The best restaurants in Portovenere & Cinque Terre
Ligurian cuisine is mostly known for its internationally-renowned sauce: Pesto! For those that don’t know what pesto is, it’s a fresh green sauce made with basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil. And yes, it’s served with pasta (usually trofie, a short, thin, twisted pasta from Liguria)! Another famous Ligurian food is Focaccia, a flat oven-baked bread that resembles pizza that just leaves you craving for more. But we’re on the seaside here, which means that Portovenere & Cinque Terre have amazing seafood restaurants! Rosanna had recommended the restaurants that I’m about to tell you, and she seriously hit the bull’s eye with them! Check out where to eat in Portovenere and where to eat in Vernazza, Cinque Terre!
Portivene Un Mare di Sapori Restaurant
For our first night in Portovenere, Rosanna reserved us a table at the famous Portivene Un Mare di Sapori restaurant, which was just the perfect place to start our Ligurian culinary experience. The restaurant is adorable, with just a few tables and a beautiful bar made out of a wooden boat. There are also some cute outdoor tables, but I recommend them for lunch. For dinner, definitely reserve a table inside. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, dimmed lights, nice background music and the menu is filled with local delicacies! What to order? I went for the gratinated mussels for a started and Luca had a creative anchovy dish. For our main course, we both went with something out of the menu: pasta with crab, and wow it was seriously yummy! Then we split a fried seafood platter, which was amazing: crunchy, light and super tasty! The wine? I definitely recommend you go local, we had a chilled bottle of white Pigato wine, which just went perfect with our meal.
📍 Via Capellini, 94/98, Portovenere
📞 +39 0187 792722
⏰ Tuesday – Saturday from 12pm – 3pm , 7pm – 11pm / Sunday from 12pm – 3pm
Le Tre Torri Restaurant
For our second and last night in Portovenere, Rosanna reserved us a table at Le Tre Torri, sitting right on the main piazza, in between three towers. The place is charming, trendy and just the perfect place for both a romantic outing and a dinner with your friends. There’s also a beautiful outdoor area where you can dine, which I definitely recommend during the nice summer months! But the indoor area is also beautiful and intimate. What did we order here? We both went for the seafood cruditè platter, and let me tell you, it was really something. There were shrimp from Mazara and blue shrimp from Caledonia, prawns, oysters and various tartares which were so delicate. To accompany the seafood cruditè were different sauces that were amazing and fresh, my favorite being the mango one! This was truly a delicious seafood cruditè. While for a main course, I went for the pasta allo scoglio and Luca went completely local with the trofie al pesto! The wine selection was also wonderful, and don’t get me started on the dessert: heavenly.
📍 Piazza Bastreri, Portovenere
📞 +39 0187 790477
⏰ Thursday – Tuesday 12pm – 2pm / 7pm – 12am
La Vigna di Nettuno
For a simple but delicious lunch with fresh local products right on the seafront I definitely recommend La Vigna di Nettuno. The place is super cozy and has this boho-chic vibe with great Italian tunes playing in the background. All around, Italian magazines and bottles of spumante to recall the dolce vita. Luca had their fresh homemade focaccia filled with roasted turkey which was AMAZING! I went with a caprese – tomatoes and mozzarella – and it was just what I needed. We cheered with a super cold Moretti beer and our lunch was just perfect. While I was there in May, which is not high-season, I’m pretty sure that this place is also a great one for after dinner drinks!
📍 Piazza Darsena, 18
📞 +39 0187 791775
⏰ Monday – Sunday from 9am – 12am
Where to eat in Vernazza, Cinque Terre
On our second day in Portovenere, we went on a day trip to the stunning Cinque Terre. I loved the boat ride, you get such stunning views of the Ligurian Coast, you wish you’d never have to get off! And you really get a glimpse of mankind’s ingenious and creativity. Our first stop was Vernazza, which was jaw-dropping beautiful and extremely unique. We were here around lunch time, so it was impossible not to treat ourselves to a yummy dining experience!
Lunch at Ristorante Belforte, Vernazza
Ristorante Belforte is the culinary experience we were searching for in Vernazza. Again, recommended by Rosanna (she knows her restaurants)! The restaurant’s location is dreamy, inside an ancient castle, and it has a large terrace and smaller terraces overlooking the sea. First things first, you need to make a reservation and specify that you want a table on the terrace when you call, otherwise you’re going to have to test your luck when you get there and see if there are any free tables! We were seated in the large terrace and the view was absolutely phenomenal. But the menu at Belforte restaurant also lives up to the location! Expect Ligurian products and lots of seafood dishes! We went for a seafood cruditè which was remarkable, from prawns to shrimps to tuna and seabass carpaccio, it was super fresh and delicious! And my spaghetti alla bruno were definitely memorable as well, just like the crunchy fried seafood dish! For the wine, we went for a chilled bottle of Pigato, it was our wine during the weekend! If you’re searching for a beautiful restaurant with yummy food, great views and wonderful service, definitely make that reseration to Belforte restaurant.
📍Via Guidoni, 42, Portovenere
📞+39 0187 812222
⏰ Wednesday – Monday 12pm – 3.30pm, 7pm – 11pm