What & Where to Eat in Bologna

Ciao! I’m Celia, Originally from NY, I’m now living la dolce vita Milano style and on a mission to live it to the fullest! I hope to inspire you to explore Milan & Lake Como, the culture, cuisine and creativity. Let me be your travel planner for your visit to Milan & Lake Como. Get a bespoke travel itinerary. Read more

In my new FREE download, The Beginners Guide to Bologna, available on ItlayTravelandMore.com, I  share my discoveries and insider tips on what to see and do and what and where to eat in Bologna. I believe that experiencing a destination is much more enriching than just visiting it.  When I visit a destination, I search for the qualities that best express the essence of the local culture. The following is an excerpt from the eBook.

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese / Photo C. Abernethy

What to Eat in Bologna

You can’t go to Bologna without trying three things: Tortellini, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese and Mortadella.


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Tortellini are stuffed pasta served in broth, Tagliatelle is a long pasta served with Bolognese meat and tomato sauce and Mortadella, known abroad as “boloney”, is a heat-cured pork with spices served as a cold cut.

Insider tip: “Spag-bol” is not a Bolognese dish. Tagliatelle (not spaghetti) is the preferred pasta served with ragù, Bolognese meat sauce. Ask for “Tagliatelle con ragù” or “Tagliatelle alla Bolognese” and you’re good to go. 😉

Gourmet Food district, Bologna

Gourmet Food district – Via Caprarie and Via Drapperie are in the heart of the city center and are lined with gourmet food shops and grocers, some of which have been there for over 100 years! Looking at the perfectly shaped, hand-made pasta is as fascinating as seeing a precious piece of artwork. Generations of tradition and knowledge has been passed down in every single noodle.

Local tour operators offer food tours or cooking lessons with a local who will teach you how to cook like an Italian.

Book Food Tours and cooking lessons in Bologna with GetYourGuide.com 

Where to Eat in Bologna

Tratoria Nonnna Gigia

Via dell’Orso, 9/a,
40121 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 225181

Good homemade cooking just like it was made by grandma herself.  Traditional dishes like tortellini in brodo (broth), tagliatelle with ragù or specialty dishes like baked green lasagna with ragù are on the menu. Pasta dishes range from 10-12 euro. The restaurant is popular, so it’s best to book in advance.


Ristorante Alice

Via Massimo D’Azeglio, 65
40123 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 583359

A small, intimate restaurant perfect for a candlelight dinner.  You can order from the menu or get a sampling of everything at a fixed price 30-45 euro. With the fixed menu of the day, the waiter brings out dish after dish, basically until you say “stop”. Tables are limited, so it’s best to book in advance.


Fondente Cafe

Viale Pietro Pietramellara, 51, Bologna
Tel.  +39 051 246178

Part of the Eataly empire, the restaurant at the Star Hotels Excelsior is conveniently located near the station. The menu has traditional dishes as well as light meals for lunch.

More information about visiting Bologna can be found in the FREE download

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Celia Abernethy

Celia is the founder and managing editor at MilanoStyle.com. Originally from New York, she now spends her time between Milan and Lake Como sharing her discoveries and experiences living in Italy. Follow @CeliaAbernethy on Twitter