From Apfelstrudel to Zirbenschnaps, the Kitzbüheler Alps is a destination for foodies as well as snowlovers

Resorts in the heart of the of the Tirol region, including Kitzbühel, St Johann, and Westendorf, serve up much more than just delectable pistes. They are also part of a strong and centuries old culinary tradition. Not all of the following dishes are strictly indigenous to the Kitzbüheler Alps, but with a strong tradition of Gastfreundlichkeit (hospitality), and excellent homegrown produce, there's no better place in Austria to tempt the tastebuds. Here's the A-Z (admittedly with a few gaps) of what to look out for on the menu, and the best places to find it. All dishes best paired with the Kitzbüheler Alps undeniably spectacular scenery.

'A' is for 'Apfelstrudel'

A logical place to start, not just alphabetically-speaking, but also because this is one of Austria's national dishes. Crispy pastry, cinnamon-infused apples, this is the perfect warming treat on a cold afternoon. Best served with lashings of vanilla sauce.  
Where to find it: Head to the Hornköpflhütte on the Kitzbüheler Horn, which is well away from the crowds swooping down the famed Hahnenkamm.  Enjoy deserted pistes along with your dessert.

'B' is for 'Bauernbrot'

Not necessarily a standalone dish, but a sturdy accompaniment to many soups, and often simply served with cured meats and cheeses, 'Farmers' Bread' is a robust, dense rye that puts your normal toast slice to shame.
Where to find it: The Stanglalm, slopeside at St Johann in Tirol, prides itself on its local dishes made with local ingredients. And rightly so.

'F' is for 'Feuerzangenbowle'

Liquid fire! This is mulled wine on steroids, served at any Christmas market worth its salt. The pyrotechnics are courtesy of a sugar cubed doused in rum and set alight. 
Where to find it: The Kitzbühel Christmas market takes place in the medieval village square, 26 November - 24 December. The perfect excuse to get out for an early-season ski!

'G' is for 'Gröstl mit Spiegelei'

At its essence, Tiroler Gröstl is basically a fry up of yesterday's leftovers. But that doesn't make it any less delicious. Potatoes, bacon, onion, and gherkin fried in a pan, with an egg (with a runny yolk - very important) served on the top. Simple, hearty fare at its very best.
Where to find it: Tucked away on the number 14 piste at Steinplatte resort, this is a lesser known corner of Tirol, but the Stallenalm is known for its superb kitchen, which serves up a great (and greasy) Gröstl.


'J' is for 'Jausenbrettl'

There are a variety of names and spellings for this one, which is synonymous with the Jausenstation, a type of basic hut found throughout the Austrian Alps. It typically includes different types of cured meats, including sausage, hard cheeses, and wholesome bread.
Where to find it: SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental is Austria's largest ski resort (when measured by piste kilometres) and its relatively low elevation means that in the summertime these are prime pastures for Tirol's farmers. This translates into an incredible number of culinary choices for visitors, with the resort boasting more than 70 huts and apres ski bars. Ideally situated on the sunny slopes of Brixen im Thale, Berggasthof Nieding is a century-old mountain hut the serves a fantastic traditional Jaus'nbrettl.

'K' is for 'Kaiserschmarrn'

The 'Emperor's Mess' is basically scrambled pancakes, topped with icing sugar, and served with lashings of sweet berry compote and/or apple sauce. It might sound simple enough, but it takes some time to do it properly, so save this one for when your legs need a break. 
Where to find it: The Sonnalm is a typical Tirolean Bauernhof (farm house) close to the midstation of the Alpenrosenbahn in Westendorf. A suitably rustic and homely destination to try this dish, which is also conveniently located close to Westendorf's long, cruisy red pistes.

'S' is for 'Spinatknödel'

Perhaps the greatest of the knödels, don't let the green appearance fool you into thinking these are the healthy choice of dumplings. The best ones are served swimming in melting butter, topped with parmesan.
Where to find it: The Barenbadalm is the perfect stopping off point when completing the ski circuit from Kirchberg to Pass Thurn and back, and some of Kitzbühel's best off-piste terrain lies not far beyond the walls of this inviting mountain hut. The Spinatknödel here are the perfect fuel for a long day on the pistes.

'W' is for 'Wienerschnitzel'

The name itself, 'Vienna style schnitzel', betrays this as an import, but it's really the Tirolean ski resort test piece. The breaded schnitzel is either made from Schwein (pork) which is the cheaper variety, or Kalb (veal) which is the more expensive, though also more authentic variety. 
Where to find it: Almost every mountain hut in the region serves up a schnitzel, but a great place to try it is the Landhäusl, in Kitzbühel's pretty village centre. Some of the restaurants in town are tad stuffy, so this is refreshingly homely.

'Z' is for 'Zirbenschnaps'

A spirit distilled from alpine pine cones that are collected in summer, the sweet but punchy digestif is just what is needed to round out any hearty Tirolean meal. Prost! 
Where to find it: With the famous 'Streif' downhill run going past the front door, the Ganslernalm is an excellent spot for apres, just a short schuss from Kitzbühel village.


Ski Club members are entitled to discounts with tour operators who offer holidays in the Kitzbüheler Alps. 

Kitzbühel, Wilder Kaiser-Brixental, St Johann, Steinplatte and many other resorts in the region are included with the Tirol Snow Card, which covers a total of 91 ski areas, and 4000km of pistes.