Curious Appetite

food in Bologna

Where to eat and drink in Bologna, Italy

if you are a first time visitor of my blog, I’m an American food & drink writer in Florence since 2012 but have spent considerable time in Bologna between Florence to research and continuously study its cuisine- which fascinates me to no end!

Out of which, a Bologna food tour was born and added to Curious Appetite’s bespoke gamma of small-group, 3 hour tasting tours focused on Florence. I sweat over many bowls of tortellini and slices of mortadella to make it perfect!

If you’re planning a visit, check out this food tour in Bologna I designed! (Led by a team of local, certified experts! I wish I could commute there every day to eat pasta and mortadella.)

(Updated: April 2022 but first written in January 2017- due to the pandemic I have limited opportunity to check opening times, etc and also limited time in making this pristine with links and addresses. Drop me a line if there are significant changes you noticed or a listing I should add!)

I have however recently did an update for Eater for an Essential 18 (basically a round-up of must-eats, shops and drinks) It’s really hard to do a listicle of only 18 so this blog post fills in the gaps and offers more options for those who like to have them.

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Last week in Bologna: pasta, palates and chefs

Appetizer: Parmesan Flan with local white truffles
Appetizer: Parmesan Flan with local white truffles

The last days in my month stint in Bologna were solid, mostly because I finally figured out how to get around without looking at a map and ate some of the best food to date. But also I made some final assessments of this town and the culture of life in Florence. My palate changed, my attitude towards Florence’s dining scene even more critical.

My lasting impression is this- in Bologna you eat better than in Florence, period. The food in Florence can be extremely disappointing and there are only a handful of eateries left where you eat truly well. It’s not that Florence doesn’t have amazing food from it’s traditional culinary repertoire, the problem is that the city doesn’t showcase it. Read old Tuscan/Florentine cookbooks like “Il Libro Vero della Cucina Fiorentina” by Paolo Petroni and you’ll find delicious dishes, most of which are non-existent on the majority of menus around town. Florence overall has sold out its dining scene to mass tourism, instead of saying “hey- we are proud of our cuisine and people should eat it or leave it!” These Florentine restaurateurs have underestimated the curiosity of foreign diners OR have surrendered to the incurious. Accept my apologies for constantly comparing Bologna and Florence, as it’s almost unfair, but allow me to indulge. Continue Reading

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