A few summers ago, I put together this article, detailing some 🥗 Chamonix Valley restaurants & cafés with terraces, that are particularly suitable for families with little ones. By this I mean that they either have 🌈 a play area for children, a grassy area for games, have suitable children’s menus and are NOT located next to main roads (unless there is a secured area). A follow-up article (soon, I hope!) will concentrate on the 🥗 Pays du Mont-Blanc restaurants with terraces!
[ note: please take note that I am not listing these spots based on the exceptional quality of their food; it is the ensemble of what they are offering families! Of course, there are plenty more restaurants with great food, terraces and beer gardens, but perhaps less suited for family relaxtion . . . if I have forgotten some gems from this list, then please do let me know! In addition, for now, I have NOT included mountain buvettes; these will feature in another article! ]
Remember, also, that food trucks and food huts are often located in bucolic spots over the summer months – see MBFF article FOOD TRUCKS & FOOD HUTS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) for more information.
Chamonix, Les Praz & Les Bois
La Crèmerie la Montagne (Bois du Bouchet, Chamonix)
This restaurant, located in the 🌲 Bois du Bouchet, has some individual tables with curtained shade, lounge chairs and plenty of green, green grass!
address: 789 promenade des Crèmeries, 74400, Chamonix / tel: 06 18 03 79 36;
L’Index Chamonix (Bois du Bouchet, Chamonix)
This spot was once known as Le Robinson, always known for its bucolic location in the 🌲 Bois du Bouchet, and the playground & activities for children. L’Index Bus (the double decker London bus that became a foodtruck!) settled here, and then the team took over Le Robinson.
You’ll find :
- seasonal and homemade food, relying on local goods and artisans;
- there is a playground for kids;
- there is a parc à chiens!
- you have free parking;
- there are regular concerts and events held here;
- you’ll have a super view of the Aiguille du Midi,
address: 309 promenade des Crèmeries, 74400, Chamonix / tel: 09 50 87 37 46;
SUMMER 2022 musical season . . .
Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz de Chamonix)
This bucolic spot 🏞 in the woods, next to a gurgling stream and 🌈 playground, is well known to local families . . . you can picnic here, as long as you buy 🥤 drinks from the buvette, and there are plenty of treats at the buvette!
[ ⇒ for more information Le Paradis des Praz, see separate MBFF article here ]
address: in the forest between Les Praz and Tines (access from either end) / tel: 06 63 10 42 38;
La Prairie (Les Bois, Chamonix)
A friend celebrated her birthday here many years ago, and it was the perfect spot to lay out my yak rug for my then 18 month old (I’m melting just looking back at this pic of Mr 11 content with doudou in hand, casquette on backwards, and chatting to a dog!).
La Prairie is peaceful family hotel, located under ⛰ the Aiguilles des Drus and the Aiguille Verte, and with views of 🏔 Mont-Blanc . . . this guest house and café was built in the early 20th century by Henri Claret-Tournier, a high mountain guide with 99 ascents of Mont-Blanc to his name! As tourists began to frequent the valley, he took the « monchus » up the mountain, while his wife Aline and her daugher Perlina tended to their stomachs! La Prairie was passed down through the family, and has been modernised over the years;
Le Jardin du Goûter (Hotel Oustalet, Chamonix)
🍰 Le Jardin du Gouter is a tea room which is lovely in both winter and summer. In winter, there is a cosy indoor area, and in summer there is a green lawn outside (note: be especially careful with small children next to the swimming pool) . . . 🍰 the cakes are DELICIOUS!
FB page (hotel) &FB page (tea room) and website
address: 330 rue du Lyret, 74400, Chamonix / tel: 04 50 55 54 99;
La Folie Douce (Chamonix centre)
La Folie Douce settled into the old Hotel Savoie, and made a hotel complex well thought-out and alluring for families: several restaurants on-site and with food huts on a large terrace . . . there are also plenty of activities for youngsters on-site: beach volleyball, trampolines and slackline, a climbing wall and small accrobranche, pétanque and Mölkky, and some chill-out spaces . . .
