Ultimate Bologna Food Guide – What and Where to Eat in Bologna

How does one write a Bologna food blog about the food capital of Italy? This Bologna food guide has been a work in progress for quite some time. We cover Emilia Romagna and Bologna in a lot more detail in our Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna. I had a hard time, though, trying to narrow down our recommendations on where to eat in Bologna and what to eat in Bologna into a digestible post (pun intended).

eat in Emilia Romagna tigelle

Bologna Food Guide

*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.

In this food guide to Bologna, we cover our recommendations on what and where to eat in Bologna Italy. We run through the must eat Bologna foods, including some of the best Bolognese specialties. We also offer advice on our favorite Bologna restaurants, cafes, bars, and food markets in Bologna.

Our first, albeit brief, trip to Bologna was in 2009. Since that time, I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve returned to eat some of the best food in Bologna (at least a half dozen times!). As I write this I am looking at flights to Bologna! I’m simply addicted to Bologna and Emilia Romagna. 

If you are looking for something particular from this Bologna blog, use the handy table of contents above to jump right to it.


Looking for more Bologna food tips? Check out our Emilia Romagna Food Travel Guide for more tips on what to eat and where to eat in Emilia Romagna. Or, check out our guide on the Best Things To Do in Bologna and our Recommended Best Day Trips From Bologna.


This is a mega Bologna food blog. It should be no surprise, as I wrote a gastronomy guide to the region. I really tried to claw it back. If you are truly curious about the Bologna cuisine, and Emilia Romagna, and all of the cheeses, meats, pasta, and more that make Emilia Romagna the best food destination in Italy – check out the book! This is an ultimate Bologna food guide, but I have so much more to say.

What is Bologna Italy Known For

Things to do in Bologna Basilica Although recently Bologna gained some more notoriety, it’s often not on the top list of traveler’s cities to visit in Italy. Many tourists plan their trips to Italy with a focus on Rome, Florence, or Venice. Perhaps travelers venture out of Florence for Tuscan wine tours in search of Chianti. In 2018, though, Lonely Planet listed Emilia Romagna as one of the top places to visit in Europe. I’ve been saying that for years! 

So, what is Bologna known for? We will get to the food in a moment. In addition to its food history, Bologna is also known for its culture and tradition. Characteristic porticos cover the sidewalks and walkways of much of the city. Bologna is home to over 25 miles of covered walkways, and the longest single arcade in the world, which stretches approximately two miles. There are numerous medieval towers that continue to stand throughout the city, some of which appear to defy gravity. Two of the most famous towers are the Asinelli and Garisenda, the latter of which was mentioned in Dante’s “Inferno.”

In the center of the city is the Piazza Maggiore. It is connected to the Piazza Nettuno (which indeed offers a statute of Neptune), and Palazzo Re Enzo. In the center of these three squares is the Bologna tourism office for easy reference. Throughout the year this area fills with people walking around the pedestrian-friendly city center. 

On one end of the Piazza Maggiore is the Basilica of San Petronino, an architecturally unique church with a facade completed in two different time periods and in two different architectural styles, making it look almost unfinished. At dusk, it’s the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot for travelers. Just off the Piazza Maggiore lie numerous restaurants, cafes, specialty food shops, and food markets. It’s easy to spend a full day wandering through the narrow streets that surround the main square. (Check out this list of Bologna’s Top Attractions).

The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna: How to taste the history and tradition of Italy

But, yes, Bologna is all about the food. After all, it’s known as “La Grassa,” or the Fat One, and is one of the centers of the Emilia Romagna food scene. Pellegrino Artusi, the father of the national cuisine of Italy supposedly said: “When you hear speak of Bologna cuisine make a bow, for it deserves it.” We agree. 


Grab a copy of Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi, the father of Italian national cuisine. It’s a truly unique and traditional cookbook. We have a copy at home!


What is Bologna Famous For? Food!

