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What To Eat In Genoa – Food Guide To Genoa


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Brandie Dungan



Welcome to Genoa, the vibrant coastal city in northern Italy that boasts a rich culinary heritage. Nestled between the Ligurian Sea and the rolling hills of Liguria, Genoa is famous for its delicious and diverse cuisine. From fresh seafood delicacies to mouthwatering pastries, this food guide will take you on a culinary journey through the flavors of Genoa.


With its strategic location and historical significance as a major harbor city, Genoa has been influenced by various cultures and culinary traditions throughout its history. The city’s cuisine is a delightful blend of Ligurian, Italian, and Mediterranean flavors, resulting in a unique and unforgettable gastronomic experience.


Genoa’s culinary identity is centered around fresh, high-quality ingredients, simplicity, and a focus on showcasing the natural flavors of the region. Basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese are just a few of the staple ingredients used in many traditional Genoese dishes.


As you explore the streets of Genoa, be prepared to indulge in a variety of mouthwatering specialties. From the famous trofie al pesto to the beloved focaccia di Genova, each bite will transport you deeper into the gastronomic delights of this charming city.


So, whether you’re a food lover looking to embark on a culinary adventure or a traveler wanting to discover the soul of Genoa through its flavors, this food guide is your ultimate companion. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and discover the authentic flavors of Genoa!


Genoa’s Culinary Identity

Genoa’s culinary identity is deeply rooted in its geographical location and historical significance as a major trading port in the Mediterranean. The city’s culinary heritage has been shaped over centuries, blending influences from neighboring regions and distant cultures that passed through its bustling harbor.


The Ligurian region, where Genoa is located, is known for its abundance of fresh and flavorful ingredients. The fertile soil produces vibrant fruits, vegetables, and aromatic herbs, while the Ligurian Sea offers a bountiful harvest of seafood.


Simple yet refined, Genoa’s cuisine celebrates the natural flavors of its ingredients, allowing them to shine in every dish. The dishes are characterized by their lightness, delicate balance of flavors, and a distinct emphasis on preserving the integrity of each ingredient used.


A key player in the Genoese culinary scene is basil, which holds a special place in the heart of every local. Pesto Genovese, a fragrant sauce made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, is perhaps the most iconic and beloved Genoese creation. It is traditionally paired with trofie, a delicate hand-rolled pasta, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors that capture the essence of Genoa’s cuisine.


Another pillar of Genoa’s culinary identity is focaccia di Genova. This soft and airy flatbread is generously topped with olive oil, coarse salt, and sometimes other ingredients like onions or olives. It is a staple in Genoese households and bakeries, enjoyed as a snack or accompaniment to a meal.


Farinata, a thin and crispy chickpea pancake, is another traditional specialty that showcases the simplicity and purity of Genoa’s cuisine. Made with chickpea flour, olive oil, salt, and water, this gluten-free delight is often enjoyed as street food or as a starter in local restaurants.


Pansotti di Noci are a treasure of Genoese cuisine. These delicate triangular-shaped pasta parcels are filled with a mixture of wild greens, herbs, and ricotta cheese, then served with a rich walnut sauce. The combination of the fresh, earthy flavors and the creamy walnut sauce is a true taste of Genoa.


When it comes to seafood, Genoa’s coastal location ensures an abundance of fresh and flavorful options. Frittura di pesce, a medley of lightly battered and fried fish and seafood, is a popular dish that showcases the best of the Ligurian Sea. From succulent shrimp to tender calamari, this dish is a seafood lover’s delight.


Genoese cuisine also embraces the love for fresh vegetables with a variety of salads. Insalata di nervetti is a refreshing salad made with thinly sliced beef tendons, dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley. The Cappon magro is a show-stopping salad made with layers of seafood, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs, dressed with a rich sauce. These salads not only highlight the abundance of fresh produce in Genoa but also reflect its coastal heritage.


With its unique flavors and culinary traditions, Genoa’s culinary identity is characterized by a celebration of simplicity, freshness, and the diverse influences that have shaped it over the centuries. Exploring the city’s culinary offerings is not just a journey for the taste buds, but also a glimpse into the cultural and historical tapestry of this vibrant Italian city.


