One of the best things about summer in Innsbruck is seeing all of the wonderful outdoor cafés and restaurants spring up around town. When strolling through the old town yesterday, I started to put together a mental list of all the al fresco restaurants and cafés I want to visit this summer. Some I have been to many times, others I have heard great things about and want to try. Now I’ve put pen to paper, so here’s my list…
The old town in Innsbruck becomes a sea of parasols in the summer as all of the restaurants set up tables outside. The choice is almost endless but the Piano Bar Restaurant  is definitely one of my favourites. They have a fantastic schnitzel, great steak and a lovely courtyard for the summer. In fact, I’m so hungry just thinking about their schnitzel that I think you may find me sitting outside there this evening… The Weißes Rössl  is another firm favourite of mine for Austrian cuisine and also has a terrace for al fresco dining in the summer.
aDLERS Hotel  is a new hot spot in Innsbruck. The restaurant on the 12th floor offers spectacular views over the city and boasts a lovely terrace for al fresco dining. I often head up to the terrace on a sunny evening for a glass of wine or two and will most definitely treat myself to dinner there at least once this summer.
Maria Theresien Street
There are lots of great restaurants on Maria Theresien Street that offer al fresco dining in summer. The Orangerie  is one of my favourites and this summer I also want to try Restaurant Sensei . When you think of restaurants in Innsbruck, sushi probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. However, I have heard many good things about Restaurant Sensei so Japanese is on my list for this summer.
The Hofgarten Café/Restaurant  is nestled in the Imperial Palace Gardens. This green oasis in the centre of Innsbruck offers the ideal garden setting for al fresco dining. Just be sure to check what events are on in the evening because the peaceful restaurant experience quickly turns into quite a party when there are special drinks offers or entertainment.
Bar Restaurant Fischerhäusl
The Fischerhäusl  is located just behind the cathedral in the centre of Innsbruck. It has great Austrian food, a good selection of fish dishes and a peaceful outdoor seating area where you will always find a bit of shade on those hot summer days. One of my firm favourites and highly recommended.
Fisch Peer in the market hall
I often visit the market hall in Innsbruck to enjoy the great range of local produce, restaurants and wine bars. But one restaurant that I have yet to try is Fisch Peer . I’ve heard many people say that it’s the best fish restaurant in Innsbruck and the fantastic terrace with stunning views of the Inn River and Nordkette mountains have earned it a place on my al fresco dining list.
The Löwenhaus  is a great restaurant with fantastic food, a wonderful garden area for al fresco dining and even a small outdoor area for children to play while parents enjoy a few moments of well-earned peace and quiet. It’s a short walk from the centre of town, past the Imperial Palace Gardens and along the wonderful footpath that runs along the river. My top tip – don’t miss the BBQ evenings every Thurs, Fri and Sat from 6 pm.
Two Gault Millau toques
This summer I plan on trying two restaurants in Innsbruck that have not only been recommend by friends, but also distinguished with two Gault Millau toques for their exquisite cuisine. The first is Alfred Miller’s Wirtshaus Schöneck  and the second is Sitzwohl . Both are renowned for their superb cuisine but offer a very different dining experience. The Wirtshaus Schöneck is just a short walk from the centre of Innsbruck and boasts a peaceful garden, whereas the Sitzwohl is right in the centre of town with a fantastic sun terrace.
Innsbruck’s holiday villages
Innsbruck’s holiday villages also offer a wide range of al fresco dining options. I can’t possibly mention them all, but one of my favourites is the Grünwalderhof in Patsch . I attended a wedding there last summer and since then it has been top on my list for al fresco dining around Innsbruck. The food is great and the views of the Stubai Glacier are spectacular.
One of my favourite summer pastimes is to do a hike starting in one of Innsbruck’s holiday villages and ending at a restaurant or hut. This summer, I am already armed with recommendations from friends and colleagues for a couple of places in Lans. The first is the Isserwirt  and the second is the Wilder Mann . Both boast fantastic cuisine coupled with wonderful gardens and terraces for al fresco dining.
I hope you enjoy checking out these al fresco dining options. What restaurants are on your list for this summer?