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35 Best Restaurants in Bologna, Italy (2024): Where to Eat and Drink

Tagliatelle al ragu from one of the best restaurants in Bologna, Italy
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Trying to decide where to eat in Bologna, Italy? We’ve spent over 2 months eating out in search of the best restaurants in Bologna. After our months-long eating extravaganza, these are the top 35 places we can confidently recommend.

Our list of places to eat includes sit down restaurants, cheap and quick eats, cafes, bars, gelato shops, and we’ve even included a few restaurants for our vegan friends. If you are gluten free, you are out of luck.

Cuisine is king in Bologna. The city is known for 3 main dishes: tagliatelle al ragu, tortellini, and lasagna verde. Pork and Mortadella are featured heavily in Bolognese cuisine. The foods are rich but oh so delicious, so come prepared to eat.

In Bologna, expect authentic home cooking, generous portions, and some of the best Italian food you’ll ever try. Here are our restaurant recommendations.

Fair warning: Many restaurants are closed on Sunday and Monday. If you’re coming to Bologna to eat, we recommend visiting Tuesday – Saturday.

Want to know what local foods to try? Check out our Bologna Food Guide.

Best Restaurants in Bologna

All’Osteria Bottega

We were introduced to All’Osteria Bottega by a local friend and guide, Andrea. This Michelin guide restaurant is one of the best spots in the city to try high-quality Emilian home cooking.

Try a selection of Culatello and Mortadella cured meats as a starter. The tagliatelle al ragu is a classic choice for your first course, but we recommend trying something a little different like their seasonal stuffed tortelloni.

In the fall, they often have pumpkin tortelloni on the menu (my personal favorite), or in the spring, you may find rabbit as an option.

The braised baby pigeon is a must-try for your second course. This tender and flavorful meat is cooked to perfection, and it’s always a hit.

Ask the waiter for wine recommendations. They always offer spot-on pairings based on the table’s order.

The torta di riso, or rice cake, is a traditional Bolognese dessert, and the homemade version from All’Osteria Bottega is delicious.

Address: Via Santa Caterina, 51, 40123 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 585111

Looking to try a variety of local foods? Book this Classic Bologna Food Tour. We’ve personally done this food tour twice and highly recommend it!

Trattoria da Me

This popular trattoria, run by Elisa, is a local favorite. The menu offers a mix of traditional dishes and modern interpretations on local classics.

For instance, as an appetizer, you can try a selection of cheese gelatos. Gorgonzola, stacchino, and robiola are transformed into a savory, chilled delight. Hint: you only need to order one plate for the table because it is rich!

The tortellini in broth is fantastic. I recommend trying a pasta dish with friggione – a slow cooked tomato and onion sauce. On Sundays, they serve homemade lasagna, which is fantastic!

You can’t go wrong with any of their second courses. The Cotoletta Alla Bolognese (fried veal) is always a sold choice though.

Address: Via S. Felice, 50a, 40122 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 555486 | Online Reservations

Trattoria Collegio di Spagna

Trattoria Collegio di Spagna is a small and unassuming restaurant located on a quiet street. This is one of our favorite hidden gems in Bologna.

For your primi piatti, go for the Tagaliatelle verdi al proscuitto. A savory pasta dish cooked with Prosciutto di Parma. What’s not to love about that?

The Cotoletto di Vitello (fried veal cutlet) is a go-to meat dish from here, but we prefer the Zucchini Ripiene. Zucchini stuffed with meat in a flavorful tomato sauce.

Try the Zuppa Inglese for dessert.

Address: Via Collegio di Spagna, 15b, 40123 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 644 8825

READ ALSO: 3 Days in Bologna, Italy

Da Cesari

This busy, family-run restaurant is one of the best places in Bologna to try a variety of pasta dishes. We love the ravioli stuffed with rabbit and topped with a smoked goat ricotta cheese.

Another must-try is the gramigna with a sausage sauce. The second courses change throughout the seasons, so we suggest asking the waiter what they recommend!

Address: Via de’ Carbonesi, 8, 40123 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 237710

Oltre

Oltre is a fine dining restaurant serving contemporary dishes based on traditional Bolognese fare. You can either try their fixed tasting menu, they offer 3 different menus, or order a la carte.

We suggest trying one of the tasting menus to taste a variety of dishes.