Traditional Genoese Specialties

Genoa is renowned for its traditional specialties that have been passed down through generations. These beloved dishes highlight the rich culinary heritage of the city and continue to be cherished by locals and visitors alike.


Trofie al Pesto is perhaps the most famous Genoese dish, and for good reason. This simple yet flavorful dish features fresh trofie pasta tossed in a vibrant green sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The combination of the hand-rolled pasta and the fragrant pesto creates a harmonious and unforgettable taste experience.


No trip to Genoa would be complete without indulging in a slice of Focaccia di Genova. This delectable flatbread is made with a light and fluffy dough, generously drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt. You’ll find it in bakeries throughout the city, and it’s perfect for a quick snack or enjoyed alongside a meal.


Farinata is a popular street food in Genoa that will tantalize your taste buds. This gluten-free savoury pancake is made from chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and salt. It is baked until crispy and golden and can be enjoyed on its own or with a sprinkle of black pepper.


An exquisite pasta dish that captures the essence of Genoese cuisine is Pansotti di Noci. These triangular-shaped pasta parcels are filled with a mixture of wild greens, herbs, and ricotta cheese. They are served with a rich and velvety walnut sauce that complements the delicate flavors of the pasta perfectly.


Frittura di Pesce, or mixed fried fish, is a must-try for seafood lovers. Fresh fish and seafood are lightly battered and fried to crispy perfection. From tender calamari to juicy prawns, this dish showcases the incredible flavors of the Ligurian Sea.


In addition to these specialties, Genoa is also known for its variety of traditional salads. The Insalata di Nervetti is a refreshing salad made with thinly sliced beef tendons dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley. It offers a unique combination of flavors and textures that will awaken your taste buds.


The Cappon Magro is a true spectacle of Genoese cuisine. This elaborate salad is composed of layers of seafood, vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and a rich sauce. Its vibrant colors and complex flavors make it a favorite for special occasions and celebrations.


From the fragrant trofie al pesto to the crispy farinata and the indulgent pansotti di noci, these traditional Genoese specialties are a testament to the city’s culinary excellence. Exploring the local cuisine and savoring these dishes is an essential part of experiencing Genoa’s rich cultural heritage.


Trofie al Pesto

One of the most iconic and beloved dishes in Genoa is Trofie al Pesto. This simple yet flavorful pasta dish showcases the quintessential flavors of Genoese cuisine. Trofie, a type of hand-rolled pasta, is traditionally paired with a vibrant and aromatic basil-based sauce known as Pesto Genovese.


Trofie pasta is made from a mixture of flour and water, rolled and twisted by hand into small, elongated shapes that resemble gnocchi. This unique shape allows the pasta to hold onto the sauce, creating a perfect balance of flavors in every bite.


The star of the dish is the Pesto Genovese sauce. Made from fresh Genoese basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, this sauce is a testament to the importance of high-quality ingredients in Genoese cuisine. The basil is carefully picked at its peak freshness and blended together with the remaining ingredients to create a vibrant green sauce that is bursting with flavor.


Pesto Genovese is prepared using a mortar and pestle, a traditional method that ensures the ingredients are properly crushed and blended together, resulting in a smooth and cohesive sauce. This careful preparation method is a testament to the dedication and attention to detail that goes into creating authentic Genoese dishes.


Once the pasta is cooked until al dente, it is tossed generously with the basil pesto. The sauce beautifully coats each strand of trofie, creating a harmonious marriage of flavors. The creamy texture of the sauce combined with the tender yet slightly chewy pasta creates a delightful eating experience.


Trofie al Pesto can be enjoyed on its own as a main course or paired with additional ingredients such as potatoes and green beans to create a classic Genoese dish called Trofie al Pesto con Patate e Fagiolini. The addition of these ingredients adds texture and depth to the dish, enhancing its overall appeal.


