I don't know the exact name of the restaurant (probably Ristorante Mengotti), sorry, but I am pretty sure there is only this one in Viano - which is a tiny hamlet, about 400 m above the valley floor in the southern part of the Poschiavo valley. We took the small postal bus up to Viano from Brusio (reservation recommended, schedule co-ordinated with Rhaetian Railway and other Postal bus).
This was a memorable meal - the funny thing is that the restaurant was closed that day. We had no idea, so walked inside because we heard voices and ended up standing in the dining room of the family. They were surprised first, but after we asked if the restaurant was open they said: "No, but you can have what we have." LOL We agreed happily.
So we sat down at a table in their garden - the house dog nearby - and they served salad, a large bowl of barley soup, bread, wine and table water. Everything was absolutely delicioius - the vinegar for the salad in particular so we bought a bottle of that one (made of local wine). Cannot recall what exactly we paid but estimate about 20 CHF per person. A steal!
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I went hiking in this side valley a couple of times and will be back - it's too beautiful! Rifugio (mountain hut) Saoseo is the central place for staying overnight (which I did not) and having a meal (which I did). It is actually accessible by a small postal bus (reservation obligatory), but of course you're free to walk/hike from Sfazu (on the Bernina pass road) to the rifugio - I'd calculate 1.30 h.
The food is quite hearty and simple. They use fresh, local produce. I've had barley soup, rösti with eggs and bacon, apple juice ... everything was yummy, prices are very reasonable.
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Cafe Semadeni is *the* place for people watching and spending a leisure afternoon on the piazzo. I was, however, not exactly happy with the service. Our waitress mixed up the order. In the end it all turned out ok, though.
The place seems to be famous for its ice-creams (gelati). About 80% of the folks around us had one (or two :-)). I opted for chocolate cake and coffee. The cake was absolutely delicious, the coffee slightly disappointing. Too bitter for my taste (and I don't mean strong!)
Prices are average, about 10 CHF for coffee and cake.
Ristorante Chalet Stazione
This restaurant right next to the station is frequented by locals as well as tourists. The Chalet style looks a bit odd in this Italian speaking valley but that doesn't say anything about the type or quality of food there. They also have a nice garden and since the weather was fine we picked a table there.
Service was very quick and competent. I doubt they speak English, even their German was a bit rustic. It helps if you know some Italian. A good deal is that they offer free WiFi.
Open 05.30 - 20.30 from Monday to Saturday.
Favorite Dish: Their daily changing lunch offer is excellent value and quality. We had pasta with tomato sauce and basil for first course and scaloppine (pork schnitzel) with roasted potatoes and cauliflower as main course - 20 CHF, a steal!
- Food and Dining
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Foppoli: The Best Pizzoccheri in Valposchiavo!
For this restaurant it's not the building, the furniture or any other fancy stuff that make it special - it's simply the delicious tasty food! Being located just a bit outside the inner town (borgo), it's not a very touristic place, so you'll find mostly locals and repeat customers among the guests. The restaurant is operated by the same family for as long as I remember (must be some 30 years now). The menu includes down-to-earth dishes and local specialties. Each day a different "piatto del giorno" is served, but it's not listed in the menu, so you have to ask for it. Pricing is very reasonable, even modest.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish here are the Pizzoccheri, a speciality of the Poschiavo valley made from homemade buckwheat pasta mixed with local cheese and various vegetables depending on the season. Pizzoccheri are a must when visiting Poschiavo and most restaurants serve them, but for me, Foppoli's are the best!
Ristorante Stazione Chalet: Typical Swiss
This typical Swiss architecture can be found in front of the railway station. Unfortunately, the chalet was closed over Christmas/New Year. Besides from November until May it is closed on Sundays. Their speciality is mushroom risotto.
Hotel-Ristorante Centrale: Try something local!
We were obviously not there in peak season as we were the only guests eating. We tried 2 other restaurants first but they were full. Service was good and people friendly.
I ordered Saltimboca with safran risotto but I got risotto with mushrooms. She insisted that there was safran in it (but the yellow colour was missing!). I didn't understand why she didn't just say that due to low season they only prepared one kind of risotto. Nevertheless, the food was nice enough but a bit on the salty side.
Generally, the prices in Poschiavo valley are lower than in Engadin on the other side of Bernina pass.
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