Culinary highlights in Tirol, Austria
Tirol in Austria is one of the most famous mountain regions in the world. With more than 80 ski resorts, lovers of winter sports find their way to this region from October until April.
In spring, summer and autumn, the region offers a broad variety of outdoor activities as well. From hiking to cycling, from horse riding to golf, there is definitely something for everybody. To gain some energy, the Austrian cuisine offers solid, big dishes with specialties such as ‘Wiener Schnitzel’ and ‘Apfelstrudel’. However, there are different options for fine dining in the region as well. Here are some of our favourites:
1. Hubertusstube (Neustift)
Restaurant Hubertusstube is the culinary flagship of the hotel and guests will enjoy dishes inspired by the Austrian cuisine with many regional influences and ingredients. Many of these ingredients come from their own garden or from the private hunting areas. For more information about this restaurant, please consult our separate article.
Schauffelspitz restaurant is a very special restaurant and that is not just because of the food. The location is certainly one of greatest assets. The restaurant is located in the Eisgrat mountain station of the Stubai Glacier, at an altitude of no less than 2,900 meters. This station is also accessible to non-skiing guests who just want to enjoy the culinary delights – at an altitude of nearly 3,000 meters.
Tyrolean Chef David Kostner is in charge in the kitchen and primarily uses local products, often from the Stubai Valley, which he buys directly from farmers and local producers. Tiroler Grauvieh beef is dry-aged for six weeks and is a speciality on his menu. The Schaufelspitz boiled veal is combined with herbs, young cabbage, fermented potatoes and smoked egg.
The chef also presents more creative preparations, like the Snowball dessert with white chocolate, passion fruit, basil ice cream, and mango.
The creations of the chef can be combined with fine wines from the international wine list. Tempting, but be careful on the slopes afterwards!
3. Simon Taxacher
Restaurant Simon Taxacher from Top chef Simon Taxacher is one of the best restaurants in Tyrol. With a score of 19/20 in the Austrian Gault&Millau guide, this is even one of the top restaurants in Austria. The restaurant is located in Kirchberg, about 10 kilometres from the famous ski resort Kitzbühel. It is part of the sleek, luxurious Rosengarten hotel, where Bistro Rosengarten Light is also located (see below). Simon Taxacher and his wife Sandra Kobald manage the hotel and both restaurants.
Simon Taxacher is a modern chef who is fascinated by the very best products, both locally (lamb from the Tyrol) and internationally (Japanese Wagyu). These products are processed and presented in a modern style with attention to detail. A meal in this beautiful restaurant, with a view on the surrounding mountains, is a memorable experience. For more information about this restaurant and the hotel, please see our separate article.
4. Bistro Rosengarten Light
Bistro Rosengarten Light is the bistro restaurant from the Rosengarten hotel in Kirchberg in Tyrol. Guests can enjoy the cuisine from the Alps with a modern twist in a casual setting.
It is a great place to get acquainted with the contemporary Tyrolean cuisine. Make sure to try the pickled Tyrolean salmon trout with wild herbs and lime, the cream of pumpkin, or the fried black pudding with pickled savoy cabbage and bacon.
The well-known ‘Wiener Schnitzel’ is on the menu as well and you can order it with meat from Tyrolean pig or calf. Just like the gourmet restaurant from Simon Taxacher (see above), only fresh and quality products are used here, sourced from local suppliers wherever possible.
Ruetzenhof is another interesting restaurant one can discover in Kirchberg in Tirol. You do have to drive some more up in to the mountains, but the view – and the food – definitely make the detour worth it!
At Ruetzenhof, the Austrians themselves come to enjoy the typical dishes from the authentic Tyrolean cuisine. All products are coming from the region and much comes from the own farm (bacon, milk, meat …). The “Wiener Schnitzel” and the “apple strudel” are obviously favourites!
Tirol is easily accessible by plane or train, but the best way to explore the region is by car. The roads are in great condition and the surroundings are stunning. We hit the roads with a Subaru Outback, an excellent 4×4 that also performs in more demanding situations such as on ice and in snow.
Thanks to options such as the X-Mode / Hill Descent Control, which helps to automatically maintain a constant vehicle speed on descents, and the Vehicle Dynamics Control System, which detects strange behaviour from surrounding drivers, our trip became safer, easier and more comfortable.
Pictures in this article were made with the Fujifilm X-T2 Camera, our favourite compact, lightweight and robust camera with endless creative possibilities. Used lenses: XF 35mm 1.4 R for food shots, and XF 10-24 mm F4 R OIS for interior and outdoor pictures.