Emilia Romagna is a large region that reaches from Rimini on the east coast almost to Milan towards the west. It encompasses Bologna (home of lasagne), Modena (home of traditional balsamic vinegar), Parma (known for its prosciutto ham), and Reggio-Emilia (which gives its name to Parmigiano Reggiano). There’s also a little town to the west called Piacenza, which is home to pancetta. Then there’s white truffles, pasta, and gelato too! When it comes to what to eat in Bologna, the options are endless. There are classic Bolognese dishes as well as all the most popular foods from the Emilia Romagna region.

I’ve written individual posts on most of these classics, the real Bolognese and Emilia Romagna foods. I’ve included links to the individual posts to help learn more about some of these Bolognese dishes. 

Bologna Italy Foods You Must Eat

Bologna is the largest city and the capital of Emilia Romagna. That means it’s the capital of one of Italy’s most well-known food regions. And the best of Bologna begins and ends with the individual dishes and food products that make this great Italian food region so amazing for food travelers! 

Bologna Pastas – As Fresh As They Come!

Emilia Romagna pasta Not only is Bologna home to some amazing restaurants, but it’s super easy to find freshly prepared pasta at restaurants and shops around the city. Some of the most well-known Italian pasta varieties in Bologna include Tagliatelle Ragu, Tortellini in Brodo, and lesser-known pasta like Gramigna with sausage.


Tagliatelle is a pasta that can often be confused with many other Italian pasta shapes, including fettuccine and pappardelle, as they are each different variations of similar pasta. Tagliatelle is made by rolling out the pasta until it is so thin you can almost see through it. Then, the pasta is cut with a knife to make it the perfect thickness. If you accidentally make it too wide, it turns out to be pappardelle. Too thin, and it is tagliolini. Regardless of its width, in this case, it is best served in Emilia Romagna with meat ragù, a typical Bolognese sauce. Just don’t call it spaghetti bolognese, a dish that does not exist in Emilia Romagna.


Emilia Romagna pasta Another pasta, which is less well-known outside of Italy, garganelli is made in a similar way to tagliatelle, by rolling the pasta very thin. Although it is possible to cut the pasta with a knife, a pasta roller is often used to cut the pasta into asymmetrical squares, with equally spaced small ridges.

Then, a pettine is used, which looks like the world’s smallest laundry board. Pettine translates to “comb,” and it looks similar to an ancient comb. The pasta is rolled around a small wooden stick, then over the little pettine to make grooves on the outside of the pasta, as a way to hold the sauce. The whole process is fairly delicate. To an untrained eye, garganelli looks similar to what is known as rigatoni in the U.S., but garganelli is a lot softer. The space in the center that is made by the wooden stick collapses beautifully when cooked. Before serving, it’s layered with sauce.


The best pasta in Emilia Romagna New travelers to Emilia Romagna might find it easy to get confused between garganelli and gramigna when perusing restaurant menus. Gramigna is a hollow, tube-like pasta, named after a particular type of grass. It is short and shaped like a curlicue. It is made by running the pasta through a contraption that looks like a sausage maker, called a bronze extruder. The most common way to eat gramigna is with a sausage-based ragù, gramigna alla salsiccia. It is also possible to find gramigna in different colors, including a green spinach version.


Tortellini in Brodo is my favorite pasta in Bologna – tiny meat-filled tortellini in a chicken-based broth. It’s most popular in the winter months. (Get a full list of my favorite Emilia Romagna pasta dishes here).

Emilia Romagna pasta

Most notable in Bologna is Lasagna Bolognese! Yes, Bologna is the home to lasagna, but it’s a lot different than the lasagna many of us grew up with. The lasagna in Bologna is all about the fresh noodles, layered with traditional Bolognese ragu. It’s normally made with spinach noodles, Lasagna Verde al Forno, or green lasagne in the oven. 

Meat in Bologna – It’s Not Baloney!

Mortadella Bologna When asking what food is Bologna Italy known for, there is, of course, one food that always comes up: bologna, or baloney in the US, or what is known as mortadella in Bologna. Many people are confused about what to call mortadella, more than just the mortadella versus baloney conversation. Some people refer to this product as mortadella ham or mortadella sausage. But, in Italy, it’s just called mortadella. Mortadella has a mild pork flavor. It’s not as strong as bacon, but more pork-flavored than a pork chop or pork loin. It also has a thicker mouthfeel than prosciutto.

