By M. Cowan
On Skype I talked with our long time Bologna cooking tour colleagues, who've lived in Bologna for 40 years and grew up nearby. How to find good places to eat in Bologna where locals go?
The question was more complicated than that in Bologna, they said. Better to ask, "How to find good places to eat top quality, real Bologna style food where locals go in Bologna?"
Our Bologna cooking school tour colleagues have four criteria for a great restaurant:
- top quality food,
- a warm welcome,
- very clean.
- good value for the money
Bologna is famous for its university so many places provide cheap, but poor quality food for students. Avoid restaurants filled with students in the city centre and cheap restaurants in general where the broth may taste like dirty dish water (to local palates).
Business people flock to Bologna, especially for the many conventions held there. Many restaurants cater to the business crowd coming from elsewhere in Italy so the food tends to be expensive and not the top quality local residents expect for those prices. Many traditional style restaurants have lost their high quality but visitors don't know the difference and feel happy with the food.
Look at who's in the restaurant. If most diners look like well off business people or tourists, choose another restaurant where you get more for 15 Euros ($20 Cdn/US) than four tortellini on a plate.
So what's a food lover in search of high quality local cuisine to do in Bologna?
The best eateries are outside the city centre and in nearby towns. (one reason our Emilia-Romagna tours focus on towns outside Bologna) In Bologna the only place our tour colleagues eat at regularly is a down home style pizzeria/restaurant, Da Ciro on a side street in the historic centre at Via de Gessi 5/C. Phone 051-226-917.
Outside the centre can mean only a ten minute walk from the main train station over a bridge to a residential neighbourhood, in the opposite direction from the historic centre. Our colleagues like Nonna Aurora, a rustic restaurant with good, genuine Bolognese, home style cooking at Via Aristotile Fioraventi 45/b. Phone: 051-357-919.
On the south east edge of Bologna, they like Acqua Pazza, well known for its fine fish and seafood at Via Augusto Murri 168. Phone: 051-443-422.
If you'd like a more elegant, high end experience in the city centre, they like Da Cesari, near Piazza Maggiore in the historic centre at Via de Carbonesi 8. A multi-course dinner with wine comes to about 70 Euros ($95 Cdn/US)/ person. Phone: 051-237-710 or web site at da-cesari.it
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Margaret Cowan takes guided tours to Italy twice a year - to find out about the next tour visit her website - http://www.italycookingschools.com
To download Margaret's FREE e-book "Memories of Florence, Italy" go here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/210734
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