We loved skiing in Zell Am See! The scenery from the top of the Schmittenhohe mountain is amazing, with views over lake Zell and soaring peaks all around, plus we really lucked out with huge amounts of powdery snow during our week’s stay. Skiing aside, I managed to eat really well in Zell and up on the mountain, although not everywhere is able to cater for coeliacs. I’ve split this guide into recommendations for the town itself and suggested ski huts and restaurants for your day on the slopes.
Generally, most places speak very good English, however I had a German language coeliac restaurant card on hand just in case.
Zell Am See town
Steinerwirt Restaurant – a top recommendation, as they had a good selection of gluten free dishes and staff who were incredibly helpful and who double-checked everything for me. We had an epic meat fondu, consisting of hot soup over a boiler that you cook pieces of meat in, accompanied by various bowls of potatoes (fries and rostis), salads and crudities. The kitchen adapted the cooking processes of the chips and potato rosti so they would be fully gluten free and safe for me, and they confirmed the other ingredients were coeliac safe. Definitely go here if you are a coeliac staying in Zell Am See.
Hotel Heitzmann – we stayed in the Two Timez Boutique Hotel attached to Heitzmann and opted to have our breakfast and most evening meals here. I was very well looked after during the evening meals (special thanks to Thomas) and made the most of their massive omlettes for breakfast. During the evening service they always did me my own gluten free version of the set dinner and told me what is safe on the salad bar. I got in touch with them before we flew out, just to ensure they could cater for me, and their correspondence was very helpful indeed. I took a loaf of my own bread for breakfasts, at their suggestion, but you could also buy some from the SPAR supermarket in Zell (details below).
SPAR supermarket by the bus station – they stock lots of gluten free goodies here, including gluten free bread, gluten free pasta, gluten free wraps, gluten free cake, gluten free biscuits and gluten free flour. Rather than a single dedicated section they have a few smaller sections dotted around, so take the time to look.
Ginhouse – an ace après ski spot, with delicious cocktails served in their evening cocktail bar (plus you can play some hilarious mountain game that involves hammering nails into a block of wood with the wrong end…). The restaurant in the hotel above has some gluten free options on the menu, however we did not get a chance to eat there.
Bipa supermarket – no dedicated gluten free products here, but they sell rice and corn cakes, as well as gluten free crisps (mmmm riffels) and the usual selection of naturally gluten free snacks.
The Schmittenhöhe mountain
Schmiedhofalm – our top restaurant pick for Schmitten is this lovely place on the right hand side of the mountain (top of red 16). The food here was wonderful and the staff were incredibly helpful. They told us many of their dishes were gluten free as they don’t use flour in their sauces if they can avoid it. I had salmon with polenta and ratatouille and my husband had the house special ribs with baked potato (both of these dishes were fully gluten free). The food was so pretty too – beautiful presentation with flower petals sprinkled over the top!
Schnapshansalm – at the highest point of Schmitten, this restaurant is next to the mega après ski bar of the same name. They had a couple of gluten free dishes here (allergens marked on the menu), including lovely slow-cooked spare ribs and pinzgaur grostl, a mixed vegetable, potato and meat hash with a fried egg on top.
Restaurant Am Berg – Sonnenalm – we had a glorious lunch in the sun with one hell of a view here (at the top of red 15). The menu is marked up with allergens and the staff were very helpful. There were a few gluten free options, including the Berner Wurstl (a cheese-filled, bacon-wrapped pork sausage…yes it’s a thing, move over pigs in blankets) with aaaaall the chips. Note, in other restaurants this dish wasn’t gluten free due to cooking processes, so please do check before ordering.
Eder Hutte – a cosy indoor hut restaurant, serving great mountain food. I had hutten grostl, which was another potato hash variation with fennel seeds and onion thrown in for good measure, with chopped chives and a nice side salad. The menu here is marked up with allergens and while this was the only gluten free main (chips and some sides also gluten free), it was a good’un.
Panarama Restaurant – a self-service canteen with traditional music at the top of blue 1. I tried my terrible German out on the staff and they spent time checking ingredients for me. There wasn’t much I could eat but the chips and salad were fine, plus the server kindly checked the ketchup ingredients for me without me even having to ask. Great gluwein here!
So there you have it, lots of lovely gluten free grub to keep you going during your ski holiday in Zell Am See – have fun on the slopes!