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Cinque Terre

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I'm going to be travelling to Cinque Terre at the end of May. Any suggestions for places to eat? I'm going to be staying in Riomaggiore, but I would like to hear your suggestions for any of the five lands (Riomaggiore, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Manarola).

Also, if there are places not too far away from Cinque Terre that are can't miss places, please forward those as well (e.g. Portovenere, La Spezia)

Thanks in advance!

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  1. My wife and I ate at Miky, in Monterosso, just two weeks ago and had an incredible meal. Great seafood, plus the best trofiette pesto I have ever had anywhere. A terrific chocolate souffle completed a truly spectacular meal.

    While you're in Monterosso, please stop by the Hotel la Spiaggia, just a few steps from Miky, and seek out the owner, Andrea Poggi. Andrea is an extremely interesting guy and quite a colorful character. (Be sure to buy some of the Vino Bianco he makes - cheap and very good). Since we were planning to have dinner in Corniglia, Andrea insisted that we go to a place called La Laterna and to order just a bottle of wine and the seafood antipasto. We followed Andrea's advice and went on to share thirteen absolutely unforgettable small seafood dishes.

    1. Buon giorno, if this is your first trip to c.terre, you'll be speechless in the beauty of this protected world heritage site.
      Just to name two of the best places (every place we tried was at least decent, the fresh air and hikes are great for the appetite)we found: in Vernazza, the large nicely appointed place right on the plaza, Gambero Rosso I think. Looks touristy but these are Italian tourists with high standards. In Corniglia, Osteria a Cantina de Mananan, Via Fieschi 117, one of the main roads going uphill out of town toward the interior, in an older, evocative building. If you go to the main plaza and harbor in Vernazza, looking up you can see diners on a terrace, another place more casual than the gambero rosso with good lunches that's a short stroll above the plaza with a nice view. La Laterna mentioned by elzoe is in a beautiful spot right on the harbor and we also had a good meal there.
      The local olive oil and wine are unique and widely available. cheers

      1. I agree with Moto. Our dinner at Gambero Rosso was one of our fav meals in Italy and was my friend's favorite of the trip. We even tried to eat there again on our second night but they were closed for a private party. We stayed in the rooms to rent directly above the restaurant which was very rustic and quaint. Not the same owners though. Have fun. I'm very jealous.

        1. You can not miss the pastries at Il Pirata in Vernazza. Go there for the best breakfast ever!

          I had a Panzerotti which was sort of like a half moon pastry with sweet ricotta cheese and cinnamon inside. The next morning when I went back, they were out of ricotta so they substituted an orange custard. At first I was worried but it was even more delicious...

          If you take the train to Vernazza, head away from the water, up towards the post office and it will be on the right.

            Trattoria Baicin, Via Algeria, 5 0185 286 763
            Inexpensive, almost a water view near the square in the harbour. All had pasta for lunch along with a salad. Excellent pasta, particularly their pesto.Pasta 5-6 E.
            A Chowhound rec - Trattoria Genovese, Via Roma, 19, 0185 61 111. A great recommendation and worth every penny. 6 E pasta, 10 E mains and all super. Cannot recommend more highly. Incredibly friendly staff (particularly Alga) as we had no booking and just landed on a busy evening but they quickly found a table for two.
            Sapore di Mare, Lungomare Vittorio Veneto 19, 0185 52 603. Another excellent find, in fact we ate here twice. Owners very friendly and generous. Pastas 5-7 E, mains 10-11 E. Highly recommended.
            Ristorante Nettuno, Lungomare Vittorio Veneto 28, 0185 50 270. Good value. Pasta 6-7 E, mains around 10-11 E (excluding seafood of course!).
            Do yourself a big favour and spend a few days in either of these towns. Both have lovely settings and offer good value eating.

            1. For Riomaggiore:
              At the bottom of the hill (if you are facing downwards) on the left hand side there is a (white washed interior) restaurant that has excellent sardines and other seafood. I forgot the name.

              At the top of the hill in Riomaggiore (take the bus or walk a shortcut) is a restaurant (I forgot the name also) which is really really good for everything. Its slightly more expensive, but is considered best in Rio. If the Villa de Argentina hotel is on your right its about 40 yards down the dirt road on your right.

              The best foccacia hands down is in Vernazza. Facing the beach its on the left. Walk underneath the Portico its a little tiny focaccia shop that you step down into. Get the pesto focaccia (different than most other shops). One of the best things you can eat in CT guaranteed.

