With its 120 kilometers of ski slopes, Cortina D'Ampezzo has always been an undisputed paradise for lovers of winter sports. But the queen of the Dolomites is also worth a visit in summer, when it becomes one of the most animated centres for gallery owners called here from all over Italy. It's also a suggestive destination that's ideal for lovers of music, literature and theatre, as well as nature. Here you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes and hiking, at Lake Misurina for example, a natural basin located at 1754 meters above sea level, in the hamlet of Auronzo. The Ladin dialect is still spoken here, a Rhaeto-Romanic language with ancient roots that has strong ties to Central European culture. At the table there's a cuisine typical of the border, the result of Tyrolean and Habsburg gastronomy and a tradition of the Venetian mountains. Here's where to eat well in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Dining in Cortina d'Ampezzo:must-visit restaurants
The star of the restaurant is the wine list, with Bordeaux-like excellence and the most famous Tuscan labels: in fact, in addition to this beautiful lodge, the two generations of Menardi owners also run a wine shop (with a fast and accurate gastronomic formula) in the centre of town. As for the cuisine, the dishes are simple, traditional and they range from trout and spatzle, to venison, in a synthesis of classic dishes presented well and served with a pro approach by the attentive and polite staff..
Baita Fraina – loc. Fraita, 1 - baitafraina.it/
Leone e Anna
A small happy oasis for lovers of fish products who can't give up on fish dish even in the mountains: here Sardinian cuisine reigns supreme, a traditional and authentic one, made up of intense, clear flavours, simple and solid recipes. You can therefore find bottarga, gnocchi and ravioli typical of the island, and also a local wine list: in short, a corner of Sardinia in the heart of the Dolomites.
Leone e Anna – loc. Alverà, 112 - leoneanna.it/
Chef Riccardo Gaspari has created his restaurant in the former family barn: a tastefully decorated environment, with design pieces and antiques, from which to enjoy a breathtaking view. The cuisine brings value to the local ingredients, all of which are excellent, with a preference for those from the owners' farm, which supplies meats, dairy products and vegetables. These give life to dishes like gnocchi stuffed with Latteria stravecchio cheese creamed with mountain butter, or braised beef cheek with vegetables and mashed potatoes. The wine cellar is also interesting, in continuous development, and the service excellently conducted by Ludovica Rubbini.
San Brite – loc. Alverà, 32043 - sanbrite.it/
Leaving his native Alpago, Graziano Prest arrived in Cortina in the year 2000 after important experiences Venice, in Trentino and interning at the highest levels. His dishes are of great balance, attentive to the seasonality of land and sea products, and with a refined touch (think lobster tartare with avocado, candied tomato and warm riesling cream, for example, or the pigeon in two cooking methods, breast in aromatic oil and confit thigh with foie gras escalope). The room is well decorated in the typical Ampezzo style, and in the warmer season there is a terrace, with an enchanting view of the jagged Dolomite peaks. Rich selection of regional, national and international wines, with many fine labels.
Tivoli – loc. Lacedel, 34 - ristorantetivolicortina.it/
Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort&Spa
Marco Pinelli is the chef at Cristallo, and he brings the best of the local production to the table, from mountain cheeses to wild greens, from mushrooms to field sprouts. Seasonal and local ingredients, which give life to original dishes such as trout three ways, accompanied by parsnip, cream of mountain milk, and curran-rosehip crumble; or the Porcini Explosion served with a speck broth; or even the rye tagliatelle with Alpago lamb ragout, raspberry gel, fennel and cumin. And it doesn't end there: in the luxury hotel there is also Simone Padoan's gourmet pizza, present with a pop-up until next September 13, from Tuesday to Sunday.
Cristallo, a Luxuy Collection Resort&Spa – via Rinaldo Menardi, 42 - marriott.it/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/details/bzolc-cristallo-a-luxury-collection-resort-and-spa-cortina-dampezzo/6039205/
In addition to working side by side at the Tivoli for 15 years, Graziano Prest and Kristian Casanova in 2018 inaugurated this place with a welcoming and elegant atmosphere, where guests enjoy various gastronomic proposals, first of all pizza. A dough made with stone-ground organic semi-wholemeal flours and leavened for a long time, crisp on the edges and softer in the middle. To enrich the pies, toppings capable of enhancing regional ingredients, as in the Cortina 2021 (dedicated to the future world ski championships) with Ampezzo potatoes, smoked oil and fodom cheese.
Chalet Tofane – loc. Lacedel, 1 - chalet-tofane.it/
Master pastry chef who took up the baton of the family bakery opened more than a century ago, Massimo Alverà leads this business with passion, which is increasingly confirmed as a reference point for lovers of good food. A modern space where guests can stop for a delicious break, with exquisite artisan desserts - from pastries to pralines, from biscuits to single portions - or for a delicious lunch, with bagels, Caesar salad and sourdough focaccia. The cafe department is also excellent.
Pasticceria Alverà – Piazza Pittori Fratelli Ghedina, 14 – pasticceriaalvera.com
There are many great aspects of this bar loved by locals and tourists alike, starting with the strategic location in the centre, without forgetting the beautiful terrace overlooking the Corso and the welcoming all-wood interiors. But in addition to the form there's also quality substance that's varied and articulated. From the laboratory come excellent breakfast pastries (try the chocolate brioche), delicious slices of cake, tasty pastries and cookies. Satisfaction is also guaranteed on the savoury side, with croissants, sandwiches, toast, salads and unique dishes.
Embassy Café – Corso Italia, 44 - pasticceria-embassy.business.site/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=referral
It's always been the meeting place after a walk in the centre, and an authentic piece of local history. A patisserie with bar and gelateria, classic in style as well as in their proposal, traditional and reassuring. Cakes, brioches, biscuits, some savoury snacks: the gastronomic offer is simple and well thought out, as well as the beverages, which include hot chocolate, infusions, coffee and cold drinks. Don't miss the Sacher torte, the restaurant's forte, and then the flaky and delicious millefeuille.
Lovat – Corso Italia, 65 - lovatcortina.it/
Small place next to the Basilica dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo which has become famous for its aperitif, with tasty snacks, charcuterie boards and good Italian and foreign glasses of wine, as well as well-mixed cocktails mostly based on gin. But La Suite is also the ideal place for breakfast, thanks to a well-run cafe compartment, as well as for a good lunch break, with tasty dishes ranging from lasagna to tartare, from salads to sandwiches.
La Suite – Piazza Angelo Dibona, 6 - facebook.com/barlasuitecortina