For guests, there is 🌈 Le Kids’ Palace, which takes care of children 4 to 12 years, with plenty of great nature and sports activities.
Chalet Hôtel Hermitage (Chamonix)
The Chalet Hôtel Hermitage has been run by the same family since 1920 and – as well as the cosy hotel – it has a gorgeous 🍰 salon de thé for cake and drinks, and 🌺 a jardin alpin de relaxation (open until 20h), that are open to non-hotel guests (a great secret!). / 🌺 ” Le Jardin Alpin du Chalet Hôtel Hermitage à Chamonix est un hommage aux joyaux de la Nature basé sur les énergies essentielles : l’air, l’eau cristalline, les plantes, l’attraction naturelle des montagnes. ” – you’ll find 🌿 medicinal and aromatic plants in the garden and comfortable seating.
Les Gaillands & Les Bossons
Buvette des Gaillands (Les Gaillands)
Located between the little lake and 🧗♂️ the rock-climbing, this is a great location for lunch, a crêpe or a snack . . .
La Crémerie des Aiguilles (Les Gaillands)
This little crèmerie recently changed hands, and the new owners are Sophie & Laurent LEGENDRE . . . You are also right next to 💦 Lac des Gaillands and 🌳 the woods, for some strolls or accrobranches . . .
Hôtel Aiguille du Midi (Les Bossons)
The Hôtel Aiguille du Midi is a lovely and friendly family-run hotel and restaurant, and it has been in the same family for 114 years (1908 – 2022)! An old country house became a hotel in the early 20th century.
The restaurant has a gorgeous terrace, surrounded by green lawn and plants, and superb views of the surrounding mountains. It is so relaxing here; I sometimes used to stop for a refreshing drink while out on a buggy stroll!
[ ⇒ read more about MBFF’s experience here ]
La Guinguette des Chavants (Lac des Chavants)
Currently run by Ingrid and Johanna, ☕️ La Guinguette des Chavants is a lovely café, a wooden structure located right by the water’s edge of the 💦 Lac des Chavants . . . it is well-equipped for children, with high-chairs and toys available. There are plenty of activities at this small lake and in ☀️ summertime, you will often find🎵concerts and special events happening here;
[ ⇒ see MBFF article about Lac des Chavants here ]
address: 180 allée des Diligences, Les Houches / tel: 04 50 91 23 50;
Le Rocky Pop Hotel (Les Houches)
Chamonix Valley residents are generally familiar with this quirky hotel in Les Houches! Met at the door by R2D2 and CP3O, you hand your kids over to these Star Wars stalwart babysitters as you enter the hotel and restaurant, and then collect your kids at the end of the evening, as you go home . . . only kidding (if only!). I’m not far from the truth here, though, as there are so many activities for kids, that you can quite easily chat to your adult friends while they play (until one of them falls off the climbing frame, that is – yes, this did happen to us negigent parents).
activities on offer: 🌈 playground, babyfoot, pétanque, 🎮 computer games . . . once, there was even a dance class put on for kids. Did my boys want to do this? Nope. Did they pester us all evening? Yep.
The food is family-friendly: burgers, pizzas and some great vegetarian options too!
NEW for 2021 – an 🌿 aromatic garden!
Kitschinn (Les Houches)
The Kitschinn has changed hands over the years, but this stalwart family-friendly restaurant located next to the Télécabine du Bellevue, has remained a popular fixture in Les Houches!
You’ll find 🌈 a kid’s play area, and there are regular 🎼 evening concerts.
