The Best Restaurants in Cinque Terre: The Definitive List (Updated!)

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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Restaurants_cinque_terre

Restaurants in the Cinque Terre can shock you.

Some are excruciatingly mediocre. And some can be so outstanding — you buy a mortar and pestle immediately upon returning home, because you’ve become a die-hard pesto person.

The majority of the Cinque Terre villages have just one main street. The streets are lined with places to eat (Manarola is lined with boats, and the shop doors are just sprinkled between the boats). You can eat your way up one side of the street, and then down the other. It’s all there. Perfectly compact. Adorable. Delicious.

You don’t need a massive list of places for your trip, you just need the best.

The thing about traveling is that you’re often on the move. Just when you get your bearings and find the places you like – you’re gone. That’s why it’s not uncommon for travelers to eat at the same place for two nights, even if they are just staying for three. Why? Because it was good the first time, and you don’t want to waste your time “finding” the good stuff. I think there’s a better way. I hope you use this list.

Restaurants_cinque_terre_9

For a decade, I’ve been eating my way through the Cinque Terre.

I want to save you 10 hours of research on Trip Advisor right now. The problem with looking on Trip Advisor for the Cinque Terre is that all five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso) have separate reviews. You have to comb through them all. Don’t bother.

If you want to consult Trip Advisor anyways, I’ve made a list of the top 10 restaurants in all the villages combined. The villages are so close, like minutes away from each other on the train, that you should feel free to village-hop for good eats. You’ll see the list further down the page.

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Best Restaurants in the Cinque Terre: Bianca’s Top 3

  1. Ristorante Belforte. Built inside a historic fortress overlooking the ocean. The food and the view is heaven. In the village of Vernazza. +39 0187 812222
  2. Trattoria dal Billy. Great fresh seafood. High on a cliff. Amazing view of the terraced hills. In the village of Manarola. +39 0187 920628
  3. Ripa del Sole. Refined bites, nice plating; where the locals go. In the village of Riomaggiore. +39 0187 920143

Restaurants_cinque_terre_2

Best Restaurants in the Cinque Terre: The Crowdsourced List

Top 10 — all the villages combined into one concise list.

1) La Lampara Ristorante (Riomaggiore)
2) Rio Bistrot (Riomaggiore)
3) Trattoria dal Billy (Manarola)
4) Ristorante Belforte (Vernazza)
5) Ristorante Il Porticciolo (Manarola)
6) Ristorante Miky (Monterosso)
7)  Enoteca da Eliseo (Monterosso)
8) L’Ancora della Tartuga (Monterosso)
9) Torre Aurora Bar and Restaurant (Monterosso)
10) Fuori Rotta (Riomaggiore)

Restaurants_cinque_terre_6

Eating on a budget

The villages are not only stacked with restaurants; there are some amazingly tasty and inexpensive meals waiting behind the curved doorways. These miniature spots hold the Italian version of street food.

When you’re there, you must try:

  • focaccia — a Ligurian specialty
  • fritto misto — fried fish served in paper cones
  • torta di verdure — my go-to, on the run snack which is sold by weight from the tiny bakeries
  • farinata — it’s made with chickpea flour and is gluten free. I love me some farinata.

The lowdown on focaccia: You can go wild and choose focaccia with onions, focaccia with tomatoes, focaccia with zucchini,  focaccia with olives, focaccia di Recco (you have strict instructions to eat this while you’re there; it’s warm, thin unleavened bread perfectly cocooning mild, soft, warm cheese. I search out the ones cooked in a wood oven).

Of course, you’ll have your pick of take-away pasta places (try the walnut pesto), pizzerie, gelaterie and bars for coffee or cocktails.

Italian street food offers great value.

For example, hit the focacceria and for under 5 euro you can get two huge slices of warm, just made, delicious, perfectly salted, just the right amount of olive oil, just the right amount of golden crispy side bits, focaccia. Grab some local figs and gelato for dessert, and you have a beach picnic for under $10.

I hope these tips help you find the best restaurants in Cinque Terre and help you figure out where to eat. And what to eat!

