Austrians are particularly proud of their food and Lungau is no exception. There are all kinds of restaurants available – from traditional guesthouses to pizzerias (we’re only an hour from Italy), modern European, organic food, pasta, steak and chips, or fine dining. Most of the hotels here have at least one restaurant at which passing trade is welcome, although some are better than others, and there are a number of dishes we think everyone should try at least once.
If you’ve never had a Lungau Käse Spätzl (cheesy noodles with crispy onion sprinkles) followed by Kaiserschmarrn (literally ‘Emperor’s rubbish’ but actually roughly chopped pancake with icing sugar and plum or apple sauce), you haven’t lived!
And then there’s the local ‘Brettl Jause’. This is basically a smorgasbord of local hams, meats, cheeses, pickles and butter, all served with freshly baked bread rolls. All you need is a big knife and your fingers… it’s a local favourite and definitely one to try.
Before you leave, you should also visit one of the many mountain-top restaurants. We’d recommend trying “gröstl”, a potato-based dish served in a hot pan, or “knödl”, Austrian dumplings. It’s also worth heading up to the Panorama Alm, where they serve roast suckling pig once-a-week. And they do a mean Wiener schnitzel at the top of Katschberg’s moonlit toboggan run – just what you need before racing back down in the dark!
Value for Money
There’s something here for everyone – from the Michelin-Star wielding Mesnerhaus to small shops and cafes serving local delicacies and eating out here is amazing value for money.
Despite its position beneath a ski area, St Michael is still a working town and prices have not been inflated to take advantage of visitors. You can get a very decent main course for 10 to 15 Euros and a beer is usually 3 Euros or less. For anyone who’s fed up of the rip-off prices you find in the sanitised tourist areas in the Tirol or French Alps, St Michael makes a refreshing change. If you want some recommendations on where to eat, just pop into reception and we’ll give you some pointers, or we can reserve you a table.
If you’re here in the summer, you’ll definitely want to visit one of the local farms or ‘Alms’ (usually at the top of a mountain!). Here you can discover some truly wonderful home-made cheeses, cured meats and hand-churned butter. It might sound unhealthy, but it’s just what you need after a long hike or bike ride. Picture yourself sitting at 2000 metres, sunning yourself on the sun terrace with a cold beer and a plate of home-made delicacies. It just doesn’t get any better. We regularly lead hikes and bike rides to the Alms, with no charge for residents. Alternatively we can arrange tours of the local farm shops, where you can sample the food, wine and schnapps. We’ll even organise someone to collect you, in case you can’t make it back on your own steam!
It’s slowly making its way into restaurants, wine bars and supermarkets overseas, but many still aren’t aware of Austria’s excellent reputation for making wine. There are some truly exceptional varieties to try and we regularly organise tastings at the resort. Austrian wine is often extremely good value. We regularly see guests leave by car with their boots completely stuffed!
Beer and Schnapps
Of course no trip to Austria is complete without sampling the local beers and schnapps. Lungau has a number of breweries, including the likes of Stiegl, which is one of our favourites. If you want a crate of beers as part of your pre-stay shop, just say the word (it’s on the form just in case!). If schnapps is your weakness, the traditional choice is called Obstler and you’ll find that every bar has its preferred variety. For something a little less harsh, try a ‘Willy’, which is pear-flavoured – sometimes arriving with a chunk of pear in the glass. But beware, it’s still strong stuff!