Other meats to eat in Bologna include Prosciutto di Parma (or di Modena), Coppa from Piacenza, and Culatello di Zibello from outside of Parma. There’s no shortage of places to enjoy plates of cured meats in Bologna, but in the end, definitely, don’t miss Mortadella Bologna IGP – It’s really the answer to the question what is Bologna Italy famous for! 

Learn more about Bologna cuisine and Mortadella:

Good Bolognese Dishes Start and End With Cheese!

The best places in Bologna to eat all serve amazing cheese. Whether that includes a cured meat and cheese platter, or a dish of fresh pasta stuffed with local cheese. There’s no way around it.

Emilia Romagna is considered mecca by many cheese lovers. If you love cheese, and parmesan, in particular, this is the place for you. There are about half a dozen DOP and IGP cheeses, and even more varieties that aren’t certified but are equally delicious. (Learn more about what it means to be certified as a DOP or IGP product in Italy.).

Emilia Romagna Cheese Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano, the King of Cheese, is a DOP product and nothing like the generic parmesan found in supermarkets in the United States. Because of its DOP classification, cheese makers in Italy must follow specific rules to certify the cheese as Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, rather than just regular old parmesan. The official Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium establishes these guidelines, and ensures that certified cheesemakers follow them to a “T.” 

If Parmigiano Reggiano is the King of Cheese, perhaps Grana Padano could be considered the Queen of Cheese. Often confused with Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano has its own characteristics that make it unique.


Learn more about it means to be a DOP or IGP Certified Product in Italy and learn more about How They Make Parmigiano Reggiano in Italy


One of the more unique cheeses to eat in Bologna is Formaggio di Fossa. The history of cave cheese dates back to the Middle Ages when people of the region began hiding food in large holes in the ground in order to protect their food supply from invaders. The word fossa translates to pit, although cave cheese seems to be a more popular interpretation. The cheese, normally pecorino, spends several months aging inside a pit in the ground before it is ready. (Learn more about Cave Cheese and Formaggio di Fossa here.). 

The “Meat Breads” – A Must Eat in Bologna

Where to eat in Modena gnocco fritto

Almost every restaurant, trattoria, or osteria offers a starter platter of cured meats, often served with a regional bread. It’s almost as though there is an entire category of Italian bread that can be called “meat breads.” The regional meat breads are amazing and change across the region.

One of the most popular ways to eat cured meat is with gnocco fritto, a deep fried puff of bread popular in and around Modena. The bread is sliced open in order to pop a slice of mortadella inside. The best gnocco fritto is served warm, so the bread melts the meat just a bit. In and around Bologna, the deep fried bread is called crescentina.

Another bread that is found on many menus in and around Modena is tigelle, or crescentine in Bologna, a dense round bread almost like the cousin of an English muffin. It is made by rolling the dough into a round ball and then pressing it on a heavy cast iron, or aluminum style pan called a tigelliera. The top is pulled down and the dough is pressed to form tigelle.

When a basket of tigelle arrives at a table, they are always warm. Tigelle can be filled with anything, and can even be found serving the role of a sandwich bread for lunch. But the typical way to eat tigelle is with a plate of cured meats, and perhaps with a selection of cheeses and pickled vegetables.

What is Bologna Known For? Truffles!

white truffles Italy Perhaps no other food product is so ugly to the eye, yet so pleasant to the nose—while also being so hard on the wallet—as the world-famous truffle, or tartufo in Italian. And Emilia Romagna is one of the best places in the world to eat, and experience, truffles.

There are only a handful of places in the world that are known for truffles. Although truffles have been found in Europe, Asia, North America, and even North Africa, there are only a few different types of truffles that are commercially relevant. In Europe, there are black truffles from Southwest France. There are white truffles from nearby Alba, in the Piedmont area of Italy, outside of Turin, and black truffles from Umbria. Then, there are the white and black truffles of Emilia Romagna, most of which come from the Bologna Hills, just outside of the city center. This is why it is so common to see truffles on the menus at so many of the best trattoria in Bologna.


