Favorite Restaurants, in Italy and Elsewhere

Note: All prices may be severely out of date.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.


Vegetarian Restaurants

Some tips for eating in restaurants in Italy.

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 (By 2010, these prices are likely out of date!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.


Lo Scugnizzo

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

La Veneta

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.

near Menaggio

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


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)

map | my detailed review

Restaurant associated with the Mamete Prevostini winery.Specializes in salumi and insaccati (dried meats) and wild game. Five-course menus euro 25 and 30.

Il Capriolo

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

Antica Taverna

via Monte Giordano, 12

da Alfredo e Ada

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


Outside Italy


(locations in Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, Delhi, Dubai, and Beirut
as well)

La Porte des Indes

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.

Virginia/Suburban DC


Some of the best Thai food I’ve eaten outside of Thailand.


Le Ménestrel, Nimes


La Provenza, Barcelona


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