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May 30, 2010 10:20 AM


I will be spending a day or two in Genoa and was looking for some good, authentic, Genoese/Ligurian fare in Genoa. Not much info about the city on the board. I have read good things about Antica Osteria di Vico Palla. Anyone been there or elsewhere that they recommend?

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  1. The NY Times ran an article just the other day on visiting Genoa:

    1. I can highly recommend Da Rina for a seafood meal in the great Ligurian fisherman tradition, with warm, professional service. It is fairly priced for the quality. You will spend 50e per person at a minimum.

      I think Zefferino is a kick. It could not be more classically time-warp old school Genovese elegant, in decor and service and the pesto is to die for, so is the fresh seafood, and it's best to go on an expense account (even though it's not the priciest restaurant in town by any means).

      Finally, for the real deal "ostaja" (osteria), working class food (lunch only), the Ostaja at via San Vincenzo 64 is the place to go for vegetable tarts and whatever is on offer that day. Super cheap, a stone's throw from Brignole station.

      For something easy, I Tre Merli does credible Ligurian dishes and pours its own wine. Just off the Strada Nuova (via Garibaldi) at Vico dietro il Coro della Maddalena, 26

      Genova is still one of those places where you can follow your nose and end up with a great food treat. The caruggi and the sottoripa -- just about everywhere -- abound with great smelling bakeries and other fast food shops serving stuffed anchovies, farinata, and great coffee. I have been known to walk into pasta fresca shops and get a small cup of pesto and dip foccacia in it bought next door. (I'd rather eat a cup of pesto in Genova than a cup of gelato -- although Genova can hold its own on sweets of all description).

      Both David Downie and Fred Plotkin love Genova and both have great restaurant recommendations in their books, in all price ranges.

      3 Replies
      1. re: barberinibee

        Sorry for my typo:

        It's Zeffirino, on the XX Septembre at the Ponte Monumentale

        1. re: barberinibee

          Had an amazing meal, 2 years ago, at

          Enoteca Infernotto (via macaggi, 64, tel 0105703250); found it on a page about Genoa on Mario Batali's site.
          We had a beautiful platter of salumi and the most amazing pesto ever, with carefully selected wines by the very friendly owner.

          Check it out.

      2. Thanks, this is all great. Enoteca Infernotto and Zefferino sound up my alley. Anyone been to Antica Osteria di Vico Palla?

        2 Replies
        1. re: mpierce64

          I haven't, but I recently picked up Fred Plotkin's updated guide to Italy and he recommends it.

          1. re: mpierce64

            I have and it's excellent. It's one of those "back street then down another alley" type of places you'd likely skip if you didn't know better. As such it's full of locals. I'm NY-based but work for a Genoa company and we went there for my first meal on the town. Mostly seafood focused but with a variety of other dishes as well - the quality of the ingredients was excellent. It's quite busy/hectic but in a good way.

          2. I found the Times article to be completely off the mark, recommending things and places that seem to reject what is truly Genovese. You will find more accurate suggestions in David Downie's and my books. I have one more suggestion: take the train from the Brignole station down the coast to Recco. This is the food citadel of Liguria. Go to Manuelina restaurant (285 Via Roma -- a 5 minute cab or 20 minute walk from the station). Be sure to start with focaccia col formaggio, the most gorgeous thing you will ever taste. Then --i Hope you are traveling with someone or will take new Genovese friends-- ask for a bis di pasta, two half courses. You first want trofie al pesto and then pansoti con tocco de noxe. Trust me! The best wine is a pigato. If you have room to get some pesce alla ligure, a simple fish cooked with rosemary and taggia olives, you will be very happy. Ciao, Fred

            3 Replies
            1. re: Fred Plotkin


              Thanks, this sounds great. I will be in the area tomorrow and had one question about Manuelina. On their website apparently there is both a restaurant and a focacceria. Which one is better to go to? I had initially assumed the restaurant is best but the focacceria seems to have some of the dishes to which you referred. I am hoping to go on Wednesday, but the restaurant is closed and only the focacceria is open. Should I reschedule or just go to the focacceria?

              Thank you again.

              1. re: mpierce64

                I would be interested in the answer to this question. Mr Plotkin? Thanks.

              2. re: Fred Plotkin

                I just read the Time article and I have to agree with Fred. If you don't do anything else, be sure to try the Focaccia di Recco as Fred suggested above. It is quintessential Genovese street food that should not be missed.

              3. PS One of the best food markets in Italy is the Mercato Orientale just off the Via XX Settembre not far from Brignole Station. This is an "eastern" market because it is in the eastern part of the city. The fish and produce are phenomenal. Some of the merchants emphasize local produce and you will see peaches from Volpedo, artichokes from Albenga, cherries from Camogli and Basil from PrĂ , thought to be the best for pesto.