FB page & website
address: 77 place de la Fruitière, Les Houches (by Télécabine du Bellevue) / tel: 04 50 34 41 74;
Le Solerey Brewpub (Les Houches)
Le Solerey is Les Houches’ fist brewpub, and 1,5 years of hard toil went into bringing a derelict building back to life. You’ll find here: 🍺 beers, smoked meats, plentiful terraced seating and a lawn and the patinoire next door for children to play! / 🎼 plentiful concerts too!
address: 81 avenue des Alpages, Les Houches / tel: 04 56 37 46 85;
Le Balcon de Merlet (Parc Animalier de Merlet, Les Houches)
What a beautiful terrace this is, with absolutely superb views of 🏔 Mont-Blanc, from an altitude of 1500m! And, afterwards (or before, depending on your timetable), you can visit 🦌 the animal park . . . / highly recommended to book this restaurant in advance!
[ ⇒ see here for MBFF article about the Parc Merlet ]
Restaurant La Cha (Les Houches)
[ note for summer 2022 – La Cha will NOT be opening this summer, as the owners will be managing the Clubhouse restaurant in the Parc Thermal in Le Fayet ]
Run by Céline and Vincent, this lovely restaurant at altitude (1720m) is located a short 20mins walk from the arrival station of 🚡 Télécabine du Prarion! / you’ll find a bouncy castle there for little ones and NEW in 2020: pétanque!
address: 1 route du Prarion, Les Houches / tel: 04 50 54 30 45;
La Crèmerie du Glacier (La Moraine d’Argentière)
🥤 La Crèmerie du Glacier is a historic buvette located in the Moraine d’Argentière . . .
The easiest access to the 🥤 La Crèmerie du Glacier is up the 4×4 road that leads to 🚁 the Hélicoptères de Chamonix from 🅿️ the Grands Montets car park, but there are also lots of lovely walks that you can do in 🌳 the nearby forest. You are also near the 🐸 mare aux têtards & 🌈 playground in the woods and there is a fabulous parcours orientation to do nearby.
a little history – in 1926, Georges Ravanel was carving ❄️ ice from the Glacier d’Argentière, and then transporting it to sell on to hotels and restaurants in the valley. . . he decided to build 🏚 a little hut, which became a place for thirsty and hungry hikers to stop . . . the “little hut” grew and was passed down through the family, the menu was expanded and it began to open in wintertime too, and now it serves an extensive menu: 🥤 lemonade, 🧀 croutes, 🥧 homemade tarte . . .
FB page & website / Google Maps
address: 766 chemin de la Glacière, 74400, Argentière / tel: +33 (0) 4 50 54 07 52;
L’Argentero (Grands-Montets lifts, Argentière)
Located at the bottom of the Grands-Montets lifts, we discovered this new restaurant on their opening winter season! The dynamic team has persevered, and you’ll find BBQs and special events!
Brasserie Les Marmottons (Grands-Montets lifts, Argentière)
Located next to Argentero, these guys often put on events together!
address: 56 chemin de la Glacière, 74400, Argentière;
Le Bœrne (Tréléchamp)
La Bœrne is a rustic gîte located in the pretty hamlet of Tréléchamps (meaning “across the fields“), just under the Col des Montets. It is built on ⛰ the rocher des Piz, which is a natural protection from avalanches. La Bœrne was built in the 18th century, and is an 🏚 old chalet d’alpage. La Boerne refers to the old chimney used for smoking meat (you can see this on the first floor). As well as its guesthouse, there is a lovely terrace here.
good to know: Tréléchamps is also well-known for its moaïs, wooden statues created from storm wood by Reynès Laurent / you are also close to the sentier nature on the Col des Montets, which is great with kids!
FB page & website
address: 288 chemin de Tréléchamps, 74400, Tréléchamps, Argentière / tel: 04 50 54 05 14;
Les Écuries de Charamillon (Le Tour-Balme)
A 🚡 bubble ride and short walk will bring you to the Ecuries de Charamillon – a gîte in the summertime and a restaurant on the pistes during the winter season. Les Ecuries de Charamillon, located in 🐄 a still functioning alpage, were old stables where cheese was made from the Hérens cows.
