Our long weekend in Cinque Terre in mid August 2018 was spent exploring the 5 villages and of course feasting! So what can we eat in 48 hours in Cinque Terre? The aim was to eat the local specialities below:
(i) Trofie or trenette al Pesto: type of pasta with the famous ligurian sauce “Pesto”
(ii) Pansotti con salsa di noci: pasta filled with ricotta (a soft white italian cheese), borage flower and herbs with a sauce made of walnuts, bread, garlic, marjoram, olive oil and cream.
(iii) Focaccia: pillowy flatbread made with olive oil and salt. It is sold plain or with onions, olives and cheese.
(iv) Farinata: a baked flatbread with chickpea flour typically cooked in a wood-burning oven.
(v) Acciughe: Anchovies in different styles; salted, fried, marinated, stuffed or tossed – served with vegetables or pasta.
For travel tips, please refer to the All You Need To Visit Cinque Terre post.
Monterosso al Mare
Our first meal in Cinque Terre was at Ristorante Miky. Ristorante Miky is a family business and was established in 1980 to offer patrons gastronomic Ligurian cuisine. I’ve read lots of positive reviews about this restaurant and now I know why!
I arrived in Monterosso at lunchtime and immediately met my cousin who had reserved us a table there.
Once we sat down, we were served a platter of various freshly baked breads.
We ordered the Gambero Al Limone (€18) to share between us which was a dish of lemon shrimps, vegetables tartare, coriander sauce, crispy bacon, shrimp. It was a beautifully presented dish.
We advised the waiter that we planned to share our main dishes so he served us the Mandilli de Sea (€19), a homemade pasta and basil pesto, potatoes and green beans and pine nuts in two plates. I have never tasted such a delicious pesto pasta. It was superb in its apparent simplicity!
This was followed by L’Acciugata Alla Monterossina (€20), homemade spaghetti with anchovies in Monterosso style, olives and pine nuts. The waiter put oil on the pastry which covered the pasta and set it alight for a dramatic flourish before serving us.
We were both so impressed with our lunch. This was our most expensive meal so we started our holiday with a bang!
Please note Restaurant Miky also has gluten free options but do enquire and make reservations especially in the peak season.
Recommended for: dates, groups, local cuisine, special dining, special occasion dining
Cost: €70 for two without alcohol
Address: Via Fegina 104, Monterosso al Mare 60015
Opening Hours: Wed – Monday 12 noon – 2:30pm; 7pm – 11:30pm (hours may change during Winter season)
Ristorante Belvedere is a family run and owned restaurant by the Moggia family. This restaurant was recommended to us for local cuisine and offers a large selection of seafood at very good prices. We sat outside and had a view of the sea. You do need to get here early during the holiday season as it is so popular that it gets full very quickly. The special dish to order is the ‘Anfora Belvedere’, a seafood mix of lobsters, mussels, clams, octopus and swordfish stewed in a fish soup (€49 for 2 people). We saw other patrons trying to eat this but it was so HUGE that we knew we would not be able to finish it and do it justice as it could feed 3 – 4 people!
Instead we had a brightly coloured bruschette with fresh tomatoes and onions as the starter.
We then had the Scaloppine Ai Funghi, veal cutlet with mushrooms
and Acciughe Ripiene, fried stuffed anchovies.
We did not know what to expect but it tasted like delicious home cooking.
I also ordered the house white wine which was went down well with my starter and fried anchovies.
Recommended for: local cuisine, casual dining for all
Cost: €37 for two
Address: Piazza Garibaldi 38, 19016 Monterosso al Mare
Opening Hours: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Ristorante Al Pozzo
We shared a delicious ‘Ravioli di pesce con scampi’ (€16.50), a fish ravioli with scampi which was served chilled and paired with Sassarini, a Cinque Terre white wine (€5). It was a light, fresh, fruity wine that I enjoyed.
