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What actually makes a particularly successful restaurant visit? And is it even possible to generalise? As a rule, several things come together: the quality of the ingredients, chefs who know how to turn them into something tasty, portions that are filling and an overall ambience that leaves an impression. At Seeraunzn, just opposite Hallstatt and right on the lake, all of this comes together. Honest, tasty, local cuisine with generous portions (it also calls itself a "hikers' restaurant") and then there's the wonderful view of Hallstadt...... . Ideal in summer when the weather is fine, early enough to sit on the terrace before the sun disappears behind the mountains.

How to get there: Head towards Hallstadt, then at the fork in the road towards Bad Goisern. In Au turn right towards St. Agatha and after approx. 400 metres turn right towards Obersee.

Only open in summer!

I have often raved about the many huts in the Dachstein ski and hiking area in other places. My personal "favourite hut" is definitely the "Gjaid-Alm". This is certainly due to its unique location on the Krippenstein, just a little off the beaten track (it takes a maximum of 10 minutes to "push" your skis towards the hut) and the particularly delicious food. And, if you want, you can also spend the night there. For example, after crossing the Dachstein from Ramsau to Obertraun/Hallstadt and then back to Gosau. A "day trip" by bus, cable car and skis.

Arrival: Head towards Hallstatt and then on towards Obertraun. Shortly before Obertraun, turn right to the cable car valley station. In winter, skiers can ski down to the valley station of the old cable car, make the short ascent to the valley station using the ascent aid and then continue behind the valley station towards the Gjaidalm. In summer, as in winter, pedestrians can take the old cable car from the Krippenstein mountain station down to the valley station and then continue towards the Gjaidalm.

Please note: I have read that the landlord at the Gjard-Alm is no longer there. I don't know whether it will reopen. It's best to find out beforehand at the cable car!

To say it straight away, we have never had a bad meal in Gosau. It's just typical Austrian cuisine. We don't know all the restaurants yet, as we also like to cook for ourselves. We most often go to the "Kirchenwirt". Schnitzel, cordon blue, salad with (or without) chicken, etc., etc. . Everything tasty at good prices. Or to Sabine's in the "Echo". Similar, but a little further. But with an extensive menu for vegetarians too. Experience has shown that children and teenagers like the "Siena". Typical (Austrian) pizzeria, right next to (in) the Gosau indoor pool. The "Hotel und Gasthof Koller" offers slightly more upmarket cuisine in a "time-honoured ambience".  However, you should book there at least one day in advance, as they primarily cook for hotel guests. Very good wine list! We have not been to the "Gosauer Hof" and the "Gasthof Gosausee" as often. But we only hear good things about this restaurant too.

There are various restaurants in Gosau, mainly serving typical Austrian cuisine. (see Restaurants in Gosau) If you want to treat yourself to something special, head to the "Winterstellgut". About 25 minutes away by car, the owner of "Red Bull", Dietrich Mateschitz, has created an old farm with top Austrian cuisine, a mini hotel and Haflinger breeding. Great ambience, great food and solid, only slightly higher prices.

Directions: from Gosau towards Abtenau and just before Abtenau turn left towards Annaberg. Turn left immediately after the valley station of the ski lift in Annaberg (signposted) and then left again after about 500 metres (also signposted). But then it's about 2 km up the mountain until you "suddenly" arrive............. . (on my first visit I thought I had definitely got lost). So just follow the signs!

The "Steegwirt" is definitely worth a visit. The restaurant is on the way to Bad Goisern. Austrian cuisine with the ambition to cook something a little more unusual. The location is fantastic, right at the junction of Lake Hallstatt and the river "Traun". In summer you can sit outside in the beer garden, in winter in a very nice ambience. Like all restaurants in Gosau, it is family-run. The building is listed as a historical monument and has been beautifully and ambitiously remodelled with large extensions following extensive restoration work. For us as "old Steegwirt fans", the old charm has been somewhat lost. But that doesn't matter. It's definitely worth a visit.

Small update: I would like to correct myself regarding the somewhat reduced charm. We stayed at the Steegwirt with our friends between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The service was first-class, the food was delicious and the parlour was just like it used to be: simply a great atmosphere!

As already described in another blog, there are some good inns in Gosau that we are happy to recommend. If you fancy something special, you should visit the restaurant at Hotel Koller. Originally only intended for the hotel's own guests, the Koller family always manages to spoil other registered guests who are not staying at the hotel with delicious food. And all this in an old, small hunting lodge that would be worth a visit in itself. Dining like the upper middle classes in the 19th century.......

The numerous mountain huts around Gosau, which can be reached either by a more or less long hike or by mountain bike, are missing from our excursion and restaurant tips. There is also the Gosau slow train, a covered wagon pulled by a tractor, which regularly travels to the Plankenstein hut or the Gosaukamm cable car, which takes hikers almost as far as the Breinling or Glabonzer hut. From there, it's not far to the Zwieselalm or Sonnenalm huts. Even the Rottenhof hut is a maximum of 60 minutes away. Just like these huts, the "Zeishofalm-Hütte" is located on the western side of the Gosau Valley. 1,400 metres high, but easy to reach on a wonderful hike or by mountain bike. Next to the "Roßalm", one of my favourite huts! Great food and a super nice host family! Apparently "half of Gosau" meets here when the weather is nice.

On the other side of the valley, you'll have to be prepared for longer hikes (or uphill by mountain bike if you're not an e-biker!) Once you've made it to the "Roßalm" or the "Plankensteinalm" with their respective huts, you're in "mountain paradise"! You can eat well in all the huts, and certainly especially well at the "Roßalm". It's great to see what "Gosau neighbour" Lisbeth can conjure up in her little kitchen. But the "Badstub`n-Hütte", located right next to the Schleifstein quarries and the famous high moor, the "Löckermoos", is also worth a visit, as are the "Grubalm" and the "Ebenalm". The delicious cake at the "Ebenalm" is often the late afternoon mountain bike finish for us. From there, it's all downhill to the "Vorderer Gosausee" and home. As already described: each hut has its own charm. They can all be recommended. And in the end, thirst and the need for a breather will be the deciding factors.