Learn about eating White Truffles in Savigno, the City of Truffles and about Truffle Hunting in the Bologna Hills


The Best Places to Eat in Bologna Italy For Gelato

gelato in Italy

A day is not a day in Bologna without gelato. And the gelato in Bologna is impeccable. Gelato is everywhere in Italy. Loads of it. In bright colors. All for next to nothing. You’ll see families enjoying gelato in Italy on a Sunday afternoon, and couples strolling arm-in-arm with a cone of gelato, sharing each other’s flavors.

But once you start digging a bit deeper into the art of gelato making, you will realize that everything you think you know about gelato is wrong. There is so much more to quality gelato in Italy than you might guess. There is a trend in Emilia Romagna right now where many gelaterie are becoming specialists in artisan gelato. But, how do you tell whether gelato is of the highest quality; if it’s what might be called “artisan” gelato? Learn more about artisan gelato in Bologna and Emilia Romagna here


Best Places to Eat in Bologna – Gelato

Cremeria Santo Stefano in BolognaVia Santo Stefano, 70

Set on the outskirts of the old town center, Cremeria Santo Stefano has an almost cult-like following and is most people’s first recommendation for gelato in Bologna. Artisan gelato with typical flavors, as well as flavors of the month, including ricotta e visciole, or ricotta cheese and sour cherry. They also offer fresh fruit flavored gelatin candies, or gelatine, as well as freshly baked pastries.

Gelateria Galliera 49 in Bologna, Via Galliera, 49/b

Often found on lists of top gelato shops in Italy, and known for their Sicilian granita, Galliera is well known among Bologna locals for their list of traditional flavors, as well as specials, including ricotta with pear and chocolate, and a version with local nougat. And the owner is quite a character too. 

Gelateria Gianni in Bologna, Via Monte Grappa, 11

Centrally located, just around the corner from the Mercato delle Erbe, Gianni doesn’t serve artisan gelato, but it is reliable and always busy.


Emilia Romagna Wine Tasting in Bologna

Emilia Romagna food

When you think of Italian wines, what do you think of? Most often it is the Tuscan wines, like Chianti, Barolo, or Montepulciano. Maybe you think of Prosecco, or god forbid Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. But, do you ever think about Lambrusco? Sangiovese? What about Pignoletto or Albana? Chances are you’ve never even heard of some of these great Italian wines.

There are so many quality wines produced throughout Emilia Romagna. Many of which remain a secret outside of the region. They are primed for discovery and represent the future of Italian wine tourism. Emilia Romagna is the second-largest wine producing region in Italy, after the Veneto. Just think: it’s not Tuscany, where most people associate Italian wine.

The wines to look out for when traveling in Bologna include Sangiovese, Pignoletto, Albana, and Lambrusco, which comes from nearby Modena but is easily found at Bologna restaurants. These are wines that pair perfectly with hearty Bolognese cuisine, like pasta, cheese, and meats.  

What Are the Must Eat Bologna Restaurants?

Italian Sparkling Wine The downside of Bologna’s fame within Emilia Romagna is that Bologna is one of the more touristy cities within Emilia Romagna. It is easier to find a bad meal in Bologna than any other town in the region. It is, of course, not as touristy as Rome, Venice, or Florence. Whereas it is possible to find a good meal on the main square in many towns within Emilia Romagna, in Bologna it is necessary to dig a little deeper.

Bologna is one of the few areas in Emilia Romagna where you might not find great food. It is the largest, and most touristy, of the cities and towns. As a result, if you are not careful and don’t plan ahead, you might be disappointed. This is particularly true in the city center north of Piazza Maggiore, in the restaurants that flank Via dell’Indipendenza.

Best Restaurants in Bologna Italy

Bologna Food Guide

Some of our favorite Bologna restaurants specialize in traditional Bolognese cuisine. Our list includes restaurants in Bologna city centre as well as some that are a little farther away, but worth the visit. 

