Cheese fondue on restaurant table

While fondue is usually categorized as a Swiss delicacy, this, like many food origin stories, is only partially true. As BBC Travel notes, the national dish of Switzerland is cheese fondue, but anyone who’s ever eaten a three-course fondue meal knows that there are several other types. The meat variety, aka fondue bourguignon, may have been created by medieval French vineyard workers cooking their lunch out in the field, although "The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink" suggests that it didn’t really catch on until it was recreated for the 20th-century palate by a chef at a New York restaurant in the 1950s. That same chef, Konrad Egli, has also been credited with creating the chocolate version a decade later.

By the 1970s, America was crazy for the dish — it was that decade’s trendy-but-spendy charcuterie board, if you will. Fondue parties were all the rage, and fondue restaurants were also popular. One of these was the Melting Pot, which opened its first location in 1975 and is now a nationwide chain. Half a century later, Melting Pot may well be the last of modern-day fondue chains. There are, however, still some stand-alone restaurants that do serve the delicacy. Some establishments on this list may have just a fondue or two on the appetizer menu, while others specialize in the dish and offer a complete multi-course experience. Should you be planning a Grand Tour de Fondue, though, each one is worth a visit. (Also, can we come, too?)

1. Chez Boët in Naples, Florida

Chez Boet fondue with crudites

Chez Boët is a bistro specializing in what it describes as home-style French cooking. Although, we daresay wagyu boeuf bourguignon is fancier fare than you’d be served in the average French household. While the restaurant does not offer a fondue main course, they do have one listed under the menu heading "Le Fromage." The fondue savoyarde is made with gruyere and Emmentaler cheeses, as well as white wine and kirsch, and it comes with French bread and vegetables. It’s priced at $26 per person (at the time of writing — a caveat that applies to all prices mentioned throughout) but can only be ordered in portions of two or above.

But wait, there’s more! The fondue savoyarde isn’t the only variety to come out of Chez Boët’s kitchens. The dessert menu features fondue au chocolat made with dark-but-not-too-dark chocolate (56% cacao) and flavored with mint, with fresh berries and madeleine pastries for dipping. It comes in a portion big enough for two and is available for $19.99. Trip Advisor reviewers consider it worth every penny, as they have described it as "blissful" and "simply amazing" and have awarded the restaurant 4.5 stars.

2. Cloud Nine in Aspen, Colorado

Cheese fondue platter on table

Swiss-style fondue is a typical après-ski meal, so it’s no surprise to find it served at a ski resort restaurant such as Aspen’s Cloud Nine. However, what may come as somewhat of a surprise to anyone expecting a cozy fireside meal is the rather rowdy clientele that the alpine bistro attracts. This ski-in establishment has two daily "seatings" at noon and 2 p.m. However, according to a Vogue profile, there’s very little sitting going on because everyone’s too busy engaging in all manner of drunken (and possibly naked) revelry.

The restaurant’s fondue is available as part of "The Cloud Nine Experience" prix fixe menu item at $55 per person with a two-person minimum. It’s made with gruyere and accompanied by apples, bread, pickled vegetables, and chorizo (we presume they mean the harder Spanish-style sausage rather than the looser Mexican one). You can also get what the menu calls a "truffle supplement," with white truffles costing $55 and black a mere $25. It comes with soup or salad, but for dessert, you can get apple strudel for an additional $6 (50% off the a la carte price).

One Trip Advisor reviewer calls the fondue "delicious and so enjoyable." Another says that "The best part of the menu is the fondu[e] dishes," although they add a disclaimer: "… unfortunately the table next to us was a little rambunctious and started the champagne spraying a little early," something that (literally) put a damper on things.

3. Colorado Fondue Company in Casselberry, Florida

Colorado Fondue Company chocolate fondue

Why would a Florida restaurant call itself Colorado Fondue Company? Probably because they want to evoke that après-ski feel, and Colorado is well known for its ski industry as opposed to Florida’s oranges, beaches, and Disney World. Carrying out the whole not-in-Florida feeling, the restaurant’s menu is organized into different "hiking trails." The beginner one ($16 per person) comes with soup or salad plus cheese and chocolate fondue, while the intermediate ($26) includes a meat course with your choice of shrimp, chicken, sirloin, and jerk pork tenderloin but doesn’t include a dessert option. There’s also an expert option ($34) which restores the chocolate fondue and adds filet mignon to the meat selection, while the extreme trail ($43) replaces the sirloin with sea scallops and the jerk pork with short rib bulgogi.

