Following on from our adventures Eating Our Way Around Florence, I thought it only right that I make you drool over our foodie finds in the Cinque Terre too.
Before we left for this trip, I was a little worried about eating in this region on the Italian Riviera as it’s hugely popular for seafood and pesto, neither of which I eat (I’m not a fan of seafood at all and I’m allergic to nuts). I knew I’d be so disappointed if I couldn’t try the local delicacies and so my rumbling stomach thanks the food gods that there was plenty for me to eat and the Cinque Terre very quickly became one of my very favourite foodie destinations from all of our travels.
Il Pirata delle cinque terre
Il Pirata was without a doubt our favourite restaurant on our travels around Italy and we found ourselves heading towards this small café in Vernazza every single morning for breakfast. Their pastries were to die for. Literally. I wouldn’t have been surprised if someone had told us our plane had taken us to food heaven instead of a little village in Italy!
My morning breakfast consisted of a soft flaky ricotta and strawberry croissant, the thickest and most chocolately hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted, and a freshly squeezed blood orange juice. I could easily have just worked my way through their fresh pastries all day but the dinner menu was far too tempting to resist.
A plate full of tomato and mozzarella bruschetta went perfectly with a bottle of chilled rose wine to start, and the spinach and ricotta cannelloni…well…there are no words. This is the sort of food that you can’t help but moan over. It was food porn at its finest and I have been trying to find a similar dish that makes my belly just as happy ever since but nothing quite lives up to the scrumptiousness of this.
Aside from the food, what I loved about this place was the super friendly brothers who ran the café. They would make us laugh and chat to us about our day exploring the Cinque Terre. They always remembered I had a nut allergy and would recommend nut-free dishes including this Eton Mess which was just a-maze-ing.
After our yummy breakfasts we grabbed some packed lunches from Lunch Box before we set off on A Hiking Adventure in the Cinque Terre. About half way along the hike we stopped for a rest where we eagerly tucked into our lunch of fresh focaccia packed full of Italian cheeses, meats and salad.
I couldn’t think of a better spot for lunch with the green hillsides and the blue sea as our backdrop. Just look how happy it made us… 🙂
If you time it right this is can be a quick snack stop. If you time it wrong you’ll end up waiting in a huge long line with all the other tourists who have just come off the train for a day visit. But wait anyway because the focaccia here made me think I’d gone to food heaven again. Through no fault of my own (the food really is just that good) I found myself popping in regularly for a slice of warm and fluffy focaccia.
pizzeria fratelli basso
Take away pizza Italian style is a whole lot different to Dominos so this became our favourite place for a quick and casual meal. Our little bed and breakfast was right across the road from this place so we grabbed a take away pizza, a bottle of wine and some plastic cups, which we took down to the water front and ate on the rocks overlooking the sea.
It’s the best view I’ve ever had with a take away!
I really can’t single out one gelateria that was better than any of the others because it’s gelato, in Italy, and it’s damn good wherever you get it from.
Do you have a favourite restaurant or foodie find in Italy? Let me know in the comments below or at: