Cortina D’Ampezzo is not just a hiker or skiers paradise. Cortina is also home to fabulous kitchens that offer foodie delights. Having just come from Tuscany, you would have thought that our foodie palates were saturated. Instead, we rewarded ourselves after days of fabulous (but also strenuous) hiking with multiple meals that we are not likely to forget anytime soon. Foodies can find great food in the center of town and on the mountains themselves in the various “rifugi” where hikers can sit back and rest (or work on a fabulous mountain tan on a sunny day) as well as partake in a delicious meal.
Foodie finds near the Tofana
Our first foodie adventure came as we hiked down the Toafna, from the direction of the Lago di Ghedina. Hiking down to the middle of the mountain, keen eyes will find fragoline (little strawberries) in areas with ample sunlight. If you get lucky, you will find yourself in a spot with enough fragoline for an entire feast. We may or may not have been rather greedy with our fragoline that first day, each of us scouting out batches for ourselves. Suffice it to say that we did not need a basket or a bag to hold our fragoline as each of ate whatever we found as soon as we found it.
Hikers seeking a great meal in town after coming off the trails near the Tofana will enjoy eating at Da Beppe Sello where if you are lucky, you can order a salad with strawberries and gorgonzola.
Foodie Finds in the town of Cortina
One of our favorite restaurants (we went here twice!) was Ristorante Al Camin. Just a few steps away from our apartment, this family friendly, yet exquisite restaurant offered fabulous wine and delicious food. From Gnocchi with Mirtili (Potato gnocchi with blueberries) to Ravioli stuffed with Beets to Goulash Soup this is a not to miss foodie destination.
Foodie Finds near the Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Heading back down the road after a great day at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, on the road toward Misurina is the Malga Rin Bianco. Our original plan was to hike to a rifugio Pian di Cengia but a few ominous clouds and a realization that maybe the distance and hike were too much for us brought us to the Malga Rin Bianco. From gnocchi to traditional polenta with sausage and mushrooms, this charming restaurant hit the spot after a morning or day of hiking. Also not to be missed at Malga Rin Bianco is a selection of homemade grappa.
Both the foodie in me and the wanna-be hiker in me could easily spend more time in Cortina (I am not sure that the skier in me is quite ready for Cortina yet). Although, I would probably need to double or triple my hiking endurance if I want to be able to keep indulging in Cortina’s many foodie worthy meals.