Once home to Renaissance painters such as Correggio and il Parmigianino, Parma’s artistic history is matched today by its inspired culinary culture. Parma’s creative chefs use local ingredients to make masterpieces of the area’s traditional favorite foods. Check out the best 10 Restaurants to try them in.
Ai Due Platani
Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, $$$
Located just 20 minutes from central Parma in the village of Coloreto, the trattoria Ai Due Platani serves traditional dishes from the Emilia Romagna region with a French twist. Owner and head chef Matteo Ugolotti prepares freshly made pasta, and the waiters always know which wine to pair with your meal. Service at this country restaurant is informal and friendly, so you’ll feel right at home no matter how far you’ve traveled.
Since opening in 1998, Il Trovatore has earned a reputation for using only the finest local ingredients and flavors in its dishes, such as fresh local parmigiano-reggiano and prosciutto. Their prices are affordable and their quaint dining room only seats 50 people so there is a great ambience. Try the risotto alla zucca e pancetta croccante; the cheese tasting menu and desserts are also especially popular.
Conveniently located in the center of Parma near the Duomo and the Baptistery, Angiol d’Or offers elegant outdoor seating for warm nights. Their menu showcases the best of Parma’s regional cuisine and specializes in the area’s famous pork dishes, such as tortellini with spalla cotta and Parma ham. Their staff are inviting and helpful, but be sure to make a reservation as seats here fill up quickly. Angiol d’Or, Via Scutellari, 1, Parma, Italy, +39 0521 282632
La Greppia is one of the most celebrated restaurants in Parma, with 40 years of successful cooking under its belt. Chef Paolo Cola offers his guests a large menu of traditional dishes with modern twists; try his beautiful artichokes in prosciutto sauce. Their dining room is old-fashioned yet refined, and the restaurant’s wine cellar is right below you while you dine.
Behind an unassuming storefront on the corner of Borgo Retto and Str. Aurelio Saffi, Osteria del 36 is a fabulous find, with an attentive staff, an extensive menu of local specialties (a highlight is the tortellini di nocciola), and affordable pricing. The restaurant serves its courses in a cozy, inviting dining room and it is also an ideal location for families, as it offers a children’s menu.
Osteria del Gesso is a casual, family-owned restaurant serving classic food from the Parma region. This Michelin-starred spot delivers high-quality in a humble package, serving simple dishes in a small space for an intimate dining experience. For adventurous eaters who have already tried the local staples of Parmesan cheese and Parma ham, this menu also offers the chance to try the uncommon cavallo pesto,a tartar made from horse meat.
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Osteria dei Mascalzoni puts a creative spin on traditional tastes, serving a wide selection of delicious cured meats and hearty pasta and rice dishes such as risotto al radicchio e salsiccia. The small, warmly painted dining room provides a cozy spot for its guests to enjoy the menu in. The wine list also offers a fantastic selection of local wines to complement a meal.
Trattoria Corrieri is a low-key restaurant with country style décor and outdoor patio seating in the summer months. Start with an appetizer of the locally cured meats, before moving on to a first course of homemade pasta or gnocchi with walnut and gorgonzola sauce. Although the restaurant is a bit hard to find, it’s worth the effort, especially for a slice of the delicious pear-chocolate cake.
A few steps from the Piazza Duomo, Osteria dello Zingaro is a great place for rustic regional dining, serving local favorites and delicacies, including unusual plates like grilled horse and tripe alla parmigiana. For diners seeking something simpler or less meaty, it also offers mixed cheese platters and, unusually, a reasonably wide range of vegetarian-friendly dishes.
Ristorante La Forchetta serves traditional Parmesan dishes in a sleek modern dining room, even though it’s situated in the one of the oldest palazzos in the city. The menu is varied, from flavorful tortellini dishes such as tortelli d’erbetta al burro to the hearty veal with oven baked potatoes. There are only 65 seats, so be sure to make a reservation before you arrive.