Whether you’re indulging in Trofie al Pesto at a local trattoria or attempting to recreate this dish at home, it is an absolute must-try when in Genoa. The combination of the handmade pasta, the fragrant basil pesto, and the simplicity of the ingredients truly captures the essence of Genoese cuisine.


So, when you find yourself in Genoa, be sure to savor a plate of Trofie al Pesto and immerse yourself in the flavors that have been cherished by locals for generations. It’s a culinary experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the richness and authenticity of Genoese cuisine.


Focaccia di Genova

One of the most beloved and iconic foods synonymous with Genoa is Focaccia di Genova. This delectable flatbread is a staple in the region, known for its simplicity, lightness, and incredible flavor.


Focaccia di Genova is made from a soft and airy dough that is typically enriched with extra-virgin olive oil, creating a tender texture and a slight nutty taste. The dough is then generously drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt, which forms a golden crust on top during baking.


The secret to the exceptional taste of Focaccia di Genova lies in the quality of the ingredients. The use of high-quality olive oil, sea salt, and fresh yeast is key to achieving the authentic flavor and texture that sets this focaccia apart.


One of the distinguishing features of Genoa’s focaccia is its thickness. Unlike other variations, which can be thick and fluffy, Focaccia di Genova is typically thinner, allowing for a delightful balance of textures. The thinness of the bread creates a light and airy interior while still maintaining a chewy and flavorful crust.


Focaccia di Genova can be enjoyed in various ways. It is commonly served as a snack or appetizer, enjoyed on its own or paired with cured meats, cheeses, or pickled vegetables. It can also be used as a base for sandwiches, filled with a variety of ingredients like fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.


While the classic version of Focaccia di Genova is simply topped with olive oil and salt, variations can include additional ingredients such as onions, olives, or rosemary, enhancing the flavor profile and adding a touch of complexity.


When in Genoa, it’s not uncommon to find locals picking up their daily supply of Focaccia di Genova from neighborhood bakeries. The aroma of freshly baked bread fills the air as customers eagerly line up to take home this delicious treat.


In recent years, Focaccia di Genova has gained international popularity and can be found in various parts of the world. However, nothing compares to experiencing the authentic taste and texture of this Italian delight while strolling through the streets of Genoa.


So, whether you enjoy it as an appetizer, a snack, or as part of a mouthwatering sandwich, Focaccia di Genova is a must-try when visiting Genoa. Indulge in this simple yet sublime creation, and let the flavors transport you to the heart of Italian culinary excellence.



When exploring the culinary delights of Genoa, one cannot miss out on trying Farinata. This traditional dish is a thin and crispy chickpea pancake that is a true celebration of simplicity and flavor.


Farinata is made with a few basic ingredients: chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and salt. The batter is prepared by mixing the chickpea flour with water and salt to create a smooth consistency. The mixture is then left to rest for a few hours, allowing the flavors to develop and the ingredients to blend harmoniously.


Once the batter has rested, it is poured into a large, shallow baking pan greased generously with olive oil. The pan is then placed in a hot oven, creating the perfect conditions for the farinata to cook and form a crisp golden crust.


After baking for a short period of time, the farinata is ready to be enjoyed. The result is a thin, slightly crispy pancake with a rich, nutty flavor and a delightful texture reminiscent of a savory crepe.


Farinata is often cut into triangular slices and eaten while still warm. It can be enjoyed on its own as a light snack or as part of a meal accompanied by fresh salads, olives, or cured meats. Its versatility allows it to be served as an appetizer, a main course, or even as a street food option.


The origins of farinata can be traced back to ancient times when it was a common staple among sailors due to its long shelf life and high nutritional value. Today, it remains a beloved dish in Genoa and is often enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.


While farinata is a specialty of Genoa, variations of this chickpea pancake can be found throughout the Mediterranean, each with its own unique regional twist. However, the farinata of Genoa stands out for its simplicity and the way it perfectly captures the essence of the city’s culinary heritage.


So, when in Genoa, be sure to seek out a local bakery or a street vendor offering farinata. Take a bite into this savory delight and experience the unforgettable combination of flavors and textures that make it a true gem of Genoese cuisine.


