Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food

Words: Sarah Rees     Photos: Monica Tindall

Who knew a humble mountain hut could become one of the must-go places in Sölden for traditional, local food with a view to dominate any conversation and distract you continuously from your date? It was only our second day in Austria when we visited Gampe Thaya and, not yet used to the spectacular scenery, we spent most of our meal a-gog at the view.

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
The View
Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
The View
Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
The View
The Prantl Family

The Prantl family have been serving food and beverages from their traditional wooden hut at 2,000m above sea level since 1982. This farming family’s determination to offer local cuisine was initially mocked by the other restaurateurs who believed tourists wanted only chips and spaghetti to fuel their skiing and hiking during their stay in Sölden. How wrong they were.

Thirty-five years later, Jakob Prantl continues to maintain his herd while running one of the most successful eateries in the area; Gampe Thaya. On the sunny Sunday lunchtime that we dropped by, the terrace surrounding the rustic hut was packed with locals and visitors alike.

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Milk Churns
Austrian Entertainment at Gampe Thaya

There was much feasting on big plates of Tyrolean specialities with a glass of something delicious. Feet were stamping along to the traditional band who sang, played and enlivened the whole experience. (The music takes place once a month, and you can check on line to make sure you catch it.)

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Austrian Entertainment
Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Live Entertainment

The jolly ambiance was supported by friendly, prompt service from the Prantl family themselves – patriarch Jakob could be seen enjoying a beer after his milking duties were complete while his wife Daniela answered all our questions with doughty patience. Jakob is also responsible for making the cheese that goes down a treat on a platter with cured meats and fresh bread. The fresh milk is used extensively on their menu (try the ice cream!), and they also farm their own cranberries for jam and juice.

Starters

The cranberry juice, Grantensaft, Preislbeersaft (3.80 euros), whetted our mouths as we perused a menu that covers soups, salads, speciality dishes and meat choices, with the prized cows making an appearance in various guises: boiled beef, carpaccio and sausages. The Tyrolean speciality dumplings are also well represented – bacon, sausage or cheese – and we enjoyed a taste of the cheesy ones alongside a steaming mound of buttery, tangy kraut topped with greens, Eingezetteltes Kraut mit zwei Kasknodel (10.60 euros).

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Cranberry Water – Grantensaft, Preislbeersaft
Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Tyrolean Dumplings –
Eingezetteltes Kraut mit zwei Kasknodel

Think doughy, gooey, cheesy balls of comfort and you have an indication of the satisfaction on offer in a traditional dumpling. The cheese is mixed into the dumpling ‘batter’ (which can be made with breadcrumbs or dough) to deliver a sustained cheesiness; these depth-charges are ideal to power the walkers and bikers onwards or replenish the skiers in the winter.

Heartier Fare at Gampe Thaya

Other hearty fare that comes with a stamp of ‘house speciality’ includes the oven baked small potatoes daubed in herby sour cream (Ofenkartoffel mit Krautersauerrahm). Cheese fondue is available on request and an Alpine breakfast (15 euros) on offer from 8-10am with pre-booking. There is also a small shop that sells local produce, including cranberry jam, soaps and house-made cheese.

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Gampe Thaya Cheese

Don’t be perturbed with assumptions that all Gampe Thaya’s food comes with a risk of heart attack. One of the stars of the salad menu is the Salatteller ‘Gampe’ (13.80 euros); a bowl of fresh seasonal salads with pumpkin oil and warm boiled Tiroler Grauvieh beef. The greens were fresh and tasty, with the dressing well judged (no sogginess), and the meat was surprisingly juicy and tender. Mop it all up with home made bread and you will leave a happy punter.

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Salatteller ‘Gampe’ – Beef Salad
Dessert

If you want to move from satisfaction to giddy joy, follow the example of every other table in the place and order the famous Kaiserschmarren (12.10 euros). A pan arrives hot from the oven in a cloud of sugar, containing a heap of chopped pancake tossed with icing sugar and nestled alongside pots of home made cranberry jam and apple sauce. It’s simple but excellently executed. The freshness of ingredients and preparation is evident, and it continues the theme of wholesomeness, quality and simplicity, with robust flavours and a hearty weight in the stomach.

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
Sweet Pancakes –
Kaiserschmarren

As this is Austria, the wine list is enthusiastic, with red, white and sparkling available by the glass, the carafe or the bottle. Schnapps has a dedicated page in the menu and hot drinks are enhanced with a little tot of something. Hot chocolate with cream and rum perhaps? Or coffee with red wine liquor?

More of Those Views

To be honest, the food and drinks could be sub standard (they’re not) and you would still want to hike or drive up to Gampe Thaya purely for the unbeatable location and oozing Alpine charm. Perched midway up the mountain, the hut seems to hang on to the side of a sprawling valley, with greenery and rugged outcrops as far as the eye can see.

Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
More Of Those Views
Gampe Thaya, Soelden, Austrian Mountain Food
More Of Those Views

If the weather is unkind, guests can sit instead within the old hut where cosy nooks and roaring fires combine with the lulling smell of pine wood serving to speed your descent into a happy lethargy that comes with hearty food and holidays. Take a moment to admire the collection of hefty cow bells and other alpine paraphernalia that adorns the walls – this is no funky design feature but souvenirs of the farmer’s life. Authenticity in décor and edibles served in extraordinary surrounds makes Gampe Thaya unmissable.

Reasons to visit: traditional local food prepared and delivered with care in a stunning setting.

Note: Payment is cash only.

Gampe Thaya
Gampe Alm 1
Sölden
Austria
https://gampethaya.riml.com
Opening hours
15 June – 1 October, 8.30am-5.30pm (closed Monday)

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25 Comments

  1. Breathtaking views, lovely place…and what a celebration! This is definitely an experience to remember!

  2. I would love to visit this restaurant and location. The views are stunning.

  3. I once had that pancake with apple sauce before, it was good!

    • Oh yes, it’s definitely for the sweet tooth. I bet lots of Malaysians will love this dish.

  4. Caning Jaramillo

    What a unique experience at the top of the mountains!

  5. some very interesting dishes … in a setting that feels quintessentially austrian … especially for sound of music fans 😀

  6. I’d go agog if confronted with such scenic views too 🙂

  7. The gorgeous views, the enjoyable music and entertainment and delicious food….yes!

  8. The gorgeous and captivating views, the enjoyable music and entertainment and the delicious food…yes, please!

  9. Amazing post and photos dear! Have a great day!xoxo
    Vesna

  10. I think I could just feast on the views alone but the food does look superb. Austria is yet another place on my list that I want to go to…….. now what we we need is a lottery win then we can just keep travelling 🙂 Hope your week is a good one Diane

    • Oh so grand, and I highly recommend a visit in the summer. It’s known for winter tourism but the summer is absolutely stunning.

  11. Beautiful view of the mountains!

  12. Really interesting post! Thanks a lot for sharing)

  13. I’m glad everyone enjoyed it as much as we did! Highly recommended indeed 🙂

  14. The hills are a live!
    Did you dress like Maria? 😉

    • Ha, ha, now that would have added just the right touch. There were people dressed like Maria up there though 🙂

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