The cheese fondues at the establishment come in six different varieties: cheddar, Swiss, southwestern-inspired Four Corners, Tuscan-style fontina with pesto, chipotle bacon cheddar, and Monterey jack with bruschetta-type toppings (pesto and tomatoes). The dessert fondues (via sirved) include options such as amaretto white chocolate, crème de menthe-spiked dark chocolate, chocolate turtle, and cookies and cream.

Yelpers have given the restaurant a 4.5-star rating, praising its food and prices, with the consensus being that the latter is lower than the local Melting Pot’s. Most are also impressed by the ambiance, with one person’s description being: "It feels like you just stepped off a plane into the woods of Colorado."

4. Fondue Stube in Chicago

Fondue Stube fondues and menu

Chicago’s Fondue Stube harks back to the dish’s European roots and also to Chicago’s own German heritage – "stube" is a German word that literally translates to "room" but usually means a pub or tavern. The menu at Fondue Stube isn’t quite as extensive as some establishments, as they offer just four different cheese fondues: Swiss, muenster, cheddar, and cream cheese lox (this last one comes with bagel dippers). The restaurant’s entrée fondues offer a choice of beef, chicken, scallops, tilapia, shrimp, mixed seafood, and vegetables, which are cooked in soybean oil.

The establishment also offers several combo meals: the Sinfonia Eroica ($36.50 per person) includes Swiss cheese, sirloin, and chocolate fudge fondue; the Classic ($42.50) allows for a choice of cheese, meat, and chocolate fondues; and the Romeo and Juliet ($71.95 for two) includes beef, chicken, shrimp, scallops, tilapia, and vegetables along with a choice of chocolate fondue. (Is cheese fondue not considered romantic?) There’s even a kids’ menu with cheese, beef, or chicken fondues, plus a dessert option. However, the restaurant’s main attraction may be its all-you-can-eat fondue deal. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, $32.95 gets you unlimited chicken, fish, and scallops, while on Wednesdays and Fridays, you can fill up on beef for $31.

On Trip Advisor, Fondue Stube rates 4.5 stars, with positive reviews including "Great Fondue!!" and "Plentiful and delicious and so much fun!"

5. Geja’s Cafe in Chicago

Fondue pot at Geja's Cafe

Chicago is quite the fondue hot spot (or perhaps hot pot), with not one but two excellent fondue restaurants in town. Geja’s Cafe is a bit more upscale than Fondue Stube, less family-oriented, and more of a date night destination. It’s long been heralded as one of the city’s most romantic establishments, and the website says it’s also held the top spot in a USA Today poll as the nation’s most romantic restaurant. Not only does Geja’s offer candlelit ambiance and soft classical guitar music, though, but they’ve also got pretty first-class fondue.

Geja’s has just a single cheese fondue on the menu: a classic Swiss and gruyere mix with bread, fruit, and vegetables. Its sole dessert fondue is made with Belgian chocolate flambé ed with orange liqueur and accompanied by fresh fruit, cake, Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and churros. Both are available a la carte for $25 each or as a combo for $45. Although they also come with three-course fondue meals ranging from $49 for vegetarian and $59 for chicken breast to $84 for beef and lobster or lobster, shrimp, and scallops. Pricey, yes, but the 4.8-star Open Table rating speaks to the fact that it’s money well spent. One reviewer praises Geja’s as their special occasion go-to of nearly three decades, while another says, "Been coming here for years. It’s consistently awesome," and a third repeat customer calls it "… a unique and fun experience."

6. Kashkaval Garden in New York City

Kashkaval Garden cheese fondue

At Kashkaval Garden, you’ll get a truly one-of-a-kind, only-in-New-York fondue experience: fondue made with Bulgarian sheep’s milk cheese. The restaurant takes its name from this particular type of cheese, so it’s only to be expected that it would use kashkaval in one of its signature dishes. However, the restaurant offers three other types of fondue on its eclectic Mediterranean menu: There’s a classic version with gruyere and raclette cheeses, one with gruyere and truffle oil, and one made with cheddar, cider, and caramelized onions. They are available at $21 per person and come with a baguette.