Pansotti di Noci

Pansotti di Noci is a traditional Genoese dish that showcases the region’s love for pasta and the abundance of locally sourced ingredients. These delicate triangular-shaped pasta parcels are filled with a mixture of wild greens, herbs, and ricotta cheese, then served with a rich and velvety walnut sauce.


The name “pansotti” comes from the Genoese word “pan,” meaning bread, as these pasta parcels were traditionally made with leftover bread dough. Today, the dough is typically made with flour, eggs, olive oil, and a touch of salt, resulting in a soft and supple pasta that perfectly encases the flavorful filling.


The filling for pansotti di noci is a harmonious blend of wild greens, such as borage or chard, along with herbs like parsley and marjoram. These ingredients are finely chopped and combined with creamy ricotta cheese to create a luscious mixture. The filling is then carefully spooned onto the pasta sheets and folded into triangular shapes, creating little pockets of deliciousness.


What truly elevates pansotti di noci is the accompanying walnut sauce. The sauce is made by finely grinding walnuts and blending them with garlic, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and olive oil. The result is a smooth and creamy sauce with a rich nutty flavor that perfectly complements the delicate flavors of the pasta.


When serving pansotti di noci, the pasta is cooked until tender and then generously spooned with the luxurious walnut sauce. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil complete the dish, adding extra depth and richness.


Pansotti di noci is a dish that is often enjoyed during special occasions and festivities in Genoa. The combination of the tender pasta, the flavorful filling, and the indulgent walnut sauce creates a symphony of flavors that showcases the region’s culinary excellence.


So, when visiting Genoa, make sure to seek out a local restaurant or trattoria that serves authentic pansotti di noci. Indulge in this delightful dish and savor the unique combination of flavors and textures that make it a true gem of Genoese cuisine.


Frittura di Pesce

When it comes to seafood delicacies, Genoa’s coastal location ensures an abundance of fresh and flavorful options. One dish that perfectly captures the essence of Genoa’s coastal cuisine is Frittura di Pesce, a medley of lightly battered and fried fish and seafood.


Frittura di Pesce showcases the culinary tradition of frying fish to perfection, resulting in crispy and golden morsels of seafood that are simply irresistible. The dish typically includes a variety of seafood such as prawns, calamari, small fish like anchovies or sardines, and sometimes even shellfish like clams or mussels.


The seafood is lightly coated in a batter made from flour, water, and sometimes a touch of beer or sparkling water to add extra lightness and crispness to the fried coating. It is important to use a light batter to preserve the delicate flavors and textures of the seafood.


Once the seafood is coated in the batter, it is quickly fried in hot oil until it becomes crispy and golden. The frying process is brief to ensure that the seafood remains tender and juicy. It takes skill and experience to achieve the perfect balance between a crisp outer layer and succulent flesh.


Frittura di Pesce is often served with a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavors. The dish is typically enjoyed hot and fresh, straight from the fryer, to fully appreciate the crispy exterior and the delicate flavors of the seafood.


When visiting Genoa, you’ll find Frittura di Pesce served in numerous seafood restaurants and trattorias along the coast. The combination of different seafood creates a tantalizing array of flavors and textures that highlight the coastal riches of the Ligurian Sea.


Whether enjoyed as a main course or shared as an appetizer among friends, Frittura di Pesce is an exquisite example of Genoa’s seafood prowess. It is a dish that not only honors the region’s culinary heritage but also showcases the freshest bounty of the sea.


So, if you have a love for seafood, make sure to indulge in Frittura di Pesce when in Genoa. Let the crispy and succulent combination of fried fish and seafood transport you to the coastal paradise that is Genoa.


Genoese Salads

When it comes to refreshing and vibrant dishes, Genoa has a variety of salads that perfectly capture the essence of the region’s culinary heritage. These salads showcase the bountiful produce of the area and combine it with flavors that reflect the coastal influence of the Ligurian Sea.


One of the most popular Genoese salads is the Insalata di Nervetti, which features thinly sliced beef tendons dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley. It offers a unique combination of flavors and textures, with the tendons providing a slightly chewy and gelatinous texture that is balanced by the tangy dressing.