Both the tagliatelle al ragu and tortellini in a creamy Parmigiano Reggiano sauce are must orders. We have tried these dishes from many restaurants all over the Emilia Romagna region, and Oltre does it best.

Address: Via Augusto Majani, 1/b, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 0066049 | Online Reservation

Caminetto d’Oro

If you are a meat lover, then a meal at this local trattoria is a must! Order the grilled meats and vegetables that are cooked in a charcoal oven. The flavor is incredible.

The pasta dishes here are also exceptional. If you’re visiting Bologna during the fall, then make sure to try one of their seasonal truffle pastas.

Address: Via de’ Falegnami, 4/a, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 263494 | Online Reservation

Le Golosita Di Nonna Aurora

Located in the Bolognina neighborhood, on the other side of the train station, it’s a bit of a trek to get to this small, family-run restaurant. However, you can’t get more local than Le Golosita Di Nonna Aurora.

When we visited on a weekday afternoon for lunch, the restaurant was packed with locals, and we were the only tourists. We sat next to two older Italian men, chatting and laughing away, and eating Parmesan slices for dessert. Italians.

I couldn’t help but feel a bit envious that this is just a normal lunch for them, when I’ve traveled across the world to eat here just once.

Anyways, jealousy aside, go to this restaurant to eat one thing in particular: lasagna. Layered with homemade pasta noodles, bechamel, and flavorful ragu, they have perfected this Italian classic.

Make sure to call ahead in advance to make a reservation. They are always booked out.

Address: Via Aristotile Fioravanti, 45/b, 40129 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 357919

Sfoglia Rina

Sfoglia Rina is a tourist hot spot and for good reason. It’s a great spot for lunch if you haven’t had time to make a reservation for anywhere else. There are no reservations here but the line can get long. Be prepared to wait for a bit.

They serve a variety of handmade pastas, but our go-to is the tortelloni served in a butter and sage sauce. If they have pumpkin tortelloni on the menu, get that too. The gramigna is another must-try.

It’s better to get here earlier than later because they sell out of certain dishes quickly.

Tip: If you are staying in an apartment, you can buy freshly made pasta to take home and cook for dinner!

Address: Via Castiglione, 5/b, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 991 1710

Vagh in Uffezi

Tucked away on a small street outside of the city center, Vagh in Uffezi is a tiny restaurant with an ever changing daily menu.

You’ll find the daily selection of dishes hand-written on a piece of paper and taped to a wall. It’s hard to recommend what to get since the menu is different every time, but we loved the stuffed tortellini we ordered.

The crescentine (fried bread) with a selection of cured meats is a fantastic choice for your antipasto.

Address: Via de’ Coltelli, 9c, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 296 1446

Salumeria Simoni

Located in the heart of the Quadrilatero, Bologna’s oldest outdoor market, Salumeria Simoni is a fantastic place to try a selection of quality cured meats from the region. It’s always busy, so try to get here early, or visit mid-afternoon after the lunch rush.

We ordered the “Royal Charcuterie and Cheese”, which includes a selection of cured meats, cheese, and bread. The “Parmigiano Reggiano Tasting” is also worth ordering, so you can taste a variety of aged cheeses with balsamic vinegar from Modena.

Address: Via Drapperie, 5/2a, 40100 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 231880

Trattoria Via Serra

This hugely popular restaurant is located off the beaten path in the Bolognina neighborhood, about a 5-minute walk from Bologna’s train station.

It’s almost impossible to get in without a reservation, so make sure to call ahead. If you are going last minute, you may have luck getting in if you line up 15-20 minutes before it opens.

Trattoria Via Serra is a Michelin guide restaurant that serves traditional Bolognese fare. The menu is small, but you really can’t go wrong with anything.

Our top picks are the Tortellini in Brodo, tortellini stuffed with a savory meat mixture and served in a well-balanced broth. Their Tagliatelle al Ragù is also a top choice.

Address: Via Luigi Serra, 9b, 40129 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 631 2330

Ristorante i Portici

Although we haven’t personally dined here, we had to include Ristorante i Portici on this list. It’s the only Michelin star restaurant in Bologna, with one star.

You can choose between a 5, 7, or 9 course meal, with an optional wine pairing. The dishes are inventive takes on Italian cuisine and it’s worth a try.