If a single baguette doesn’t suffice for dipping purposes, though, you can add another one for $3 or upgrade to roasted potatoes for $6, add assorted fruits and vegetables for $7, or choose a variety of sausages (kielbasa, loukaniko, and soujouk) for $12. Where things get really interesting, however, is with the mix-ins that are also available on an a la carte basis. These are priced at $9 for four items and range from bacon crumbles to Egyptian spice dukkah and white chocolate.

Overall, Kashkaval Garden rates 4.5 on Trip Advisor, but several reviewers have singled out the fondue, calling it "fun," "fabulous," and "impressive." No one, however, has answered one burning question: how does white chocolate pair with sheep’s milk cheese?

7. La Fondue in Saratoga, California

La Fondue flaming dessert fondue

Dinner at La Fondue is undoubtedly a splurge unless you’re a Silicon Valley zillionaire (and Saratoga, California does happen to be located in this rich person’s playground). One look at the menu, and you’ll know this is no Melting Pot: Not only do the meat selections tend towards the exotic, but the prices are double, triple, or even more than what even the most upscale of chain restaurants would dream of charging. The establishment’s tasting menu features a choice of salads (spinach or caesar) and 11 different cheese fondues made with either beer or white wine. The main course is cooked either fondue-style or on a tabletop grill.

La Fondue’s entrées range from $110 for vegetables only and $122 for a basic-yet-fancy chicken, pork, beef, and turkey combo up to a sample of everything they offer (29 items in all) for $350, including alligator, antelope, buffalo, ostrich, venison, wild boar, wagyu beef, and lobster. After all that eye-popping excess, you’d expect some really over-the-top desserts, right? These sweet treats, included with the four-course meal, are somewhat more modest than you might think. There are only six choices plus a create-your-own option, with the most exciting being the Big Chocolate, made from chili-spiked dark chocolate and cinnamon and flambeed with brandy.

Open Table users have awarded La Fondue 4.5 stars, with nearly everyone praising the food and ambiance despite minor grumbles about the service. (Even in Silicon Valley, restaurant servers are in short supply.)

8. The Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant in Manitou Springs, Colorado

Cheese fondue at Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant is the second Colorado establishment on our list (although the state can also boast a haunted Melting Pot), but unlike Cloud Nine, it’s not connected to a ski resort. Instead, it’s located in Manitou Springs, home of the famous fruitcake toss. In addition to fondue, the establishment also features a basement wine bar that offers an intriguing selection of local wines (via Colorado Springs Indy).

If you come for the fondue, the best deal is the four-course meal at $57 per person. It begins with a choice of far-from-generic salads (there’s a $3 upcharge for the seasonal offering) and proceeds to the Swiss staple. The basic options here are Swiss-style, cheddar, and strawberry salsa-spiked southwestern, while specialties such as Greek, brie, and vegan cheese cost $4 more. Entrée-wise, the deal covers either a vegetarian option or one that includes steak, chicken, shrimp, salmon, and bratwurst. For $10 more, you can upgrade to an all-seafood option with lobster and scallops or a wild game variety with trout, buffalo, elk, duck, and game sausage. The meal is capped off with a dessert fondue in your choice of milk, white, or dark chocolate, while liqueurs or specialty desserts like flaming turtle fondue bump the price by $3.

While The Mona Lisa can be pricey, especially with add-ons, it does offer Groupons now and then. Groupon users are apparently well-satisfied with those deals, as they’ve rated the restaurant 4.7 stars.

9. Rok n fondue in Redlands, California

rok n fondue fondue meal

Rok n fondue, disappointingly enough, isn’t owned by The Rock. Still, it’s a fun place to enjoy a tasty meal, whether or not you’re a fondue fan. While the restaurant does specialize in this dish and offers cheese, chocolate, and main course fondues, they also have standard appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Should you opt for the Swiss delicacy, though, be aware that this establishment does not offer a prix fixe deal. Instead, all of its picks are only available a la carte. However, the upside to this is that there’s no stipulation that solo diners can’t order them.

