Let me tell you about this ‘Geheimtipp’ Hilberkeller in Kuens. This lovely place in the middle of the beautiful vineyards and apple orchards in the Meran region, first caught my attention on Instragram. While I was preparing my first trip to Südtirol, their gallery was a great inspiration. It didn’t take long before I got in touch with Andreas Platter – son of the owners – and heard more about the restaurant, its rich history (the farm goes back to 1369!), the fine dishes they serve and the must-sees in the area. I could sense that they are really proud of their restaurant, traditions and life surrounded by all these gifts of nature. Of course I wanted to go there and see this place with my own eyes!
The garden with the perfect view
When my family and I got there, it was around lunchtime and temperatures were up to 32 degrees already. It can be hot in this region, but it seemed that this year’s summer was setting new records. The first thing we noticed was the outdoor terrace with the green lawn and the long tables and benches overlooking the valley. Breathtakingly beautiful. Such a great spot to have a restaurant! We were warmly welcomed by Andreas, and Alexandra who runs the restaurant together with cook Christian. Andreas grew up in the Hilberkeller house. His parents are the owners and still live here. They take care of the garden and the small farm. Südtirol is famous for its apple cultivation, it’s one of the largest apple suppliers of Europe. At Hilberkeller they cultivate the well known apple sort Golden Delicious.
Perfect place to chill with kids
Not only the perfectly groomed lawn was quite tempting for our 3 boys, but also the dishes on the menu turned big smiles on their faces. Little guests are really welcome here. Simple, tasty dishes, that every kid loves. Very smart thing to do. Happy kids make even happier and relaxed parents! Although the restaurant is best known for their grills, we asked for the cook’s signature dish. We were there in the middle of mushroom season, so we opted for the pasta and salad with this treat. It was the perfect choice. The Hilberkeller cook sure knows how to prepare a tasty meal!
The vaulted wine cellar is really something
On Instagram I had already seen that Hilberkeller has this authentic, vaulted wine cellar. It’s a real eyecatcher and it attracts a lot of people, even famous ones. In the summer of 2014 the German National soccer team had its training camp in the neighbourhood. One evening the staff of the National soccer team came over for dinner. And legendary soccerplayer Zinadine Zidane – who often visits Meran – is a big fan of the Hilberkeller grill. When I told about this to my 3 boys, they wanted to know what Zidane had for dinner and where he sat. To them this was by far the coolest feature of our visit to Hilberkeller
For sure we will be back
A big thank you to Andreas and the Hilberkeller team for having us and being such a wonderful host; we will definitely be back!
Sources, more info & photo credits