The Italian Alps offer a breathtaking tapestry of towering peaks, pristine lakes, and charming villages. This majestic mountain range stretches across the northern border of Italy, creating a natural boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. Between its landscapes, top-of-the-world attractions like the Zaha Hadid-designed mountain museum, and world-class ski resorts, the area provides a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and cultural aficionados alike. The region boasts skiing in the winter and hiking and mountain biking trails in the summer. The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcase unique limestone formations and draw climbers from around the globe. It is no wonder that the 2026 Winter Olympics will be held in the Italian Alps once again, after previous events in Cortina in 1956 and Turin in 2006.
With all this going on, it's no surprise that the region also boasts a collection of incredible restaurants. But the food, which includes influences from neighboring countries, is not your typical Mediterranean fare. The colder winter climate has spawned a richer cuisine and encouraged the use of unexpected ingredients. Savory dishes such as polenta and hearty stews are staples, while the region's cheeses, such as the renowned Asiago, add a distinct flavor to the experience. So, let's take a look at the best places to savor these offerings based on personal experience and a careful inspection of professional and amateur reviews.
Albergo Oberraut Ristorante
There are more traditional restaurants in Brunico (known as Bruneck, in German, which is also spoken here) than you can shake a stick at. But if you can only pick a few in this area, let one of them be Oberraut, a hotel and restaurant with wood-paneled rooms that serves typical Tyrolean fare. Its dishes are prepared with ingredients grown on the property or purchased from nearby vendors, so it doesn't get much more local than that.
This is a good place to try the canederli, a typical dumpling made with bread and herbs, as you can't leave the Tyrol region before you've tried this Italian dish. Prices are reasonable, so there's no need to skip dessert, which should definitely be the apple fritters. If you eat too much, just book a comfortable room upstairs and sleep it off.
oberraut.it/en/welcome+39 0474 559977Via Ameto, 1, 39031 Brunico BZ, Italy
Ristorante Malga Panna
This restaurant in Moena is a former malga, a traditional Alpine establishment that makes cheese and other dairy products on-site. Stop here for the food but also the view, as the large windows look out onto the Alps and valley below. The dishes are prepared with the vegetables and herbs grown in the personal garden of chef Paolo Donei and other locally-grown products.
Unlike what you could expect from an actual malga, Malga Panna provides a fine dining experience, with white tablecloths, attentive service and all. Indeed, the restaurant boasts one Michelin star and its chef has been recognized by the Jeunes Restauranteurs association of Europe. Dishes are offered a la carte or in tasting menu format, and everything is artfully displayed. Equally artful is the location, which is known as the "fairy of the Dolomites" because of the intricate light dances that occur at dusk.
malgapanna.it+39 0462 573489Str. de Sort, 64, 38035 Moena TN, Italy
Agriturismo Fattoria Bombassei
An agriturismo is a type of hotel and restaurant in Italy located on a farm whose ingredients are used to supply the kitchen in whole or in part. One fine example of this type of establishment is the Agriturismo Fattoria Bombassei in Auronzo di Cadore. Stop here on the way to visit the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, one of Italy's most stunning natural wonders, and let the kids blow off steam in the adjacent playground before you continue your road trip.
The menu is not extensive, but when everything on it is good and fresh, that's just fine. Get the "piatto fattoria," or "farm plate," to experience the widest range of the agriturismo's offerings, including polenta, grilled cheese, and sausage. And don't skip the apple strudel. Austria is one of many places in the world where you can sample the best specimens.
facebook.com/fattoriabombassei+39 0435 340503Via Valle Ansiei, 7, 32041 Auronzo di Cadore BL, Italy
Having been recognized not only by the Michelin Guide with one star but also by the Jeunes Restaurateurs of Europe, this family-owned restaurant in Castelbello is not to be missed. Indeed, the place exudes sophistication without sacrificing the family vibe. The chef who put this restaurant on the map, Jörg Trafoier, has made way for his son, Kevin, to take over the kitchen while he takes care of the front of house along with his wife Sonya, who also won the 2022 Michelin sommelier award, according to the Michelin Guide. Meanwhile, Natalie, the daughter, is in charge of dessert.
Many of the ingredients used in Kuppelrain's dishes are sourced from the restaurant's vegetable garden, while the rest are almost as local. The freshness comes through in the food, making a meal at Kuppelrain the ideal spot to dine if you really want to savor the experience of being in the Alps.
