This charming, rustic mountain hut is one of my most recent discoveries. It is located on top of Mt. Geising, accessible by walking/hiking only. Shortest and least strenuous walk is from Altenberg centre/train station, about 40 minutes on slow pace.
The present building dates from 1906, it was run down in 1989 when family Klein took over. It took them a real effort to renovate - or rather: reconstruct - the hut step by step; nowadays it is in perfect shape, the wooden interior and the tiled stove provide a warm, friendly, rustic atmosphere. The very friendly, outgoing and talkative (!) host makes you feel right at home - not long and he addresses you informally (German: "Du"). He is also in charge of the tower, admission is 1 Euro, but he let the fee off for me, saying "the viewing conditions were not too good".
Open all year through, closed on Wed/Thur except during school holidays in Saxony.
Favorite Dish: Hearty, quite simple dishes here, very inexpensive. I had Bauernfrühstück (farmer's breakfast) for lunch, roast potatoes with bacon and onions and scrambled eggs, along with Rechenberger beer, from a regional microbrewery - a small glass (0.3 l) Pils and a small glass dark beer. The check came to 8.40 Euro - a steal! (It is hard to find a dish that is more expensive than 8 Euro, btw.) The food was a big portion, and both food and the beer were yummy. I'll be back soon (in summer, when the wildflowers are in bloom.)
Kahleberg (905 m), about 2 km southwest of Altenberg, is the highest elevation at the German side of the Eastern Erzgebirge mountains. It is really a long plateau, not a peak, only on the northern side is a (very) steep slope. This makes it a perfect cross-country area.
The wooden hut on top is an excellent place for a break. On a cold, windy winter day you'll be very happy to warm up in the small, cosy room. You can have simple snacks, like sausages, bread, a soup, and cold and hot beverages, from sprite and apple juice, tea, coffee over mulled wine to schnapps. Self-service, prices are dirt cheap.
There is also a wooden pavillion next to the hut where you can sit or stand, protected from wind and possible rain/snow and enjoy your picnic.
The views are superb - the Galgenteich lakes, Altenberg and the Geising mountain in northeastern direction, vast forests around and below you, if the conditions are very good you may even see Dresden far in the distance (north) and the Jizera and Krkonose mountains in the Czech Republic.
This "mountain hut", as they call themselves, is on top of the main crest of the Erzgebirge mountains, only a few hundred meters from the border to the Czech Republic at an elevation of 893 m. I'd rather call it a restaurant, despite the wooden interior I don't really get the feeling of a mountain hut there. The Lugsteinbaude is also only a few hundred metres from the groomed cross-country track, you cannot miss it as it is right next to the huge mobile/radio/TV transmission tower.
Service is very friendly, quick, and flexible - we asked if we could have Wiener sausages just with bread instead of potato salad and it was no problem (and really dirt cheap, a bit more than 2 Euro), and we also could take this and the beer outside although they did not officially serve outside at that time. The dark beer (Feldschlösschen from Dresden) and the sausages were pretty good.
On an earlier visit in March 2010 I had a (Bohemian) pancake with ice-cream and whipped cream - very good and tea - very good.
The Braun family runs this very nice Café on a lovely, quiet street in Altenberg. Their selection of (fancy) cakes and cookies is excellent. I've been there a couple of times so far, it's a great stop on cold winter days.
On my first visit I was very glad I found it because it was very cold and snowy outside. Their cake was excellent. The hot chocolate, however, was as you usually get it in Germany: made with a milk powder and hot water in spite of real, good milk as in Switzerland. Sigh.
Update: Been back several times and used to order the very good tea and a piece of fancy cake. In March 2013 I had Swedish apple cake again - fantastic.
Service is friendly, quick, attentive. Prices are very reasonable.
This is my favourite restaurant in the Altenberg area. It is family running, staff is very friendly and attentive, the food is very good. I love sitting in their wintergarden on a sunny winter day and having a piece of cake with milk coffee or so.
Favorite Dish: They serve excellent venison with dumplings and red cabbage. Their house-made cake is yummy too. Lately they changed the menu, serve a lot of organic food and beverages (beer, too). They stick with local traditions, perfectly done. Presentation is lovely, too - see pic 5!
In winter 2004/05 I stayed with friends at this hotel. (see accommodation tip) There was a special deal on the Deutsche Bahn website for this hotel, which sounded great: 99 Euro per person for 4 nights incl. half board (that means breakfast plus dinner).
They served breakast in buffet style (ok) and dinner in buffet style too - partly mediocre (at least for me). You could not choose from many dishes. What I like were the crepes, which you could prepare yourself. Wine was lousy, beer and alcohol-free drinks relatively expensive.
The ambience was awful: a big hall, modern, ugly colours, reminded me of the communist times - probably not much renovated after 1990. Staff was so-so. Not really friendly. The only advantage were the huge windows offering fantastic views of the fairy tale winter scenery.
This café is one of the most popular in the region. It is family run for some generations. They were even able to run the business during the hard communist times. I guess they still profit from the reputation of the old times - when I visited in 2005 I was a bit disappointed.
The waitress was a bit unfriendly, snobby. And there was definitely no reason. I thought the rooms were in need of a renovation in not so far future. The guest room is quite small, but has not seen a renovation since the communist times, and the interior was a bit shabby too.
Anyway, the cake and the cappuccino were still very good and inexpensive. I'll give it another try this or next year.
This restaurant is a little more stylish than the usual ones in the Altenberg region. I stayed two nights in the Hotel and enjoyed my dinner every night there.
One night I had roasted duck, dumplings and several vegetables and crepes as dessert (yummy). The red wine was excellent. The other night I had an onion soup, sliced veal and rice (excellent) along with tasty white wine from Saxony.
Service was very quick and good. Familiar atmosphere.
The first time I ate here was during a big snowstorm on a cross-country skiing tour. I was very happy to find such a nice place! I decided to come back a few weeks later and stayed for a weekend (see my accommodation tip).
I had venison with red cabbage and "princess" potatoes. Very good. No wine this time :-( since I was on a cross-country skiing tour. The waitress was friendly and attentive.