The best pizza in Ortisei in the Val Gardena is…in Santa Cristina. Spending a full month in this delightful mountain valley afforded us the opportunity to get out of Ortisei and try pizza in neighboring Santa Cristina. Lucky we did because we found a mighty fine pie, worthy of OWP praise.
In four weeks we dined in three pizzerias: La Tambra in Santa Cristina, Mauriz Keller in Ortisei, and Cascade also in Ortisei. We have eaten at Mauriz Keller at least once each summer since 2012, so have some depth of experience there. Let’s go right to the summaries and pictures of these three options.
Pizza Quality: 3 Unique offerings, such as the Golosona with spicy salami, fresh tomatoes, brie, mushrooms, radicchio, pancetta, and mozzarella. It was swoon-worthy. Excellent crust from a wood-fired oven. It is right up there with our favorites in Roma. Great selection of local wines, too. Try the very affordable house Lagrein.
Service: 3 Efficient, friendly, multi-lingual. They remembered us from one week to the next, which always amazes me. You can reserve online on their website. It is popular for a reason, so do take the time to reserve.
Ambiance: 3 The decor is Tyrolean. It is warm and woody, a place you want to linger. It is also a family place and attracts parties of 6 to 8 people, so it can get a bit noisy, but not raucous. The outside deck was delightful on our first visit, but a cold snap caused us to dine indoors the second time.
La Tambra has an extensive menu beyond pizza and we saw some amazing meat dishes and pastas coming out.
Total Points: 9
Returnability: The Best! If you are in any of the three little towns of the Val Gardena, make one night pizza night at La Tambra.
Click any photo for more of La Tambra.
Pizza Quality: 2 Good pizza, wood-fired of course, classic ingredients without a lot of creativity. The crust stands up to the toppings but there’s nothing particularly spectacular about it. Ingredients are fresh and over the many years we’ve eaten here, it is consistent.
Service: 3 Efficient, friendly, and like every restaurant here, multi-lingual. Mauriz seems to be ever-present assuring satisfaction with both regular locals and the many tourists who dine there. You can reserve online through Trip Advisor and The Fork.
Ambiance: 2 Great Tyrolean-themed somewhat subterranean. The warm and cozy atmosphere belies the size of the place. One point deducted for no outdoor seating.
The menu at Mauriz Keller is huge and having dined there several times, I can vouch for the quality of the pasta as well. Good wine list, but the house wine is fine, too.
Total Points: 8
Returnability: Go-to Place – fine if you are in the area.
A few more photos of what to expect at Mauriz Keller.
This is another place we have patronized several times over the years. Service is always slow, but the food has been good. Our first meal here was in 2012. I had grilled vegetables with warm camembert. Yum! We’ve had a couple of other meals here over the years and other than slow service, thought it was fine so we decided to try their pizza this time. Error.
Pizza Quality: 1 This was a tough rating situation. I wanted to give it a “2” as Ric’s pizza was okay. The crust was quite ordinary, but he had great venison sausage. My pizza was a wet mess and that is why it is rated a “1.” I specifically stayed away from mushrooms as they often cause problems and I abhor a soggy pizza. I ordered a pie with tomato sauce, mozzarella, brie, and arugula. What would make that soggy? The arugula goes on fresh at the end and is not exactly a “wet” veg. I think
undercooking was the problem. Tomato sauce on both pies was negligible and tasteless. Other than Ric’s venison sausage, there was little flavor anywhere.
Service: 2 Slow. Very slow. Just like the last 3 times we’ve eaten there. At least we got in as we had a reservation.
Ambiance: 2 Like every place here, it is Tyrolean-themed. The space is divided in such a way that it does not get loud and seems more intimate. A few tables outdoors, although a more attractive option during the day.
To top it all off, Cascade is expensive.
Total Points: 5
Returnability: DNR – Do not return under any circumstances. Mistakes were made; do not compound them.
[…] “discovered” La Tambra of Santa Cristina in 2016 when we spent the month of July in Ortisei. I am pleased to say it was worth the trip, […]
[…] nearly as good as Hearth and Table or the Cafe on Hawk Creek. It is even better than the pizza at Cascade in the Val […]