Cinque Terre food and wine tips. Eat local!

Food and wine as Cinque Terre visiting keywords

Food and wine in the Cinque Terre are one of the main reason that should drive your choice to pick this amazing place as your next holiday destination.Native  Cinque Terre people know how to pick the right restaurants serving authentic Ligurian fare and wine bars that aren’t catering to tourists. But, more or less, the restaurants of the area are all family managed and so they usually stick to the local tradition and always have menus with local food.

This article will not tell you which restaurant or bar to go, it’s more an introduction to Cinque Terre traditional food and wine.
If you’ll visit the Eastern part of the  Italian Riviera, do not expect just some generally good Italian food, you deserve more!  You’ve to dig the traditions.

So be prepared and get to know the main dishes you’ll find in our menus:

  • Pesto: the famous Ligurian Sauce made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Usually served on many kind of pasta,  gnocchi, trenette (linguine) or trofie, but also good on bruschettas (toasted bread loaf)
  • Cappun Magro: a kind of seafood-vegetables  mix – simply delicious
  • Anchovies: whether  you have them fried, in olive oil with lemon or salted, the local “Acciughe” of Monterosso will capture you!
  • Mesciua (pronounced meschua), which is a soup made of chick peas, farro, and beans
  • Coniglio alla ligure: rabbit cooked in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Taggiasca Olives and Pine Nuts
  • Muscoli ripieni:  local mussels stuffed with breadcrumbs, mortadella, eggs, parmesan and herbs, then baked in a tomato sauce. Can’t tell how good they are!
  • Muscoli alla marinara: baked mussels with white wine, garlic and parsley and lemon (cuts of tomatoes are optional)
  • Stocafisso in Umido: Stockfish cooked with or without tomatoes, Taggiasca olives, pine nuts but always with Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Cima:  stuffed meat cooked for hours in  a broth; the broth is then served with tortellini or small ravioli.
  • Home Made Tagliatelle: served with Ragu’ Sauce, pesto or Porcini mushrooms Sauce.
  • Farinata: chick peas thin focaccia better if baked in a wood oven.
  • Italian Riviera fish: not only branzino and orate but also triglie, nasello, pesce San Pietro, oven-baked, grilled, fried, with salt crust etc.So many ways to serve the catch of the day!
  • Spaghetti allo scoglio: seafood spaghetti
  • Totano ripieno: stuffed squid
  • Spaghetti alle vongole: spaghetti with clams
  • Minestrone alla ligure: vegetable soup served with pesto


Dining Out

Keep in mind that Ligurian style cooking believes in simplicity, basically, grandma’s cooking, so you will be pleasantly surprised if you choose simple dishes like those listed above and you can almost never go wrong with seafood.

We’ll be happy to assist during your stay in the Cinque Terre with restaurant recommendations and reservations!


About ordering wine

Our recommendation is that you avoid ordering the house wine. It will be really a shame being here in the land of dramatic vineyards that dive into the Mediterranean waters and not tasting the very best of our production. Most of our wines are white, even though the Cinque Terre are beginning to produce more reds, but it’s a young trend. More on wines in our dedicated sections with Summer and Winter recommendations. Our selection of wine tasting experiences, then, will be your opportunity to master the wine matter!

Our Tips on wine prices : better opting for bottles in the $20+ range, the wines will be fantastic and with a guarantee of excellence and authenticity!


Food Market Tips

You can visit many small food markets in the Cinque Terre: for instance in Monterosso on Thursdays, in Vernazza on Tuesdays, but if you are looking. for a real food marked experience, well, La Spezia food market is where to go. It’s walking distance from La Spezia Centrale train station and it is open every morning except for Sundays.

And if you like to experience a shopping tour of the market followed by the very best in Cooking Class you can choose our Master Class Experience.


Our Suggestion

Take your time and stay longer when choosing the Cinque Terre as your travel destinations. Pick an amazing accommodation and book a relaxed stay so that you can easily travel the area and get the most of it, including it’s amazing food and wine and related traditions!