Another well-known salad is the Cappon Magro, which can be described as a show-stopping centerpiece. This elaborate salad is composed of layers of seafood, such as shrimp, lobster, and crab, along with a variety of vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, and artichokes. Hard-boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies add a Mediterranean touch, while the whole salad is dressed with a rich and savory sauce made from mayonnaise, capers, and anchovies.


Both of these salads not only celebrate the abundance of fresh produce and seafood in Genoa but also reflect the region’s coastal heritage. They are often enjoyed as a light lunch or an appetizer, offering a refreshing and satisfying option during warm summer days.


In addition to these signature salads, Genoa is also known for its Insalata di Polpo, a refreshing octopus salad. The octopus is tenderized and cooked until perfectly tender, then sliced and tossed with a lemony dressing, olives, and parsley. The result is a salad that is both flavorful and texturally pleasing.


Throughout Genoa, you’ll find an array of other salads that celebrate the vibrant flavors of Italian cuisine. Insalata di Misticanza, a mixed greens salad, showcases a variety of seasonal lettuces and wild greens, dressed with a simple vinaigrette. Insalata di Pomodori highlights juicy and ripe tomatoes, paired with fragrant basil and drizzled with olive oil, while Insalata di Riso combines cooked rice with an assortment of vegetables, olives, and tuna, dressed with a zesty vinaigrette.


These Genoese salads are a testament to the region’s commitment to using fresh and quality ingredients. They not only offer a burst of flavor and color but also reflect the rich culinary heritage of Genoa.


So, when in Genoa, make sure to experience the refreshing and vibrant flavors of these Genoese salads. Whether it’s the tangy Insalata di Nervetti, the impressive Cappon Magro, or any of the other delightful options, these salads are a delightful way to embrace the local cuisine and savor the flavors of Genoa.


Genoa’s Seafood Delicacies

As a coastal city, Genoa boasts an exceptional array of seafood delicacies that highlight the freshness and flavors of the Ligurian Sea. From succulent shrimp to tender calamari, exploring Genoa’s seafood offerings is a culinary adventure not to be missed.


One of the most treasured seafood dishes in Genoa is Acciughe al Verde, which translates to “anchovies in green sauce.” Fresh anchovies are marinated in a flavorful green sauce made from parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. The result is a tangy and herbaceous dish that perfectly complements the delicate flavors of the anchovies.


Another notable seafood delicacy is Baccalà alla Genovese, a dish made with salted codfish. The cod is soaked to remove the salt and then cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, and capers. The combination of sweet and savory flavors creates a hearty and satisfying dish that has been enjoyed by generations of Genoese families.


Gamberi alla Genovese is a simple yet divine dish that showcases the natural sweetness of the beloved Mediterranean prawns. The prawns are sautéed with garlic, white wine, and lemon juice, creating a fragrant and succulent seafood experience that is both elegant and delicious.


Pesce Stocco Fritto is another seafood delicacy in Genoa that features fried stockfish. The stockfish is soaked and then coated in a light batter before being fried until golden and crispy. The result is a wonderful contrast of textures, with the fish being tender and flaky on the inside and crispy on the outside.


When it comes to Genoa’s seafood offerings, it is impossible not to mention the city’s love for anchovies. Throughout Genoa, you’ll find a variety of dishes that highlight these small fish, from marinated filets to stuffed and baked anchovies. Their delicate and briny flavor is a true taste of the sea.


Whether you enjoy them marinated, sautéed, fried, or baked, Genoa’s seafood delicacies are a testament to the city’s rich maritime heritage and the quality of the bountiful seafood harvested from the nearby Ligurian Sea.


So, when in Genoa, be sure to immerse yourself in the flavors of the sea and indulge in these seafood delicacies. Let the freshness and richness of the seafood transport you to the coastal paradise that is Genoa.


Gelato and Granita

When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth in Genoa, Gelato and Granita are the go-to treats for locals and visitors alike. These frozen delights offer a refreshing and indulgent experience that is deeply rooted in Italian culinary tradition.