The cheese fondues are priced at $19.95 and include zesty cheddar with salsa and jalapeños, bacon jalapeño popper, spinach artichoke, and formaggio with sun-dried tomatoes. The main course fondue ranges from $18 for the vegetarian option to $32 for surf and turf with filet mignon, shrimp, and scallops. Dessert fondues cost $15.95 for a single portion and $19.95 for a double. For these prices, you can choose between plain chocolate (dark, milk, or white) or flavors including s’mores, bananas Foster, and the ubiquitously trendy salted caramel.

Open Table users rate rok n fondue 4.5 stars, with one review raving, "Great atmosphere!! Great Service!! Food was fantastic!!" while another says ‘We drove 2 hours to try this place and had an amazing time … We will definitely come back." You can’t ask for a better endorsement than that.

10. Simply Fondue in Dallas

Simply Fondue Dallas table setting

Simply Fondue, as the name implies, is a restaurant that’s all about the Swiss dish. In fact, the only standard items on the menu are a selection of salads ($11 apiece), cocktails, wine, and beer. (Presumably, it also offers non-alcoholic beverages, but the restaurant doesn’t list these on the menu.) If you want a lighter meal, you can opt for an a la carte cheese fondue priced at $13 per person and choose between whiskey cheddar, pepper jack, smoked gouda, French onion Swiss, or the special of the month.

If you want an entrée fondue, though, they come as part of a prix fixe deal that also includes salad and cheese fondue, plus a dessert fondue that would be $14 a la carte. This dinner costs $56 per adult but drops to $33 for patrons ages 13 to 17 and $15 for those 12 and under. (If you have a 6th-grader with a hearty appetite, this is a real steal.) For these prices, you get to choose three selections from a variety of seasoned chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and fish options, with lobster and wild game available at an upcharge. There are also over a dozen dessert fondues to choose from, ranging from plain chocolate to ones enhanced with nuts, cookie crumbs, or liqueurs.

Open Table users give Simply Fondue 4.5 stars, with one saying, "I love going to Fondue restaurants and Simply Fondue Dallas is one of my favorites."

11. Simply Fondue in Livermore, California

Simply Fondue Livermore cheese fondue

Although Livermore, California’s Simply Fondue shares a name with the one in Dallas and has a similar menu, they currently appear to be separate entities if the two were ever connected. Unlike the Dallas establishment, the Livermore restaurant’s name is a bit of a misnomer as they offer many regular appetizers in their lounge and patio areas. The main restaurant, however, is pretty fondue-centric. The salads, cheese fondues, and chocolate fondues are all available a la carte, priced at $12, $14, and $14, respectively. These prices are per person, and there’s no indication of whether solo diners can order them, but it seems there’s no sharing without doubling the price.

The main course fondues, however, are only available as part of a four-course meal. Adults pay $68 per person, while it’ll cost $46 to feed 13 to 17-year-olds and $32 for kids 12 and under. This price includes vegetables and a selection of three meat or meat substitutes: chicken, beef, pork, seafood, mushroom or cheese ravioli, vegan meatballs or bratwurst, and tofu. These items can be cooked in bouillon or oil, or on a tabletop grill. Need help deciding what to do? As one Facebook reviewer notes of Simply Fondue, "They really take the time to help guide you through the experience if you tell them it’s your first time…" Such excellent service and food combine to earn the restaurant a 4.6-star Facebook rating.

12. Stable in Washington, D.C.

Cheese fondue at Stable

Stable is not strictly a fondue establishment, as its menu offers several other items. What it is, however, is something you don’t see every day — a Swiss restaurant. While Swiss cuisine is not particularly in vogue these days, Washington, D.C. is quite the international city, and it is, after all, home to the Swiss embassy, so no doubt there’s a built-in clientele. Stable’s menu hits all the traditional Swiss highlights such as spaetzli, rösti, and a tabletop raclette dinner. We’re here for the fondue, though, and the restaurant certainly does not disappoint on that score.

Stable offers three different fondues (not counting the raclette since this cheesy meal involves no dipping or dunking). One is a traditional-style fondue priced at $27 per person. The second, costing $30, is enhanced with dried garlic and black pepper cheese. Finally, the third is spiked with Williams pear schnapps and will run you $29. Each option comes with bread for dipping, as is the traditional Swiss way, and can only be prepared for a minimum of two diners. It’s worth rounding up a dining companion to experience this dish, though, as Trip Advisor users have called Stable’s fondue "tasty and copious," a "must try," and "a treat," and the restaurant itself has a 4.5-star rating.