Trattoria Bertozzi

If looking for a typical Bolognese restaurant, with some of the best pasta in Bologna, away from the crowds, and the tourists, this is the place. It’s easily at the top of the Bologna top 10 restaurants that tourists don’t know about. Set outside of the city center, close to the football stadium, tiny Trattoria Bertozzi squeezes in a handful of tables. And, they are filled with reservations almost every night, despite the fact that the restaurant has no real website, no updated Facebook page, and doesn’t advertise. Have the hotel call ahead for reservations. Their handmade pasta is the real draw, along with the chef’s explosive personality.

Trattoria BertozziVia Andrea Costa, 84/2

Osteria dell’Orsa

A popular spot for university students, and a short stroll from Piazza Maggiore. Expect traditional Bologna pasta dishes served to diners at communal tables drinking carafes of house wine.

Osteria dell’Orsa, Via Mentana, 1

Osteria al 15

Just a 10-minute stroll from the Piazza Maggiore, in a quiet part of town, Osteria al 15 is a “blink and you’ll miss it” restaurant, that is barely recognizable from the outside. Inside, it’s a little classic kitsch, with walls covered in historic memorabilia. Cheap house wine. Limited menu of traditional Bologna pastas and meats. Try the ricotta cheese with saba as a starter. Or order a sample of two or three pasta dishes all served on one plate, to let you try more.

Osteria al 15, Via Mirasole, 13

Trattoria la Montanara

A great option just a handful of blocks from Piazza Maggiore Bologna. A small spot, where reservations are recommended. It’s so small that if you don’t like sitting shoulder to shoulder with other guests, it might not be the best spot. A good selection of local house wines as well as a selection of Bologna hills wines. Trattoria la Montanara offers a good mix of classic Bolognese cuisine and some more creative dishes. Try the gramigna with sausage or the green lasagna verde.

Trattoria la Montanara, Via Augusto Righi 15

Michelin Restaurants Bologna

Yes, some of the best restaurants in Bologna are Michelin Starred restaurants, or at least Michelin-recommended. Many of the restaurants in Bologna can be considered more casual (even if many of the Italian women are still dressed to the nines). Bologna restaurants are normally filled with friends or family enjoying long meals with loads of fresh pasta and cured meats. At the opposite end of the spectrum though are the fine-dining options, normally reserved for special occasions.

There is only one Michelin Star restaurant in Bologna. I Portici is centrally located in the hotel of the same name. There are other Michelin Star options outside of the city center. Another well-known upscale restaurant is Diana Restaurant Bologna, although it is not Michelin-starred.

For me, I love looking for places to eat in Bologna to eat traditional cuisine, but of course, there are higher-end options for someone looking for something a little special.

Where to go for Bolognese Pizza

Emilia Romagna is not really known for pizza, although pizza places exist. Pizza is more from the south, from Naples. I don’t generally travel to Bologna for pizza, but we always manage to squeeze a few pies in during every visit. For me, the best pizza in Bologna is actually a Napoli chain (I know gasp!) in the Mercato di Mezzo, Rossapomodoro. There are few places located off of Via dell’Indipendenza, heading into the city center from the train station that should be avoided. The quality is not great. 

One place we like is Ristorante Pizzeria Jari, a little family-run place on the other side of the train station from the city center. They offer good pizza, great pasta, and a small wine list that includes one of our favorite Bologna wines, Corte d’Aibo Pignoletto.

Bologna Bars and Cafes

Aperol Spritz Aperitivo One of the national pastimes in Italy is to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine at a cafe. Bologna is no different. There’s no shortage of Bologna cafes to enjoy a little people watching from an outdoor table. Just note that most cafes tend to charge a little more for sitting down than standing at the bar. There also might be a surcharge for sitting at an outdoor table.

One of my absolute favorite things to do in Bologna is to enjoy an evening aperitivo, or pre-dinner drink. Although a tradition that is not as extensive as it is in cities to the north, like Milan and Turin, it is possible in Bologna. Look for bars that have displays of food or sandwiches on the bar. Order a drink, and enjoy a little buffet for free. The drink price is usually a little more expensive, maybe by €1-2 Euro, but the food is always good. It’s also a great way to hold off hunger while waiting for dinner, which doesn’t generally start until 8:30 or 9.

