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20 Best Restaurants in Parma, Italy (2024): Where to Eat & Drink

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Trying to decide where to eat in Parma, Italy? We have spent weeks exploring and dining out in search of the best restaurants in Parma.

We even partnered with a local food expert and led a week-long food tour here and got the scoop on the locals favorite places to eat. Our curated list includes restaurants, cafes, bars, gelato shops, and our favorite vegan spot.

Parma’s cuisine is hearty and savory, with the city being the birthplace of Parmesan cheese and Parma ham—two of Italy’s most cherished culinary staples. You’ll find that stuffed pastas like Tortelli and pork-centric dishes feature prominently on many menus.

Below are our top restaurant recommendations in Parma.

Fair warning: Many restaurants are closed on Sunday and Monday. If you are coming to Parma to eat, we recommend visiting Tuesday – Saturday and double checking opening hours beforehand.

Restaurants in Parma, Italy

Ristorante Cocchi

Ristorante Cocchi is a Michelin Guide-listed restaurant, and rightfully so. This is one of the best restaurants in Parma, and it was recommended to us by one of our local friends.

Menu highlights include Tortelli, a melt-in-your-mouth stuffed pasta, and their mixed boiled meats. The boiled meats are seasonally available from September to April, but the restaurant offers and array of other delectable meat dishes year-round.

It’s a bit of a walk to get here from the center, so you might want to consider reserving a taxi.

Address: Viale Antonio Gramsci, 16/A, 43126 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 981990| Online Reservation

Angiol d’Or

Located next to the Piazza del Duomo, Angiol d’Or is a wonderful establishment offering a variety of dishes from the Emilia-Romagna region.

For appetizers, classic choices include cured meats and Torta Fritta, a local fried bread. However, the restaurant also offers a selection of unique and delicious starters that are well worth trying out.

For your first course, Anolini in brodo, is our top pick. This regional pasta, stuffed with parmesan cheese and meat, is served in a rich beef broth. It’s a savory and delicate dish that is absolutely delightful.

Address: Via Scutellari, 1, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521282632 | Online Reservation

Read also: One Day in Parma, Italy

Officina Alimentare Dedicata

Officina Alimentare Dedicata ranks among the best local restaurants in Parma. Recommended to us by several Parma-based foodies, it truly lives up to the hype.

For your appetizer, indulge in a wide selection of locally sourced cheeses and cured meats. Make sure to order some Torta Fritta to go along with it. Don’t hesitate to ask the waters for their advice on choosing the best meats, as the options can be overwhelming!

The menu is constantly evolving. The chef enjoys experimenting with seasonal flavors, giving you the chance to try some unique pasta dishes that you won’t see anywhere else.

Be sure to call ahead to reserve a table – it’s a popular spot!

Address: Via Ferdinando Maestri, 11/A, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 230505

Osteria Virgilio

Across the river on a quaint, unassuming street lies Osteria Virgilio. This hidden gem of a restaurant may have only a few tables, but it boasts a fantastic menu.

Truly, you can’t go wrong with any of their pasta dishes, and the Prosciutto is a must-try for your starter.

Make sure to save room for dessert—you won’t want to miss the poached pear served with Greek yogurt. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

Address: Str. Giovanni Inzani, 3, 43125 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +3905211999966| Email or call ahead to make a reservation

La Forchetta

Located in the heart of Parma, La Forchetta is an excellent that seamlessly blends local Emilia-Romagna cuisine with Mediterranean flavors. Seafood is found in many dishes on the menu, including dishes like ravioli with prawns and spaghetti with sardines.

The menu is refreshing, as it offers a refreshing variety of pasta, meat, and fish dishes that diverge from the typical local fare.

Be sure to reserve a table in advance, as this popular spot fills up quickly.

Address: Borgo S. Biagio, 6/D, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 208812 | Online Reservation

Read also: 13 Must-Try Foods of Emilia-Romagna

Cortex

Cortex offers one of the most unique dining and food experiences in Parma. This modern establishment serves a seasonal menu and variety of small plate dishes.

From gnocchi to rabbit ravioli and other in-season flavors, you really have to try a bit of everything because it’s that good.

Address: Borgo del Correggio, 20/B, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 062846 | Online Reservation

Da Pepen

Da Pepen is the most popular sandwich spot in Parma, famed for its distinctive horse meat tartare sandwich—yes, it’s made with raw horse meat. If you’re not keen on trying horse, there’s no need to worry; they offer a wide selection of other sandwiches.

However, if you’re curious about the horse meat, it comes highly recommended. While I personally didn’t try it, my husband Colin did, and he thought it was worth trying.

Additionally, we highly recommend trying their Carciofa pie, made with artichokes and other savory goodies.

Address: Vicolo Sant’Ambrogio, 2/C, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 282650

Merusi 1876

Merusi 1876 is your go-to destination for a high-quality charcuterie experience in Parma. Known for their exceptional selection, they offer Parma Ham, Parmesan cheese, and other exquisite cured meats like Culatello.

We recommend ordering a variety of cured meats paired with some Parmesan cheese and a glass of Lambrusco wine. It makes for a tasty and satisfying lunch!

Address: Borgo Paggeria, 30, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 571276

Pasta al Duomo

This charming little shop, tucked away near the Duomo, is run by the most lovely women! You can purchase an array of takeaway items including pasta (which you can cook at home), pizza, foccacia, biscuits, pastries, and homemade Italian dishes.

