Its privileged position between the sea and hills and its year-round perfect climate make Rapallo the ideal destination for a foodie tour to discover Ligurian traditions. Here, fresh fish and natural products from the hinterland come together to create flavours that are simple but tasty, like all the local cuisine. From pesto, made using fragrant Ligurian basil, to cappon magro (an elaborate seafood salad) and mixed fried fish, this is where the land and sea meet.

    There's also focaccia and items made from chickpea flour such as panissa (fried chickpea flour dough) and farinata (flatbread), which you'll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Want to set off on this gourmet adventure? Learn about 10 spots for traditional food in Rapallo.


    Osteria A Ciassetta

    Cheese focaccia right by the train station

    You can work up an appetite travelling by train, and as soon as you stop, you'll want to start sampling the flavours of Liguria at Osteria A Ciassetta. Osteria A Ciassetta solves this dilemma thanks to its central location near the station and a tasty but strictly traditional menu.

    The informal setting goes perfectly with the simplicity and flavour of the dishes and the great value for money. Choose the classic pasta with pesto with potatoes and green beans, fried meat and seafood dishes or farinata (flatbread made from chickpea flour). For a real treat, order the delicious cheese focaccia, a real must according to locals and visitors alike.

    Location: Piazza Molfino, 4, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from noon to 3.30 pm and 6 pm to 11.55 pm (closed on Monday)

    Phone: +39 0185 219 469



    The temple of farinata and panissa

    Liguria is known for its original and appetising dishes made using simple ingredients, and you can taste it for yourself at Focacciaio. One prominent ingredient is the chickpea flour used to made farinata (flatbread) and panissa (fried chickpea flour dough). Focacciaio, found on a lively pedestrian street near the promenade, is the locals’ place of choice when they want to indulge.

    The menu also features savoury tarts, cheese focaccia and pizza focaccia. If you’d like to sit at a table, it’s better to book as it’s a popular spot and seats are limited. But don’t worry if it’s fully booked: you can get your tasty snacks to take away to enjoy on a bench facing the sea, in the shadow of the castle.

    Location: Piazza del Pozzo, 30, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +39 0185 66 459


    Trattoria Ö Bansin

    Old regional cuisine in a historical trattoria

    Around the corner from Piazza del Pozzo is Via Venezia, where Trattoria Ö Bansin has always stood. For almost a century, this restaurant with a characteristic atmosphere has been where locals and visitors savour the flavours of homemade cooking, sitting at the same tables once occupied by figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound.

    At lunchtime on weekdays, Ö Bansin is a highly sought-after destination thanks to its all-inclusive menu, perfect for trying the classic dishes at a special price. In the evening, it’s great for a fish-based dinner, with options such as stoccafisso accomodato (Ligurian stockfish stew). Another must-try dish is the minestrone alla ligure, the local version of minestrone soup, garnished with pesto and prepared in the traditional way.

    Location: Via Venezia, 105, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday, Sunday from noon to 2 pm and 7 pm to 9.30 pm, Friday from noon to 2 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from noon to 1.45 pm and 7 pm to 10.30 pm, Monday from noon to 2 pm

    Phone: +39 0185 231 119


    La Vedetta

    Lasagne with pesto in a fairy-tale garden

    When you go on the hunt for the best of a local area, it’s nice to get off the beaten path to discover unusual variations on typical dishes like you'll find at La Vedetta. This restaurant in the hills is around 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Rapallo. The star dish here is the lasagne al pesto, a green version of the classic lasagne, where tomato sauce is swapped for pesto.

    The menu also includes various homemade stuffed pasta options, all bringing the authenticity of freshly prepared products and dishes to the table. The setting for lunches and dinners is the beautiful garden the restaurant is famed for, with its relaxed atmosphere and tables surrounded by nature.

    Location: Via Campi di Tiro, 5, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Friday–Sunday from 12.15 pm to 2 pm and 7.15 pm to 9.45 pm, Wednesday–Thursday 7.15 pm to 9.45 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +39 0185 260 081


    Da Mario

    From the fishermen's nets to the table of a great restaurant

    There are two aromas that pour out into the typical narrow Ligurian alleyways at lunchtime and dinnertime, especially around Da Mario. One is pesto, and the other comes from the many seafood dishes made using the fresh catch from that morning. If you’re in the centre of Rapallo and follow the smell in the air, it will take you to Trattoria Da Mario.

