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10 not-to-be-missed haunts in St. Moritz this winter Featured

St. Moritz is becoming as notable for its high-end restaurants as its skiing and awe-inspiring views. We went in search of the best of all three.

In a town as affluent and gastronomically literate as St. Moritz, where snowsports were born from a bet, the competition to wine and dine the glitterati is as fierce as the action on the slopes. Since celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014, the town has upped its culinary game, flying in chefs from around Europe and pioneering new cuisine styles. Here, are the 10 best places in St. Moritz that capture both the history and zeitgeist of this iconic resort:

1. El Paradisio

El Paradiso © Patitucci Photo/My Switzerland

Few places in the Engadin offer the outward views and inner glitz of this Corviglia restaurant, where from the first hint of morning coffee to the last whiff of freshly shaved truffle hungry skiers come to dine, drink and while away sunny afternoons. From the modern interior El Paradiso’s asymmetrical windows look out of the jutting terrace and Engadin valley. The menu caters for quick bites to showy alpine lunches but holds close its roots as a house of truffles; the menu includes the black and white Alba variety being white polenta with cheese and hearty scrambled eggs. Heavier main courses include Coq-a-vin, Wagyu beef cut at the table and Bouillabaisse with fish and shrimp. www.el-paradiso.ch

2. Pavarotti & Friends

 Pavarotti-and-Friends-TripadvisorPavarotti & Friends © Trip Advisor

Justly famous as one of the most atmospheric bars in the Engadin, Italian owner Deny Pavarotti certainly makes an impression on stoic Switzerland. This restaurant-cum-wine cellar: hundred of bottles are stacked to the ceiling and next to the scrubbed candlelit tables. Besides the usual cold meats and cheeses, Pavarotti prepares pasta dishes, gnocchi with ricotta and polenta. The star attribute is the wine – gathered from all across Western Europe ranging from Laurent Perrier to artisanal Tuscan wine. 

3. La Marmite

picture4La Marmite

Locally known as the mid-mountain HQ of chef Reto Mathis’ version of alpine luxury, La Marmite boasts being the highest restaurant in Europe (2484 metres) as well as a renowned menu with a focus on caviar and truffles. Modern on the outside, the interior is markedly traditional and split into three sections, a casual brasserie, rustic pub-style Stube and the decadent La Marmite. Try the polenta soup to fuel-up without filling up, or for hungry skiers the Black Angus steak with parmesan and truffle shavings is so good it’s almost vulgar. www.mathisfood.ch

4. Dal Mulin

dal mulinDal Mulin

Opened last December by husband and wife team Danijel and Kathrin Krasnic, this 40-seater restaurant is charmingly alpine (heavy oak tables, mounted taxidermy and bottles of schnapps on the bars). The food is tremendous: steaming bowls of venison and semolina dumplings and local veal with roasted vegetables both look and taste spectacular. But the real pull here is Danijel himself, named Sommelier of the Year in 2010 by Champfèr restaurant Talvo, he will offer you an intricate wine lesson that varies with each passing customer. www.dalmulin.ch

5. Ecco St. Moritz at the Giardino Mountain HotelEcco-St-Moritz-1

Ecco St Moritz © Giardino Mountain Hotel

Only open in winter, the 5-star Giardino Mountain hotel lies in Champfèr, 3km from St. Moritz. The premise: seven houses were linked together, divided into bedrooms, bars and dining rooms. Head Chef Rolf Fliegaulf, splits his time between St. Moritz and Lake Maggiore, home of the sister restaurant, Ecco Ascona, open in summer. The menu is a dazzling display of culinary aptitude and local talent, a prix-fixe menu offers three to six courses and the interior an impressive mix of modern style and classic comfort – with large, well-stoked fires and glimmering bars and club chairs. www.giardino-mountain.ch

Related: Hotel Giardino Mountain

6. Berghaus Diavolezza

Berghaus-DiavolezzaBerghaus Diavolezza lit up at night

While you’ll never be short on views anywhere in St. Moritz, few can be beaten by Berghaus Diavolezza. Boasting not only a glacier view, but also Europe’s highest jacuzzi (3050 metres). Best enjoyed as a whole-night experience: take a dip and watch sun set over the glacier below before heading indoors for a majestic mountain-top dining experience before falling into bed under the stars. Able to host 300 at banquet, the food is outstanding, filled of local charm and fine wines. Note that you have to stay the night, the last cable car up the mountain is at 17.30 and there is no way down, not that you’d want one. www.diavolezza.ch

7. Lej da Staz

Lej-da-stazLej da Staz interior

The smallest hotel in the Engadin is a fashionable hideaway located in Celerina. Its lakeside location and sprawling sun terrace make the short drive (20 minutes by horse drawn carriage if you prefer) from St. Moritz worth every moment. Take a walk around Stazer Lake before heading in to the restaurant to enjoy their particular ‘cuschina engiadinaisa’, with a menu that concentrates on regional game delicacies and fondue. www.lejdastaz.ch

8. La Baracca

labaracca8La Baracca

It’s refreshing to find a restaurant in St. Moritz that clashes with the town’s glitzy reputation. Located at the cable station in St. Moritz Bad, La Baracca is more into improvisation and imperfection that white linen conventionalism. Come suppertime, everyone piles in and shares tables while the chefs serve steam in bowls of polenta and hot wine. Offering a light-hearted alternative to the rest of St. Moritz's hype and La Baracca enjoys cult status in its incongruity. 

9. Hatecke

Hatecke © Romano Salis/Swiss ImagesHatecke © Romano Salis/Swiss Images

In the centre of town and perfect for those taking a day-off from the slopes, is Hatecke, serving up some of the most delicious sandwiches, meat platters and scalding bowls of soup in the Engadin. Take a seat on the sheepskin stools by the door and order the Bündnerfleisch with truffle oil. www.hatecke.ch

10. Da Vittorio

da-vittorio-st-moritz-24Da Vittorio St. Moritz

The meeting of elite Italian chefs and the jewel in the crown of St. Moritz’s hotels was always going to be an affiliation to remember and since its opening in 2012, Da Vittoria St Moritz has earned its first Michelin Star.  The Cerea brothers originate from Lombardy, and so their culinary roots embrace seafood and lighter flavours as well as implementing the northern mountainous delicacies such as truffles and game. The brothers work in St Mortiz during winter seasons and return to the 3 Michelin-Starred Da Vittoria in Bursaporta in the summer.  www.davittorio.com

Related: Carlton Hotel St. Moritz

1 Berghaus Diavolezza
2 Lej da Staz
3 La Baracca
4 Hatecke
5 Da Vittorio at the Carlton Hotel
6 El Paradiso
7 Pavarotti & Friends
8 La Marmite
9 Dal Mulin
10 Ecco on Snow