+39 0435 340503Via Stazione, 16, 39020 Castelbello BZ, Italy
Although St. Hubertus, in San Cassiano, is closed for this ski season due to renovations, it should earn a place on your list of restaurants to visit in the Alps. It is a destination in and of itself, one that just happens to be a 5-minute walk to some of the best ski slopes in the Alps. And fear not -- this hotel and restaurant will open in time for the next ski season in late 2024, with plenty of time to welcome the hordes for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Everything on the tasting menu is sourced locally, which is no easy feat when the ground is covered in snow for at least four months. On a visit last year, the anchovies were from the Po Delta region, near Venice, which was as far away as it got. But while the freshness of the ingredients does contribute to the excellence of the dishes, the careful and individualized attention to the service, the interplay of flavors, textures, and temperatures in the food, and the stellar wine list are what makes this place stand head and shoulders above the rest. That said, it is not yet clear what form this restaurant will take when it reopens for the 2024/25 season. What we do know is that head chef Norbert Niederkofler will be part of the planning team, so we know it's going to be good.
aman.com/resorts/rosa-alpina+39 0471 849500Strada Micurà de Rü, 20, 39036 San Cassiano BZ, Italy
Le Bar A Vin
There is a little shop in Aosta, near the borders with France and Switzerland, where you can buy a bevy of Italian specialties, like stone ground polenta or red cow Parmesan cheese. But this little hole-in-the-wall gem also boasts several delightful restaurants if you're willing to venture deep into its cave-like structure and step out into a series of warm and welcoming rooms lined with red brick walls and used to seat large numbers of people for dinner. Or you can go around the back.
Regardless of your entry method, you will find Le Bar A Vin, La Grenette, and la Trattoria di Montagna, or Le Bar A Vin, back there. All are delicious, but the latter is perhaps the most charming, especially on a cold winter's night when you just want to find a cozy place to eat something warm. That something warm should be La Polenta Concia, made with that stone-ground polenta from the shop along with gooey Fontina.
lebaravin.it+39 0165 263842Via Porta Pretoria, 55, 11100 Aosta AO, Italy
Contrada Bricconi, in Oltressanda, is another Alpine restaurant that bears the mark of chef Norbert Niederkofler, a rock star in the Italian Alps' culinary scene. Michele Lazzarini, who was once head-chef at St. Hubertus, the 3-starred Michelin restaurant in San Cassiano, brought his expertise here and, along with his partners, developed it into a way of life that fits in seamlessly with the local environment.
The founding principle of this agriturismo is, in fact, that of promoting sustainable practices in fine dining while making use of everything the surrounding mountains have to offer. Taking inspiration from the gorgeous views, Lazzarini and his partners have built a farm where they grow, raise, and make excellent dairy products, cured meats, and other ingredients they use to amaze and entice diners at the restaurant. In keeping with the local and sustainable philosophy, ingredients are in season, and those that do not come from the contrada's farm are sourced from nearby farmers.
contradabricconi.it+39 351 548 9493Via Bricconi, 3, 24020 Oltressenda alta BG, Italy
Chef Gloria Clama left her job as a forklift operator to start her own restaurant in Raveo, near the borders with Austria and Slovenia, which turned out to be a good decision. The impetus came after she participated in Masterchef Italia, and she has since earned a spot on the Michelin Guide and in several well-regarded Italian restaurant review guides.
At the center of her philosophy is the practice of using local and seasonal ingredients, which is why you should expect to find plenty of pumpkin and chestnuts on the menu in the fall and winter, for example. The quality of the food comes through in the ingredients but also in the creative ways in which they're prepared and the beautiful presentations. And don't pass up a chance to review the wine list –- this is your opportunity to try those fine Friuli wines that don't get enough attention abroad.
indinio.it+39 329 462 6486Via Norsinia, 21/B, 33029 Raveo UD, Italy
For a fine dining experience in typical Alpine decor, head to Mondschien in Sappada, conveniently located just off the ski slopes. While lunch is a casual, simple, but high-quality affair, dinner is more sophisticated, offering a tasting menu with local ingredients such as venison with mountain pine sauce.
Enjoy the view of the Dolomites while sampling its fruits and sipping on local wines from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. In addition to the tasting menu, you can also enjoy a la carte options like filet with foie gras and black truffles or gnocchi with a meat sauce made from game with mountain pine and locally made cream. These are not light dishes, but they might be just what you need to regain your strength after a long day of skiing.
ristorantemondschein.it+39 0435 469585
Borgata Palù, 96, 33012 Sappada UD, Italy
Be sure to book a table before heading to Tilia, in Dobbiaco (known as Toblach in German), as the restaurant only has five tables and can seat no more than 12 people at any given time. In true Alpine style, where towns are small, and communities are tight, the chef sources some of his ingredients from the farm of a childhood friend, according to the Michelin Guide.
Boasting one Michelin star and a prime location near several of the region's top ski slopes, Tilia also offers reasonably priced tasting menus with three, four, or five courses, plus an optional wine pairing course. Although many of the ingredients are local, this restaurant also branches out and is not afraid to import some more traditional luxury items, like caviar or truffles. Indeed, the menu tends to be a combination of both, such as the foie gras and truffle dish made with local spelt from Trentino Alto Adige.
+39 335 812 7783Via Dolomiti, 31/b, 39034 Dobbiaco BZ, Italy
Atelier Moessmer Norbert Niederkofler
Not only does this restaurant in Brunico have three Michelin stars, but it also claims a green star, which denotes a focus on sustainability. In particular, chef Norbert Niederkofler, who transformed the famed St. Hubertus in San Cassiano from a humble pizza joint into a three-star Michelin restaurant in part by pioneering the idea to "cook the mountain," focuses on sourcing ingredients only from producers who are practically a stone's throw away from his restaurant.
