I’ve had the joy of going to Cinque Terre a few times, and each time I discover a new place to eat or sip wine as the sun goes down. In these seaside villages, the best meals are had al fresco overlooking the ocean with a spritz or local wine. These are my top picks for where to eat in Cinque Terre.
This restaurant in Manarola is probably my favorite in all of Cinque Terre. You might have seen their aperitivo spreads of focaccia, sliced meats, cheese, pesto and bruschetta on Instagram. What I most appreciate is that they haven’t let the Instafame go to their heads. Nessun Dorma serves delicious and affordable food and cocktails on their breathtaking outdoor patio. The staff are so kind and even made me a gluten free aperitivo with fresh fruit instead of bread. Alfie loved it too!
La Pia or Il Frantoio
You can’t leave Cinque Terre without trying the local speciality farinata with freshly made pesto. Because pesto is practically basil, and basil is a leafy green… the Cinque Terre pesto diet is really just a salad (perfect logic, right?). Get a slice of farinata (flatbread made with chickpea flour) at La Pia or Il Frantoio in Monterosso al Mare. If you choose Il Frantoio, be sure to go around the corner to Enoteca Internazionale for a glass of wine while you’re at it.
A Piè de Mà
My husband and I sat on their outdoor terrace carved into the cliff for hours. Moving only to get another carafe of wine or change seats, upgrading as people left. They serve pasta and main courses, but we just opted for the small meat and cheese plate. This is the perfect place to be at sunset in Riomaggiore (although sitting on the rocks near the beach is a close second).
Also read: How to See Cinque Terre in Two Days
We decided to
leisurely stroll climb up to Fuori Rotta for a glass of wine before heading back to our Airbnb. It’s easy to travel between the villages, but it’s nice knowing you don’t have to go too far after dinner and (several) drinks. Seating is at a premium, so we just pulled a few stools up to the ledge and enjoyed the views.
Stop into Lunch Box in Vernazza for sandwiches and a quick bite. My sandwich was rather small, but they had gluten free bread and for that, I can have no complaints!
Just a few store fronts down, you’ll see Gelateria Vernazza (and possibly a line out the door). I’m not exaggerating when I say this is one of my favorite gelaterias in all of Italy… and I’ve had a lot of gelato. Truly, a must stop when in Vernazza!