Where to Eat in Bologna: My Favorite Eateries

Don’t know where to eat in Bologna? Inspired by my friend Georgette’s guide for Florence, I decided to create this ultimate eating guide for Bologna. It would be an absolute sin not to eat well in the city named la grassa – ‘the fat one’. If you’re like me and food is your number one priority when travelling, then this list is for you! Avoid the tourist traps and overly priced places, and trust me — I like good food.

Questions, thoughts or something you want to add? Just leave a comment below! 

TRADITIONAL BOLOGNESE

Where to eat the best traditional Bolognese cuisine, including Tortellini, Tagliatelle al Ragù, Lasagne Bolognese, and Crescentine & Tigelle.

Trattoria Anna Maria in Bologna, Italy

Trattoria Anna Maria

Trattoria Anna Maria – Here you’ll feel like you’re at Grandma’s house with Anna Maria’s cooking (Anna Maria is the owner and the quintessential bolognese nonna). It’s famous for her tagliatelle al Ragu, but all the stuff on the menu is delicious. A little more on the pricey side (pasta dishes range from 13-15 euro), but it’s worth it. Be sure to make a reservation. Closed Mondays. Via delle Belle Arti 17

Trattoria Biassanot – The first place I ate when I came to Bologna – friendly staff, traditional atmosphere, and excellent food. Recommend ordering their Tris di Primi, where you can choose three portions of their pasta dishes. Reservations recommended. Closed Mondays. Via Piella 16

La Traviata – Small place, off the beaten path where they slice the mortadella right in front of you! Their tortellini alla zucca (tortellini stuffed with pumpkin) is amazing! Reservation recommended. Closed Sundays. Via Urbana 5

Osteria al 15 – Super casual, hidden place. You wouldn’t know where it existed from the outside as you have to ring the doorbell and wait for someone to let you in! The place is decked with funky owls and the waiters truly eclectic (in a good way). I absolutely LOVE their antipasto dish of ricotta drowned in balsamic caramel sauce, as well as their tortelloni with artichoke pasta. Open for dinner only, closed Sundays. Reservations recommended. Via Mirasole 13

Osteria del Sole – Not really a restaurant, but rather a really old bar – in fact its the OLDEST bar in Bologna (open since the 1400’s) – where you bring what you want to eat and they provide the wine. A must for anyone visiting Bologna. I recommend picking up some sliced mortadella/prosciutto and bread from one of the surrounding delis before going. Reservations recommended, especially at the weekend. Closed Sundays. Vicolo Ranocchi 1

CONTEMPORARY DINING

(Because you can only eat tortellini so many times…)

Casa Monica – Definitely more for the upscale/contemporary diner looking to try something entirely different. I personally love this restaurant because sometimes I get tired of eating the same old thing and I have so much respect for Monica for branching out and being more innovative with Italian food. They offer some really great seafood dishes (things like tuna tartar), as well as fresh and seasonal vegetables. The menu changes frequently (a good sign food is fresh). I think the most amazing cannoli I ever ate was here – made with pear, honey, ricotta and nuts. Reservations recommended, if you can request outdoor seating! It’s lovely! Open everyday 8-11pm. Via S. Rocco 16

È Cucina – Funky, fun restaurant owned by a famous Bolognese chef Cesare Maretti. The place has bicycles hanging from the ceiling and offers and fixed menus (vegetarian, meat, or fish) ranging from 10-20 euro for lunch, or 20-30 euro for dinner, with fresh seasonal ingredients. *In the summer, you can also eat at È Cucina in Montagnola park where they have live jazz music. Reservations recommended. Closed Sundays. Via Giacomo Leopardi 4

EATING ON A BUDGET

Euro pinching without sacrificing quality!

Trattoria Tony in Bologna, Italy

Trattoria Tony

Trattoria Tony – Casual, simple and hole in the wall kind of place, great for those on a budget or just looking for something no-frills to eat. All of their pasta is great! Also it’s not too far from the train station, so it would be a good place to eat for travellers. Reservation for nights and weekends recommended. Closed Sunday and Monday. Via Augusto Righi 1

Trattoria Rosso – Always a pleaser, classic Bolognese dishes at an unbeatable price! You can either order from their standard menu (8-10 euro/dish) or opt for their daily fixed menu (10-12 euro) that includes a first course, second course and dessert with coffee. Open every day for lunch and dinner. 12-3pm, 7-11pm. Via Augusto Righi 30

Osteria del Sole – BYOF (bring your own food) and they’ll serve the wine. Can’t get any cheaper than that right? There is a minimum price of 7 euro per table. Glasses of wine start at 2 euro. Reservations recommended especially for the weekend. Closes around 9:30pm, so it’s best to go for lunch or aperitivo. Closed Sundays. Vicolo Ranocchi 1

