Eating Out in Bologna

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Trattoria Belle Arti

Trattoria Belle Arti

Hector Ezelhaar

What to eat in Bologna Let me try to organize this section chronologically starting with breakfast and ending up in one of the many bars ("osteria" they are called) in Bologna.

Breakfast Breakfast is not an important part of the staple diet of a typical Italian. For him or her, it just consists of a quick cappucino and a brioche from any of the little bars you can find everywhere. Notice that there are generally two different prices: those standing at the counter pay a lower price than the ones that sit down and let themselves being served.

Healthy snack If you want to merge with the locals doing their grocery shopping and also buy some cheap fruit/bread/cheese/meat yourself, go to the daily (excluding Sunday) covered market called Mercato delle Erbe just off Via Ugo Bassi, a little West from Piazza Maggiore. The market is held in a covered "galleria" and the entrance could almost be a shop entrance on Ugo Bassi. Look for the sign "Alimentari, Mercato delle Erbe". The market generally closes around 12:30 and starts very early. It is also open in the afternoon after 3:30pm.

Pre-lunch and lunch Fashionable Italians generally take an aperitivo just before lunch. Most coffee-shops/bars serve aperitivi in two varieties: alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Just ask for "aperitivo della casa alcolico/analcolico" to get the one you like. Aperitivi are generally "expensive" (L 6.000) but they allow you to eat as much of the little snacks they put out on the counter or bring to your table and it could be enough for your quick, light lunch! A great traditional place with a lot of old man and long wooden tables is "Osteria del Sole" (Vicolo Ranocchi 1d), one of the oldest osterie of Bologna. It encourages you to bring your own lunch, to sit down at one of its tables and to order a glass of wine to wash it all down. The osteria is just east of Piazza Maggiore and nearby there are many little markets to buy your own lunch.

Pre-dinner drinks Just like for lunch, it is not unusual for an Italian to go out and to have something to drink before dinner. Not quite surprising since dinner frequently only starts after 8pm. This predinner drink is again called an aperitivo and the usual rules as before do apply.

Dinner For dinner there are many good options in Bologna although there is quite some activity in the whole restaurant scene; one restaurant that exists today may not exist tomorrow. Below I'll give a list that is accurate as of August 2000.

After dinner Bologna is a university town which guarantees a very lively nightlife. Night life traditionally took place in osterie, but today besides those you can always find a lot of people around bars and gelaterias that stay open till late.

Gelateria Mario, end of Via D'Azeglio near Porta San Mamolo, a great gelateria that stays open late and that has great fruit flavored icecreams. A personal favorite is the substantial frappe Mario, with a lot of chocolate and nuts.

Gelateria Ugo, Via San Felice 24, gelateria that is considered by the local to have the best home-made icecream. Especially the creamy and chocolate flavors. Ugo himself or his wife stands frequently in the shop that is hung with the posters of their latest holiday destination. Yes, his fame served him so well that he takes October to March off (and frequently also part of August) to spend his well-earned money on some new, adventurous trip.

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Il Cantinone

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Il Cantinone, Via del Pratello 56A, A great place to come after dinner with a group of friends to talk and to listen to some occasional music. If you want a suggestion for an after-dinner drink, ask for a glass of fragolino, which is a sweet wine that is made of the sweet fragolino grape (since its alcohol content is too low, it can not be sold as wine and so fragolino wine is hard to find!).

type:Italian
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address:Via del Pratello 56A

Trattoria dell Belle Arti

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Trattoria Belle Arti
Trattoria Belle Arti
photo by: Hector Ezelhaar

Nice small Trattoria with shop inside.

type:Italian
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tel:051 267648
address:via Belle Arti 6/F

La Farfalla

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La Farfalla, Via Bertiera 12, a cheap, little restaurant just off Via Indipendenza that has some great food.

type:Italian
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address:Via Bertiera 12

Il Montesino

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Il Montesino, Via del Pratello 74b, A moderately prized Sardegnian restaurant that puts its customers together at tables -- a hosteria tradition that leads to friendly and unexpected socializing.

type:Italian
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address:Via del Pratello 74b

Tamburini

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Bistrot and self lunch, local specialities. Great if you´re not into a full three course meal but do want to taste some of the best things Bologna has to offer.

type:Italian
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url:www.tamburini.com
address:Via Caprarie 1

Self-service S. Lorenzo

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Self-service S. Lorenzo, Via S. Lorenzo 4, as the name suggest, this is not a fancy restaurant but a great, cheap and convenient place to taste some traditional Bolognese dishes just off Via Marconi.

type:Italian
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address:Via S. Lorenzo 4
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