              Link: http://www.parcocinqueterre.com

              Image: http://www.parcocinqueterre.com/thumb...

              1. I strongly second the previous suggestions of Miky in Riomaggiore, and Gambero Rosso in Vernazza. Both have delicious fresh seafood. The fresh anchovies in lemon at Miky were sublime. I also recommend Il Pirata, a Sicilian bakery in Vernazza. It is owned by Sicilian twins and their sister. The pastries are great and the brothers are a riot. Don't miss the pesto while you are in Cinque Terre.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mamc

                  Please check savevernazza.com for updates as to the rebuilding after the flood of October 25th. Though much has been done and many places are reopening, Il Pirata, run by the twins, was one of the worst hit and their re-opening is uncertain. As of now, it is closed.

                2. We used Rick Steve's Italy and Rome 2009 guide books extensively for our 1-month trip to Italy. We are a family of 4 from Issaquah, WA.

                  We had good luck, mixed luck and some not so good luck at some of the recommended restaurants/hotels.

                  Two items that stand out:

                  1. Great luck at Il Nido (hotel) in Sorrento --- value was fantastic!

                  2. But this post is really about Corniglia restaurant Osteria Mananan. i think the onwer was "agostino" (not sure). Here is where we were ripped off (150 euro) for a dinner for 4 where we had house red wine for 2 adults and 2 family members were vegetarians and just had pomodori and cheese salad for meal (main course --secondi).

                  So how much did this cost? About 150 euros! How? Well he said he will take care of us and gave us 2 antipasti dishes and 2 fish main courses (for the 2 non-vegeatrians) and said they were no on the menu. Then he charged us 29 euro for each antipasti etc. When we objected (it was 10:30 pmish) he got belligerent and we had no choice but to pay as there was only 1 train left to levanto.

                  This news item below brought back the memory.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: issaqtrav

                    40 years ago this was happening in Italy when they were poor and isolated from mainstream tourism. Adding phantom items to the bill and then acting shocked ..... .shocked! .... when they got noticed. Even if only the cook and the waiter were in the restaurant "someone" else got blamed for the most unfortunate error. But at least they took it off the bill. I wonder if that requirement of a legal posted menu still applies.

                    One reason the Italian tourist board required both posting all items and prices and offering a set tourist menu because this scamming was ruining the budding tourism Italy needed at this time. I have not seen or heard about this old scam in a long time as Italy became more affluent and tourism was a welcome golden goose not to fleece too badly. Good grief, even the ubiquitous post card salesmen and the jackets full of "Swiss" watches for sale have long gone.

                    So, thanks for the warning. Tourism I imagine is down and desparate times need desparate responses when areas like the Cinque Terre got "discovered" and created an entire tourism dependency class.

                  2. Go to Belvidere in Monterossa Al Mare, and order the seafood special for an unbelievable experience! It is cooked in an urn-like piece of pottery & then poured into a giant bowl tableside. There is enough seafood for 3 to 4 people.

                    After arriving by train, you must walk towards & through the tunnel to south.

                    Another great place is IL Pirun in Corniglia. Order the Pirun & owner will teach you how to drink wine out of it ---tons of fun & great pasta! Also, the fruits de mare appetizer (the more expensive one, because there are several) is a multi-coarse appetizer that just keeps coming...all of the plates are delicious and it is well worth the price.

                    Finally, although I did not eat here (my travel mates did - and loved it) the Blue Marlin in Vernazza is recommended. They said the seafood ravioli was excellent.

                    Bon Voyage! Buona Mangia!!

                    1. We are going to be in Vernazza for two days in September. I see a number of recommendations for Gambero Rosso here, but that looks like a place you find because it's in the central square.

                      I am a pretty good sleuth in such matters and have settled on Il Pirata and Belcore as the two best dinner destinations.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: collioure

                        Il Pirata is OK. Not fancy dining, but solid offerings and very good desserts. My friends and I went there twice during our stay and once for breakfast.
                        The other place we had lunch and dinner was Vulnetia. I loved the seafood risotto (shared with my friend) and my friend's husband really enjoyed the trofi with pesto. I don't know if it came back after the mudslides. It was one of the restaurants right on the harbor.
                        Our favorite thing was to grab some focaccia at the Panifacio Focacceria and go and get some salumi and cheeses and a tomato or two at the little deli. They were across from our apartment. Those and a bottle of wine made for some nice mellow evenings!!!