Osteria dell’Orsa – A favorite among university students, serving up typical bolognese fare at at really affordable prices. Be sure to go early as it fills up quickly. Open everyday from 12pm-12am. Via Mentana 1

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN/ORGANIC

Traditional Bolognese cuisine is a vegetarian’s nightmare – but that’s okay. Bologna loves veggies too <3

Osteria Rovescio

Chesnut flour crepe, zucchini basil sauce, cherry tomato confit, local bufala mozzarella cheese from Osteria Rovescio

Zenzero – Rated one of the best restaurants in Bologna, this place is always packed. They serve fresh, innovative, organic vegan and vegetarian things like pasta made from 100 % zucchini and seitan carpaccio. Open for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended. Via Fratelli Roselli 18

Centro Tre Centro – Vegetarian and Vegan organic street food. They serve things like vegetarian panini, homemade vegetables, and crepes. Awesome, crazy flavors. Via Centotrecento 12.

Alce Nero – Organic, high-quality and creative pizza. A bit more on the pricey side (12-14 euro pizza) but definitely worth it given the quality . I recommend ordering one or two pizzas and sharing! Via Giuseppe Petroni 9

Osteria Rovescio – Organic food (for both vegetarian and omnivores) that takes a spin on the classic bolognese dishes, and offers more innovative plates. Their tasting plate is abundant! Via Pietralata 75

Caffé Ménil – Organic coffee shop. Absolutely the best coffee I’ve had in Bologna. Their organic pastries come from Canape and they also serve up small organic plates for lunch. Usually closed on Sunday. Via Andrea Costa 91

Canapé – Vegan bakery and cafe with amazing breads and pastries + organic grocery shopping. Via Santa Isaia 57

PIZZA

‘Cause you don’t have to be in Naples to eat good pizza!

Pizza in Bologna

Pizzeria Tonino – Traditional Naples-style pizza, near the station, normal prices and quick service. Best pizza in Bologna in my opinion. Open everyday for lunch and dinner. Via Cairoli 16

Alce Nero – Organic, high-quality and creative pizza. A bit more on the pricey side (12-14 euro pizza) but definitely worth it given the quality . I recommend ordering one or two pizzas and sharing! Via Giuseppe Petroni 9

Regina Sofia – in the center (just around the corner from Piazza Maggiore) serving up quality Naples style pizza. The place is pretty new and so it doesn’t really have that old traditional feel, but the pizza really is delicious. A little more on the pricey side (8-12 euro pizza, a small beer costs 4 euro!) but then again, you’re paying for convenience. Open everyday for lunch and dinner. Via Clavature 1

O Fiore Mio – pizza by the slice -excellent quality with creative and fresh ingredients. The original O Fiore Mio is in Faenza and is really famous throughout the region. They recently opened this location in Bologna and it definitely lives up to the hype in my opinion. Open from 9am-11pm, closed on Mondays. Piazza Malpighi 8

PASTA

Fresh pasta, made daily in Bologna is something that everyone should witness at least once in their lifetime. 

Tortellini in Pasticcio from Pasta Fresca Naldi

Tortellini in Pasticcio from Pasta Fresca Naldi

Le Sfogline – Here you can watch the pasta ladies roll out he “sfoglia” (pasta dough) and shape into tortellini, tagliatelle, and their specialty, tortelloni with ricotta. You can’t eat here, but you can buy fresh pasta to make at home. It’s a great option for those temporarily living in Bologna or who are renting an apartment with a kitchen. During the holidays (Easter/Christmas) be sure to call ahead and put in your order. Closed on Sundays, open monday-friday 8:30-7:30pm. Via Belvedere 7

Pasta Fresca Naldi – A great place for a quick, filling lunch with very good pasta that comes in its own take away box. Get there early, as there’s usually a line. 7-8 euro/dish. Open for lunch 9:30-2:30pm. On Friday and Saturdays open also for dinner. Closed on Mondays. Via del Pratello 69

APERITIVO

Cheers! Chin-chin!

