Verona Food & Wine Tour
Food and wine are the best way to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of a place. With our food and wine tour you will try the best culinary tradition of Verona discovering all its secrets and legends. You can do it by yourself, following our suggestions and addresses, or you can just relax and have one of our tourist guide to take you on a food tour. You will visit bars, taverns, typical delicatessen shops, hidden in small squares and alleys. Your food guide will tell you all about the traditional products of Verona: how they originated, how they are prepared, what makes them so special.
Let's start from appetizers. People of Verona often have them as aperitif, at the counter with a good glass of wine. The typical Veronese and Veneto appetizer is the cicchetto, a small portion of cheese, cold cuts, fish and various preparations put on slices of bread or grilled polenta. The most typical ones include: cotechino with sauerkraut, dry smoked horse (sfilacci di cavallo), cod, fried or creamed, celeriac salad, olive pate, lard, sliced or crushed with herbs, mushrooms. Or horse meatballs, nervetti with beans, croquettes. But every restaurant always has many innovative and unusual ones to offer too. The perfect wine to accompany the cicchetti is a dry and simple white wine like a Soave DOC, a Custoza or a sparkling wine like Monti Lessini Durello. With a little tastier appetizers you can also drink Bardolino or a light Valpolicella Classico.
Places where you can try some good cicchetti:
- Ai Piloti: piazza San Zeno, 22.
- Al Bacarin: via Dietro Listone, 5.
- Osteria Montebaldo: via Rosa, 12.
- Locanda Cappello: via Cappello, 16.
- Osteria del Bugiardo: corso Porta Borsari, 17/a.
- Osteria Sottoriva: via Sottoriva, 9.
Or you can buy some fresh made fried horse meat ball or sfilacci in the best horse butcher in town, where all people from Verona go: Macelleria Avesani, piazzetta Monte, 4.
After the appetizers and aperitif, the traditional Italian lunch and dinner requires first courses based on carbohydrates. Pasta traditionally belongs to the culinary tradition of southern Italy. In the north are more typical risotto, gnocchi, polenta and tortellini, although each region and city has its own variations.
Risotto in Verona is made with the Vialone Nano variety, typical of the lower Veronese plain. It is a rice rich in starch, which gives the risottos a soft creamy texture. Typical are the ones with Amarone, with red radicchio lettuce, or tastasal (fresh sausage paste with various spices). There aren't places where you can try a quick risotto but a few traditional restaurants:
- Bottega del Vino: via Scudo di Francia, 3.
- Il Torcolo: via Carlo Cattaneo, 11.
GnocchiGnocchi is also a very traditional dish in Verona. They are dumplings made of a soft paste of potatoes and flour shaped with a complicated technique using fingers and a fork. They are served with many different type of dressings such as gorgonzola cheese, meat sauce, tomato, butter ans sage.
Tortellini (meat stuffed pasta) is also quite traditional Veronese dish even if every region in Italy has its own version. The one of Verona are made in Valeggio, south of lake Garda and are famous for having the pasta that envelops the filling as thin as silk. They are traditionally served in broth or with butter and cheese.
- If you don't feel like going to Valeggio (which is just 30 minutes drive from Verona), you can try delicious fast tortellini at Bottega della Gina: via Fama, 4/c.
- Or, if the place where you are staying in Verona has a kitchen buy some to take home and cook them yourself in the best tortellini maker in town. Casa del Raviolo, via Carducci, 27/b.
Even if imported from the American continent after 1492, for
centuries corn was the most basic food in northern Italy. Polenta
is corn flour, mixed with water and cooked. Each region developed
soon its typical recipes and traditions. Verona made no exception.
Polenta from Verona can be soft and creamy, served hot with
cheese, salami, cod or cuttlefish. Or harder, sliced, grilled and
topped with creamy cheese, gorgonzola, lard.
It is very versatile and can be served as main, first course or appetizer.
Bigoli and Tagliatelle
If you really can't do without pasta, Verona has few options too.
Bigoli are thick spaghetti of wheat flour and eggs, served with different types of dressings: duck or donkey meat sauce, sardines and raisins, mushrooms and cheese.
Tagliatelle e tagliolini are thin noodles. Typically served in broth with chicken livers or white meat sauce.
- You can try bigoli on the go here: Bigoi, largo Guido Gonella, 1.
- Or if you prefer a proper restaurant: Osteria al Duca (on the ground floor of Romeo's house: via Arche Scaligere, 2.
If first course (primi) in Italy are mainly pasta
dishes, main (secondi) are generally meat or fish, served
with salads or vegetables.
Verona most representative main course is Pastissada de
Caval: horse stew braised in a gravy of wine and spices. It
is generally served with creamy polenta.
