Tirolean Cuisine With a Twist
The Berghof serves only lamb sourced from its own mountain farm. © Tirol Werbung / Ramon Haindl
Bacon dumplings with a cold beer? Often it is the classic dishes that are still the best. We have compiled a list of ten traditional guesthouses in Tirol committed to local cuisine with an innovative idea or tantalising twist.
Head chef Günter Eberl was for many years in charge of the kitchen at the Schwan guesthouse in Wattens, making this small town half an hour east of Innsbruck a real hotspot in Tirol's foodie scene. Now he has moved on to the village of Rinn a little closer to the regional capital and opened the Arche. The light, modern building provides an excellent backdrop for the hearty seasonal and regional food served up by Günter Eberl and his team. In summer there is a large terrace with excellent views.
As the name suggests, Bierol is not just a guesthouse but first and foremost a microbrewery producing some of the best local beer Tirol has seen for a long time. It has a taproom where visitors can sample the many brews on offer before heading to the restaurant, where Thomas Moser cooks up a storm with the same innovative and creative spirit found in the brewery.
Die Wilderin (Innsbruck)
Die Wilderin is a gem hiding in plain sight in the middle of Innsbruck's old town. The owner is friends with many farmers and hunters in and around Innbruck, ensuring top-quality produce throughout the year. Die Wilderin is also known for its unusual dishes, including what is probably the best foal goulash you will find anywhere in Tirol.
Most eateries with both pizza and Schnitzel on the menu are pretty average when it comes to ingredients and cooking, but not so the Gasthaus Dresch. This traditional guesthouse with a modern interior also looks beyond Tirol and Austria to embrace the taste of the Mediterranean cuisine and also has regular Steak Weeks where we very much recommend trying some of the more unusual cuts.
Gasthof Berghof (Pfunds)
Tirol recently launched a project in which the chamber of commerce and association of farmers got together to create a labelling system for use in restaurants and guesthouses. This system indicates not only the various allergens in the ingredients used but also provides details on where these ingredients come from. One of the first guesthouses to sign up was the Berghof in Pfunds, which specialises in lamb, venison, homemade beer and wine made in Pfunds. war hier bei den ersten Betrieben, die sich dem Projekt angeschlossen haben.
Gasthof Himmelhof (Schwaz)
The Gasthof Himmelhof is a little hard to find. Diners must cross over the Steinbrücke bridge in Schwaz, walk past the hospital and then turn left. It may be a bit of an odyssey to get there, but the traditional dishes on offer here such as Zillertaler Ofenleber really are some of the best in the region.
Gasthof Nester (Stumm)
The village square in Stumm is one of the most beautiful and impressive in Tirol. During the summer months it hosts plays, with the church, castle and fountain providing a wonderful backdrop on a warm evening. Right on the square is also the Gasthof Nester, where Georg Hausers serves up some of the excellent Tirolean food using meat from his own butcher's stop right next door.
Gründlers Genießerwirtshaus (Achenkirch)
The father-and-son duo of Armin and Alexander Gründler are proof that keeping it in the family can be a very good idea indeed. Both are firmly committed to regional and seasonal produce as well as the philosophy of Slow Food, a movement born in Italy in the 1980s as alternative to fast food.
Friendly, knowledgeable waiters, chefs with a genuine passion for regional food, a wonderful terrace with amazing views and a wine menu featuring a selection of the best wines from Austria and beyond – the Schulhaus in the village of Zellberg has everything you need for a great dining experience. It sources its veal from the only biodynamic farm in Tirol, while game is caught by local hunters in the surrounding mountains. Head chef Stefan Geisler then turns these outstanding ingredients into some of the best food anywhere in Tirol.
ZOMM im Meilerhof (Seefeld)
"Zomm" is the Tirolean dialect word for "zusammen" meaning "together". It was chosen by Thomas Kluckner and Waal Sterneberg, the two men in charge of affairs at this charming eatery in Seefeld. Both have cooked at some of the best restaurants in the world before coming to Tirol to set up their own guesthouse serving hearty, healthy and honest cuisine using a selection of regional produce. On the menu at ZOMM im Meilerhof you will find everything from a Marend with its mix of cheese, meat, spread and bread to the classic Tafelspitz.