One of our favorite little spots is Bella Vita, just off the Piazza Maggiore. Order an Aperol Spritz and try to grab one of the few tables to enjoy a lovely evening in Bologna.


Read more about the Aperol Spritz Aperitivo and the Tradition of Aperitivo.


What To Do in Bologna Italy

Bologna Travel Guide - Things to do in Bologna One of the main Bologna attractions just happens to be wandering the Bologna city center stopping at cafes, bars, markets, and restaurants. But, if you want a little more advice on Bologna day tours, here are our top ten Bologna day tours. They can all be booked through Viator. We like using Viator for day tours when traveling because you can arrange your Bologna day trip before leaving home. And, the best part, Viator allows you to book and confirm immediately. These Bologna tours include options for a Bologna food tour or a Bologna wine tour and even a Bologna cooking class. 

Bologna What To Do For Food Lovers

 TourDurationPrice FromBook It!
Bologna Food Guide Market Visit & Private Cooking Class with Italian Cesarina6 Hours in Private Class€215 Book Travel Now
Bologna Food Guide Bolognese Feast for Foodies, a food walking tour in Bologna city center3 Hours in Group Tour€91 Book Travel Now
Bologna Day Trips Italian Food & Museo Ferrari including visits to Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto, and balsamic producers8 Hours in Small Group€153 Book Travel Now
Day Trips From Bologna Cooking Class Bologna Cooking Class with a professional chef in the Bologna Countryside5 Hours€195 Book Travel Now
Bologna Day Trips Private Food Tour Private Group Food Tour with your own car, or upgrade to private driver7 Hours in Private Tour€80 Book Travel Now
Day Trips From Bologna - Small Group Bologna Food Tour Small Group Food Tour with lunch and producer visits8 Hours in Small Group€149 Book Travel Now
Bologna Day Trips by Bicycle Bologna Wine Tour Bologna Day Tour Vineyards and Fortresses by bike and train1 Day in Self-Guided Tour€100 Book Travel Now
Bologna Day Trip by Bicycle Bologna Day Tour to Marconi's Villa and Thermal Baths by bike and train10 Hours in Self-Guided Tour€140 Book Travel Now
Bologna Day Trips Discover Ferrari Discover Ferrari & Pavarotti Tour Slow Food & Fast Cars, with Lambrusco and balsamic producers1 Day in Group Transport€60 Book Travel Now

*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.

Bologna Markets to Visit

Bologna Travel Guide - Things to do in Bologna All of Bologna city center is dedicated to Bologna shopping and eating. There are a few established Bologna food markets, including traditional fresh food markets as well as ones that could be described as modern Italian food courts. There are several smaller, neighborhood food markets sprinkled throughout the city as well.

Mercato delle Erbe

The Mercato delle Erbe in Bologna is both a testament to the history of Emilia Romagna and the modern focus on saving food traditions. The Mercato delle Erbe hosts stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and wine. It is the largest covered market in Bologna’s city center, with over 60 stalls. Although smaller than the Mercato Albinelli in Modena, it is worth a visit to explore.

In 2014, the city allocated a corner of the market to host a selection of prepared food stalls called Altro. Altro offers pizza, pasta, wine, and cured meats at the different stalls, with tables set in the middle. It’s probably the closest thing to Bologna street food in the city.

Quadrilatero and Mercato di Mezzo

The Quadrilatero is the quadrilateral-shaped area of the city center lying to the east of the Piazza Maggiore. Although traditionally this space was occupied by meat, cheese, fish, and other food producers, it is now home, in part, to some luxury boutiques, including Louis Vuitton and Armani. There are a handful of Bologna food producers still located within the square.

Although this stretch of narrow alleyways is probably one of the most touristy spaces in the city and often hosts Bologna tour groups, there are two interesting Bologna market-style spaces to explore. It’s where Eataly Bologna is located (see below).

In addition, the Quadrilatero also houses the Mercato di Mezzo or middle market. Just steps away from the Piazza Maggiore, this Bologna food market has housed a market since the Middle Ages. It became the first indoor market in Bologna after the unification of Italy in the 1860s. In 2014, it was rediscovered and renovated into the current space. It is a three-story pavilion offering food stalls preparing local specialties and offering local wines. In the basement, there is an artisan beer pub.