Recommended for: local cuisine, casual dining for all
Cost: €25 for two
Address: Via Roma 26, 19016 Monterosso al Mare
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm; 7pm – 12 midnight
This bakery is in the old town and opens at 8am so we came here to buy a croissant, pizzanini and foccacia. They have a range of freshly baked savoury treats available from croissants (€1.50) – plain, chocolate, apricot, pane, focaccia, pizzanini, ciabatta, baguettes, muffins, brioche, panini, bagels and cannoli – cream, custard, chocolate. With so many options, it was difficult to choose.
Recommended for: breakfast, lunch, snacks, take away
Address: Via San Pietro 8, 19016 Monterosso al Mare
Opening Hours: 8am – TBD
Unpretentious simple venue in the old town of Monterosso where I had my early morning plain cappuccino (no pretty design on the cappuccino here). It also offers croissants, other savoury treats and gelato. You can sit inside or outside to people watch.
Recommended for: casual dining, snacks, breakfast hot drinks
Address: Piazza Garibaldi 9 , 19016 Monterosso Al Mare
Opening Hours: 7am – midnight
Gelateria Ice Cream Il Golosone
Our day would not be complete without having at least one gelato. In Monterosso, this place is located in the old town close to the main square. You can sit outside and people watch. Most people do!
Recommended for: desserts
Cost: €3 for medium
Address: Via Roma 17, 19016 Monterosso al Mare
Bar Lo Spuntino
Serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee in a simple setting with seaviews when seated outside. They also offer Panino, Sorrentina and Diavoletto (savouries with filled with combinations of cheese, potato, grilled vegetables, lettuce). It is located between the old town and new town.
We had a piadina (thin, Italian flatbread) with ricotta cheese which was a tasty filling snack. Please note it is cash only.
Recommended for: snacks, hot drinks, teas
Address: Via Vegina 30, 19016 Monterosso Al Mare
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm
While we explored this little village we did not eat here as it was not open before noon so we missed Ristorante Belforte, Via Guidoni 42, 19018 Vernazza. This restaurant has panoramic views of the sea and is meant to be one of the top restaurants of the Cinque Terre area. Disappointed we missed this.
By the time we climbed up the many steps up to reach Corniglia from the train station we had worked up a thirst. The Granita di Limoni di Corniglia, Italian lemon ice slushy helped to quench our thirst and give us a little more energy. Different sizes cost €2, €3 or €4. Alberto Gelateria also sells gelato costing between €2 – €5, milk shakes €3 and smoothies €4.
Recommended for: desserts, cold drinks, slushies, milk shakes, smoothies, gelato
Address: Via Fieschi 74, 19018 Corniglia
Not far from Alberto Gelateria is this simple down to earth pizza place. It sells freshly baked pizza at good prices. They also sell focaccia, sandwiches, salad, farinata, fried fish, fried veggies, french fries. We bought a slice of pizza with pesto and zucchini for €3.50 each for lunch. It was a LARGE slice and yes we ate it all.
Recommended: cheap dining, pizza, foccacia
Address: Via Fieschi 29, 19018 Corniglia
Bar La Plancia
Bar La Plancia is very well located with a view of the main square and also part of the harbour. However, we noted the service was not the best and we took our gelato to go. Please note that unlike other gelaterias they do not offer complimentary tasters.
Address: Via Brogli 141, 19017 Manorolo
Mamma Mia! Take away
We could not help ourselves but to go here with its name. It was packed and full of tourists with seating outside. We bought a small mixed seafood cone (€6) and a farinata chickpeas with pesto (€3) to share in the late afternoon. These were typical cuisine of the area. I enjoyed the farinata but the mixed seafood was very fried so I did not like it as much. There was another venue selling similar items a few steps up which looked less touristy which I would try next time.
Recommended for: local cuisine, cheap dining, snacks
Cost: €9 shared between 2 people
Address: Via Cristoforo Colombo 208, 19017 Riomaggiore
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 10pm
As this was the last village that we visited during one day, we were feeling fatigued by the heat. We had to skip Nessun Dorma and Trattoria Dal Billy and returned back to Monterosso.
Looking back at our 48 hours of Cinque Terre dining, I tried all the local specialities and more but missed the (ii) pasta filled with ricotta and (iii) focaccia as I was too full!
Let us know which dishes you enjoyed.
For travel tips, have a look at All You Need To Visit Cinque Terre post.