The best restaurants in Bologna for lunch, dinner and aperitivo

To say that my trip to Bologna was a culinary one is an understatement. As you may well know, Bologna is one of the foodie capitals of Italy, and there’s a lot of amazing stuff to eat, every hour of the day! In fact, I spent half of my time eating! From the amazing homemade tagliatelle alla Bolognese, to the perfectly small tortellini in brodo and the yummy sausage ragout pastas, there’s something for everyone! If you’re a lover of cold cuts and cheeses, Bologna is paradise: Mortadella, Culatello di Parma, Salame, Squacquerone cheese. And tigelle (homemade round bread) and crescentine (fluffy fried bread) to accompany are musts! So take some notes, here are some amazing restaurants not to miss in Bologna, all walking distance from Piazza Maggiore.

LUNCH

Zerocinquantello

One of my favorite vias in Bologna was Via delle Pescheria Vecchie, a street right off Piazza Maggiore which has some of the best eateries ever. If you’re searching for a place to taste amazing cold cuts, tigelle (round homemade bread), cheese, wine and warm Bolognese dishes, this is the place to go. I went here for lunch on my last day and it was the best way to say goodbye to Bologna. The restaurant is cozy with wooden tables and chairs, filled with hanging prosciuttos and a charcuterie station. The wines are to die for, the cured meats even more. Definitely order the Mortadella  the Culatello di Parma as well as the Squacquerone cheese and their homemade tigelle!

Via Pescherie vecchie 2/b
 Monday – Sunday 12.30pm – 3pm / 6.30pm – 11.30pm
+39 0510470743
€25+
zerocinquantello.it

Guide to Bologna: Where to eat in Bologna

Polpette e Crescentine

Crescentine are the best thing ever. It’s a type of fried Bolognese bread that is super fluffy. A MUST TRY on your trip to Bologna! While I thought it might have been easier to find crescentine in Bologna, it really wasn’t! Luckily my boyfriend found this amazing eatery located inside the Mercato delle Erbe. Step inside the market and take a left: you’ll find yourself in a beautiful area with lots of different restaurants. Don’t hesitate, get your table at Polpette e Crescentine right away! Start with the Culatello di Parma and crescentine to share, then don’t miss out on the passatelli with sausage ragout and zafron! And of course, a glass of red can’t be missing.

Mercato delle Erbe or Via San Gervasio, 3
 Monday – Saturday 12.30pm – 3pm / Tuesday – Thursday  7pm – 10.30pm / Friday – Saturday 7pm – 12.30am
+39 051 235214
€20+
PolpetteeCrescentineMercatodelleErbe

Where to eat in Bologna: Polpette e Crescentine

Altro?

This is the first place I went to have lunch in Bologna. Located inside Mercato delle Erbe, Altro? is a guarantee if you’re searching for yummy food and excellent wines and drinks. Step inside the market and head to the right where you’re going to be greeted by an internal courtyard surrounded by different types of botteghe or shops. Take a seat in one of  the shabby chic tables and glance at the menu. From Bolognese tradition to other Italian dishes, the menu definitely delivers! If you want something to share, have the fried chicken and potatoes as as starter (share as the portion is very big). For something lighter, go with the outstanding beef carpaccio with artichokes and parmesan, super fresh! While as a main course, the tortellini in brodo were very good! Altro? is also a great place for drinks on the weekends and they make a killer Negroni!

Mercato delle Erbe or Via Ugo Bassi 25
 Monday – Thursday 8am – 12am / Friday – Saturday 8am – 1.30am
+39 351 014 4191
€30+
AltroBologna

Mercato delle Erbe: Altro?

DINNER

Ristorante da Cesari

This place was recommended by my boyfriend’s father, and Armando never gets a restaurant wrong. Da Cesari is where the locals come to taste delicious traditional dishes as well as Bolognese dishes with a twist. The atmosphere is cozy and elegant, with dark wood boiseries. But the food and wine reign at this restaurant. The wine selection is excellent, with wines from different Italian regions and the food will get your taste buds tingling. We had the pumpkin flan with caprino cheese and truffle shavings which was outstanding. It was a seasonal dish so if you go in winter definitely order it! While as a main course I couldn’t go wrong with the homemade tagliatelle al ragu which were heavenly. My boyfriend had the tortellini in brodo which were just as good. This is the perfect place for a romantic evening in Bologna, and amazing to taste traditional Bolognese dishes. The service is quite fast.

