Table of Contents
- Why Most Travelers Visit Verona
- Why We Visited Verona
- What to Eat in Verona
- Verona Food Guide
- Best Verona Restaurants
- Additional Verona Restaurants
- Verona Pizza
- Cheap Eats Verona
- Verona Cafes
- Verona Gelato
- Verona Drinks
- Verona Markets & Specialty Shops
- Wine Tasting in Valpolicella
- Things To Do in Verona
- Verona Meal Map
- Research Verona Hotels
- Book a Verona Food Tour
- Buy an Italy Travel Guide
- Pin It for Later
Wondering what and where to eat in Verona Italy? We spent a week eating our way through the classic Italian city. Check out our Verona Food Guide with some of the best Verona restaurants and cafes.
Verona attracts a lot of travelers, especially during the summer. And yes, some of the city’s restaurants are gussied up tourist traps. But travelers who breeze through Verona without digging deeper are missing out on one of Italy’s most charming cities. They’re also missing out on experiencing some of the country’s best food and wine.
While nearby regions like Emilia-Romagna garner culinary fame for fresh rolled egg pasta and meat-rich ragu and southern regions like Campania feature some of the best pizza in the world, the Veneto should not be underestimated in the pantheon of the Italian boot.
This is the region where Italy’s land-based agriculture meets one of the world’s most famous seafaring trading centers. It’s also where products like tomatoes, red wine and octopus harmonize on the plate with deep rich flavors that rival all neighboring regions.
Verona is located at the center of a huge but vastly underappreciated wine region. When most oenophiles think about wine in Italy, the words Chianti, Barolo and Brunello immediately enter their minds.
But in nearby towns like Valpolicella, winemakers create a wealth of wines. Popular wines like Soave intermingle with highly quaffable, eponymous reds as well as with world-renowned Amarone wines that pair magnificently with Verona’s big, meaty secondi dishes.
Eating in Verona is a multi-sensory experience that starts with the restaurants themselves. Many of the best places to eat in Verona feature stately rooms filled with interesting people plus optional outdoor dining.
Of course, Verona’s food and wine take star billings despite these auspicious settings.
Why Most Travelers Visit Verona
Located in Italy’s Veneto region, Verona is far from a hidden gem. The legend of Romeo and Juliet transcends the city’s storied history that dates back before its entry into the Roman empire. In fact, Shakespeare set two of his plays here – the aforementioned classic as well as The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Verona’s famous Arena is not only older than the Rome Colosseum, but it also hosts operas and other large scale concerts in the spring and summer. Pop icon Elton John played a set of shows during our visit, and operas like Carmen, La Traviata and Tosca can be enjoyed in the Arena’s epic, yet beautiful outdoor space.
Verona is also a city where lovers can stroll along the Adige River, intertwining hands while licking gelato cones. They’re not alone – tourists flock to Verona for the chance to take a selfie on Juliet’s overcrowded balcony or glance at the Ponte Pietra as the midnight moon shines gently across Verona’s cascading waterway.
Some travelers visit Verona just for a day or two before heading to nearby Venice or Lake Garda, both worthy destinations in their own right. But there’s something special about this UNESCO world heritage city that gained global fame in the late 16th century thanks to Britain’s most prolific bard.
On summer weekends, crowds may numb a traveler into submission but some of the most romantic streetscapes in Italy are just a short walk beyond main squares like Piazza Brà and Piazza delle Erbe.
On quieter weeknights, stone-arched thoroughfares lead to magical contemplation among medieval buildings in Piazza dei Signori, with local musicians often playing in the shadow of Dante’s statue.
Why We Visited Verona
Prior to our initial Verona visit, we were familiar with Veneto wines made famous every year when wine professionals swarm the city in April for the Vinitaly exhibition, but we weren’t so knowledgeable about the city’s food, at least not on a first-hand basis. In the past, we’ve previously spent most of our Italy time in cities like Bologna and Naples.
We knew of Verona’s popularity on the tourist trail but remained curious whether the Veneto city’s food could live up to its hype. Spoiler alert… It did.
What to Eat in Verona
As we quickly learned, Verona maintains an impressive food culture that favorably competes with the rest of Italy. Chefs take full advantage of the region’s signature wine when preparing Risotto all’Amarone, but they also take pleasure in composing simple, hearty dishes that tickled our tastebuds.
