Eat At The Top Restaurants in Verona

Indulge in a delicious al fresco Italian meal at these best restaurants in Verona
Indulge in a delicious al fresco Italian meal at these best restaurants in Verona | © Ian G Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Julia Hammond

Between Verona’s romantic cornerstones – Juliet’s balcony, Romeo’s house, the opera festival at the Roman amphitheatre – is some of Italy’s finest, richest cuisine, which takes advantage of the fertile landscape of the surrounding Veneto region.

Most visitors to Verona have one thing on their mind: Shakespeare’s tale of ill-fated love, set in the naturally romantic city of Renaissance streets that wrap around the astonishingly well-preserved, first-century Roman amphitheatre. But the romance doesn’t stop at Juliet’s balcony. Be wooed by the northern Italian city’s seductive food scene, which takes the abundant produce from the Veneto region’s hinterland and crafts it into inventive and classic plates, for all budgets and in every intimate nook around the city. Here are the top restaurants in Verona, Italy.

Osteria al Duca

Exposed beams and simple decor create a rustic ambience in this popular osteria (budget-friendly local restaurant). It occupies the house where the fictional Romeo is said to have lived, though you’ll be seated in what would have been the Montague family stables. The food is hearty local fare, so expect to see bigoli, fat strings of pasta piled with donkey ragù, and pastissada, a rich horse meat stew served with polenta, on the menu.

Ristorante Il Desco

Team Capulet should call in at Il Desco, a contemporary restaurant housed in a centuries-old palazzo a couple of doors down from Juliet’s house. The food is exceptional: artfully plated salmon mi-cuit with capers and coffee powder, roasted scallops with parsley beurre blanc, and peach sorbet, apricot foam and hop bitter pear. Each deceptively simple dish uses no more than three ingredients, requiring a talented chef like Matteo Rizzo to pull off perfection. Michelin gave it a star in 1985 when his father was head of the kitchen and you’ll soon see why they’ve never taken it away.

Locanda 4 Cuochi

Four is the magic number at trendy Locanda 4 Cuochi, located close to the amphitheatre. Four partners equally passionate about cooking and four pencils on the table invite you to draw or write a message about your dining experience. The food’s inventive, tasty and fun, cooked in front of you in an open kitchen. The menu changes every two months, so there’s always something new.

Il Cenacolo

Housed inside a historic palace in the old town, Il Cenacolo has been a fixture on the Verona dining scene since 1980. It specialises in authentic regional cuisine good enough for Pavarotti – the late opera singer has eaten here, as has fellow tenor Jose Carreras. Try signature dishes like tortellini di Valeggio (stuffed egg pasta) and risotto cooked in Amarone wine, accompanied by a glass of vino from the well-stocked cellar.

Osteria La Fontanina

Osteria La Fontanina holds a Michelin star and prides itself on cooking traditional food to perfection – think suckling pig and slow-roasted guinea fowl. Steps from the river and from Santo Stefano church, there’s been an inn here for over 200 years. The current owners, the Tapparini family, have been at the helm since 1984. Sumptuous drapes, antique paintings and gilt-framed paintings give an opulent vibe.

Osteria al Carro Armato

This osteria’s name – meaning “the tank” – is as solid as its reputation. Airs and graces have no place here. Instead, this traditional restaurant prides itself on old-school hospitality and conviviality. Within 700-year-old walls, the food is cooked to traditional recipes that allow the regional produce to shine. Soups, stews and plates piled high with pasta are as filling as they are flavoursome.

Casa Perbellini

This two Michelin-starred gem is tucked away in the old town’s Piazza San Zeno. Intimate and exclusive, the open kitchen will make you feel as if chef Giancarlo Perbellini invited you home so he could cook you dinner. But high-end ingredients combine with exceptional talent to elevate this tasting menu to the extraordinary. Dishes such as sea bass tartare and glazed quail ensure that this is the place to come for a special occasion splurge.

Flora, Stradone Scipione Maffei

Flora offers a refreshing change from other Veronese restaurants. Health and wellbeing drive this restaurant to offer fresh, ethical ingredients cooked well. The menu is entirely gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan, but doesn’t sacrifice taste on the altar of ethics. The food is served buffet-style, so you can be as adventurous as you wish. Whatever you choose, be that hummus, tofu gratin or seasonal vegetables, you pay for it by weight.

Tre Marchetti

Tre Marchetti serves up the sort of food that nonna used to make: traditional, hearty and delicious. Home-cooked specialities like tagliolini in squid sauce, braised veal cheeks and rich tiramisu are an indulgence to your taste buds and a feast for the eyes. You’ll find this delightful trattoria a stone’s throw from Verona’s famous arena.

Find the perfect place for your trip to Verona by booking one of the city’s best hotels now through Culture Trip. Explore more whilst you’re there and take a look at the top things to see and do in the city of Shakespeare’s greatest romance. After a delicious dinner, move on to one of Verona’s best bars. Extend your Italian adventure by visiting not-so-far-away Venice. Book a beautiful boutique hotel and explore the best of what the floating city has to offer.

This article is by Julia Hammond, with contribution from Mary Jane Dempsey.

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