Via de’Carbonesi, 8
 Monday – Saturday 12.30pm – 2.30pm / 7.30pm – 10.30pm
+39 051 237710
€40+
RistorantedaCesari

The best restaurants in Bologna: Ristorante Da Cesari

Osteria de’ Poeti

This place was recommended by a girl that lives in Bologna and we couldn’t have hit the jackpot more! If you’re searching for a beautiful osteria with wine barrels at sight, a great atmosphere and a fun crowd, this is the place! The osteria is simply beautiful, walk downstairs and you’ll be immersed in a big dining room with dimmed lights and live music from 9.30pm (I think only on weekends)! The food was very good, starting with the pumpkin flan and the outstanding tagliatelle alla Bolognese! Not to mention the strigoli alla moda dei poeti, a homemade pasta with tomatoes and salsiccia! A must! The wine is also great, we went with a bottle of Lambrusco, a bubbly red served chilled! Osteria de’ Poeti  was really nice, great for an evening with your partner but also for a group of friends that want to sing along to Italian oldies!

Via De’ Poeti 1/b
 Monday – Sunday 7.30pm – 2am
 +39 051 23 61 66
€40+
 osteriadepoeti.it

Where to eat in Bologna: Osteria de' Poeti

Where to eat in Bologna: Osteria de' Poeti

Zerocinquantello

As  mentioned above, Zerocinquantello is the place to go if you’re searching for amazing cold cuts, tigelle (round homemade bread), cheese, wine and warm Bolognese dishes. I went here for lunch on my last day and it was the best way to say goodbye to Bologna, but it’s a very buzzy place and I would definitely recommend it for dinner too! The restaurant is cozy with wooden tables and chairs, filled with hanging prosciuttos and a charcuterie station. The wines are to die for, the cured meats even more. Definitely order the Mortadella  the Culatello di Parma as well as the Squacquerone cheese and their homemade tigelle!

Via Pescherie vecchie 2/b
 Monday – Sunday 12.30pm – 3pm / 6.30pm – 11.30pm
+39 0510470743
€25+
zerocinquantello.itGuide to Bologna: Where to eat in Bologna

APERITIVO

Zerocinquantino

Along Via delle Pescherie Vecchie, Zerocinquantino is the place for an aperitivo. You step inside and you’re greeted by a small and cozy area filled with tables and stools, as well as a nice charcuterie station! If you’re visiting in the good season, sit outside and enjoy the beautiful sight of this buzzing via! The must orders at Zerocinquantino? The homemade focaccia, the Culatello di Parma, Mortadella and Salame board and the exquisite tigelle farcite (stuffed homemade round bread) with Squacquerone cheese and Mortadella and the tigelle with Culatello di Parma with crema di pecorino! If you like Nutella (who am I kidding who doesn’t like Nutella?) you have to order the tigelle with Nutella! The wine is also great as well as the beers!

Via Pescherie vecchie 3/e
 Monday – Sunday 12.30pm – 3pm / 6.30pm – 11.30pm
 +39 051238039
€20+
 zerocinquantino.net

Guide to Bologna: Where to eat in Bologna

Tamburini

Located close to Via delle Pescheria Vecchie, footsteps from Piazza Maggiore, Tamburini is a delicious place for a cold cuts and cheese aperitivo! The locale is beautiful and characteristic. You step inside and prosciutto, cheese, mortadella is everywhere! There are different rooms where you can sit, we were accommodated in the wine bar where there’s a beautiful bar with stacks of wine bottles. The wine at this place is fantastic, they truly have a wonderful selection by the bottle and by the glass. And the cured meats and cheeses are also great. Just a heads up, we made little mistake and ordered the “tagliere di salumi e formaggi misti” the mixed cured meats and cheeseboard instead of ordering more single boards or asking directly for what we wanted. So we got some cured meats that we didn’t particularly like. Don’t make our same mistake and order different boards or order directly what you want for a great experience!

Read to Guide to what to see in Bologna in 3 days

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