Eating Risotto all’Amarone is reason enough to visit Verona. The seemingly simple dish marries the Veneto’s powerhouse wine with Vialone Nano rice, a type of medium grain rice specific to the region. The addition of creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to an umami-rich base of mixed meat stock or brodo takes the decadently rich dish to otherworldly levels.
But Verona is in Italy after all, meaning that all kinds of pasta and pizza are readily available at most hours of the day and night. Italian food fans will find no lack of carbs to fill their bellies, though diners who dig deeper will enjoy other types of food as well.
Verona Food Guide
Verona is a city where carnivores revel while eating savory dishes like bollito misto, salumi and cavallo (i.e. horse), though vegetarians can easily find tasty dishes featuring lush, local Veneto produce. And pescatarians rejoice daily with some of the world’s best seafood served with toothy bigoli pasta (think super thick spaghetti).
Our daily Verona food quest typically started early with coffee at local cafes and ended late with gelato at Verona gelaterias. We discovered a food bounty as boundless as the seafood plucked from nearby waters as well as limitless wine lists that reminded us that Veneto’s wine regions are just as important as their Tuscan and Piemonte cousins.
By the end of the week, we had fallen for Verona and its culinary delights. Leaving was a sweet sorrow that we’ll surely satisfy with even sweeter memories until our inevitable return to Italy’s City of Love.
We plan to revisit Veneto and check out classic destinations like Padua, Mantua, Vicenza and, of course, Venice. However, we will always make time to detour to Verona’s ancient crossroads along the banks of the Adige.
Best Verona Restaurants
Finding a Verona restaurant is as easy as throwing a stick in the wind. With so many dining choices in a relatively small area, the trick is finding the best restaurants in Verona from the dozens of contenders at all price points.
Yes, Verona certainly has more than a few touristic eateries, especially near Piazza Brà. But we looked hard and found incredible, unforgettable restaurants in the fair city. These are our favorites:
Pescheria I Masenini
As much as we loved twirling our forks into pasta and scooping up risotto in Verona, our favorite meal of the week was all about seafood. That being said, we managed to squeeze some pasta into this meal too because… Italy.
Pescheria I Masenini offers an exciting, fish-focused menu at Piazzetta Pescheria, a square that once operated as an ancient Roman fish market. Seafood favorites like lobster, amberjack, scallops and prawns dominate the menu.
We enjoyed a leisurely lunch eating food that surprised us with every bite. Highlights were a generous plate of fresh bigoli pasta with baby octopus sauce (photo at top of the article) and tuna tartare smothered in salty anchovy sauce.
Yes, with the bigoli, Verona’s bigger take on spaghetti, we couldn’t quite get away from ordering pasta. But the addition of tomato sauce, garlic, wine and baby octopus took the noodles to another level.
There’s something almost magical when the acidy, bright flavors of tomato integrate with the salt puckering flavors of the sea. Masenini’s Bigoli pasta dish did this magnificently.
Pescheria I Masenini is located at Piazzetta Pescheria, 9, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Antica Bottega del Vino
Go to Antica Bottega del Vino. With this recommendation from trusted source John Curtas, we headed to Antico Bottega del Vino on our second night in Verona. Since no tables were available, we squeezed into the restaurant’s cicchetti bar and enjoyed a heaping plate of pancetta cotta e affumicata along with excellent glasses of Valpolicella and Amarone wine.
In addition to sharing a wonderful aperitivo experience among fellow wine lovers, we left with coveted dinner reservations for another night. Sitting at the bar was a sneak preview of the meal we would soon enjoy in an impressive dining room lined with empty wine bottles and filled with history…
The only confusing part of dining at this classic Verona restaurant is its name. The website uses the word Vini while the menu uses Vino. Otherwise, everything is as straightforward as it gets when it comes to one of the city’s oldest and most lauded dining establishments.
With a cellar storing over 18,000 bottles of wine, Antico Bottega del Vino (or is it Antico Bottega del Vini?) is a haven for wine lovers. The restaurant’s wine menu is as big as an encyclopedia, featuring amazing bottles of Amarone with similarly amazing prices.
Food options are easier to navigate and hit we hit gold with a few of our choices. Remember bigoli from above? We ate it here as well, although this time dressed with anchovies, burrata cheese and toasted garlic bread. The combination was salty, rich and drool-worthy with a fierce punch of anchovy flavor that stood up to the hearty, wheaty pasta.
