Cinque Terre, in Liguria, is a strip of land besieged by the mountains, a stone’s throw from the sea, with an anthropized nature and dry stone walls that terrace the ridges and which have welcomed vines and olive trees since immemorial time in the territories of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, towns enclosed between Punta Mesco and Punta di Montenero. Cinque Terre are famous for its picturesque towns, the panoramic excursions among the terraces planted with vineyards and the long culinary tradition with recipes that are a mix of sea and land products. The cuisine of Cinque Terre is striking for the simplicity of the ingredients used: extra virgin olive oil and fresh seasonal vegetables, in fact, are the basis of most traditional recipes. Listing the thousand culinary proposals of a tourist resort like Cinque Terre is not easy. For a refreshing break after a day of walking it is important to choose the right place. We list below some of the best restaurants in Cinque Terre, also considering the use of typical and fresh products, the history of the place but also its position and sea view.
Best Restaurants in Cinque Terre
A Cantina de Mananan
Via Fieschi, 117 – Corniglia
A Cantina De Mananan is a small restaurant in the heart of the picturesque town of Corniglia that has managed to resist the temptation of mass tourism. A small place, with stone walls covered with old utensils and wicker baskets hanging from the ceiling. This ancient tavern, housed in the old warehouses of an ancient palace, offers Ligurian cuisine with dishes based on blue fish and catch of the day and meat alternatives: anchovies and marinated sardines (which are the house specialty), seafood spaghetti and dishes seasonal tasty accompanied by bread baked in a wood oven. Among the main courses, the most requested dish is Mananan-style rabbit with olives. An essential menu, which varies with the availability of ingredients that come from the nearby sea. A home cooking, linked to the Ligurian tradition. In addition to wine, there is also craft beer from the Gulf of La Spezia Brewery. Given the limited space, it is better to book a little in advance.
Via B. Riccobaldi, 1 – Manarola
The Cappun Magru restaurant is located next to the church of San Lorenzo, in the upper part of Manarola. Cappon magro is an ancient traditional Ligurian dish based on fish and vegetables, and in this restaurant it has become one of the main dishes. This place is also known for its fantastic sandwiches: there is the one with the “zavorrista” style octopus (the name derives from those who, diving, pulled up the stones necessary for the ballast, but also the octopuses that were then cooked directly on the boat), the sandwich with cod and chard or the sandwich with Monterosso anchovies, tomatoes and baked onions. Or the homemade tagliolini with scampi, cuttlefish, Jerusalem artichoke and bottarga; saffron spaghetti with red mullet and courgette flowers on aubergine cream; tuna fillet with artichokes, panissa and apple vinegar sauce. As a dessert a low and crunchy chocolate cake served with a fresh orange mousse. Local wines are also worth mentioning.
Via San Giacomo, 65 – Riomaggiore
In Riomaggiore, the Dau Cila restaurant carries on high-level home cooking with pride, passion, commitment and professionalism, preferring the typical Ligurian sea and land dishes of the Mediterranean diet. The restaurant, completely renovated, is very welcoming and with attention to detail and offers Ligurian cuisine with dishes revisited in an intelligent way. Fresh fish makes up a simple menu made up of grilled octopus, fried fish, spaghetti with anchovies, tagliolini with scampi. The seafood appetizer with freshly prepared dishes is one of the unmissable dishes. Among the dishes served we have the grouper ravioli with courgettes and clams; mullet spaghetti with saffron and courgette flowers and aubergines; pasta with anchovies from Monterosso and Linguine with prawns from Santa Margherita Ligure. A special mention for the good wine list of the area.
Piazza Don G. Minzoni, 6 – Monterosso al Mare
The restaurant is located in the heart of the historic center of Monterosso, right in front of the church of St. John the Baptist. It has three rooms, two on the ground floor and one on the first floor, in yacht-style, in addition to the summer terrace. Ciak is a guarantee that has now lasted for forty-five years, thanks to cordial service and generous cuisine. They grow their own potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions, olives, lemons, grapes, and more. The cuisine is based on fish, fresh local fish, and local products. Many of their dishes have always been served in an earthenware pot. Delicious seafood risotto or squid ink risotto. Even the salted anchovies with toasted bread and butter are a must! Paired with the best wines of Cinque Terre. With their own lemons, they make the Limoncino, a lemon liqueur traditional to Cinque Terre. It is a popular digestive drink taken at the end of the meal.
Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 1 – Vernazza
In this restaurant inside the hotel of the same name, you can enjoy traditional fish-based cuisine, such as stuffed anchovies and anchovies with lemon; trofie with pesto; fish ravioli; Genovese soup; stockfish; mixed fried fish; grilled and baked fish and the famous “Vernazza” pan, prepared with Monterosso anchovies, potatoes, tomatoes and herbs, all arranged in layers. Here you can also enjoy unrivaled tiramisu, chocolate mousse and ice cream. The dishes, of the Ligurian tradition, are treated in detail and served with great attention. In recent years the selection of wines has been expanded for greater availability of tasting. The setting is suitable both for a convivial dinner with friends and colleagues and for a romantic evening. During the summer and on sunny days, it is possible to eat at the outdoor tables in the center of the square facing the sea (available from late spring to mid-autumn).
