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7 Restaurants you need to try in Bologna, Italy

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Looking for the best restaurants in Bologna? I’ve got you covered!

Bologna absolutely blew me away! I know that I’m guilty about saying that a lot of travel destinations, but what can I say, there are few places I visit that I don’t fall in love with. But there was one aspect of Bologna that I particularly loved — the dining scene.

I’ve visited Italy 10+ times over the years, I even lived in Rome for a few months as a teenage, and I have never visited a city in Italy with such consistently good food. Quite literally everything we tried was delicious. And even though our trip was short (even shorter than expected due to a cancelled flight 🙃), we managed to eat at so many incredible places.  I can’t remember the last time I was as full as I was leaving Bologna, but it was worth it.

So let’s dive into my favorites places to eat in Bologna, Italy. 

1. Osteria della Fondazza

Whatever you do, visit Osteria Della Fondazza and order the lasagne. Before visiting Bologna I was bold enough to make the claim that I didn’t think that I like lasagne. Bold, I know. 

Flash forward to the end of our trip to Bologna and I can say hands down that it was the best thing that I ate. The lasagne quite literally melts in your mouth, a delicious combo of Parmesan and creamy Béchamel. 

The Osteria itself it very basic, with more of a pub vibe. Prices are cheap, for both food and drinks, and the service is fast. But for the lasagna alone it’s at the top of my best restaurants in Bologna list.

We weren’t sure if we needed a reservation, and couldn’t get ahold of them beforehand, so we arrived right when they opened. 

My favorite dish in Bologna, lasagna from Osteria della Fondazza
My favorite dish in Bologna, lasagna from Osteria della Fondazza
Dinner at La Taverna di Roberto
Dinner at La Taverna di Roberto

2. Osteria Santa Caterina 

We stopped by Osteria Santa Caterina and were lucky enough to grab a table without a reservation. The restaurant was totally packed inside and outside on a rainy Saturday at lunch, so we knew it’d be good. 

Start with the delicious eggplant parm before diving into their delicious pasta. My personal favorite was the tortellini in a creamy Parmesan sauce, but my partner loved his pasta as well. 

Based on my wandering eyes, everything that came out of the kitchen looked fantastic. I wish I had had room in my stomach to eat more! 

If you’re planning to dine here for either lunch or dinner, especially on the weekends, I’d recommend calling ahead for a reservation. 

The best creamy parm tortellini from Osteria Santa Caterina 
The best creamy parm tortellini from Osteria Santa Caterina 
Osteria Santa Caterina (Bologna, Italy)
Osteria Santa Caterina (Bologna, Italy)

3. Nonna Rosa (one of the best restaurants in Bologna)

This was the top spot on our list to visit while planning out our trip (aka planning out our meals), and it didn’t disappoint. Even dining at Nonna Rosa for a weekday lunch they were totally packed, so reservations are a must and need to be made over the phone. 

They have the classic Bolognese dishes like tortellini in broth, or ‘tortellini in brodo,’ and bolognese, but the chicken Milanese is also delicious. 

I recommend getting a table inside for the full experience, with famous movie posters coming the walls. 

Nonna Rosa Milanese Chicken
Nonna Rosa Milanese Chicken
Classic tortellini in broth from Nonna Rosa
Classic tortellini in broth from Nonna Rosa

4. La Taverna di Roberto

La Taverna di Roberto is a for great option for classic dishes in a more upscale dinner setting. Unlike many of the other restaurants in Bologna, it is easy to make a reservation online at La Taverna di Roberto. 

We enjoyed a number of typical dishes such as Tagliatelle a Bolognese and Tortellini in simple but delicious red sauce. The eggplant parm was the star of the show.

Don’t skip the dessert. My favorite was the fresh strawberries with whipped mascarpone. So delicious!

5. Osteria del Sole

If you’re looking for a cheap bar with local wines then Osteria del Sole is the spot for you. The bar is low-key and super popular. You’ll often find locals and tourists alike standing out front enjoying local wines. They have a variety of wines, all Italian, starting at 3€. 

6. Il Forno di un Chicco

Il Forno di un Chicco is probably the place we visited the most times during our stay in Bologna. It is the perfect bakery for morning pastries, with tons of sweet and savory options.

By far my favorite menu item was the croissant, or ‘cornetto’ filled with Nutella. I could eat it everyday, and i definitely did while in Bologna. The pistachio cream filled cornetto was a close second.

There is usually a line but it moves fast, and the waitstaff is awesome. On a nice day try to grab a table outside for some people watching while you enjoy your coffee and breakfast.

Baked goods selection at Il Forno di un Chicco
Baked goods selection at Il Forno di un Chicco
Il Forno di un Chicco - the best breakfast in Bologna
Il Forno di un Chicco – the best breakfast in Bologna

7. Cremeria Cavour

No visit to any Italian city is complete without gelato. And in Bologna the best place to enjoy a gelato is at Cremeria Cavour.

All of their flavors are delicious, but their fruity flavors like raspberry and mango stood out amongst the rest. 

Cremeria Cavour also serves a number of Sicilian specialties including Sicilian cannoli and granita. 

Visiting Northern Italy? Here are some other articles to check out:

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