Right now, I’d love to ask you, what’s your most memorable meal while traveling in Italy? Where? What did you have? People come here for inspiration and education, so don’t be shy: share your experiences. Who knows — your comment could be the next persons most memorable meal. Grazie!

xx

Bianca

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cheryl spollino
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cheryl spollino

When are you planning your next trip to Italy
Sincerely,
Cheryl

Lindsay Newland
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Lindsay Newland

My wife and i are going to monterosso for her 60th we will have 10 more friends and family with us. We will be early Sept 2015. Your blog’s are helping me very much .
Thank you very much.
Beers and Cheers
Lindsay

Cassie
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Cassie

I went to Northern Italy in early October and had to visit Cinque Terre. We stayed in Corniglia, which is very charming, but our favorite meal in Italy was in Imprunetta (outside Florence), a local haunt called Trattoria Di’ Gazzilloro. We ordered the pate, handmade boar papardelle and the Tuscan… Read more »

ronda
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ronda

am planning a trip to italy, would love to do the tuscan region..food and wine and the local fare are what we are interested in this time, have seen the sites would like to eat and relax maybe a vineyard or 2.. what would you suggest for a home base… Read more »

anne
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anne

I am potentially taking a solo trip (a first for me!) to Italy this April, flying to Milan initially, but would like to spend the majority of the time in Cinque Terre (entire trip will be only one week, sadly). I am wondering if you recommend Cinque Terre for a… Read more »

R. Tsang
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R. Tsang

Hello, our family 4 will be traveling to Italy for 12 days After 3 days in Rome, we would like to spend some time in Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Venice, and possibly Maremma as well. However, we’d like to take it slowly – any suggestions on how to pare this… Read more »

Julia
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Julia

Hi Bianca! Long time reader, first time commenter 🙂
You have previously recommended La Laterna in Riomaggiore for dinner, but it hasn’t made the cut this time around – any reason why?

Emily
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Emily

Hi Bianca! I am loving all the tips for Florence and Cinque Terre! I will be there the first week of June and will be staying in Monterosso and am lucky enough to be there during the l’infiorata. I am having a hard time finding any information on the l’infiorata… Read more »

Helena Seol
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Helena Seol

Hi! I am planning a trip to the Italian Riviera (Cinque Terre) with my husband, 2 year old son, and a good friend, this coming August. We are flying in and out from Milan. We have around 4-5 days to spend in the Riviera, including Cinque Terre. I was initially… Read more »

Mike S
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Mike S

Ciao, Bianca! Coming for 8 days in June. Enjoying you blog and great suggestions. In addition to CT, Portovenere/Palmaria, Portofino, Genova… wanted a day-trip to either Pisa or Lucca. Which would you choose? We have an early flight out of Malpensa on the next leg of our trip and are… Read more »

Tracy
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Tracy

I will be in Corniglia for the weekend of 6/20/15. All your tips have been wonderful for planning!!! Hope to see you there!

Bernard
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Bernard

Hi there.. 1st time reader and loving the info as i was in Cinque Terre for a night 6 years ago while inter-railing. I am going back next year with my wife for our 1st anniversary and was wondering where would you recommend for a great view and romantic enough… Read more »

Robin
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Robin

Hi Bianca! We will be docking at La Spezia in October on the Allure at 8am and departing at 8pm (probably need to be back on boat by 7 the latest)We are excited about visiting Cinque Terre and would love to make the most of our time there (2 couples… Read more »

Lauri
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Lauri

Hello Bianca, We will be renting a house in the village of Montemago the week of September 1, 2015. We are planning a day trip to Cinque Terre. Would you be so kind to tell me which towns would be the best to visit. Our group would feels like they… Read more »

Danae
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Danae

Hi Bianca,

I’m curious which restaurant you would rank as having the #1 view (in terms of ocean, colorful buildings, and sunset view). I will only be in Cinque Terre for two nights and don’t want to miss out on the perfect dinner spot!

Thank you!
Kendall

Keri
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Keri

Hi – I loved reading your blog post on where to eat in cinque Terre and am very much looking forward to trying some focaccia when I visit in a couple of weeks. I was wondering if you could advise where the bet place to eat with a view would… Read more »

Josh
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Josh

We are going to be in Cinque Terre next week and I’d like to find a place for a romantic dinner with a view and don’t want to break the bank. Any tips? Thanks for the great post above.

Miranda
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Miranda

Hi, so glad to get these recommendations. I will only be in Cinque Terre for 2 days, staying in Vernazza. Can you recommend anywhere good for breakfast/ brunch? Thank you!!

pamela
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pamela

can you assist me in making a reservation at Trattoria dal Billy (Manarola)? They do not offer an email option on their web site.
Thanks

Max Ledord
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Max Ledord

What do think of cantina a mananan?

Danny Marr
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Danny Marr

My most memorable meal in Italy is more about the view than the actual food, which also was wonderful but the vista was to die for. On the upper terrace of the Hotel Daniele in Venice overlooking the Grand Canal, the view almost takes your breath away. It’s probably better… Read more »

Martina Gomez
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This article provides some great tips for owning a vacation rental home, Many thanks for sharing useful information.
Restauranten in Ligurië

Natalie Hinchcliffe
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Natalie Hinchcliffe

Hello Bianca!
Your site is such a great help! Are your top 3 still the current best? Wasn’t sure when your list was posted.
Gratzie
Natalie

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