Via Fegina, 104 – Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso is the largest town in Cinque Terre and also the most touristic one. Untangling the various cuisine proposals in this town is not easy. Miky restaurant overlooks a street a stone’s throw from the sea. The cuisine of the restaurant is based on traditional local dishes, starting with Monterosso anchovies in various preparations, to continue with spaghetti with seafood, prepared with Portovenere’s fish, small but with a unique flavor. The pasta is cooked in special terracotta pans, covered inside with thin bread dough. Here you will find homemade pasta and desserts and always caught fresh every day, cooked according to the Ligurian tradition, in salt or in a wood oven, the same from which the restaurant’s specialty, the “conchiglia”: a bread dough that, a once served it looks like an open oyster with a pearl inside: trenette pasta with fish. As desserts, try the hot “chizzette” with lemon cream; the zeppole; the chocolate soufflé and caramelized apples. Extensive local wine list.
Osteria della Corte
Via Napoli, 86 – La Spezia
The Osteria della Corte in La Spezia is a simple but refined restaurant, informal and elegant at the same time where quality is the essential element for every dish. Its cuisine, of territorial inspiration, combines contamination of raw materials and ideas. A place that, in addition to maintaining qualitative consistency over time, never ceases to renew itself. The fresh pasta is homemade daily and the menu changes daily according to the catch, the seasonality of the products and the inspiration of the Chef, always guaranteeing freshness and quality. Among the dishes, the spaghetti with zucchini and spice local fishes and the mixed pasta with potatoes and seafood are delicious; there is no shortage of meats, such as duck breast. A must is the tasting of desserts. The selection of wines are from both local and national wineries. A large internal courtyard dating back to the end of the 1700s allows you to eat outdoors in the summer.
Via G. Minzoni, 24 – La Spezia
In the historic center of the town, the La Posta restaurant has an environment with attention to furnishings and details, with an excellent location, attentive and courteous service; these are some of the main aspects that this restaurant offers its customers. The kitchen offers mainly seafood dishes, modern and simple, prepared with selected and seasonal raw materials; bread and desserts are homemade. Then there is no shortage of dishes based on mushrooms and truffles. The cuisine is pleasantly inspired by the classic dishes of the Ligurian tradition. And after the raw fish dominated by shellfish and paired with Campari sorbet, here is the stew of octopus, lobster and citrus fruit; the “ciuppìn”, that is the Ligurian-style soup and dishes based on fine white fish. Also delicious is the “carpaccio” of red prawns with sturgeon caviar and strips of burrata cheese, characterized by the freshness of the shellfish. The cellar offers Ligurian and national wines.
Via San Giacomo, 46 – Riomaggiore
The panoramic terrace from which you can admire the splendid sea of Cinque Terre is certainly an element that gives charm to the Rio Bistrot restaurant. To this is added the outline of this delightful town that offers enchanting views. The restaurant is finely cared for both in the choice of furnishings and in the gastronomic offer. Here the location and the well-kept environment go hand in hand with the cuisine based primarily on the always fresh fish that is prepared in recipes that tend to enhance it with an eye always turned to local tradition, but revisited in a creative way: gratin squid on puree of chickpeas; cod on celeriac puree; salmon tartare; raviolini of bottarga with pesto; turmeric and seafood lasagna; sea bream fillet with vegetables. The flavors of the raw materials always stand out. The menu changes every two or three days and the bread and pasta are homemade. The wine list has regional, Italian and French bottles.
A Piè de Mà
Via dell’ Amore, 55 – Riomaggiore
A little corner of paradise. A Pie ’de Ma’ is a delightfully rustic restaurant and wine bar in Riomaggiore, overlooking the sea. The atmosphere is romantic and relaxing and guests can expect friendly service and good food, such as homemade pasta, fish dishes and a wide selection of local wines. The atmosphere at sunset is wonderful, with the suggestive panoramic terrace overlooking the sea. The view is stunning, one of the best in Cinque Terre. You can also enjoy aperitifs while watching the sunset behind the cliffs. The kitchen offers a search for flavors and combinations: stuffed leek in the oven; purple shrimp tartare; stuffed squid with ricotta fromLunigiana, chard and tomatoes; fresh tagliolini with porcini mushrooms; beef, and tomato sauce; black bean and red bean balls, with tomato, onion cream, bread, paprika; duck breast with carrots, leeks, potatoes, radish, maple syrup; Fillet of fish in fig leaf cooked at low temperature and toasted in the oven, with Mediterranean salad and Bernese sauce.
Trattoria Da Billy
Via A. Rollandi, 122 – Manarola
The Trattoria da Billy is located at the end of the path that connects Riomaggiore to Manarola, in the upper part of the town and consists of two internal rooms and a terrace that frames a wonderful panorama. Mixed fish starter is a 12-portion platter, some hot, others cold, enriched with aromatic herbs that come from the market and contain all the flavors of Cinque Terre. This platter will give you the chance to taste the best fish specialties. The typical Ligurian trofie with pesto or stuffed fish or grilled fish and fried fish with local extra virgin olive oil can certainly not be missing. Amberjack, tuna fishes and others fishes are cut into thin slices and a essential dress is added to exalt the aroma and the taste of the freshest fish. Homemade pasta at the moment is always fresh like the fish that accompanies it. The desserts are also homemade. The house specialty is tagliolini with crab or cuttlefish ink.
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