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May 23, 2007 06:12 PM

One Lunch in Bologna

Hello fellow hounds,

The wife and I will have time for just one lunch in Bologna before we head on to Ancona. We will only have a few hours so proximity to the train station is a factor. We would love to enjoy a lunch with plenty of local bolognese flavor but also don't want to break the bank. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

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  1. There is really nothing really near the train station. You will have to walk into town, about 15 minutes to find any decent places, so I recommend a taxi if you are on any kind of tight schedule. We stayed at the hotel directly accross from the RR station and walked into town regularly.

    If I had to have only one meal in Bologna, it would be at Al Pappagallo hands down. We've consistently had the best meals of our stays in Italy there.
    My wife and I had dinner there about three weeks ago, and the bill to 110 euros. We had split an antipaso, a pasta, and a secondo, had two desserts and a half bottle of wine.

    A little closer to the station, faster, and cheaper, good but not nearly as good as Pappagallo is Diana. Using the same ordering strategy as at Pappagallo the bill came to 78 euros. However, if you have the time, Papagallo is definitely worth the difference.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaweino

      I'm glad that Pappagallo is still there. I had a lunch there 25 years ago that i still remember fondly as one of the best in my life. Tortellini in brodo, fillet of lotte and wondeful petit fours to end the meal. Perfection made sweet with the passing of time.

    2. Hello JordanB:

      I recommend for traditional Bolognese food at a reasonable price in a relaxed setting Trattoria Del Rosso. Very good traditional food in generous portions. We had a la carte antipasti, primi, secondi, a bottle of wine and amaro x 2 for about 55Euro, they also offer fixed price two or three course lunches at even better pricing. They are off Via Dell' Indipendenza on Via Righi, 30, somewhat close to the Station, website

      Another very good restaurant that is slightly pricier and a bit more formal (but not as formal or stiff as Pappagallo, nor overrated as Diana) is Trattoria Cammineto Del' Oro, also off Via Dell' Indipendenza on the corner at Via de' Falegnami, 4. We had 3 courses x 2 plus excellent Brunello for about 80Euro. Website is I would reserve for either to assure seating and time if you are catching a train.

      Lastly, if you want to bring a taste of Bologna home with you, you can go to Tamburini, which is a justifiably famous delicatessen. They will vacuum pack any variety of their special meats and cheeses to take home and they have a very good and cheap cafeteria in the back of the shop. They are located off the Piazza Maggiore on via Caprarie, 1. Website is

      3 Replies
      1. re: CiaoCane

        Depends where "home" is. If home is the US, CiaoCane's claim that you can bring vacuum packed "special meats and cheeses" food back from Bologna that isn't useful information. Yes to vacuum packed cheese. However, once the adorable customs beagles sniff your meat at your airport of entry, you'll be waving good-bye to your salumis.

        There was a wonderful and informative thread in the "Not About Food Board" titled "Anyone with US Customs Questions?" started by a US Customs (December 2006). Fascinating reading!

        1. re: CiaoCane

          I know Tamburini is highly rated on this board, but I wouldn't go there for lunch unless cheap cafeteria food that's been sitting on a steam table for a while is your desire. I think you can get a much better lunch at Autogrille. I will admit we had lunch for two for 17 euros which meant leaving a lot on our plate. It was without a doubt the worst meal we've had in Italy in the past two years. My opinion of Tamburini as a deli may be colored by the fact that we were in Peck the day before, but we thought the place was dirty and unappealing. We wanted to buy some Bolognese deli items to help stock a place for a week, but noticed the high percentage of tourists among their customers. We ended up going to La Baita on Via Pescherie Vechie about a block away, where the clientele seemed to all well healled locals and us. We were very happy with our purchases there.

          1. re: jaweino

            We leave in just a short 9 hours. Thank you all so much for the advice. I will report upon return.