Similar accolades go to the restaurant’s Miale Tranquillo (loosely translated to sleeping pork) served with toasted porcini mushrooms. Ironically, we thought that the server mistakenly had brought us a fillet when we saw the medium-rare meat sitting majestically on its plate. But it was indeed pork. And what a pork it was – juicy, succulent and as smooth as butter.
We ended our meal with Tiramisu, an appropriately classic dessert for our final Verona dinner. As we finished the last sips of wine, we toasted the crazy lifestyle that took us to Verona and led us to the hallowed halls of this city institution.
Antica Bottega del Vini is located at Via Scudo di Francia, 3, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Ristorante Il Desco
Verona sports four one-starred Michelin restaurants – 12 Apostoli, Il Desco, Osteria La Fontanina and Oseleta. If that’s not enough for fine dining devotees, two-starred Casa Perbellini is a short walk away in the Basilica di San Zeno neighborhood.
Wanting to dip our toes in the city’s luxury dining scene, we spent a decadent afternoon tasting dishes cooked by Elio and Matteo Rizzo, the lauded father/son chefs at Il Desco. Literally translated to at the table, Il Desco has received global acclaim beyond its coveted Michelin star.
Opting against the restaurant’s tasting menu in consideration of our shrinking wallets and expanding belts, we ordered a few plates to share. Before we knew it, we were toasting our meal with cream-topped vermouth served in test tubes and sharing buckwheat biscuits with beetroot cream.
Of course, we had to try the restaurant’s fried scampi, a signature dish since 1982. The chefs fry shrimp that are wrapped inside pasta shells and serve them with an acid-forward, citrus-flavored salad of expertly micro brunoised vegetables. We also sampled the restaurant’s signature pasta – handmade tortelli stuffed with baccalà so silky that it must have been passed through a sieve more times than we can count.
We also enjoyed the chef duo’s rendition of roasted quail served with licorice sauce, caramelized shallots, chives and goat cheese as well as their take on squid ink black spaghettini topped with squid, baby squid, crisp zucchini and basil. Though we didn’t order dessert, we ended the meal with a selection of gastronomic petit fours and coffee.
We don’t regret splurging on lunch at Il Desco. However, we were disappointed to see a 20% plate sharing surcharge on our bill since we had specifically asked the server not to separate the plates. Apparently, that request was lost in translation.
Be aware that even if you order carefully and on an a la carte basis, you’re probably not going to get out of Il Desco for under €100 per person. This is classic Michelin starred dining which typically comes with a high price tag.
Ristorante Il Desco is located at Via Dietro S. Sebastiano, 5, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Torcolo was the first Verona reservation we secured based on our desire to try Bollito Misto. This northern Italian rendition of mixed meats, not dissimilar to France’s pot au feu, is so legendary that there are secret societies built around the enjoyment of the legendary carnivorous extravaganza.
Bollito Misto is not for the faint of heart. A large range of mixed meats including favorites like beef cheek, tongue and cotechino sausage are essentially cooked low and slow and then served with a range of condiments including verdant Italian salsa verde, mostarda, horseradish and a special creamy white ‘pearà.’
Unique to Verona, pearà is a savory sauce made with ingredients like bread crumbs, stock, bone marrow and black pepper. Missing Bollito Misto and this sauce would make any dining mission in Verona incomplete.
Initially disappointed to discover that our Bollito Misto would not be served on a grand cart as we’d seen in photos, we took solace in knowing that the popular dish would soon leave the menu. If we had eaten at Torcolo just one week later, the dish would have been gone, banished for the summer.
By the time we were sipping red Valpolicella wine and eating local Lessinia meats, we practically forgot about the cart. We also forgot that another winter classic, horse, was also off the menu, except as an ingredient in the gnocchi primi. But that menu omission was more than ok with us.
Beyond our carnivorous deep dive, we indulged in some of Torcolo’s other specialties. Meal highlights included two dishes featuring black truffles. Though the Uova in Camicia starter with poached eggs, Monte Veronese cheese cream and black truffle Scorzone of Lessinia was a show-stopper, we equally enjoyed the similarly topped primi of Paparadelle.
Torcolo is located at Via Carlo Cattaneo, 11, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Additional Verona Restaurants
Finding traditional Italian food in Verona isn’t a problem. Instead, the problem is narrowing down the city’s many trattorias, tavernas and osterias. After eating at several of Verona’s best casual restaurants, these are our favorites for eating classic Italian fare:
Trattoria Pane e Vino
Don’t be fooled by this restaurant’s name that literally translates to Bread and Wine. Open since 2000, this is a restaurant that offers a full menu of Verona food classics like pasta and salumi in addition to housemade bread and an extensive wine selection.