Ex-Forno MAMbo – This is my go-to aperitivo place as there is always space (both indoor and out). The drinks are good, the aperitivo buffet abundant in variety, and the prices are fair (8 euro aperitivo). Closed Monday. Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14

Le Stanze – Fabulous cocktails that you can enjoy in a renaissance-chic atmosphere. This bar used to be a church which was built in the 1500s and you can still see the old frescoed walls. The aperitivo buffet is always full of a good variety (not just pizza and pasta, but lots of good veggies too). It’s a little more on the pricey side (cocktails with aperitivo are about 9-10euro), but the quality drinks and table service make it all worth it. Via del Borgo di S. Pietro 1

Altro? – Located inside the historic Mercato dell’Erbe. They have really good wine and you can order sliced pizza or tagliere (sliced Italian cold cuts) as an aperitif. They also serve full plates that are bit more on the contemporary side but very simple and good. Mercato dell’Erbe, via Ugo Bassi 23-25

Bar Senza Nome – A bar with no name (senza nome = without a name) I love the humble atmosphere of this place. Basic aperitivo (not a full buffet), but the spritz are good, not overly priced, and the staff (who are all deaf) are great! A good, casual place for a drink, located right in front of the historic Mercato dell’Erbe

10 Codivilla – An aperitivo with a view! A little bit outside the city (just outside of Porta Mamolo), but the outdoor space overlooking Bologna is amazing. Via Alessandro Codivilla 10

Camera al Sud – A great place to go for a cozy glass of wine with a friend. Eclectic atmosphere, good wine list, and delicious tapa style food (love their crostini!). Good for the cooler months! Via Valdonica 5

Le Serre dei Giardini Margherita – Beautiful, romantic, charming aperitivo under the “green houses” of Giardini Margherita park. They have craft beer on tap, wine, and cocktails + gourmet street food like fried baccala fritters and mini-burgers for all types of eaters. Giardini Margherita (after entering the park from the city, head towards the back right part of the park)

WINE

Emilia-Romagna has some surprisingly good wines that the rest of the world hasn’t quite discovered yet.

Accà Vineria in Bologna, Italy

Artisan Pignoletto Frizzante made by Accà Vineria

Accà Vineria – A cute little enoteca serving up an excellent pour of Italian wines and tapa style plates. The service can be a bit slow, but it’s an awesome place if you just want to have a casual night out and try different types of wines. I recommend their house pignoletto (it’s incredibly bubbly and refreshing!) alongside their sharable saltimbocca sandwiches. Open everyday from 5:00pm-12:00am. Via S. Giorgio, 11

La Tempesta Vineria – A little bit outside the main city center (still walkable), but once you’re inside you’ll feel the warmth of Bologna with the prosciutto hanging on the walls and bottles of wine everywhere. The team here are extremely knowledgeable about wine and they have an edgy electronic ipad menu where you can read all about the different types of wines they offer. Did I mention they have tigelle (round flatbreads) baskets? Order tigelle anyway you want ‘em! Open from 6-12pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 7pm-12am. Via Camillo Ranzani 17

Medulla – Organic wine in a single room bar that will make you feel like you’re sitting at someone’s kitchen table. You can also buy vino sfuso (wine on tap) here to take home with you! Hours vary. Via Oberdan 18

Camera al Sud – love love love this cozy little bar! Great, chilled, hipsterish atmosphere with exotic books lining the shelves, oddly matched furniture, and uhm….amazing crostini! Good for a light dinner, or pre dinner snack, or post dinner glass of wine. Open 12pm-1am. Closed on Sunday. Via Valdonica 5

COFFEE

One espresso, two espresso, three espresso….four!

Pistacchio Coffee from Caffe Terzi in Bologna, Italy

Pistachio Coffee from Caffè Terzi

Caffè Terzi – Fancy coffee that’s more like a shot of dessert than a shot of espresso. Of course, they also serve regular espresso but I don’t think that’s their strong point. Try their caffe terzi (cinnamon espresso), pistachio espresso or hazelnut espresso. It’s a bit more on the pricey side (2-4 euro for espresso) so just be prepared. Closed on Sunday. Via Oberdan 10

Caffé Ménil – Best coffee in Bologna – nothing fancy, just a normal espresso, cappuccino, lattes etc, but made with seriously high-quality beans + organic pastries. Usually closed on Sunday. Via Andrea Costa 91

Colazione da Bianca – A shabby-chic kind of cafe that serves up not only coffee, but a sky high cakes, smoothies, teas, sandwiches, salads, and brunch items. A bit on the pricey side, but then again it’s location is seriously central. Via Santo Stefano 1

Aroma – Awesome specialty coffees (agan, more like dessert than a coffee) such as Caffe Torino – espresso layered with chocolate and cream, or a Green Tea Cappuccino. Closed on Sunday. Via Porta Nova 12

Zoo – American style coffee + great organic cakes and snacks. This is the perfect place to go if you want to work on your computer or sit and read for a bit without any judgment that usually comes from regular Italian cafes. Strada Maggiore 50

GELATO

Skip the desserts in Bologna and opt for gelato. Trust me. 