Address: Via dell’Indipendenza, 69, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 42185 62 | Online Reservation

Cheap and Quick Restaurants in Bologna

From takeout pasta to Mortadella sandwiches, this is our list of the best cheap and quick restaurants in Bologna. It includes a variety of pizza, sandwiches, and pasta.

Pasta Fresca Naldi

If you’re in a hurry, look no further than Pasta Fresca Naldi. This takeout pasta restaurant makes authentic homemade pasta at an affordable price.

Take a peek inside to see the sfoglinas (pasta makers) shaping the freshly made pasta!

We’ve been here a few times and have loved everything we ordered. The lasagna, tagliatelle al ragu, tortellini, and daily specials are all incredible.

They have some tables across the street if you need a quick spot to sit down and eat.

Address: Via del Pratello, 69/c, 40122 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 523288

Mo Mortadella Lab

Walk down Via de’ Monari on an afternoon, and you may see a long line of people waiting to order from a tiny sandwich shop. Mo Mortadella Lab does one thing and they do it very well: Mortadella sandwiches.

Come hungry because the sandwiches are huge. The menu can be a tad overwhelming with over 45 combinations to choose from.

My personal favorite is the #13 with Mortadella, Grana cheese, rocket salad, and balsamic vinegar.

Address: Via de’ Monari, 1C, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 086 3992

READ ALSO: Best Things to do in Bologna

I Panini di Mirò

Panini di Miro Bologna

This is our go-to sandwich shop in Bologna. I Panini di Mirò is located on a small street bustling with outdoor permanent food stalls.

They are known for their porchetta sandwiches. We recommend the porchetta, fontina, guanciale, and bbq combo. Their classic cocktails are good and reasonably priced as well.

To order – grab a piece of paper at the counter and write down your order and name. Make sure to write down all of the ingredients included in your sandwich because that’s how they know what to make!

Address: P.za Aldrovandi, 5/2a, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 328 543 8868

Forno Brisa

Forno Brisa is a local bakery that makes pastries, bread, pizza, and coffee. There are a few locations around Bologna, so you should be able to find one within walking distance no matter where you are in the city.

We like to order the pizza squares for a quick lunch. There are a variety of unique flavors to choose from, such as pumpkin with mozzarella and prosciutto.

Address: Via Galliera, 34d, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 248556

Mozzabella

Located inside of the Mercato delle Erbe, Mozzabella is another cheap and quick pizza-by-the-slice spot that we love. They are open everyday until 11pm, which is a life saver when you’re visiting on a Sunday and many restaurants are closed.

We have eaten here too many times to count and always appreciate the variety of options to choose from.

Address: Via del Pratello, 65b, 40122 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 550506

Dispensa Emilia

Tigelle is a traditional flat-bread from Emilia Romagna, round in shape and often served with cured meats, cheeses, and savory spreads.

The name “tigelle” comes from the stamps used to decorate the bread, which were traditionally made from terra cotta and engraved with intricate designs.

Today, these molds have been replaced with cast-iron molds called tigelliera, but the tradition of making tigelle remains alive and well in the Emilia Romagna region.

We recommend trying a variety of tigelle sandwiches from Dispensa Emilia, either at the Bologna train station or in the historic city center. We usually order 3-4 each for a full meal.

Address: Via degli Orefici, 4b, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 019 5472 | Order Online

Cafes in Bologna

The cafe scene in Bologna is alive and well, but there are a few particular stand outs that we want to share with you.

Caffe Terzi

A brioche and cappuccino from Caffe Terzi in Bologna

This is our favorite coffee shop in Bologna. Not only do they make a fantastic cappuccino but they also have an entire book of coffee combinations to choose from. If we want to mix things up, we go for the cappuccino with shaved chocolate on top.

Order a stuffed brioche, an Italian croissant stuffed with vanilla, pistachio, or chocolate cream, and you have yourself the perfect Italian breakfast.

The seating inside is limited, and there are only a couple of tables outside. If this is the case, you can stand at the bar and drink your coffee Italian style.

Address: Via Guglielmo Oberdan, 10d, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 317 9115

Gamberini

Located on Via Ugo Bassi, one of Bologna’s main streets, Gamberini is an institution. Opened in 1907, this is the oldest pastry and coffee shop in the city.