We knew that Trattoria Pane e Vino was serious about salumi when we saw two antique hand-cranked Berkel slicers in the middle of the dining room. We later found out that this trattoria located on the northwestern edge of the center of the city is as serious about serving Amarone wine as they are with slicing paper-thin pieces of fine hams and salumi.
After perusing the long list of salumi and prosciutto options, we ordered plates of Vino Appeso Taglio Culatello soaked in Amarone wine and Salame Strolghino di Culatello from Parma. We plowed through both plates as well as their accompanying bowls of gardenia and pickled red peppers, enjoying the flavor combinations.
These generous plates of meat, as well as a basket filled with crunchy breadsticks and circular taralli crackers from Puglia, more than satisfied our desire for a light Verona lunch. However, food was only part of our Pane e Vino dining experience.
Did we mention that we adore Amarone wine? We first discovered the Veneto classic while we were living in Philadelphia and it’s the first wine we drank when we arrived in Verona.
Veneto wine producers hand-harvest Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella grapes in Valpolicella to create one of the world’s greatest wines. Richly flavored and high in alcohol content, Amarone is a premium wine that often comes at a premium price. However, Pane e Vino serves Amarone as their house wine.
Yes, the highlight of our lunch was the value-priced carafe of Amarone that we shared while savoring every sip. Produced by Domini Veneti, this Amarone was as good as any we drank in Verona and would be reason enough to recommend Pane e Vino to our friends and readers. However, the excellent food and impeccable service take this restaurant to the top of our list of casual Verona restaurants.
Trattoria Pane e Vino is located at Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 16 / A, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
La Taverna di Via Stella
We literally stumbled into La Taverna di Via Stella on our second night in Verona after we couldn’t get a table at Antica Bottega del Vino. Although we didn’t have a reservation, we somehow snagged the only available table in the cozy, centrally-located restaurant.
Luck was clearly on our side. Not only did we get the chance to dine in a busy restaurant filled with fellow food lovers, but we also got a front-row view to walls lined with epic murals and filled with memorabilia. The ambiance was a winner, but what about the food?
Though we were tempted by a homey menu featuring dishes featuring proteins like tripe, rabbit and duck, we both ordered Risotto all’ Amarone. We didn’t have a choice. As is common in Verona, the restaurant mandates a two-person minimum for the popular rice dish.
With a color nothing short of blood red, the bowls of Risotto all’ Amarone took us by surprise when they landed on our table. However, our surprise quickly turned to joy once we tasted the luscious concoction featuring medium grain rice and Amarone wine.
After pairing our risotto with locally produced, slightly fizzy Bardolino, the tavern’s house wine, we didn’t stop until our plates were clean and our glasses empty. Needless to say, we ended our meal both full and happy.
La Taverna di Via Stella is located at Via Stella, 5, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Antica Trattoria dall’Amelia
We’d like to say that we discovered Antica Trattoria dall’Amelia while strolling along the Adige River and entered the restaurant after glancing upon its enticing courtyard. But that wouldn’t be true. The reality is that we found the traditional Verona restaurant in the modern way – from our Airbnb host.
Dining al fresco is the way to go as the restaurant’s courtyard is filled with fragrant flowers in the warmer months. During our meal, we started with a plate of homestyle meatballs served over a vibrant green sauce with parsley and garlic. We finished with an equally colorful plate of ricotta tortelli with swordfish, olives and cherry tomatoes.
Antica Trattoria dall’Amelia is located at Lungadige Bartolomeo Rubele, 32, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Osteria da Ugo
Located on a secluded street just a few blocks from Juliet’s Balcony, Osteria da Ugo is a great spot to enjoy dinner with friends. At least that’s what we did when we wandered into the convivial restaurant with a group of five hungry travelers (us included). Before long, we were satisfying our hunger pangs with a board covered with salumi and local cheese.
Despite Osteria da Ugo’s prime location, the restaurant was not filled with tourists on the night of our dinner. Instead, locals and travelers joined together in their love of simple food like pasta, pork chops and seafood.
The Maccheroncini al Ragù di Tastasal e Amarone con Polvere di Cipolla e Peperoncino was our favorite dish of the meal. This was no surprise considering that the dish has ingredients like pasta, ragu, toasted onions and chili peppers.
