Restaurant Dining in Vernazza:
Vernazza has a nice square by the harbour that is filled with a range of restaurants, trattorias and cafés. Along the main street, via Roma, there are more eateries.
If you’re staying in this town during your Cinque Terre holidays, there are enough restaurants and trattorias here to keep you nicely fed. We certainly found it convenient to have all our evening meals here as hopping on trains to get to the next town for dinner and back is too much of a bother for a Cinque Terre type holiday.
Where We Ate
Around the main square, we tried Trattoria del Capitano, Trattoria Gianni and Bar Baia Saracena near the breakwater. On the main drag, via Roma, we had a meal at Trattoria da Sandro and our final dinner was above town at the Ristorante Al Castello.
Seafood is a specialty of Cinque Terre which is a bonus for people like us who do not eat meat. Fish dishes that include sword fish, bream, bass and anchovies are common as are octopus, cuttlefish, calamari and crustaceans. Meat eaters need not worry, there’s plenty of meat dishes as well.
The restaurants here mostly specialize in regional Ligurian dishes (cucina tipica Vernazza) and cooking styles are quite simple, using recipes that probably haven’t changed over the century. Locally grown herbs like oregano, thyme, basil and majoram and local olive oil add to the flavours of the food. You’ll find the restaurants all offer pretty much the same dishes and it’s a case of who does the best version of Trofie al Pesto or Tegame alla Vernazza.
Restaurant prices here we thought were a little more expensive than those in Rome, considering the standard of cooking and service. In these small and extremely popular coastal towns that are shut during the winter season, I guess businesses need to make as much as possible to cover their off season.
But for the price you pay, the food is tasty and you’re enjoying al fresco dining on the harbour front in a fabulous part of the Italian Riviera.
If you’re renting an apartment and prefer to dine in on some evenings, there are a couple of grocery shops on via Roma that stock a good range of foods including cheeses, hams, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc. There’s also a fishmonger, a butcher, bread shop etc, where you can stock up on supplies.