    The restaurant is famous in the region for its fish delicacies, one of which is the ‘Spaghetti alla Mario’, with shellfish. There are also tasty mixed grills and fried fish, Ligurian-style sole and other specialities. It’s perfect for a dinner with friends and also offers meat dishes such as the must-try ravioli al tocco, stuffed with a special meat sauce.

    Location: Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 23, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 12.30 pm to 2 pm and 7.30 pm to 10 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +39 0185 51 736


    La sosta

    The place to try the unique cappon magro

    Another unmissable spot if you’re on the hunt for new dishes is Trattoria La Sosta, located in a less central area heading inland. The house speciality is the delicious cappon magro, an elaborate seafood and vegetable salad that’s somewhere between a starter and a main course dish and shows off the ingenuous characteristics of Ligurian cuisine.

    The chef’s offering follows the seasons and always amazes with simple yet tasty dishes, such as homemade pumpkin ravioli, stuffed squid and artichoke lasagne. You’ll savour the delicacies on the menu in a cosy, intimate setting that’s perfect for a dinner for two.

    Location: Corso Goffredo Mameli, 359, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from noon to 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 10 pm, Monday from noon to 2.30 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +39 0185 232 019


    La Trattoria

    Where past meets the future

    One popular traditional dish in Ligura and a staple of La Trattoria is cima, a second-course dish consisting of a veal meat ‘pocket’ stuffed with offal, eggs, cheese, herbs, various vegetables and greens. Once stuffed, the pocket is sewn shut by hand and cooked in broth. To find the best cima, head towards Rapallo Castle and then look around. It will be easy to make out La Trattoria, a traditional restaurant that makes creative variations to dishes from the past.

    From soups to stoccafisso mantecato (whipped stockfish) to the beloved pansoti (typical Ligurian ravioli) in walnut sauce, the restaurant’s young management know how to combine culinary culture and innovative passion, for an unparalleled taste experience.

    Location: Via Montebello, 11, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 7 pm to 10.30 pm, Sunday from 7 pm to 10 pm (closed on Monday)

    Phone: +39 389 28 54 488


    Osteria Vecchio Mulino

    Local produce in the evocative setting of a real mill

    Osteria Vecchio Mulino is known for its scenic views and delicious offerings. Rapallo’s hinterland is the perfect place for an outing to the countryside where you’ll be immersed in greenery without losing sight of the blue sea. The highlight of Osteria Vecchio Mulino, around 10 minutes from the centre of Rapallo by car, is its menu, which recreates Ligurian dishes using local products.

    The setting of an old mill in the countryside is also a nod to the past. This restaurant is a must-visit place for diving into another time. Order the generously sized pasta dishes such as chestnut tagliatelle and stuffed pasta such as sea bass ravioli, or savoury tarts made with seasonal vegetables from the garden.

    Location: Via di Bana, 144, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Monday, Wednesday–Friday from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm (closed on Tuesday)

    Phone: +39 0185 773 883


    Pasticceria Canepa

    Gobeletti according to an old-time recipe

    At the end of the culinary tour through Ligurian cuisine, you have to treat yourself to a coffee and something sweet, and there's no better place than Pasticceria Canepa. This café is one of the oldest in Rapallo, with the ambience and charm of days gone by.

    You can get great coffees and cappuccinos here, but the highlight is the confectionery. In particular, your visit wouldn’t be complete without having tried the famous gobeletti, little shortcrust pastries filled with apple jam. It’s the perfect break before heading off on a walk along the promenade.

    Location: Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 41, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 6 am to 1 pm, Thursday–Sunday from 6 am to 1 pm and 3.30 pm to 7.30 pm

    Phone: +39 0185 50 508


    Ä Roetta Pastificio Artigianale e Gastronomia

    Take the flavours of Liguria home with you

    A bit outside the town centre, the artisan pasta factory Ä Roetta is the ideal place to make one last culinary shopping trip if you’re already missing the flavours of Ligurian cuisine. Their speciality is traditional stuffed pasta, such as the classic pansoti (typical Ligurian ravioli) and rustic ravioli stuffed with vegetables or meat.

    Here, you can also get fresh sauces and other condiments, from pesto to tocco, the traditional Ligurian meat and tomato sauce, to recreate the full trattoria experience at home. If you’re feeling more indulgent, take advantage of the stop for one last snack of irresistible Ligurian focaccia to bid farewell to the Italian Riviera the right way.

    Location: Piazzale Genova, 1, 16035 Rapallo, Italy

    Open: Monday from 8 am to 1 pm, Wednesday–Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm (closed on Tuesday)

    Phone: +39 0185 264 100


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