Bologna! One of the great culinary capitals of the world, where it's hard to rival the land's amazing produce.. from cheese to balsamic vinegar, sparkling wines and pasta, there's something for everybody.
Here are our top tips on where to go for great food, at affordable prices!
1. Vini D'Italia
Vini D'Italia is one of those restaurants you will immediately feel right at home in. It's warm and unpretentious. And the thing to order here would be the Tortellini in Brodo di Gallina. Resembling a woman's navel, these tiny toothsome tortellini (typically stuffed with a mix of meat -pork loin, prosciutto, with cheese), swimming in a clear chicken consommé might look plain, but will simply be one of those life-changing meals you'll have the pleasure of experiencing, should you order it. Also a big highlight was a simple starter of bread (crostino) of Pancetta, Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico, heavily baptized in Parmesan cheese.. unctuous, melt in your mouth Italian bacon made of pork belly meat that is salt cured and spiced with black pepper and spices was the bomb.
Address: Via Emilia Levante, 142, 40139 Bologna, Italy
Phone:+39 051 541509
Hours: Open today · 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, 6:30 pm – 1:30 am
2. Trattoria Anna Maria
This gorgeous little place that looks like the archetypal Italian trattoria, has been serving the finest, hearty Italian dishes in Bologna for 26 years now, and then some. Although prices may be a bit above average – €28 for two hearty courses – you are assured of an unforgettable meal. You will be hard pressed to fine free wall space in this cosy restaurant, as they are dotted with all sorts of photos of famous people, such as Mastroianni and Sophia Loren, some of whom have graced this restaurant back in the day, no doubt.
The best things in life are simple, so please do yourselves a favor and order the Tortelloni burro e salvia (butter & sage) as well as the Tagliatelle al Ragu.
Add:17 Via delle Belle Arte,
Phone +39 51 266894
3. Mercato di Mezzo
This is a great place to visit for Aperitivo hour, and a must order is the Lambruspritz - a mixture of Lambrusco wine and spritz. Once upon a time, a pre-dinner drink in Italy meant an aperitif served with a bowl of nuts or potato chips and some juicy green olives. Today the tradition has morphed into a nightly phenomenon of complimentary buffet spreads so lavish that one might even skip dinner after! You just pay for your drinks, and the tapas is free.
Classic aperitivos include a spritz (Aperol or Campari and prosecco) or a Negroni (Campari, Martini Rosso vermouth and gin), the Americano (Campari, Martini Rosso vermouth and soda). But the coolest drink at Mercato di Mezzo is the Lambruspritz - a mixture of Lambrusco wine and spritz. It certainly hits the spot on a humid summer's evening!
Mercato di Mezzo
Address: Via Drapperie, Bologna, Italy
4. Osteria Marsalino
While contemporary in outlook, this restaurant also does classic pasta dishes accompanied by excellent wines. If you plan to eat outdoors, get there early, otherwise you might end up eating indoors in a tiny restaurant cum bar space. Expect jazz funk tunes and a laid back vibe that will entice you to linger here all evening. This place is also famous for their organic meals, or lighter dishes. The sage pasta is a must order.
Mercato di Mezzo
Address: Via Marsala 13/d, Bologna, Italy
5. Ristorante Da Cesari
This restaurant that has been around for more than 60 years, is famous for their Rabbit stuffed Green Ravioli with Smoked Goat Cheese, Veal with Truffles, Ricotta stuffed Tortelloni with butter and shaved Black Truffle and desserts such as panna cotta.
Address: Via Dè Carbonesi, 8, 40123 Bologna, Italy
Phone:+39 051 237710
Hours: Open today · 12:30 – 2:30 pm, 7:30 – 10:30 pm