An independent guide to Val Thorens
There are eleven Val Thorens mountain restaurants, in the Val Thorens-Orelle ski area, where you can stop for coffee, hot chocolate, vin chaud, or lunch. There's one at the top of the Cime de Caron, with great views; the stylish Chalet de la Marine, on Les Dalles blue run; and party central, the Folie Douce. Read about Val Thorens mountain restaurants here.
At the top of the Plein Sud and Pionniers chairlifts, La Fruitière and La Folie Douce are amongst the attractions of Val Thorens. La Fruitière is a prestigious restaurant, and La Folie Douce a well-known party/dance bar.
(The original Fruitière/Folie Douce is in Val d'Isere, and a new one opened in Méribel in winter 2012/13 season, under Saulire Express 1).
La Fruitière is one of the smartest, chic-est mountain restaurants in Val Thorens. ValThorensGuide has it on good authority (a ski instructor who sat at the next table) that William and Kate had lunch here in 2012. It is a fairly recent construction (2009), and the décor has a dairy theme, with milk churns. (A fruitière is the name for a place where dairy farmers take their milk to be transformed into cheese, in the Jura and Savoie regions).
It serves excellent food at fairly high, but not outrageous, prices. A plat du jour costs around €21. Reservation recommended (for 12.15/1230, or 2.15/2.30).
Tel: 00 33 479 00 04 27
The Folie Douce calls itself an open air club. From around 3pm until the lifts close about 5pm, there are DJs, singers and saxophonists on the balcony, and people dance on the terrace and tables below.
The original Folie Douce is in Val d'Isere, but the Val Thorens version has quickly become a favourite in resort, and is popular most days and in most weather. Even if you don't want to join in with the madness, it's worth a look from the chairlift.
Inside, there's a bar, open from 9am until the lifts close, and a self-service restaurant called Nuvo Self, serving food from 11.30am to 3pm.
See our video of La Folie Douce:
Chalet de la Marine is one of the best mountain restaurants in the Val Thorens ski area. They have a self-service restaurant downstairs, called the 'Bistro de la Marine', and the restaurant proper upstairs.
There's a marine theme to the chalet, with life-rings part of the decoration. Their website states, 'Our decoration, between sea and mountain will remind you of the diversity of the meals.' Well, in any case, the décor is beautifully done.
The bistro is for drinks, or a quick lunch. The prices are fairly high, getting close to €5 for a big coffee or chocolat chaud - not that that's unusual for Val Thorens. The restaurant upstairs is pricey, but very good, with the desserts particularly mouth-watering. Often, you need to book a table the upstairs restaurant in advance.
They do Savoyarde meals with torchlit descent in the evening (must be booked in advance), and you can also reserve the yurt for an evening meal.
Tel: 00 33 479 00 01 86
Built by Camille Rey, one of the pioneers of Val Thorens, Les Aiguilles de Péclet sits at the top of the Funitel Péclet. Downstairs, there's a bar, serving good coffee and cookies, and a self-service restaurant. Upstairs, there's a sit-down restaurant. There's always a friendly welcome at the Aiguilles de Péclet.
It's accessible to people with pedestrian passes. An evening meal and torchlit descent can be organised.
Tel: 00 33 479 00 03 76
Le Caribou is a red building part-way down the Génépi piste, in the Moraine sector. It's in a good location. TripAdvisor reviews suggest that they still need to work on improving service when it's busy.
The advantage of the Chalet des 2 Lacs is that it is accessible to anyone who can do a green run. Take the Deux Lacs chair, turn left at the top, and you arrive at this restaurant.
The disadvantage, from a visit in December 2015, and from reading Tripadvisor reviews, is that they are utterly unable to serve food in a reasonable amount of time. If you want to wait ages for menus, wait ages for your order to be taken, and wait ages for your food to arrive, then this is the place for you. Otherwise, it is best avoided. When it eventually comes, the food is very tasty, but the people who run the restaurant need to understand that that's not enough. You can't waste everyone's skiing day by making them sit around forever.