L’Alpage de Balme (Alpage du Tour)
You can have lunch in the middle of 🌼 the mountain pastures of Le Tour at these wooden chalets, come summer or winter season . . . regional specialities ar on offer, and you can admire the surrounding peaks: 🏔 le massif du Mont-Blanc, 🏔 Le Chardonnet and ❄️ Le Glacier du Tour;
[ note: you are well advised to book here ]
🚡 getting there: a short 30 minute walk from the 🚡 Télécabine du Charamillon or 20 mins 🚡 Télécabine de Vallorcine (FREE parking at departure stations of both);
🗓 opening dates: summer seasonand winter ski season;
address: Domaine de Balme, Le Tour / tel: 06 83 33 86 61 / FB page ;
Le Café Comptoir (Vallorcine)
Le Café Comptoir is such a lovely restaurant, with a terrace that opens out onto a quiet spot in the summertime . . . great food, beautiful déco, highly recommended – here, you really do get fabulous food and a terrace! A few autumns ago, my then 5 year old and I had a date here, and it was just perfect!
La Ferme des 3 Ours (Vallorcine)
Nestled in 🏞 a small green valley, next to 💦 the Eaux Noires stream, La Ferme des 3 Ours is run by Nadia and Bruno and their team. The building is a cosy wooden affair and there is lots of lovely green space outdoors;
FB page & website
address: Restaurant La Ferme des 3 Ours, 74660, Vallorcine / tel: +33 4 50 54 63 06;
Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc (Vallorcine)
MBFF had a lovely stay at this residence one weekend a couple of autumns ago . . . we enjoyed a spot of ⛳️ mini-golf, and you can rent out the equipment if you sit and have 🥤 a drink on the terrace! / 🌈 small playground and 🏀 city stade nearby!
FB page & website
address: Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc, 44 route des confins du Valais, 74660, Vallorcine / tel: 04 50 54 63 06;
Hôtel et Restaurant Le Buet (Le Buet)
The Hôtel du Buet has been in the hands of the same family – la Famille Chamel – for 130 years, since 1889! It has a superb location near 🚉 the Gare du Buet, and various hikes leave from here: 💦 la Cascade de Bérard and 🏞 the Vallon de Bérard, ⛰ Mont Buet . . .
[ note: the garden is by the main road, but if you sit further back on the lawn, then you can keep children away from road ]
Relais du Pont Maria (Vallorcine)
Homemade fastfood (🍕 pizzas are served in the evening), made with Savoyard products and 🍯 local products are also for sale here (honeys and jams, etc . . .). You’ll be able to order pizza in the evening. This is a good stop along the chemin des Diligences, which links Barberine and Vallorcine.
[ note: you’ll be next to 💦 the river, so do take due care with little ones! ]
address: Pont Maria, D1506 (1Km de la frontière Suisse), Vallorcine; tel: 07 82 15 92 73;
🇨🇭 Trient (Switzerland)
Just across the border from Vallorcine, you’ll find a couple of great options for lounging in 🇨🇭 Trient, Switzerland . . . . . . the perfect stop after a hike along the 💦 Bisse du Trient or 💦 Les Gorges Mystérieuses de la Tête Noire!
La Yourte des Amis & Refuge Le Peuty (Trient)
Regional cuisine, and homemade drinks, at La Yourte des Amis, which is located on the le Tour du Mont-Blanc trail! / 🌿 lots of green, green grass for lounging and playing / and NEW for 2020 – you can spend a night in ⛺️ the Mongolian yurt!
La Grande Ourse (Trient)
They say it themselves, no hotel star, no gastronomic cuisine . . . BUT a friendly, family welcome, 🌿 lots of green, green grass for lounging and playing, 🌈 a playground and🍦 Italian ice cream . . . and a view of ⛪️ Trient’s pink church and ❄️ the Glacier du Trient.