Given its middling size, the Mayrhofen ski area is brimming with mountain restaurants. Prices are pretty reasonable too – although the emphasis is less upon fine dining and more upon hearty, filling food. It will come as a very welcome surprise for anyone used to paying inflated prices in the big-name French resorts.
There’s lots of choice on the mountain, and good value too
On Penken (the main area of lifts and pistes) the Penken Panorahma Restaurant is a rather cool and funky place set on a sunny ledge. As its name suggests the views are fantastic, and there’s lots of room (on sofas as well as at tables) to spread out and soak up the atmosphere. They do good stone-baked pizzas, but the chicken burritos are the locals’ favourite (in 2012 they cost 8.60€).
On the other side of Penken, on uncrowded red piste 27, (where the snow is almost always in good nick), the Unterbergalm (+43 664 2049 49777) is a recent addition to the restaurant scene, and serves Schnitzel, burgers and the like – as well as a delicious Kaiserschmarrn (chopped-up pancakes sprinkled coated with butter and icing sugar and served with stewed fruit).
Nearby, the Schneekarthutte (+43 5285 64940), near the top of the Horberg, is instantly recognizable by its pointy, witches-hat roof. This is the resort’s fine-dining mountain restaurant – and it has a good wine list. Prices are higher than elsewhere.
Meanwhile, over on the Ahorn, the Ahornhutte is the place to go for soups and cheap and cheerful sausage, Sauerkraut and dumpling: although we’d much rather eat at the super-cool next to the top cable-car station Freiraum. A long, narrow concrete box of a restaurant, which juts out from the side of the mountain, it offers stunning views down into the valley.
Finally, if you all you fancy is a sandwich to stick in your rucksack, drop into the deli opposite the Penken gondola in the middle of town. One of our editors bought a sandwich and a bottle of coke there recently for just 3.80€.
In Mayrhofen itself, the Wirsthaus zum Griena is the place to go
Most holidaymakers in Mayrhofen stay in hotels on a half-board basis, so there’s not too much demand for restaurants in town. However, one place you must try is the Wirsthaus zum Griena – a restaurant set in the rooms of an old farmhouse which serves scrupulously traditional and delicious food. This is old-fashioned Tirolean grub – so expect lots of meat and dumplings: but the chef is no fool and the flavours are clear, bright and well-balanced.
Go for Zeral mit Suauerrahm as a starter (potato and cheese cakes with sour cream and cranberry) and the Wilderer Pfandl as a main: a big pan of venison stew with dumplings and red cabbage. Oh boy, even the memory of this food is making your correspondent’s mouth water. The Wirsthaus is hidden away on the Dorf Haus side street, on side of town – but it’s marked on Google Maps, so there’s no excuse for not finding it. Otherwise, there are several pizzerias and cafes on the main street.
Pushing the boat out? Head to Hippach
For a blowout meal, jump in a taxi to the neighbouring village of Hippach, and the fine-dining restaurant at the Hotel Sieghard, which has 15 Gault Millau points and two chef’s toques for the quality of its cooking. Don’t expect revolutionary food here: but there’s no doubting the quality of the ingredients, or the deftness with which they’re cooked. Welove2ski ate some superb ricotta and olive ravioli here recently, followed by a succulent filet of beef. The service is charming, too.
See also our feature on The Best Mountain Food All Skiers Should Try At Least Once.