Funivia
Galliera 49
Cremeria santo Stefano
Gelatauro
See my gelato post more info!

FOREIGN FOOD

Just to spice things up a bit…

Piedra del Sol in Bologna Italy

Tacos from Piedra del Sol

Pars – Authentic Persian food. Even if you have never had Persian food before this place is an absolute must! Food and service is excellent. Reservations recommended. Via Pietro Lianori 16

To Steki – Excellent greek restaurant and centrally located. Open for Lunch and Dinner. Largo Respighi 4

Babilonia – middle eastern take-away. Best Kebab in Bologna! Open Sunday-Thursday 6pm-3am and Friday-Saturday until 6pm-5am. Via Pratello 17

Bakery Station – American-style brunch and desserts. Brunch plates cost 15 euro, but includes a massive brunch option of your choice, juice, and coffee. It’s a bit outside the city, but it’s the best American brunch in Bologna in my opinion (and as an American I have high standards). Via Don Luigi Sturzo 30

Piedra del Sole – Good good Mexican food! Muy bien. Via Goito 20

BRUNCH

After a night-long aperitivo, brunch is required.

Brunch at Bakery Station in Bologna Italy

Brunch at Bakery Station

Bakery Station – American-style brunch and desserts. Brunch plates cost 15 euro, but includes a massive brunch option of your choice, juice, and coffee. It’s a bit outside the city, but it’s the best American brunch in Bologna in my opinion (and as an American I have high standards). Via Don Luigi Sturzo 30

Ruggine – Total hipster, cool place opened up by a group of young Italian guys. They don’t have an extensive brunch menu (they aren’t a ‘brunch’ place per se) but they do serve a brunch plate and it’s good! They also serve good pasta and other Italian things. Cocktails are fabulous as well and the rustic, loft atmosphere is really fun. Vicolo Alemagna 2

Coffee 2 Glo – A little Italian cafe that happens to serve homemade bagels and American style muffins. A true hidden gem. Via Riva di Reno 118

29 comments on “Where to Eat in Bologna: My Favorite Eateries

  1. I think when I am in Italy next, Bologna will be my base. Thanks to your article I am hungry again :P (its past lunch in India)

    Bologna food is a class apart it seems. Also, whenever I come we must meet for a cuppa or a vino?

    • Hey Ishita! Thanks – Bologna is a great city for eating. Sadly I’ll be in Genova very soon so I won’t be in Bologna anymore. But if you want to come to Genova for some Focaccia and pesto, I’d gladly meet up! ;)

  2. I would add the following to the list:
    -Ristorante Clorofilla (veggie)- Str Maggiore 64
    -Osteria Broccaindosso (amazing traditional with to die for dessert)- via Broccaindosso 7a
    -Pane Vino e San Danielle (amazing salume and crescent fritte)- via altabella 3
    -trattoria Meloncello (traditional)- Porta saragozza
    – trattoria tony- which is on your list!
    – Sorbetteria castiglione- I have dreams of this place!

    • Ah I’ve heard good things about Broccaindosso. I know they serve up a CRAZY variety of antipasti and desserts, but I still haven’t eaten there yet. Sorbetteria Castiglione is also one of my favorites for when I want a real creamy dreamy gelato. All good stuff!!

      • We ate in Broccaindosso last night, our first in Bologna. If we have better food in our stay I will be very happy. Sublime pasta, carpaccio and tiramisu in a very friendly atmosphere. We will definitely try some of the places above but it will be very tempting to return to Broccaindosso at least once before we leave!

        • I’ve heard good things about Broccaidosso as well. I never had a chance to eat there unfortunately. Do they really bring endless amounts of appetizers and desserts???!

          • They didn’t with us (thankfully as we were stuffed) but the French group on the next table were bombarded with dessert after dessert, each one big enough to feed about 20 people! Not sure what they ordered but they seemed fairly surprised and alarmed!

  3. Pingback: weekend wanderlust | seven. | Café Carlson

  4. Hi Sarah, I’d suggest you for the vegan / vegetarian list these locals:
    – Centro natura (very healthy and natural cuisine)
    – Estravagario (very good cuisine)
    – Botanica lab (raw vegan lab near the “pratello area”)

  5. Hey! Unfortunately, I have only 1,5 days in bologna. And the list is a bit long for me to choose. Can you just recommend me 3 of your favorite ones :) I would prefer local food and the price could be mid-range :D

  6. We have just booked a trip to Italy in May (starting in Bologna) & this is perfect, I cant wait to try some of these recommendations! I am so excited to visit, it all sounds amazing!

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