also don’t miss out on their burger patties – they’ll grind and shape them right in front of you and your family will think you are a burger master once you put them on the grill or the pan back in the chalet.
La Boucherie de Verbier
Rte de Verbier Station 61
Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking and PAIR Magazine. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.