© Le Montagnole
Your guide to the healthiest and most ethical eateries in resort.
With an ever-increasing percentage of the European population following vegetarian, vegan and primarily plant-based flexitarian diets, there's a consistent demand for delicious herbivorous foods.
It's surprisingly easy to follow a vegetarian diet at this end of the French Alps, with one of the main staple foods being its locally-produced cheeses. In the summertime, once the snow has melted away after the winter season, the pistes become grazing land for herds of cows with mobile milking units being regularly brought to the herd. Tarentaise specialities are therefore often cheese-based, with vegetarian versions of croziflette and tartiflette fairly common in the mountainside restaurants.
It can be slightly more complicated if you avoid all dairy/animal products but there are still many options in and around the resorts. Les Arcs boasts vegan society accredited restaurants, passionately vegetarian catered chalets, companies who can deliver fantastic food fulfilling all your dietary requirements and stores stocking a selection of alternative ingredients.
In terms of vegetarian food, the proliferation of cheese-based meals available on the mountain makes finding something to eat fairly straightforward.
The Alpine pièce de résistance, the Fondue, is available practically everywhere (and we have created a helpful guide full of the best options).
Also, if you enjoy a pizza, you will certainly not go hungry in Les Arcs. Contrary to popular belief there are almost always vegetarian options on restaurant menus, although some have a much wider selection than others. Here are a few choices to get you started.
In Bourg Saint Maurice, practically adjacent to the train station, is Le Montagnole restaurant.
It's featured in the Michelin guide and the menu contains an excellent selection of vegan food complete with the Vegan Trademark accreditation.
The restaurant is good for mixed groups as, in addition to serving the usual Savoyard fayre containing meat or other animal products, there is a full designated vegan menu. Amongst other things, you can enjoy a Soya burger with humus and red beans (served with chips and salad), tofu ravioli with basil and lentil terrine accompanied by buckwheat salad.
The desserts are equally as impressive, see the “trio” of ice-creams (chocolate, lemon and vanilla) served with cookies. Yum!
Mont Blanc bar
Below the Grizzly lift station in Vallandry, sits the Mont Blanc bar. Featuring an eclectic menu with many world foods which are otherwise under-represented in France, this is the perfect stop-off for a midday meal. There are always a decent number of vegetarian options on the menu and I have enjoyed vegetable fajitas, cheesy nachos and tasty pizzas in the past.
Perfect for a lunchtime rest, they always have a decent selection for vegetarian diners, from quiches to salads, hearty soups to goat’s cheese tarts.
Tartiflette is perhaps the most iconic meal in this corner of the Alps and the Grillette serves an option which is entirely meat-free but retains all of the rich, cheesy, potato and onion deliciousness that you would expect (and probably deserve).
If the particular reason you are staying in an apartment or chalet is so you can cook everything yourself from scratch, there are some good local stores where you can source everything from tofu to seitan.
If you're driving to one of the Arcs resorts, look for Bio-foods (organic) stores.
Nowadays, even the larger generic supermarkets in the valley offer a selection of milk alternatives, as well as go-to foods like humus, falafel and harissa, so you can generally get what you need.