What to eat in Bologna? These are the must-try!

The city is the cradle of Italian gastronomy and offers many options to enjoy the food. Still don’t know what to eat in Bologna?

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Bologna is one of the most fascinating cities to visit in northern Italy. Not only for its historic center, which is the second-largest one in Europe, nor for having the privilege of hosting the oldest university on the continent, but also for its high gastronomic reputation. Did you know that it is considered one of the cradles of Italian gastronomy? And not only that! This city is also famous for creating the Slow Food concept that recommends enjoying food without haste and using proximity products. Other than sightseeing, what interests you is its gastronomic offer, and you don’t know what to eat in Bologna… don’t despair, this is what you must try!

Filled brioches

what to eat in bologna, Filled briochesAlthough cornetto or brioches are not from Italy, they are significantly appreciated. In fact, accompanied by an espresso or a cappuccino, they represent the most common breakfast throughout the country. It is also one of the most economical ways to start the day.

On our trip to the city, we tried a lot of them. But, to be honest, the brioches we liked the most were the ones from Impero pastry shop. Although they can be a bit oversweet because they have a lot of filling, they are the most popular ones in the city. No matter what time it is, you will always find someone enjoying one of their brioches. Now, you know why you can’t depart without trying them!


what to eat in bologna, tigelleAlthough tigelle, also known as cresentine, are originally from Modena, they are also a classic in Bologna. They are disc-shaped buns that are usually filled, above all, with cold meats. But, due to their versatility, they have become a gourmet product with many different types of fillings. For this reason, nowadays, there are numerous restaurants dedicated exclusively to them.

In my opinion, it is one of the best snacks to eat in Bologna. Why? Because you can order them to go and enjoy them while you continue sightseeing around the city. We ordered some tigelle filled with mortadella and caramelized onion. We loved them! Have you ever tried them?

Fried Tortellini

What to eat in Bologna?, fried tortelliniDespite not being a traditional dish, fried tortellini have earned a place on this list due to their popularity among young people. To be honest, we have only found them in a small take-out restaurant called L’Asporto located in the heart of the city center.

But… Why is this place so popular? Because they use high-quality pasta to prepare their dishes. And, overall, because of their Parmesan cheese sauce. It’s scrumptious!

So… if you are a street food lover and looking for affordable snacks, this is definitely a very nice option to consider. If you try them, we are sure you will come back. Exactly as we did!

Prosciutto di parma

What to eat in Bologna?, prosciutto di parmaProsciutto di Parma is worldwide known and is characterized by its intense flavor and nutritional properties. It has a millenary history since its first mentions date back to ancient Rome in times of General Hannibal. For all these reasons, it is not surprising that it is one of the most demanded products in Bologna.

If you want to try it in one of the most popular “non-restaurant” in the city, you should go to La Prosciutteria. They dissociate themselves from the restaurant concept as they offer fresh products and are faithful to Italian culinary traditions. Moreover, they define themselves as a place where people eat, drink and stay together.

Based on our experience, La Prosciutteria is one of the cheapest options that you can find to enjoy a good Prosciutto di Parma. But it is also a place where you can experience what an authentic Italian tasca is like. All these reasons make it an almost obligatory place to eat in Bologna.

Mortadella Bolognese

What to eat in Bologna?, mortadellaMortadella is a kind of cold meat made mainly from finely minced pork meat. It is originally from Bologna, making it one of the most popular products in the city. Specialists don’t know where the term comes from for sure, but it is believed that it may take its name from an Ancient Rome sausage. In any case, it is a centuries-old product that was already mentioned around 1376.

Like Prosciutto di Parma, it is very demanded all around the city, and you can find it almost anywhere. To try it, we decided to go to Mercato di Mezzo. This gastronomic space has a long history, and you will find lots of traditional products there. Including mortadella Bolognese.

Tortellini in brodo

tortetillini in brodoTortellini is ring-shaped pasta made up of a layer of dough rolled up and joined at its ends. It is usually filled with vegetables, meat, or cheese.