Osteria da Ugo is located at Vicolo Dietro Sant’Andrea, 1 / b, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Trattoria al Bersagliere
A bit off the tourist track, Trattoria al Bersagliere served traditional Veronese dishes in its shabby chic Filippini location. We dined here at the suggestion of our friend Mila Ulchenko, a travel writer who lived in Verona for several years, and it did not disappoint.
Though we both ate heaping plates of Risotto all’Amarone red wine due to the menu’s two-person minimum requirement for Verona’s signature dish, we were tempted to order dishes like Polenta with Homemade Salumi and Bigoli with Duck Sauce instead. The trattoria also serves steak and fish options for diners more in the mood for protein than carbs.
Trattoria al Bersagliere is located at Via Dietro Pallone, 1, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Though Verona doesn’t rival Italian cities like Naples or Rome in terms of pizza, the city more than holds its own when it comes to preparing one of Italy’s most popular foods. After trying several pies as ‘research’, we recommend the following Verona pizzerias:
Pizzaiolo Renato Bosco takes pizza in new directions at Saporè DownTown, a modern Verona pizzeria just blocks from the city’s historic Juliet balcony. While it’s questionable if Juliet actually existed beyond Shakespeare’s imagination, there’s no debate that the Bosco’s pizza is for real.
Written exclusively in Italian, Saporé DownTown’s menu is eclectic. Pizza styles include Mozzarella di Pane (Steamed Soft Bread Roll), Pizza Crunch (Roman Style), Pizza Doppio Crunch (Double Crunch), La Pizza Tonda (Round), Aria al Vapore (Bagel Pizza) and Aria di Pane (Soft and Airy Crust).
We sampled two different pies during our mid-day Verona pizza fest. Wanting to optimize our experience, we ordered two different styles – La Pizza Tunda with tomato sauce, burrata and speck and Aria de Pane with prosciutto and mushrooms.
Though we appreciated the Aria de Pane pie’s creativity, we found its dough more like bread than pizza crust. However, the La Pizza Tunda was just right with a crunchy base and excellent toppings. Next time, we’ll cut to the chase and order two of these pies when we revisit the tony pizzeria.
Saporé DownTown is located at Via Amanti, 6, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Pizzeria da Salvatore
Opened in 1961 by the Rasulo family who moved to Verona from Napoli, Pizzeria da Salvatore is reputed to be the city’s oldest pizzeria. Despite its age and history, there’s nothing stodgy about this popular spot.
We shared a classic pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and spicy salami during our mid-afternoon visit. The pizza’s description lived up to its billing, with a generous amount of spicy meat added to the classically crispy, thin pie.
If you’re looking for an Instagram-ready round pie, then go somewhere else. However, if you’re looking for tasty pizza served for a good price away from the tourists, then this is the pizzeria for you.
Pizzeria da Salvatore is located at Piazza S. Tomaso, 6, 37129 Verona VR, Italy.
Our Verona pizza research led us to Berberè, the Verona outpost of a well-regarded pizza operation started by two Calabrian brothers in Bologna back in 2010. We were attracted to the restaurant’s modern website and tempting menu filled with artisanal pizzas and craft beer.
Berberè prides itself in using organic ingredients and traditional pizza techniques. However, our expectations dipped when we approached the pizzeria situated just off touristic Piazza delle Erbe. Talk about an inauspicious location for good food, or so we thought.
Despite our initial trepidations, we’re pleased to report that both of our pizzas were excellent. We adored our pie with Cetara anchovies, Salina capers, marinated red onion and fiordilatte mozzarella for its strong flavors and satisfying mouth bite. We equally enjoyed our pie topped with Prosciutto crudo from Norica, burrata, fiodilatte mozzarella and orange-infused oil.
In case you’re wondering, our beers were good too.
Berberè is located at Via Pellicciai, 2, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Du de Cope
Du De Cope holds a special place in our heart for being the very first stop on our week-long Verona food tour. Not wanting to miss a bite, we met a friend for pizza and wine less than an hour after our arrival. We literally dropped off our bags and dashed to the center of town for dinner at the popular pizzeria.
We immediately got a good vibe from the colorful, boisterous dining room filled with couples and families alike. A benefit of being a threesome was comfortably sharing a trio of pies. We rarely complain when sharing means more pizza to taste.
Not that it was a contest, but the Guanciale di Sauris pie was the winning pizza of the night. Starting with a cereal flour dough, the pie was topped with Guanciale, tomato sauce, burrata, fresh tomatoes, basil, and olives and parmesan cheese. We also liked the Capricciosa pie with generous amounts of tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, mushrooms, artichokes, anchovies, black olives, capers, oregano and parmesan cheese.