Also, they seem to own only one CD, of 1970s funk and soul, which is pumped out all day long. Would it be too much to ask for a bit of variation in the music?
Tel: 00 33 479 00 28 54
Les Chalets du Thorens are also accessible by green-run skiers or boarders - take the Deux Lacs chair, and turn left, heading for the Combe de Thorens. It is a sprawling complex, with a waffle stand, snackbars selling sandwiches, a pizzeria, self-service restaurant, and a proper restaurant with waiter service.
ValThorensGuide's experience of the service, having morning coffee there on a couple of occasions, has been very, very poor, but this may be bad luck. There are good reports of the noodle concession, which is popular with season workers - always a good sign.
This is an apres-ski bar at the Chalets du Thorens, along the same lines as the Folie Douce. It is popular all season, but especially during the British University weeks in December, during the Festi'ValTho event in March, and in Dutch week at the end of April.
Tel: 00 33 479 00 02 80
La Moutière was one of the first mountain restaurants in Val Thorens. It sits at the bottom of the Plateau piste.
It has quite a large terrace, and the real fire inside makes it cosy on a cold day. It serves straightforward food, at prices which are as close to reasonable as you're likely to get in a Val Thorens mountain restaurant. There's also a snack hut outside.
Tel: 00 33 479 00 02 67
In the Rosaël sector, at the bottom of the Rosaël chairlift, the Chalet Chinal Donat makes an excellent coffee stop. It has a large, sunny terrace, so is very popular in good weather. There are free carafes of tap water (to the right of the bar), and you can help yourself, which is unusual and very welcome. The restaurant is self-service, and the food not bad.
Tel: 00 33 479 56 53 01
This can't have been the easiest place to build a mountain restaurant - right at the top of the Cime de Caron. The best reason to stop here is to admire the stunning views from the terrace.
It's a wooden chalet which has been recently re-decorated inside, with modern freestyle and freeride pictures on the wall. The furniture is functional but quite elegant. The sloping floor adds to the cafe's character. The owner and staff are welcoming and friendly. They don't have running tap water, so you have to buy bottled water, and the WC is a primitive affair in the next-door hut.
Tel: 00 33 607 31 04 14
Le Chalet de Caron is on the right hand side of the Cairn piste, close to the Caron bubble station. It has a bar and a self-service restaurant. There's a large, sunny terrace, which is roamed by a nice dog.
Tel: 00 33 479 00 01 71
A favourite of ValThorensGuide's, the Chalet des 2 Ours is in the Boismint sector.
It is quite spacious inside, and has a good view down the Belleville Valley, especially from the 'conservatory' extension. All the food is home-made. There's also a big terrace, and a snack hatch outside, with picnic-style tables and deckchairs.
There are no bears, in spite of the restaurant's name, but there is a nice dog, which wears a harness. Is it a Malamute?
Tel: 00 33 479 01 14 09
At the end of the 2012/13 season, we had a coffee in nearly all of the mountain chalets in Val Thorens. See the prices, and read our comments on the service and quality in each of the mountain restaurants, in our Val Thorens mountain chalet coffee review.
We hope you find the perfect hot chocolate in one of the Val Thorens mountain restaurants.
Many of the restaurants in Val Thorens serve Savoyard specialities - fondue, pierrade and raclette - but there are many other dishes on offer, including pizza, steak, and Tex-Mex. Our restaurant guide covers all the establishments in resort. Whether you want burger and chips at the Café Péclet, or Michelin-starred fare from Jean Sulpice at the Oxalys, you can find out about it here. Read about restaurants in Val Thorens.
We have a detailed guide to the Val Thorens ski area, including the beginners' area, a sector by sector guide to the ski area, and information about the snowpark, skicross, slalom stadium, and the off piste itineraries. It's based on experience over many seasons, and it contains useful advice and tips which should help you decide where to go depending on the level of the people in your party and the time of day.
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