13. Swiss Hibiscus in Portland, Oregon

Swiss Hibiscus cheese fondue

Swiss Hibiscus is another one of those relatively rare American restaurants specializing in Swiss food. While the "hibiscus" part of the name might make you expect tropical-inspired fusion dishes, the menu doesn’t seem to show any such influence. Instead, it sticks fairly closely to Swiss classics such as rösti (one with bacon and onions, the other with tomatoes, onions, and raclette cheese); spaetzli with Emmentaler cheese; a Swiss-style macaroni and cheese called älpler magronen, and emince Zurichoise — a dish of sliced pork cooked in a creamy mushroom sauce. Plus, of course, they’ve got the fondue that earned them a spot on this list.

Swiss Hibiscus only offers one type of fondue: a traditional-style one made with Swiss cheese, white wine, and kirsch. It comes with bread cubes, although you can add vegetables for an extra $5 or replace the bread with a gluten-free version for $3. (A half portion of gluten-free bread with and half regular bread comes with a $2 upcharge.) The cheese fondue isn’t priced per person but costs a flat $24, and the menu says it can serve two to four diners.

One Trip Advisor user describes this shareable appetizer as "creamy, nostalgically aromatic, and a great beginning for the evening," while others say it’s "fantastic," "outstanding," and "terrific." The fondue and the other menu offerings together have earned Swiss Hibiscus its 4.5-star rating.

14. Taureau at La Sirene in New York City

Fondue and salad at Taureau

If you Google NYC’s fondue establishment, Taureau, you’ll find glowing reviews aplenty, but you won’t find a website. What gives with this? Taureau is actually a restaurant within a restaurant, its parent being the French bistro La Sirene. While the two share a Soho address and are under the same management, the tables are booked separately, so it seems that you can’t mix and match menus.

Despite this, Taureau offers two prix fixe meals: a two-course one costing $55 per person and a three-course one costing $69 per person. With the two-course option, you’ll choose between four cheese fondues: Swiss, Monterey jack and cheddar, parmesan and American cheese (surprisingly appropriate since this cheese turns out to be Swiss in origin), and parmesan and American cheese with truffles and truffle oil. Each comes with a green salad and bread cubes for dipping, but you can also order a selection of fruits ($13.50) or cured meats ($16.50).

Chocolate fondues are limited to a choice of dark or milk chocolate and come with fruit and two types of cake (banana and white chocolate). If you opt for the three-course meal, the meat fondues can be cooked in oil, vegetable broth, or red wine, although you can only pick one style per table. You also only get one meat per person, with pork tenderloin being standard, chicken costing $5 more, hangar steak priced at $15, and filet mignon with a $30 upcharge.

15. The Little Dipper in Wilmington, North Carolina

Little Dipper blue fondue pot

The Little Dipper is Wilmington’s answer to Melting Pot, complete with a punny name and a similar menu. All its items are available a la carte, so you can mix and match cheese, entrée, or chocolate fondues. The cheese and chocolate options are priced per pot, with small ones (sufficient for two to three diners) for $19, while large ones (enough to serve four to five) are $29. The havarti dill and fontina fondues, however, cost $22 for a small and $33 for a large, which is also the cost for the "swanky" (read: boozy) dessert variety.

The Little Dipper’s main course fondues are priced per person and by cooking style. Peanut oil costs $11, while broth, beer, or wine are $13. However, these prices don’t include dippers, which range from $1.50 for tofu to $7 for filet mignon or scallops. A steamed lobster tail will run $19. Each entrée comes with one sauce, while additional ones are $1 each. There’s also a prix fixe meal that’s $77 for two and comes with soup or salad plus cheese and entrée fondues, while an extra $18 per person adds a chocolate fondue. Trip Advisor users recommend the latter option, with one calling the dessert fondue "a must" and another describing it as "clima[c]tic." The cheese and entrée fondues draw rave reviews, too, sufficient to net Little Dipper a 4.5-star rating.

Dessert fondue at Urban Fondue