The restaurant’s team clearly thought of every detail when they opened Due de Cope in 2004. Though it wasn’t our favorite Verona pizzeria, we enjoyed experiencing its creative pizza and boisterous atmosphere.
Du De Cope is located at Galleria Pellicciai, 10, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Additional Verona Pizzerias
Four pizza meals may not be enough during your time in Verona. If this is the case, consider checking out the following additional Verona pizzerias:
Cheap Eats Verona
Not every Verona meal needs to be epic in price or time commitment to be enjoyable. When you want to eat well but for less money, check out the following cheap eats options:
Let’s cut to the chase. The best part about eating at Tigella Bella is the view of the Adige River. Diners who sit outside will be rewarded with a riverside view while they enjoy a leisurely meal at this casual Verona eatery
The restaurant has other items on the menu beside tigelle but ignore those. Instead, order tigelle with cured meats and spreads. Since the restaurant has an overwhelming number of choices, we let the server select a dozen condiments that included ten savory spreads and two sweet ones.
Did we mention that we shared a platter for one person during our meal? Yes, the food in the photo above cost us under €20 including a big bottle of sparkling water, and it was more than enough.
Tigella Bella is located at Via Sottoriva, 24, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo
Cichetti bars are quite the rage in Venice, but visitors to Verona can experience Cichetti culture when they visit Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo. This popular spot serves a range of small snacks like the meat-topped toasts we shared with glasses of house wine.
Sure, you can eat a full meal at Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo but the true value is in the snacks. Not only are they cheap, but these snacks won’t make you too full before you go to sleep.
Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo is located at Via Rosa, 12, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Bagels in Italy? That’s what we said when we passed by the Bagel Store on the way back to our Airbnb apartment. Intrigued by the concept, we returned later in the week to check it out.
As self-proclaimed bagel experts who have eaten bagels in cities as varied as Montreal, Riga, Budapest and Cape Town, we were curious to sample the Verona version. As an homage to our location, we ordered the Italy sandwich with prosciutto, burrata, arugula, red onion and pesto on a poppy seed bagel.
Sure, we could have ordered a bagel with lox, but what would have been the fun with that? We much preferred trying the Italian take on a bagel sandwich. The ingredients were of place and the bagel was good.
Bagel Store is located at Lungadige Porta Vittoria, 3/a, 37129 Verona VR, Italy.
Savvy food travelers will want to visit Verona at the end of the year when its most famous desserts are available. The holiday season is the time to indulge in Pandoro and Ofello cakes. However, Verona’s industrious bakers create excellent pastries on a daily basis throughout the year.
Check out the following Verona pastry shops and cafes if you have a sweet tooth or two:
What happens when a two-star Michelin chef opens a traditional Italian pasticceria? If that chef happens to be Giancarlo Perbellini, then the results are a Verona cafe that rivals any in Paris or Vienna.
Perbellini runs a bit of a culinary empire in Verona with his flagship Casa Perbellini as well as smaller restaurants like Due de Cope featured above. However, if you only have time to check out one, make it Dolce Locanda.
At first glance, Dolce Locanda is a simple pastry shop with a coffee bar. However, one taste will reveal the pasticerria to be a mandatory stop for all dessert lovers who visit Verona.
After sharing a small raspberry cheesecake, we were fans. By the time we dug into a small slice of the shop’s millefoglie, we were super fans.
This creamy, crunchy work of art, layered with flaky millefeuille and luxurious pastry cream rivals the best pastry in Paris. Dolce Locanda’s version, stuffed with chocolate chips, is beyond extraordinary.
Dolce Locanda is located at Via Valerio Catullo, 12, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
It’s no secret that we’re not big fans of traditional Italian coffee. Trust us – we tried to love the stuff during a month in Naples, but our coffee preferences skew toward lighter roasted, single-sourced specialty coffee.
At one point, we thought we had found a specialty coffee shop in Verona but it didn’t pan out. Instead, we satisfied our morning cravings at traditional cafes like cozy Caffè Borsari.
Decked out in colorful teapots and speckled counter-tops, this coffee shop has a 60-year history that you’ll feel immediately. Table space is limited, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying their incredible, dense hot chocolates, frothy cappuccinos, and airy brioches. Borsari’s a favorite of locals and visitors alike and for good reason.