It’s a great spot to pop in for a mid-day snack, or you can choose some freshly made pasta and have them cook it for you on the spot. There’s also a little bench outside the shop where you can sit and enjoy your meal.

Address: Borgo del Correggio, 3, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 977121

Vegan Restaurants in Parma

Mangia la Foglia bio Parma

This is a fantastic vegan restaurant. I usually find myself here when I need a break from the heavy cuisine and want something a bit lighter.

You pay by weight, so you can choose from a selection of dishes and either get your food in a box to go, or eat at one of the tables here.

They usually have a mix of vegetable and grain dishes, as well as some tempting vegan pasta options. Highly recommend for both vegans and those in search of lighter meal choices!

Address: Str. Nino Bixio, 17/a, 43125 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521282249

Gelato in Parma, Italy

Ciacco

Ciacco is our favorite gelato shop in Parma, known for its original and one-of-a-kind gelato flavors, alongside class options. Here, you can indulge in interesting flavor combinations like butter, sage, and Parmesan, which we surprisingly loved! They also have seasonal flavors like pumpkin or apricot.

We have been here too many times to count and it never disappoints!

Address: Piazza della Steccata, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521570208

Read also: Best Things to do in Parma, Italy

Gioelia Cremeria

Gioelia Cremeria is another excellent gelato shop in Parma that has won us over. As self-professed gelato snobs, we can vouch for the superb texture and flavor of their gelato.

While all their flavors are impressive, I personally recommend trying the Sicilian flavor or the indulgent black cherry with chocolate. You really can’t go wrong with any choice here.

Address: Str. Luigi Carlo Farini, 29, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521221113

Cafes & Pastry Shops in Parma, Italy

Pasticceria Bombé

This pastry shop and cafe, Pasticceria Bombé, makes delicious pastries and coffee. They serve a variety of bite-size pastries, which means you can try a few different flavors at once.

We highly recommend trying the cannoncino, a mini puffed pastry horn filled with crema (cream). It’s one of our favorite Italian pastries!

Address: Str. Luigi Carlo Farini, 19/a, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521282800

Read also: Emilia-Romagna Travel Guide

Latteria 61

Venture off the beaten path to Latteria 61 for breakfast one morning. Owned by a woman named Valentina, this cafe specializes in amazing brioche and pastries.

A must-try is their stuffed brioche, especially the one filled with pistachio cream – a favorite breakfast treat in Italy. You can also order some coffee to go along with your pastries!

Address: Borgo Giacomo Tommasini, 24, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +393283022055

Panetteria Panificio Il Fornaio

We love this little pastry shop in the center of Parma! They serve freshly baked breads, like foccacia, erbazzone (a local pie), and yummy biscuits.

This is an ideal place to go if you’re looking for a quick snack, or Italian souvenirs to take home.

Address: Strada Cavour, 33, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521282465

Antica Pasticceria Pagani 1856

We asked our hotel concierge for his favorite coffee spot in Parma, and he recommended Antica Pasticceria Pagani.This shop oozes Italian charm.

For breakfast, we suggest ordering a croissant paired with a cappuccino – our personal favorite!

Address: Borgo Venti Marzo, 4, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521206322

Bars in Parma

Bar Degustazione Giacomo

Step into this quaint bar and you’ll be welcomed with the warmest smile from its owner, Giacomo. Giacomo and his wife have been running this establishment for decades, and it’s a must-visit if you want to be welcomed to Parma by the most adorable Italian couple.

This place is the epitome of authenticity, without any frills. We recommend stopping by for pre-dinner drinks or for a morning coffee.

Address: Borgo Angelo Mazza, 2, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521287183

Enoteca Dal Lino

Enoteca Dal Vino is a cozy wine bar that serves a variety of local wines and small plates. You can order wine by the glass for as cheap as €3.

The food is a mix of typical Parma foods – cured meats, cheeses, horse meat, and salads. If you’re looking for a very local bar experience, then this is the place to try.

Address: Borgo Onorato, 12/a, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521221291

Tabarro

Located on one of the main streets in Parma, Tabarro is a lovely wine bar with outdoor tables and wide variety of wines to choose from.

They offer wine by the glass and a selection of cured meats and cheeses to eat.

Address: Str. Luigi Carlo Farini, 5/b, 43100 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +3905211474372

Drogheria Viani

This isn’t a wine bar – it’s actually a wine shop. We wanted to add this to the list because it has a fantastic selection of regional wines, and a local told us it’s one of the best wine shops in town.

Ask the owners for recommendations. They are very knowledgeable and can point you in the right direction.

Address: Via Adeodato Turchi, 5/B, 43125 Parma PR, Italy
Phone: +390521285397

Only in Parma for a day? Our top picks

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

  • Best Restaurants: Ristorante Cocchi
  • Best Cafe: Pasticceria Bombé
  • Best Bar: Bar Degustazione Giacomo
  • Best Gelato: Ciacco

Making a Reservation in Italy

Making restaurant reservations in Italy is not always the easiest experience. More often than not, you have to call to make reservations, which can be daunting if you do not speak Italian.

If you are staying at a hotel, I recommend contacting them in advance to see if they can call and reserve for you.

Otherwise, when I call, I always 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 gets the job done.

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 had success with this many times.

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.

ITALY TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE

Italy Travel Insurance – 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.

Italy Rental Cars – We’ve rented a car in Italy 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.

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

Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? 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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