In a place like Brunico that is not as big a challenge as it might seem. The area is flush with dairy farmers, produce purveyors, and foragers, not to mention all the fresh ingredients needed to devise a thoughtful, near zero-waste, and sophisticated menu. For instance, wild river prawns, wild garlic, and perch are all items that can be found in abundance without leaving the mountain.
ateliernorbertniederkofler.com/it+39 0474 646629Via Walther von der Vogelweide, 17, 39031 Brunico BZ, Italy
Cortina is the epitome of luxury Alpine skiing. Since its early days as a ski destination, and especially after hosting the Winter Olympics in 1956, it has attracted the rich and famous, from Ernest Hemingway to Audrey Hepburn. It continues to draw in well-healed travelers, which is why the area has plenty of luxury hotels and high-end restaurants to choose from.
One such restaurant is Tivoli, located at the foot of the Agamatic ski lift and featuring one Michelin star. Be sure to book a table by the window to get the perfect view of the Alps and downtown Cortina, which is just below the restaurant. The menu features a mixture of local ingredients and top-quality items coming from further afield, like fish fresh off the docks in Venice. Meanwhile, the wine list is extensive, illustrating chef-owner Graziano Prest's passion for wine.
ristorantetivolicortina.it+39 0436 866400Località Lacedel, 34, Cortina d'Ampezzo BL, 32043, Italy
RistoranTino & C.
Just over the French border from Sauze di Cesana are some of the most high-end luxury ski resorts in the world, including Megeve, Courchevel, and the Val d'Isere. For something just as beautiful but a bit more low-key, head to the Val di Susa in Italy, where you will also find RistoranTino & C.
Unlike most other Alpine establishments, some of RistoranTino's menu items include far-flung ingredients like wasabi, sake, or typical South American elements. But you will also get plenty of local flair here, highlighted, for example, by the pigeon cooked five ways or the lichen ravioli, both from the signature tasting menu. But don't be afraid to try the surprise tasting menu, where the chef chooses each course depending on a combination of the season and his whimsy. As a bonus, Chef Martino Leone represented Italy in skiing competitions, so if you know, you're also in the right place when it comes to the ski season.
+39 0122 76141Frazione Rollieres, 63, 10054 Rollieres TO, Italy
Laite, a one-Michelin star restaurant in Sappada, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, is a good place to get a fine meal that is not too unattainable. While the place doesn't skimp on sophistication –- with its 18th and 16th Century dining rooms -– it also gives simplicity pride of place, so don't expect any fancy fire tricks or dry ice shenanigans.
The menu features plenty of local ingredients prepared with care and imagination. The implausible donkey meat is turned into an instant classic by the presence of rosehip and juniper, while the turnip finally finds pride of place as a form of gnocchi and as a fermented addition to the beef tartare. Don't underestimate the power of the turnip. Laite might also be one of the only places where you can find both pepper and lichen ice cream, though if those scare you, you can always opt for the coconut or white chocolate varieties, which are also great.
ristorantelaite.com+39 0435 469070Borgata Hoffe, 10, 33012 Sappada UD
La Casetta Del Gad
For a pizza place to figure on a list of top restaurants, it has to be pretty special, and that is indeed the case with La Casetta del Gad in Oulx, a ski resort on the border with France. Named an excellent pizzeria by the world's 50 Top Pizza Guide, this family-owned restaurant churns out top-notch pizza dough that produces a crunchy, well-livened pizza.
The pizza menu is divided between red and white versions, meaning ones that come with or without tomato sauce. There is also a very fine gluten-free pizza option, which can be paired with a beer courtesy of the Baladin brewery in nearby Turin. But if you're here with someone who isn't into pizza, if there is such a person, then this place has something to offer them, too. The menu is rife with homemade wonders, like agnolotti and pappardelle and a slew of other Piedmontese specialties.
lacasettadelgad.it+39 0122 831087Via Riccardo Ghiotti, 19, 10056 Oulx TO, Italy
Whether you're skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer, this place in Fuchiade is where you want to end up at the end of a hard day of work and fun. The view of the surrounding mountains is stunning — one of those sights that humble the human mind. And the food is almost as awe-inspiring. The establishment is technically a rifugio — a mountain hut that usually serves food provides accommodation, and is situated directly off a hiking path. But this place takes the word to a whole new level, providing sophisticated dining options made with local yogurts, cheeses, homemade mustards, and more.
Don't go home after a meal here. Rent a comfortable, well-decorated room so you can wake up to that view and be amazed all over again. Indeed, you wouldn't want to skip the breakfast, which comes complete with freshly baked items and homemade jams.
fuciade.it+39 0462 574281Località Fuciada 1, 38030 Fuchiade TN, Italy
This list was compiled using a combination of personal experience, high marks from the Michelin Guide combined with good Google reviews, plus triangulation with Italian restaurant review sites like the preeminent Gambero Rosso. The focus was only on mountain towns that are ski resorts or that are located within 5-10 miles of ski resorts. This list spans the full range of the Italian Alps and includes a variety of budgets.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.