During our first visit, we ordered cappuccinos and cornettos but soon realized our mistake. The cafe’s specialty is artistic chocolate cappuccinos like none we had seen before. After tasting the decadent drink, we were fans for life.
Caffè Borsari is located at Corso Porta Borsari, 15, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
A popular aperitivo destination in the evening for locals, Café Carducci is a great spot to start the day with a cappuccino and light bite. We enjoyed sfogliatina pastries one morning and small piadina sandwiches another morning during our week in Verona. Needless to say, we drank cappuccinos both mornings.
Café Carducci is located at Via Giosuè Carducci, 12, 37129 Verona VR, Italy.
We ogled the Torta di Verona in the window case at Pasticceria Cordioli several times before we finally walked through the pastry shop’s welcoming doors. What we found was a pastry shop that sells dozens of pastry options, many featuring marzipan and chocolate.
Initially overwhelmed by the selection of Veronese pastries, a friendly clerk patiently directed us to her favorites. We especially liked the shop’s risino with its pie crust exterior and rice custard filling.
Pasticceria Cordioli is located at Via Cappello, 37, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Antica Pasticceria Piazza Isolo
Antica Pasticceria Piazza Isolo is a quiet cafe where a visitor can enjoy a breakfast and cappuccino. The local shop sells a variety of pastries in addition to a selection of excellent cornettos. The shop also sells decorated cakes fit to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion.
Antica Pasticceria Piazza Isolo is located at Basement of Acqua Morta, 70B, 37129 Verona VR, Italy.
Verona has enough gelaterias to satisfy both locals and food travelers who crave gelato-topped cones on a daily basis. Since some gelaterias are better than others, the challenge is to know where to go.
Check out our Verona Gelato Guide to avoid gelato disappointment.
You will undoubtedly be thirsty after eating your way through Verona. Luckily, the city has a multitude of watering holes where you can whet your whistle.
Whether you want to enjoy pre-dinner aperitvo or post-dinner drinks, you won’t be disappointed with the following beverage options in Verona:
It’s easy to drink in Verona. Local establishments serve Aperol Spritzes by the barrel while wine flows as freely as the Adige. However, finding crafted cocktails is more of a challenge. At least it was for us until we stumbled upon Archivio on a quiet alley in the center of town.
Archivio’s mixologists serve a sophisticated slate of cocktails using premium liquors and exotic ingredients. During our multiple visits to the tiny cocktail bar, we drank seasonal cocktails like the Belafonte and Jungle Bird, though we were tempted to order others like their Asian Mule and Lobby Boy. We opted against standard spritzes, but they make those too.
Specialty cocktails at the time of our visit ranged in price from €6 to €8, a relative bargain for crafted specialty drinks.
Archivio is located at Via Rosa, 3c, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Verona is a wine lover’s paradise.
Located in the Veneto and less than a half hour drive to Valpolicella, Verona is the epicenter for drinking wines like Amarone, Soave, Bardolino and Ripasso. It’s no coincidence that Vinitaly, the wine community’s epic annual expo, occurs in Verona each and every year.
Wine isn’t difficult to find in Verona even for more casual wine drinkers. Seeking out an enoteca is not necessary since wine is available at restaurants and cafes at all hours of the day. Though we don’t recommend it, travelers can start their day with a glass of wine instead of a cup of cappuccino. What?!
Both Antico Bottega del Vino and Trattoria Pane e Vino are great spots to drink local varietals with a meal or at the bar. See above for details on both recommended wine-focused restaurants.
We also recommend stopping at Osteria del Buglioni for pre-dinner aperitivo. The Verona wine bar serves Vini Buglioni varietals including Ripasso and Amarone as well as salume sourced from local producers.
Satisfied customers can purchase bottles of Buglioni wine to enjoy later. Note, we fit into the satisfied customer category and left with additional wine to drink later.
Osteria del Buglioni is located at Corso Porta Borsari, 17, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Finding craft beer in Verona takes a little work. At the end of the day, this is a wine city after all. But crafty craft beer fans will find their drink of choice at better bars around town.
This situation could change quickly with local brewers like Birra Mastino crafting modern brews like American IPAs and Baltic Porters. We enjoyed their Bavarian-style Helles, the perfect antidote to a hot Verona day, at a hole-in-the-wall bar near our Airbnb apartment.
