Our favourite place to dine, and the place to go if you're looking for somewhere special to eat is the Bellevue Alm. When you eat here, it's not just about the food, but about the whole experience.
In the winter, the best way to reach the Alm from the valley is by the Bellevue Alm single man chair lift (not included in the ski pass). The ride through the dark with the lights of Bad Gastein below is exhilarating (though our younger daughter was a bit scared, so it's best to take young children on your knee). There's also a free shuttle bus.
A live traditional Austrian band adds to the atmosphere.
To finish the evening, you can take the chair lift or shuttle back down the mountain, or if there's enough snow, you can sledge back down on the 2.5 km trail.
The Alm dates back to the 1400's and has wonderful rustic furnishings with a big open fireplace in the middle. Make sure to request a table by the fire if you can.
The Alm serves traditional Austrian meals, but they are renowned for their cheese and meat fondues. We always enjoy the cheese fondue, the Alm serves very generous portions, with plenty of bread, salad and pickles.
In the summer, the Alm can be reached by foot in about 20 minutes from the base station of the Stubnerkogel, or by car on the Bellevue-Alm-Weg. You can also park your car at the base of the Alm Weg and take the free shuttle bus to the Alm (book your shuttle places when reserving a table).
Summer specials: Tuesdays - Schnitzeltag, Thursdays - Stelz'nessen, which I think is a knuckle of pork, and Live Music, followed by a lantern lit trail back down the mountain, Fridays - Grill evening (weather permitting).