Malga Eats

Where to eat when hiking in the Dolomites

It is easy to find good, yet simple, food while hiking in the Dolomites. in fact there are plenty of ”Rifugi Alpini”1/, Malghe”2/, and ”Casere” 3/, along the trails and/or high up in the most remote spots.

Food is simple, usually, cheese, cold cuts such as speck, salami, prosciutto, mushrooms, potatoes, tossed salads, and of course polenta.

The prices may vary a lot, and same for quality. Although it is not difficult at all to provide the above food. But the logistics can be a challenge and therefore at times the prices can be higher than expected.

After a daylong of hiking in steep paths and bold descents, arduous climbs, and then up again, surely there will be quite an appetite by the evening.

Or even after a quieter one while looking for mushrooms and enjoying nature at its best, still a stop in a nice restaurant is a welcomed opportunity.

After my daylong hike, and a rest and a sauna at my B&B Il Cirmolo, (via Marmolada 27, 32020 Rocca Pietore (BL), +39 349 354 4195), I had a wonderful evening dinner at the Albergo & Ristorante Baita Dovich, (Località Malga Ciapela, 96, 32020 – Rocca Pietore (BL), +39 0437 522974 or email).

At this elegant restaurant, I enjoyed one of my favorites foods: Fresh Tagliatelle with mushrooms, while my companions had Lombata (Venison Fillet), Grilled Roast Beef with grilled vegetables. Followed by a delicious Strudel and a cheesecake (which is totally different from the NY cheesecake commonly known!).

Baita Dovich provides an excellent service with attention to details and courtesy. They have an extensive line list. A stop at their restaurant is highly recommended, see their website for inspiration. Reservations are suggested.

Two important Disclaimers

1. I do not pick mushrooms, a. Because I don’t know them enough to trust my judgement; and b. Because it is best to leave them in their environment, even the poisonous ones. They are more useful where they are.

2. The Mountain is dangerous, the Dolomites particularly so. do not venture in trails if you are not familiar with it, especially after last year environmental disaster.

1/ Rifugio Alpino: An alpine refuge (or mountain but), is a building located in mountain resorts, usually far from inhabited areas, intended to accommodate mountaineers and hikers who frequent the mountain. It usually has basic hotel services: bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and dining rooms for food and lodging.

2/ Malga: Summer alpine pasture, which generally includes the temporary residence of the shepherds, the stable. Often though they provide simple restaurant services but not lodging. The name ”Malga” is also used to indicate a location.

3/ Casera: The casera is a typical unguarded alpine shelter that can be used as a point of support for hikers, widespread in Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

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