Verona Markets & Specialty Shops
Italian cities typically have wonderful markets but this was not our experience in Verona. We had high hopes for the daily market at the Piazza delle Erbe but were disappointed by the touristic market that sells more tacky trinkets than fresh produce. Chasing the city’s neighborhoods markets that move around the city on a daily basis proved only a bit more fruitful.
We later heard that nearby Padua’s 800-year old market is the kind of market we tried to find in Verona. After looking at photos of the epic AgroAlimentare Market of Padua, we agree. We’re adding this market to our itinerary the next time we’re in the Veneto.
Piazza delle Erbe Market is located at Piazza Erbe, 16, 37121 Verona VR, Italy.
Garage Coffee Bros.
After getting a hot tip from a barista at Forno Brisa in Bologna, we thought we had found a specialty coffee shop in Verona to satisfy our daily caffeine needs. Upon schlepping to the other side of the Porta Nuova train station, we quickly realized that Garage Coffee Bros. is actually a coffee distributor and not a cafe. Oops!
After we inadvertently barged into his office, partner/bro Davide Cobelli took pity on us and brewed us coffee from his personal stash before giving us a tour of his modern roasting operation. Along with real-life brother Andrea, Cobelli sources freshly harvested green coffee beans from countries like Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia and Kenya before roasting them in Verona.
Sure, we were disappointed that Verona does not yet have a specialty coffee shop but we were equally pleased to meet a kindred spirit in Cobelli. People like him give us hope for Italy’s slow but steady entrance into coffee’s third wave.
Garage Coffee Bros. is located at Via Anton Maria Lorgna, 21, 37136 Verona VR, Italy.
A stroll through Verona’s streets will quickly reveal a multitude of excellent specialty shops selling cheese, meat, wine and other food products. These shops turn every city walk into a potential shopping expedition.
During our walks, we were pleased to discover Ettogrammo, a sustainable entry to Verona’s specialty market scene. The zero-waste shop sells grains, dried fruit, beans, flour, herbs, spices, seeds, pasta, bread and wine to customers with an eye to the future of our planet.
Ettogrammo is located at Basement of Acqua Morta, 48 / e, 37129 Verona VR, Italy.
Wine Tasting in Valpolicella
Just a short drive from Verona, Valpolicella is prolific when it comes to producing Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) wine in Italy. In other words, this region produces great wine and a lot of it.
We knew we wanted to head to the hills during our time in Verona. Leaving Veneto without seeing the sloping land where Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes grow was simply not an option.
As it turns out, visiting Valpolicella from Verona is as simple as scheduling a tour or renting a car. We fully planned to do one of these two options before fortuity stepped in under the guise of like-minded friends in town with a car.
Azienda Agricola Spada
All roads led to Azienda Agricola Spada when we left Verona with Chef Dennis Litteley and his lovely wife Lisa. We just didn’t know it until we arrived unannounced at the family-owned wine farm.
After sussing us up, winemaker Francesco Spada warmly invited us to tour the estate that his family has been harvesting since 1910. We took a quick tour of the expansive land where the family grows its grapes and then peeked into one of Spada’s aging rooms filled with oak barrels. Before we knew it, the real fun began…
You guessed it. The highlight of our visit was tasting five of the winery’s signature wines including Valpolicella, Ripasso and Amarone. Spada saved the best for last – a bottle of 2011 Amarone Classico Riserva aged in French oak. As we nibbled on snacks and sipped some of the best wine in the world, there was nowhere else on earth where we wanted to be.
Azienda Agricola Spada is located at Via Villa Girardi, 26, 37029 San Pietro In Cariano VR, Italy.
Things To Do in Verona
Now that you know where to eat and drink in Verona, you can concentrate on the city’s many activities. Here are a handful that go beyond balconies and churches for you to consider:
- Purchase a Verona Card and get arena priority entrance privileges.
- Explore the city via a Hop-on Hop-off Bus.
- Traverse the city on foot during 3-Hour Walking Tour.
- Eat your way through the city on a Food Tour with a Wine Tasting.
- Learn how to cook Verona food favorites during a Cooking Class.
- Get your pizza on during a Pizza Cooking Class Experience.
- Experience nature during a Truffle Hunting Experience & Amarone Tasting.
- Drink your way through Valpolicella on a Wineries Day Tour with Lunch.
Verona Meal Map
We’ve included this handy map so you can track your Verona meals and beverage breaks with a smartphone.
Research Verona Hotels
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We thank the Verona Tourist Office for providing us with access to many of the city’s notable attractions to facilitate this article. We personally researched and funded all of our meals and travel expenses in Verona.
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