How to eat well in Genoa [Genova]

Genoa is one of the best food venues in Italy, as is Liguria more generally.  It is also one of the best places in Europe for vegetarian dining.  Maximize the number of tarts and vegetable tarts you eat, skip hotel breakfast and look for small places with morning snacks, preferably baked goods, and treat them as the equal of cooked dishes.  Forget about meat altogether.

1. Antica Sciamadda, 14-16 Via San Giorgio, arrive at the 11:30 opening and keep on buying the tarts and farinata as they are freshly baked and put out on the counter.  There is a vaguely Arabic feel to the dishes, and there is an excellent video of the place here.  There are many excellent “sciamadda” in Genoa and they lie somewhere between a food stall and a very small restaurant, so do not count on them being open for dinner.

2. Trattoria alle Due Torri, Salita del Prione 53, near the Columbus house.  Order pasta and focaccia, this is some of the best spaghetti I’ve had, and the pansotti (ravioli in walnut sauce) is notable.

3. La Rina, superb seafood restaurant, don’t focus on the main courses.

There are relatively few tourists in town, although the most common group — by far — is Russians.  From Bologna, here is a post about flunking out of Gelato University.


We had one of the best vacations of our lives in Liguria. I cannot figure out why Genoa is not up there with Rome, Florence, and Venice as a city for vacationing - it was beautiful and the food was awesome!

Fine cooking there, absolutely no doubt.

Why vegetarian, though? If one doesn't like meat, fine. But if it's for ideological reasons, why eat the animals' food, leaving less for them? :-)

Among the Genoese I usually skip the meat as well, but I stick to the fish and in particular the members of the phylum Mollusca. But I can easily see that by Italian standards Genoa is a vegetarian paradise. They have a genius for savory dishes.

Any thoughts on why the Contorni section of Italian menus did not, generally, survive the Atlantic crossing to North America? One of the many pleasant culinary surprises of Italy was the rich variety of veg food, almost everywhere.

Genoa is lovely. Italians call it the "Naples of the North". Thanks for the suggestions

Why do you always post these recommendations after I've been there?

My most memorable meal in Italy was in Genoa. Pasta with pesto (originally Genovese), buffalo mozzerella, white beans served cold, and a glass of an amaro afterward that I still haven't identified.

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