This is the perfect spot to come for an afternoon pick-me-up. We suggest ordering a few of their mini pastries for a little tasting of Italian desserts.

Address: Via Ugo Bassi, 12, 40123 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 296 0467

Caffe Rubik

Caffe Rubik doubles as a cafe in the morning and a bar at night. It’s located near the University District, which means it is always busy.

Grab a seat a table, if you’re lucky enough to get one, and enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine underneath the Medieval porticoes.

Address: Via Marsala, 31d, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 014 0660

Aroma Specialty Coffees

Located on Via Porta Nova, Aroma is often rated as the best coffee shop in Bologna. Founded by Cristina and Alessandro, they create the most delicious coffee blends and drink combinations.

Try the Caffe’ allo Zabaione for something a little different – espresso mixed with zabaione (a sweet wine custard) and topped off with chocolate.

Our personal favorite is the Torinese, known as Bicerin in Turin, and is made with espresso, hot chocolate, and cream.

Address: Via Porta Nova, 12b, 40123 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 225895

Lampadina

Lampadina is a nice coffee shop that serves brunch and other baked goods. It has a large seating area, so this is a great spot to take it slow and enjoy your coffee without feeling rushed.

Brunch here is American style with pancakes, yogurt bowls, a variety of avocado toasts, and bagels.

Address: Via Barberia, 34c, 40123 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 006 4196

Bars in Bologna

Osteria del Sole

Founded in 1465, Osteria del Sole is the oldest wine bar in Bologna. The toilet even looks like it’s from medieval times.

The walls are covered in old paintings and photographs that take you back decades or centuries. Only drinks are served here – no food.

For the best experience, grab some cured meats, cheese, and bread from the Quadrilatero market and have your own “picnic” inside of the wine bar.

You can call ahead and reserve a table in advance with a minimum €10 order per person.

Address: Vicolo Ranocchi, 1, 40124 Bologna BO
Phone: +39 347 968 0171

Camera A Sud

This hidden gem is located in the old Jewish Ghetto in Bologna. It’s a hip bar that serves excellent cocktails and has an extensive wine list.

Camera A Sud is a great spot for a casual aperitivo, or you can also book for dinner.

Call ahead and reserve in advance because they are always busy.

Address: Via Valdonica, 5, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 095 1448

Bar Volare

Located on Via Belvedere, behind the Mercado delle Erbe, this street is filled with bars and is always hoppin’ late into the night.

Bar Volare is a nice local spot to grab a late-night cocktail for a fairly reasonable price.

Address: Via Belvedere, 10d, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 351 1907

Signorvino

This is by far the most touristy place on our list. The prices may be higher than most other bars in Bologna but that’s because you are paying for the views.

Signorvino is located in the heart of Piazza Maggiore, Bologna’s main square, with unobstructed views of Basilica San Petronio. We only recommend ordering drinks here – the food is not worth it.

Address: Piazza Maggiore, 1/C, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 261344

Enoteca Italiana

Enoteca Italiana is a small wine bar and shop with a fantastic selection of local and regional wines. Enjoy a wine tasting or come for aperitivo to try a wine pairing with meats and cheeses.

Tables are set up in the middle of the shop, so you can have a truly authentic and local experience.

Address: Via Marsala, 2/b, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 235989

Vegetarian and Vegan options in Bologna

Being a vegan or vegetarian in Bologna is not easy but it’s also not impossible to find food. Unfortunately, the food in Bologna is very meat and dairy centric.

As a vegetarian, you’ll be able to find plenty of vegetable or cheese based pasta dishes. For vegans, most restaurants have side dishes, such as baked potatoes, mixed salads, and grilled vegetables that you can order. You’ll just have to ask if they cook any of these options in butter.

Luckily, there are a few vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Bologna that we love.

Zazie

Zazie is a health food chain found throughout Italy. We like to come here when we need a bit of a break from pasta and pizza.

They serve fresh fruit smoothies, salads, soups, and other bowls. The food menu is small and is different at every location, but they usually have a few options to choose from.

Address: Via d’Azeglio, 23b, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 031 4760

Nectare

I love Nectare and have been here many times, especially when I need a break from all the carbs. This is another healthy restaurant that serves acai bowls and pre-made salads and savory bowls.