Like many other traditional dishes, it has a humble origin that dates back centuries when the servants who worked for noble families used the leftovers to feed themselves. Although they are a classic in Bologna, their origin is disputed between this province and Modena.

If you want to try them in a lovely place where I am sure you will enjoy a pleasant evening, my recommendation is Trattoria Trebbi. Honestly, the dish surprised us because we didn’t expect it to be so good, it’s definitely something you must eat in Bologna!

Tagliatelle al ragù

What to eat in Bologna?, tagliatelle al ragúAlthough it may seem otherwise, the pasta is not the protagonist in this dish…. here, the most important thing is the sauce! Ragù Bolognese, better known as Bolognese sauce, is worldwide famous. Everyone has tasted it at some point in their lives, whether accompanied by spaghetti, tagliatelle, or another kind of pasta. But if you love the tradition, you cannot miss the opportunity to try it in Bologna.

To be honest, we decided to try it at Trattoria Trebbi only and exclusively to write this post. After all, why try something you can find almost in every restaurant on the planet? What we didn’t expect was that it was the most delicious tagliatelle al ragù we have ever tried. We would go back to Bologna just to eat it again, so draw your own conclusions.

Would you like to try them at home? My tagliatelle al ragu recipe might help you!

Lasagne verdi

What to eat in Bologna?, lasagne verdiLasagna is possibly one of the most famous Italian dishes in the world. Although there are written documents that prove that it was created by Maria Borgogno in 1316, it is believed to be much older. In fact, it is widely accepted that its origin dates back to the first century in Ancient Rome.

In any case, it is a dish intimately linked to Italy. And, as you can imagine, it is something you have to eat in Bologna.

In this case, we chose Trattoria dal Biassanot to try it. It is a small restaurant, famous among locals, and offers traditional dishes. To be honest, we don’t know if this lasagna verdi is the best you can find in Bologna, but certainly, it has to be one of the best ones. What’s more, it is a huge dish. We ordered it to share, so what you can watch in the picture is half of what you will have if you order it for yourself alone. To sum it up, it was exquisite! So, if you don’t know what to eat in Bologna, this is a must-try!

Cotoletta alla Bolognese

What to eat in Bologna?, cotoletta bologneseAlthough cotoletta alla Bolognese is a traditional Bolognese dish, it is widespread throughout Italy. In fact, it has possibly transcended its borders. In fact, in Argentina, there is a very similar dish that is also very popular too. To be more precise, in this country it is known as milanesa a la napolitana and if you want to try it, in this link you will find its recipe.

As well as lasagne verdi, we tried it at the Trattoria dal Biassanot and we loved it. It was served with a kind of broth that added a lot of taste and kept it hydrated. In my opinion, the cheese was too strong so it was difficult to enjoy the schnitzel. Even so, it is a dish that we would repeat a thousand times more.


gelatoIce cream and gelato are similar and, although for some people they are the same with distinct names, they have some differences. The main one is that, while the former is made with cream, the latter is made with milk so it has a lower fat content. In addition, gelato has 70% less air and the processes necessary for its elaboration give it a much creamier texture than ice cream.

Although there are many gelaterias in Bologna with thousands of different flavors, you will probably not find an older one than Gelateria Gianni. It is a small family business with more than 40 years of history. They appreciate the quality of raw materials and proximity products, and that is reflected in their exquisite gelatos. As you can imagine, we would like to recommend them to everyone because it is definitely something you have to eat in Bologna!

Chocolate Tortellini

chocolate tortelliniIf after everything we have already suggested to you, you are still hungry for more, there is still something you have to eat in Bologna. Even if it is not a classic dessert and the city is not known worldwide for its chocolate, these tortellini are definitely something you have to try. Besides being delicious, they are quite cheap, which makes them a perfect gift.

To buy them you should visit Majani, a chocolate shop founded in 1796. There, you will find, in addition to these tortellini, a myriad of small chocolate delicacies. This place is only appropriate for those with a sweet tooth!

As you can imagine, the list could go on almost ad infinitum. This city has a lot to offer, especially for the most gluttons! Now, you have an idea of what to eat in Bologna and you are ready to visit it. And if you do so, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


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