Food Tastes Better at Altitude: Arlberg On-Mountain Dining

One of the best places for on-mountain dining at St. Anton Ski Resort: Arlberg Thaja, Photo Credit: Arlberg Thaja

Admittedly, I am one of those who start counting down the days to ski season in the summer. Not just for the skiing itself, which is quite wonderful, but also to enjoy the full skiing experience, start to finish. In my eyes, skiing is the perfect excuse to have a nice big lunch on the mountain and experience some amazing cuisine. They say that food tastes better at altitude and I can only agree. Mountain food bliss.

Arlberg Ski Area is not only my favourite ski resort; luckily, it is also the mountain in my backyard. Exploring this vast ski resort is about much more than glorious mountains and breathtaking skiing and riding. When you visit, you can also expect the mountains to serve up fresh, local cuisine in unique locations. Due to the sheer number of restaurants on offer at St. Anton Ski Resort, I have compiled a list of my best-loved on-mountain dining options:

Arlberg Thaja: Meet the Locals

Why Dine Here?
Arlberg Thaja is the place where locals meet up. The quaint and rustic log cabin was completely refurbished and re-opened for the 2015-2016 ski season. The friendly and knowledgeable service staff actively work to enrich your experience. A full-service dining restaurant, Arlberg Thaja offers a menu that reflects all the solid foods available in the Austrian Tirol, including classic mountain comfort dishes like Groestl, Spaetzle and dumplings. Specials of the day such as knuckle of pork and grilled chicken are available on Saturdays and Sundays. My personal recommendation is their baked potato with pulled pork – worth alone to get your ski boots on!

Which Seat Should You Pick?
The restaurant’s ample outdoor terrace is perfectly suited for al fresco dining—and for getting your sun fix and a gorgeous glowing tan in the spring! It’s worth lingering a little longer here on full moon nights (or returning after skiing) to join their popular Full Moon Parties, which start at 9:00pm. So go ahead, say yes to experiencing quintessential mountain food, drinks, service and fun at the Thaja.

Arlberg Thaja is located in St. Christoph, on Trail No. 64.

Photo Credits: Arlberg Thaja

Sun & Senn Hut: My Favorite Things!

Why Dine Here?
There’s no way around it—in the true sense of the word: Located on the top-to-bottom run from Galzig Mountain down to St. Anton (Trail No. 50), Sennhütte is a typical Arlberg ski lodge where the welcome is always warm, the food is always great and the music always live. Tanja and Markus Senn are the friendly operators and together with their dedicated staff they work hard to provide a unique home-away-from-home vibe, which is just one part of the reason that après sessions here can be so off-the-hook.

Which Seat Should You Pick?
Senn Hut has one of the ski resort’s best sun terraces – an enormous outdoor deck looking up to the snowcapped peaks. Catch this place on a sunny day, order a Kaiserschmarren, listen to live music and you will not want to leave.

Conveniently located on the top-to-bottom run from Galzig Mountain down to St. Anton, Trail No. 50, Senn Hut is the first ski lodge on your right hand side.

Photo Credits: Sennhütte & Tirol Werbung

Mooserwirt: Great Food at the World’s ‘Baddest’ Après Ski Bar

Why Dine Here?
Better known for après ski than for its restaurant, the Mooserwirt is a phenomenal party every single day. Moreover, Mooserwirt serves up an artful assemblage of fresh fare featuring the finest locally sourced ingredients, such as regional beef and bread buns from the local bakery for its house specialties, mouthwatering burgers. Their most decadent burger option will surprise and delight as well: Beef, pâté de foie gras, pear chutney, truffle cream sauce and a bottle of Moët & Chandon are yours for Euro 99.

Which Seat Should You Pick?
The exterior expansive multi-tiered deck is truly a unique spot to celebrate the day over a Mooser Burger, spare ribs, steak or hearty goulash soup in a comfortable, yet charmingly rustic outdoor setting. If you’re in the mood to party, just try to keep your seat as there will be table-top dancing from 3.30pm onwards, fuelled by vast quantities of beer and cheesy music. After all, Mooserwirt is the self-proclaimed “world’s baddest” après bar—it’s the essence of Austrian oompah après.