Their acai bowls always hit the spot and the takeaway options are great for a quick (and light) lunch or dinner.

Address: Via Fossalta, 3a, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 412 7507

Flower Burger

This is a vegan burger chain, and we’ve been here a few times both in Milan and Bologna. The burgers are pretty decent, and you can order online, which is rare to find in Italy!

My go-to is the Jungle BBQ burger with edamame or fries.

Address: Via Riva di Reno, 118p, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 232041

Beirut Snack

Beirut Snack is a popular Lebanese restaurant. I come here for their falafel wraps (only €6!), but everything else always looks very tempting.

The line is usually long, so be prepared to wait. Make sure to grab a number to order!

Address: Via delle Moline, 14/B, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 371717

Gelato in Bologna

Bologna’s gelato scene is the best in Italy. I know, probably controversial, but we will stand by this forever.

If you’re looking for all of the best spots in Bologna, check out our list of the 8 best gelato shops in the city. Otherwise, we’re sharing our top 3 below.

Cremeria Santo Stefano

Gelato from Cremeria Santo Stefano Bologna

Cremeria Santo Stefano makes the best gelato we’ve ever had in Italy – and we’ve tried a lot. The gelato is made with high-quality and locally sourced ingredients, and it’s made fresh daily.

Our go-to flavor is Caffe Bianco, a coffee infused gelato that is both rich in flavor, yet light and delicate in texture. Crema Libanese is our next pick made with orange blossom water, almond, and pistachio.

It’s a bit of a walk to get here but you won’t regret it.

Address: Via Santo Stefano, 70c, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 227045

Cremeria Cavour

Gelato from Bologna, Italy

We love all of the flavor options at Cremeria Cavour. Cioccolate e Rhum is a must and is the perfect balance of dark chocolate and rum. 50 Special is one that we often go for and is made with coffee mascarpone.

Their menu is ever-changing and we’ve never been disappointed. Tip: Order your gelato with one of their homemade chocolate cones!

Address: P.za Cavour, 1d, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 656 9365

Il Gelatauro

Gelato from Cremeria Santo Stefano in Bologna

This unassuming gelato shop makes some of our favorite flavor combos.

A few of our go-tos are: Regno delle Due Sicilie, Cannoli Siciliano (Sicilian Cannoli), and Cioccolate all’Arancia (chocolate with oranges from Sicily).

Address: Via S. Vitale, 98b, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
Phone: +39 051 230049

Only in Bologna for one day? Our top picks

If you only have a day or 2 in Bologna and want to eat at the best spots, here are our top recommendations.

Making a reservation

It’s not always the easiest experience making restaurant reservations in Italy. Instead of simply reserving a time online, you usually have to call and speak with someone in person to book a table.

I usually have Google Translate open on my phone and first ask if they speak English. If not, then I do my best to make the reservation in Italian. This is not ideal but it usually does the job.

Here are a few other tips:

  • Make sure to reserve your table in advance. Spots fill up quickly at popular restaurants and it’s best to call at least a week ahead to secure a table.
  • You may have luck getting a table last minute. If you don’t have time to make a reservation, or decide to eat somewhere last minute, you can always arrive right before the restaurant opens. Restaurants will often reserve a couple of tables for walk-ins for 2 people. We’ve done this several times and we’ll more often than not get a table.

Tips for eating out in Italy

Eating out in other countries can be confusing and overwhelming sometimes. Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable with the customs in Italy.

  • Tipping is not necessary; however, if you really enjoyed your food or liked your waiter, then any sort of tip is appreciated. Usually a 10%-15% tip is fine.
  • Every restaurant charges a coperto, or a cover charge per person. This fee helps to cover the table fees – bread, linens, tableware, etc. Usually the cover charge fee is printed on the front of the menu. It ranges anywhere from €2-€5 per person at most restaurants.
  • On Italian restaurant menus, you’ll find appetizers, first courses, second courses, and then desserts. Pasta is served as the first course and meat is served as a second course. You do not have to order both courses.
  • Meals often last 1.5-3 hours. Don’t expect fast or quick service at restaurants. They expect people to take their time and enjoy the meal.

FRANCE TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE

France Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for France? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Travel Insurance Master to find the best plan for you.

France Rental Cars – We’ve rented a car in France many times, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.

France Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in France, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to France, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.

France Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for France? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.

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