You’d think lunch for most people in St Anton would be fished out of a rucksack that also contained a collapsible shovel and avalanche probe: but actually there’s a burgeoning mountain-restaurant scene here. One of the best is the highly-rated Verwall Stube, which is at the top of the Galzigbahn lift from town. To find it, you need to go through the self-service Kandahar. The atmosphere doesn’t match the best mountain restaurants of Italy, Switzerland and France (one of our editors found himself listening “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts on the restaurant’s music system recently). But there’s no doubting the quality of the food. Dishes such as a Tirolean trout and char with pickled cucumber and beetroot are both inventive and delicious.
Serious lunchers will also want to ski down to the Arlberg Hospiz-Alm at St Christoph – which has a legendary wine cellar with staff kitted out in Dirndls and leather Lederhosen.
Ulmer Hutte, just below the top of the Schindlergrat, is a lovely little place for lunch, offering the best of traditional Tirolean dishes in cosy surroundings. The Rodelalm on the way down to the Nasserein gondola is good value and has a large sun terrace. The Arlberghohe, located just below it, is less expensive and has tons of atmosphere along with and extensive menu of typical Tirolean dishes.
Anybody exploring the quieter pistes over towards Stuben should book a table at the Berghaus (+43 5582 30141) as their reward; it has a good range of reasonably-priced Alpine dishes including Tiroler Grostl and various types of Rosti. In the Rendl the sole choice is Arlberger Panoramarestaurant, which is lacking in atmosphere although its prices are very reasonable. Finally, party animals will be delighted to know that the Mooserwirt, on pistes 22 and 23, down from Gampen into town, does good food at lunchtime. You can stop here at 1.30pm, spin out lunch for a couple of hours and – hey presto – you’re in the perfect spot when the DJ gets to work. Underground on the Piste (+43 5446 2000), at the base of the ski area and close to the Galzigbahn, also does snacks.
The town is a great place to eat and getting better all the time
The eateries at the m3hotel include the excellent m3cafe and the m3hazienda restaurant. Another new venue is the Tannenhof, serving local and regional fare. By night the Werner family’s Arlberg Hospiz-Alm, in St Christoph, puts on the tablecloths and becomes a serious gourmet restaurant with an astonishing wine cellar. In St Anton, warehouse-style Benvenuto is quite pricey and serves mainly Oriental dishes. Family-run Floriani (+43 5446 2330) is recommended for its pizzas and pasta, and is popular with families. The Museum is like eating in front of the fire in someone’s large private home (it was the main setting for the 2011 movie Chalet Girl), and there are interesting displays to look at as well.
Meanwhile, just off the main pedestrianised street, in the middle of town Der Grieswirt does traditional Tirolean grub really well – and at affordable prices. Make sure you start you meal with Stanzertaler Suppen: a clear beef consommé with cheese and bacon dumplings. Nearby, Bodega (+43 5446 42788) is a popular tapas bar that gets busy later on in the evening, but stays open until the early hours.
Nasserein’s San Antonio is a popular pizzeria. For a drink and a snack, head to Anton (+43 5446 2408) across the road from the Galzigbahn base station. It is also a popular pre-skiing meeting place. Almost next door is Blick (+43 5446 3870), an eatery with modern alpine decoration, serving good local dishes and pasta.