Note: All prices may be severely out of date. Quality not likely to have changed.
Lake Como Area
These are full reviews – also see brief listings below for some more restaurants.
Don’t want to eat out all the time? It’s also possible to eat cheaply in Italy.
Some More of Our Favorite Restaurants
NB: My data on prices may not be entirely reliable; costs refer to a full meal (antipasto, primo, secondo, dessert) with wine, per person. You can of course save money by eating less! (By 2010, these prices are likely out of date! I have not eaten at any of these places in at least two years.)
But you don’t always have to go to restaurants; it’s also possible to eat cheaply in Italy.
via Cassala 59
near the Romolo metro stop
tel 02 5811 1957
Fresh mozzarella from Naples daily, amazing seafood of all kinds. Pizza is also good. ~ euro 20-30
Vecchia Napoli pizzeria
via Chavez 4
tel 02 2619056
Fantastic pizza. Closed Mondays. Pizzas cost euro 7-12.
Osteria Grand Hotel
via Ascanio Sforza 75 (naviglio Pavese)
tel 02 89511586
Fabrizio, the owner, is head of one of Milan’s Slow Food groups. Excellent food, great wine list. euro 30-40
via G. Giusti 14
tel 02 342881
Antique recipes from the Veneto. Don’t miss the pasta e fagioli with radicchio, but everything else is wonderful as well. The owner is idiosyncratic and sometimes perceived as rude, but really he just has strong opinions on what should be eaten (and drunk) with what, and he’s probably right. Leave room for amazing desserts. euro 30-50
Ristorante da Bruno
via Gonzaga 6 (Duomo metro stop)
tel 02 804364
An old family favorite. Everything’s good. ~ euro 25-40
via Castel Morrone 10
tel 02 70006870
Mon 17:30-23:30, Tue-Sat 12:00-23:30
A brief but excellent Neapolitan-influenced menu, with an emphasis on top-quality ingredients. Possibly the best tuna steak I’ve ever eaten, lightly seared with a Japanese-style dipping sauce. Don’t miss the desserts.
Locanda San Martino
Santa Maria Rezzonico and then way up the hill
tel 0344 50167 – reservations recommended
Excellent regional specialties including boar and polenta uncia (with cheese, garlic, butter, and sage), very cheap. euro 15-20
Osteria del Viaggiatore
Corso Promessi Sposi
see my review
Taverna ai Poggi
via ai Poggi 14
phone: 0341 497126
Large selection of salumi and wines. Especially try the lake fish carpaccio and of course the local specialty, pizzoccheri (buckwheat pasta cooked with vegetables, cheese, garlic, butter, and sage). euro 25-35 at night, much cheaper at lunchtime (weekdays).
Piazza XX Settembre
tel 0341 288063
A little pricey, but the servings are large by Italian standards. Particularly good meat, and an excellent selection of wines.
Ristorante Vecchio Fiume
Contrada di Cima alle Case
Nouveau twist on regional specialties. euro 30-40
La Lanterna Verde
Fraz. SAN BARNABA, 7
VILLA DI CHIAVENNA 23029 SO (on the road going to St. Moritz)
Our absolute favorite, well worth the trip. During the day, eat outside and enjoy the amazing view of forests and waterfalls. euro 40-50 (cheap at the price!). See my review liked above.
via D.P. Lucchinetti 67
23020 Mese (SO)
Restaurant associated with the Mamete Prevostini winery.Specializes in salumi and insaccati (dried meats) and wild game. Five-course menus euro 25 and 30.
Subiale, Tel. 0341 875.017 – Cell. 328 749500
See my review; closed Thursdays.
I Tre Castelli
Loc. Cintoia Bassa
Strada in Chianti
tel 055 8572227
Open for lunch and dinner, except Wednesdays.
Rita and Lino took us here. Excellent and unusual dishes such as a very spicy boar goulash.
Osteria Le Mani in Pasta
via dei Genovesi 37, Trastevere
via Monte Giordano, 12
via Banchi Nuovi 14
An old-fashioned Roman osteria. Get there while you can – places like this won’t last much longer. euro 15-20Also go here
(locations in Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, Delhi, Dubai, and Beirut
Indian-French cuisine based on recipes from the old French colony of Pondicherry. I have had a lot of Indian food (lived there 5 years), but never anything like this. Amazing. Expensive.
Some of the best Thai food I’ve eaten outside of Thailand.