Last update: August, 2017.

  1. Best of Cinque Terre
  2. What to do and see
  3. Italian and local cuisine

Italian and local cuisine

Italy is famous throughout the world for its cuisine, and especially for its pizza. But apart from pizza there are many other delicious dishes based on vegetables, seafood and pasta! Strong regional traditions are still alive and well in Italy, in both their dialects and the kitchen. This is where you can sample the very best expression of Ligurian cooking! The secret of the special flavor of the local cuisine and the tasty sauces lies in the use of plants and herbs that grow in the Cinque Terre, such as basil, and the olive trees which give us the renowned local olive oil. The Ligurian wines also deserve particular attention: they are simply irresistible!

There is more information on restaurants and prices on the page “Restaurants in the Cinque Terre”.

Main Italian dishes

Photographs of the most famous Italian dishes are published at the bottom of the page.

Italian antipasti

Mixed seafood appetizer, Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Mixed seafood appetizer

Among the delicacies of this region of Italy, don’t miss the anchovies marinated in lemon and olive oil, the farinata di ceci (chickpea pie), testaroli and the artichoke pie – a must taste! In the list of the best Italian antipasti, the place of honor goes to the seafood tasting platter, various seafood dishes and the many cured meats (salami, culatello, cured ham, coppa, etc.).

Prices range from 6 to 15 euro.

First courses

Home made wole grain pasta with monkfish (restaurant Miky, Monterosso al Mare), Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Home made wole grain pasta with monkfish (restaurant Miky, Monterosso al Mare)

There are many Ligurian culinary delights and it’s worth trying all types of pasta such as the famous carbonara pasta, local tagliatelle, pasta al pesto and many others such as risotto. All kinds of pasta can be matched with fish, mussels, and mushrooms and so on, with different sauces and other tasty additions. Try the local soups as well, such as the Mesciua, a soup of wheat and legumes, or the vegetable soup, minestrone.

The price range is 6-20 euro.

Mains

Fresh fish of the day (restaurant Miky, Monterosso al Mare), Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Fresh fish of the day (restaurant Miky, Monterosso al Mare)

For tourists, the most exotic main courses are certainly the meat and fish dishes, especially those based on the local fish such as a mixed grill. Other dishes worth trying are stuffed mussels, stuffed anchovies and sautéed snails.

Prices are from 10-30 euro.

Desserts

Desserts: raspberry parfait and lemon sorbet (restaurant Miky, Monterosso al Mare), Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Desserts: raspberry parfait and lemon sorbet (restaurant Miky, Monterosso al Mare)

Try the classic Italian deserts: tiramisu, panna cotta, crema al mascarpone and crème caramel. Among the typical desserts of the Cinque Terre we recommend the cake made with chestnut flour, castagnaccio, and aniseed cookies (biscotti all’anice).

The price range is 4-8 euro.

Servings are large, so if you if you are a small eater it’s best to order an antipasto (appetizer) to share and a first course or a main each. It is not customary to leave a tip in Liguria, but it’s up to you.

The cuisine of the Cinque Terre

In addition to Italian cuisine in general, we suggest you try the dishes which are typical of the Cinque Terre. This area is famous for its pesto, olive oil and the local homemade liquors, among which limoncello rightly holds first place. This lemon liqueur produced in Manarola in particular is much appreciated. Furthermore, when you go to Corniglia, try the local focaccia and farinata. Absolutely the best!

More information on the best known and most popular restaurants can be found on the page “Restaurants in the Cinque Terre”.

More pictures of the dishes

Octopus and Potatoes Salad Ligurian Style, Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Octopus and Potatoes Salad Ligurian Style
Squid Stuffed with Stewed Sea Bass, Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Squid Stuffed with Stewed Sea Bass
Catch of the day fillet Ligurian Style, Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Catch of the day fillet Ligurian Style
Flambe’ Local Prawns Portofino Style, Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Flambe’ Local Prawns Portofino Style
Pizza with mushrooms and prosciutto cotto (ham), Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Pizza with mushrooms and prosciutto cotto (ham)
Pizza with spicy salami, Local food, Cinque Terre, Italy
Pizza with spicy salami

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