Horse meat is lean and not gamy at all. In Italy it is allowed to eat horse as long as they are specifically bred for human consumption. Nevertheless, if you don't feel like eating horse you can try beef cheeks stewed in Amarone wine, that constitute a good alternative.
- Osteria al Duca : via Arche Scaligere, 2.
- Osteria Giulietta e Romeo: corso Santa Anastasia, 27.
Another very typical main dish of Verona is Bollito misto
con Pearà. It is made of different types of meat, including
fine cuts, offal, sausages, etc, boiled in a savory broth, and
served on a big platter together with mustard, parsley paste,
mostarda (sweet and sour candy fruit) and the most
traditional sauce of Verona: Pearà. Its
origin go back to the early middle age, it is a creamy sauce made
of bread crumbs, stock soup, bone marrow, cheese and a lot of
It is typically a winter dish, to pair with a bold, rich wine like Amarone.
- Locanda Castelvecchio: Corso Castelvecchio, 21.
- Trattoria Arco dei Gavi: Corso Cavour, 43.
- Al Torcolo: via Cattaneo, 11/b.
Charcuterie and cheese
A good alternative as main dish is a platter of mixed
cheeses and charcuterie. Verona province has good
selection of both. Monte Veronese is
the most important cheese made with the milk of free range cows
from the mountains north of the city. It can be fresh, medium aged
or matured for up to 36-40 months that makes it very tasty and
spicy. There are also Cimbro, Grana Padano, Verde
Veja and various types of cheeses aged in grape skins,
wine, chestnut leaves, hay, etc that gives very complex tastes.
Traditional hams and salamis are Soppressa, a fatty salami with garlic, typical of Veneto region, prosciutto crudo (raw ham) from Soave and Montagnana, lard.
There are many delicatessen shops in Verona where you can order a platter of mixed charcuterie and cheese to pair with pickles (sottaceti) and bread, either for a tasty snack or as a main meal.
- Gastroteca: via Cappello, 51.
- Gastronomia Stella: via Stella, 11.
- Salumeria Gironda: via Ponte Pietra, 24.
- Scapin: via Diaz, 20.
Verona is the city of one of the most important Italian Christmas cake: Pandoro. It is a seasonal specialty, a soft sponge sweet bread that, together with its ancestor, Nadalin, you will find only around Christmas.
Galani and fritole are fried sweets you will find only around carnival.
But no worries, all year round there will be plenty of alternatives.
You will find Zaletti (corn flower pancakes with raisin and pine seeds) and risini (small rice puddings) in every cafeteria, typically consumed for breakfast.
Torta russa, in spite of its name (Russian cake), is Veronese traditional cake made with mixed crushed nuts.
Baci di Giulietta (Juliet's kisses) are chocolate soft cookies made in honor of the famous Veronese character.
Sbrisolona, sort of dry cookie with almonds typically served with grappa spirit distilled from grape mark.
Perfect pairing with dessert are Veronese traditional sweet wines: Recioto di Soave and Recioto di Valpolicella.
You will find all typical Veronese desserts and many others at:
- Flego: via Stella, 13
- Cordioli: via Cappello, 37
- Barini: corso Porta Nuova, 8
- De Rossi: corso Porta Borsari, 3
- Walner: via Dietro Listone, 1
In Verona you will find quite an amazing number of coffee brands.
Some are just dealer that market under their own labels blends
they buy from importers and wholesalers. But there are also many coffee
roasters that buy directly green beans from producing
countries and do their own roasting an blending.
They are mainly in the outskirts or in the province of Verona.
- Caffé Fusari: Via della Serenissima, 13, 37051 Bovolone VR
- Caffé Roen: Via Marconi, 20, 37010 Affi VR
- Caffé Jamaica: Via Vittorio Merighi, 5, 37138 Verona VR
But there is also a micro-roaster in Verona city center where you will be able to see all the stages of coffee roasting, blending and brewing:
- Steampower: via Marconi, 10
Of course you don't need to experience the whole process to enjoy an excellent cup of Italian espresso. At the end of our Verona food tour here you will be able to find many different blends and mono-varietal of coffee, with their different tastes and intensities:
- Caffè Coloniale: Piazza Francesco Viviani,
- Caffe Porta Borsari: Corso Porta Borsari, 15
There is nothing more Italian that a good gelato (ice cream) especially in hot Summer. In recent years ice cream shops opened all over the city center. The level is in general very high, but a few places deserve special attention.
- Gelateria Savoia, one of the oldest and most traditional in town: via Roma, 1/b.
- Gelateria Vittoria 1938: limited selection but the best ingredients and innovative combination: via Diaz, 6.
- La boutique del gelato, luxury ice cream: via Carlo Ederle 13.