Mooserwirt lies on the final section of ski trail No. 50 down to St. Anton, making it a great place to celebrate a day of skiing. (Luckily, it’s a very short ski down to the village).

Photo Credits: Tirol Werbung & Mooserwirt

Fine Dining with Dress Code Ski Boots: Verwallstube.

Why Dine Here?
More “fine dining restaurant” than “quaint cabin,” Verwallstube is the epitome of good mountain taste. One of the highest elevation fine-dining restaurants in Europe, the Verwallstube takes pride of place at the top of Galzig Gondola. At the heart of the ski resort, this is a must for anyone looking for something truly special. Spectacular panoramic valley views from the beautiful outdoor patio are matched only by the depth and quality of the fantastic award-winning cuisine, and the service is impeccable. Listed in the prestigious French restaurant guide, Gault Millau, it is fair to say, that Manfred Fahrner’s establishment offers a little more than your traditional ski hut fare. An elevated dining experience in the true sense of the word—enjoyed in ski boots. Very special, indeed.

Verwallstube is St. Anton’s most sophisticated mountain restaurant, serving startlingly good, mountain-inspired dishes (with fish as their specialty!) in refined yet unpretentious surroundings. Ski in during the day and treat yourself to lunch here, on the sunny terrace if weather allows, or save the culinary delights of chef Matthias Weinhuber for a candlelit dinner over live piano music. Once a week, you can ride the scenic Galzigbahn Gondola to dinner for a spectacular evening with views to match. Glide above snow-dusted trees and powdery runs all the way to the top of Galzig, where you’ll find this award-winning restaurant. A memorable dining experience if you’re looking for anything that can make a night feel special. Booking in advance is very highly recommended!

Which Seat Should You Pick?
From the sunny outdoor deck, you’ll get picture-worthy views of iconic Patteriol Mountain and the jagged summits of Saumspitze, Scheibler, Kuchenspitze and Parseier.

Right next to the top of Galzig Gondola.

Photo Credits: Arlberger Bergbahnen & Tirol Werbung

Griabli: A Warm & Inviting Lunchtime Stopover

Why Dine Here?
One of my best-loved memories of skiing as a child is having a ‘Germknödel’ at Griabli (just in case you don’t know ‘Germknödel’: it’s a fluffy yeast dough dumpling, filled with spiced plum jam and served with melted butter and a mix of poppy seeds and sugar on top). Griabli was the very place I went to with my parents and aunts after a long day of skiing. Griabli is, in fact, not a ski lodge but a tiny restaurant with log fire inside and a sunny outdoor patio, right opposite to Mooserwirt.

Griabli offers an excellent location for a lunchtime stopover plus good food and superb service. With a roaring log fire and charming interior, the Griabli is a great place to come and warm up in during a snow day — and to refuel for more powder fun afterwards.

Which Seat Should You Pick?
For a less raucous après ski, grab a prime people-watching pew at the outdoor deck of Griabli for a front-row view of the dancing-on-tables-in-ski-boots-tradition at Mooserwirt next door, hint hint. The vibe here at Griabli is chilled—and it’s a great place to enjoy live rock and blues on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Best of all, Griabli is conveniently located slopeside to top-to-bottom ski run No. 50. After a day on the slopes, you can strap on your skis and slide down into the village center. It’s a very short ski home!

Gulaschsuppe foran pejsen!

A post shared by Josephine Reich 🙅 (@josereich) on

Special Recommendation:
The Award-Winning: Ulmer Hütte

Sweeping vistas of iconic Patteriol, the mountain in St. Anton’s backyard, covered in snow is a scene that comes standard at Ulmer Hut. Taking pride of place on Trail No. 78 that leads towards Rauz, the views are tremendous, making the outdoor deck ideal for sunny days, while the interior is cosy for snowy days.

Recognized by French restaurant guide Gault Millau as a Top-5 Mountaintop Restaurant, the cozy cabin has hearty home-style food and is famous for their hearty beef broth. I have to try it next time I’m on the mountain!

Ulmer Hut was originally built as an Alpinist Association Hut. Ski in for great outdoor dining on sunny days. Photo Credit: Rosanna Battisti


Rosanna Battisti’s passion is travel, adventure, and skiing—that’s why she is always eager to go back home for winter.

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