Austria is an iconic ski destination for its legacy with the sport and the alpine culture infused into its mountain communities. But when skiing in Austria, the adventures don’t end when you pop out of your bindings at the end of the day. Specifically, Tyrol is the renowned hot spot for culinary winter experiences, which bolsters its reputation as a top ski destination even further. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite spots around the country to dine and après to help inspire places to hit on your own Austrian ski getaways.
Best known for its spring skiing, Kitzbühel offers 50+ places for traditional Tyrolean cuisine up in the snow-covered mountains. Whether you’re enjoying the sunshine on a terrace overlooking the mountain range for cocktails or cozied up for an authentic dinner in an alpine hut, Kitzbühel is full of must-stops for food aficionados.
This restaurant is in an incomparable location directly at the summit of the Bärenbadkogel Mountain. Its ski-in, ski-out access only adds to the charm and the tangible passion Barenbadalm’s team has for gastronomy. A highlight is their commitment to regionality—the restaurant bakes its own bread, raises its beef on an Angus farm in Jochberg and serves beer from a Huber brewery in St. Johann Tirol.
Tyrolean hospitality from this family-run spot and its accessibility as a starting point for hikes, skiing and mountain bike tours on Hahnenkamm mountain all add to its allure. In addition to the homestyle Tyrolean cooking being served, Melkam also offers overnight stays to guests with panoramic views of the Alps. Indulge in the hearty dishes sure to keep you warm in the winter months and sip a shandy on the sun terrace to unwind after a day on the mountain.
While this restaurant was built in 1924, it reopened in December 2015 with a revolutionary take on alpine gastronomy in what is likely the oldest ski hut in the world. Both nature lovers and fans of gourmet cuisine will delight in the combination of the best ingredients from mountains and sea, unconditional hospitality and exclusive ambiance of this dining spot. This quaint yet contemporary eatery recommends reservations for guests who wish to experience this culinary treat amongst the mountains.
This bar is described as rowdy and full of fun, the perfect end to any ski day. Locals appreciate the Londoner as one of the best spots in Kitzbühel. For a lively, club-like après experience, you’ll want to include the Londoner on your list for an evening of dancing and shot skis galore.
Right along the Hahnenkamm gondola base, you can expect to find dancing on tables and a DJ at this après spot. Some attendees have claimed this to be the spirit of any après outing in Kitzbühel. Enjoy the energy of other skiers singing along to music, enjoying beers and lots of laughs at this conveniently located watering hole.
Known as the ‘cradle of alpine skiing,’ Arlberg is home to the largest ski resort in Austria and a vast selection of gourmet cuisine.
The Verwallstube, is located at 6,840 feet above sea level and is one of the highest altitude gourmet restaurants in Europe. Enjoy excellent food and outstanding service in a dreamlike ambience in the middle of the mountains. Stopping here for a bite to eat or an aperitif will be sure to upgrade any ski day with a well-deserved break.
Experience a variety of cuisine in the top modern and rustic ski huts directly on the slopes. At an altitude of 6,889 feet, you get an amazing 360° Arlberg panorama at the Balmalpe. Choose to indulge in Asian wok specialties, a rich selection of fresh salads or the legendary cottage classic “Balmalp giant pizza.”
One more highlight is the Moët & Chandon Champagne Gondola. Savor champagne and top of the line bites over the mountain tops with a small group. The après experience in the champagne gondola can be described as an exclusive sparkling pleasure at airy heights.
At the restaurant Fuxbau, they concentrate on the essentials: first-class handicraft, an adventurous mind and top-of-the-line ingredients. At Fuxbau, they have a melting pot of wisdom and form flavors shaped by life experiences. Their homage to the region is evident in precise and grounded dishes but the culinary team is also always ready to innovate. The cuisine can be described as constantly evolving and keeping its sights set on the future.
Attend an après party at this legendary hut with other skiers to music by DJ Gerhard who’s been providing the best vibes here for the past 25 years. Reviews claim this spot isn’t for everyone, and you need to be in a party mood to enjoy your time here. The motto here is it’s “the baddest bar après ski bar on Arlberg’s Mountain,” and they strive to uphold that reputation.
Made famous in the 60s, this après spot is directly slopeside on Arlberg Mountain. Reviews describe attending as a wild time but a must-do for après in Arlberg, with communal tables, beers overflowing and customers singing aloud together. Another great spot if you’d like to get in some table dancing or just warm up in a place with great energy while on the mountain.
A previous location for the winter Olympics and the capital of Tyrol both lend to Innsbruck’s reputation, which speaks for itself. Relish in the city’s history and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains from its spot in the valley.
Christmas Markets in Innsbruck’s historic city center
The Advent and Christmas seasons in the mountains of Tyrol are something very special. They are marked by living traditions and endearing customs with a comforting atmosphere. Perhaps the finest place to experience this time of year is in the Innsbruck region: with this year’s completely redesigned LUMAGICA Innsbruck light park, its seven unique Christmas markets and rich alpine-urban ambience, the city invites guests to experience the magic of Christmas.
Traditional food you can expect to find at the Christmas markets would for instance be the “Kiachl” –a special kind of deep-fried dough and served with either Sauerkraut or cranberry-jam, a choice between making it sweet or savory. One of the other famous fried dishes is the “Zillertaler Krapfen.” These are made from pasta dough, filled with mashed potatoes, grey cheese, onions and different herbs.
Enjoy down-to-earth, high quality and tasty cooking at the Restaurant Lichtblick. Known for its Tyrolean hospitality and the Tyrolean culinary it serves; it is recognized by the Tyrolean Inn Culture association or “Tiroler Wirtshauskultur.” Here you can enjoy seasonal fare freshly supplied by local vegetable farmers, as well as first-class produce from local waters, farms and breweries.
There are many fresh interpretations of traditional cooking seasoned with a pinch of today’s culinary spirit. Restaurant Lichtblick is situated in the center of Innsbruck at a rooftop location. Their menu includes seasonal and regional dishes accompanied with a great variety of wines guests can enjoy while taking in the views of the city and surrounding mountains.
In the middle of the Tyrolean mountains in one of the highest ski resorts in Austria, you will find the “DreiSeenHütte” – a mountain hut located at 7,657 feet above sea level. The ascent is quite easy: just take the Drei-Seen-Bahn chairlift and within a few minutes and short walk down the valley you will reach the cabin. This is the perfect place for a break during the ski day. Due to its location, you will have a fantastic view of the surrounding mountain scenery and can sample authentic, traditional Tyrolean cooking.
At 6,250 feet about sea level, Cloud 9 Igloo is a mountaintop spot at the Nordkette ski area perfect for skiers and riders to stop by and enjoy a beverage. It’s a snow cave (so you know the pours are cold) with built-in ice bars for extra alpine flair. Particularly during the winter months, Innsbruck’s highest sun terrace is a no-brainer for putting your feet up and catching some rays.
For another bird’s eye view of Innsbruck while indulging in cocktails, visit the rooftop of aDLERS hotel for après. Views and camaraderie can be taken in on the Havana bar of the 13th floor, this spot is open from 5-10 p.m. and exudes a fun ambiance making it a party hotspot for skiers and visitors to Innsbruck alike. Grab one of their biers on tap or a classic negroni before deciding where to next for the evening’s adventures.
No matter where you end up, your après and dining experience in Austria will be unparalleled. Revel in the Tyrolean hospitality, say ‘Prost!’ in the birthplace of skiing and marvel exquisite views of the Alps while treating yourself to some of Austria’s gourmet cuisine.