The best market in Emilia Romagna is just down the road in Modena. The Modena food market, Mercato Albinelli, is worth a day trip from Bologna.


What is Eataly Bologna and Eataly World

Visiting Eataly World Eataly is a commercial concept where Italian food is offered online, and in specialty shops, from Manhattan to Sao Paolo to Seoul. It is the largest Italian marketplace in the world. The Eataly locations we’ve been to are essentially Italian food stores, normally with a restaurant or two inside. There is an Eataly location in the Bologna City Center and the new FICO Eataly World is just outside of the city.

Eataly Bologna

The Bologna branch of the international chain of Italian shops and restaurants. Centrally located, Eataly is a good option for a less expensive and casual lunch in Bologna. It can be a bit hard to find. Look for the bookstore just off the Piazza Maggiore and take the stairs up. It is often crowded, so be patient.

Eataly Bologna Via degli Orefici, 19. Alberto Bertini of Trattoria Da Amerigo in Savigno, a friend, manages the Eataly Bologna restaurant, focused on local dishes with vegetables straight from the farm. Open seven days a week. Eataly doesn’t close during the afternoon, so it’s a good option when most other places are closed.

FICO Eataly World

Visiting Eataly World FICO Eataly World takes the original Eataly concept and puts it on steroids. For travelers who have experienced Eataly Italy, or in the States, this version has a familiar feel. You shop. You eat. You leave. Its goal is to showcase all of Italian cuisine, from Sicily to Venice, under one roof. It’s easily accessible via car, taxi, or special FICO buses, from the Bologna city center. 


We wrote a thorough review of FICO Eataly World, including how to get there.


Truffle Hunting Tours in Bologna Hills

truffle hunting If the best food in Bologna Italy focuses heavily on truffles, it’s a great idea to learn more about truffles in Italy. One place to do this is in Savigno, the city of truffles, only a 30-minute drive from Bologna. This makes it a great day trip from Bologna. Check out Amerigo dal 1934 for truffles in every season. The white truffle dishes at Amerigo are approximately €35, but other, non-truffle dishes can be had for a lot less. The menu is only in Italian, but Alberto, or his wife, can help explain the menu. Tell them we sent you! He’s a friend. 

Or, contact Helena from Yummy Italy to help arrange a truffle hunting experience in Savigno as part of a truffle-filled day. The town of Savigno hosts a truffle festival in November. White truffles are also found in Sant’Agata Feltria in Rimini, which hosts a fall white truffle festival in October. It’s possible to arrange truffle-hunting excursions there as well. The easiest option, though, is to eat truffles at a Bologna restaurant! 

FAQs – Bologna – The Food Capital of Italy

Stay In Bologna

  • Where is Bologna? Bologna is in the center of Emilia Romagna and hosts the main rail station in Italy. It’s less than 40 minutes by high-speed train from Florence meaning it’s possible to visit Bologna, even on a day trip.
  • What is Bologna? It’s a little confusion with the city and the meat as many people think of the meat as Bologna. Really, the meat is Mortadella Bologna IGP – read more here
  • How do you say “Eat” in Italian? Mangia! It’s one of my favorite Italian words!
  • What about Modena? Check out our guide to Where to Eat in Modena including recommendations for a Modena food tour.
  • What are the Best Places to Stay in Bologna? Check out our guide to some of our favorite places to stay in Bologna.

*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.

Tourist Information Bologna

We’ve traveled to Bologna more times than I can count. During that time, we’ve been hosted by Emilia Romagna Tourism and Bologna Welcome, the Bologna tourist office. We’ve also been several times on our own over the years. It’s why we have one of the most comprehensive lists of Bologna highlights and what to see and eat in Bologna Italy.

The Bologna tourism office, Bologna Welcome, is located right in the heart of Bologna, on Piazza Maggiore, across from the Basilica. They can provide free tips and resources, Bologna tourist maps, and can tell you about events and what’s on in Bologna.

Pin It! Ultimate Bologna Food Guide


Bologna Food Guide - What to eat in Bologna

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