Gelato, the Italian version of ice cream, holds a special place in the hearts of the Genoese. Made with milk, sugar, and natural flavors, Gelato is known for its creamy texture and intense flavors. It is created using specialized machinery that churns the mixture at a slower speed, resulting in less air incorporation, which gives gelato its dense and velvety consistency.


Genoa is home to gelaterias that are known for their exceptional gelato. From classic flavors like pistachio, chocolate, and strawberry to more unique options such as basil or hazelnut, there is an endless variety to choose from. One must-try flavor in Genoa is the local specialty, Crema di Grom, a delicious combination of sweet cream and bits of cookies.


Granita is another frozen treat that is popular in Genoa, especially during hot summer months. It is made with fruit juice or flavored syrup that is partially frozen and then scraped to create a granular texture. The result is a refreshing dessert that offers a burst of fruity flavors.


Genoa’s gelaterias offer an array of granita flavors, including lemon, strawberry, melon, and coffee. The tangy and refreshing taste of lemon granita is particularly popular and is often enjoyed as a palate cleanser between courses or as a light dessert.


Both gelato and granita are delicious on their own, but they can also be combined to create delightful dessert combinations. For a true taste of Genoa, try a “coppa mista” which is a combination of gelato and granita flavors served together in a cup.


Whether you’re strolling along the streets of Genoa or sitting in a charming gelateria, the experience of enjoying gelato or granita is a delight for the senses. The vibrant colors, the enticing aromas, and the exhilarating flavors all come together to create an unforgettable culinary experience.


So, when in Genoa, make it a point to treat yourself to the creamy goodness of gelato or the refreshing delight of granita. Indulge in these frozen treats and savor the sweet flavors of Genoa.


Genovese Pastries and Sweets

Genoa is not only known for its savory culinary delights but also for its mouthwatering array of pastries and sweets. From delectable cakes to delicate pastries, the city offers a tantalizing selection of treats that showcase the artistry and creativity of Genoese pastry chefs.


One iconic Genovese pastry is the Pandolce, a sweet bread filled with a mixture of dried fruits, nuts, and citrus zest. It has a soft and buttery texture with bursts of flavor from the fruits and nuts. Often enjoyed during the holiday season, Pandolce is a beloved treat that celebrates the rich culinary traditions of Genoa.


Another popular pastry in Genoa is the Canestrelli. These delicate butter cookies are made with flour, sugar, and butter, resulting in a crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Often shaped like flowers or scalloped circles, Canestrelli are perfect for dipping in a cup of coffee or enjoying as a sweet snack.


If you have a penchant for chocolate, then don’t miss out on trying the Genovese delicacy called Sacripantina. This layered cake is made with thin sponge cake layers soaked in rum syrup and filled with a decadent combination of chocolate custard and whipped cream. With its beautiful appearance and rich flavors, Sacripantina is a true indulgence for chocolate lovers.


For a unique and addictive treat, try the Canestri di Amaretti. These bite-sized almond cookies are shaped into small baskets and filled with a sweet ricotta cream. The combination of the crunchy cookie and the creamy filling creates a delightful contrast that will keep you coming back for more.


No exploration of Genovese pastries would be complete without mentioning Amaretti di Genova. These almond macaroons have a slightly crisp exterior and a chewy interior, bursting with the distinct flavor of almonds. They are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or an elegant addition to a dessert spread.


Genoa also has a soft spot for nougat, and one of the most popular varieties is Mandorlato di Genova. This artisanal nougat is made with almonds, sugar, and honey, resulting in a chewy and nutty confection that is both satisfying and addictive. It is often enjoyed during the festive season but can be found in specialty shops throughout the year.


As you explore Genoa, be sure to visit the local pastry shops, known as “pasticcerie,” and sample their wide selection of cakes, pastries, and sweets. These establishments are a testament to the skill and creativity of Genoese pastry chefs.


So, whether you have a sweet tooth or simply want to indulge in the art of Genoese pastry-making, be sure to immerse yourself in the delightful world of Genovese pastries and sweets. Each treat offers a unique and unforgettable culinary experience that will leave you craving more.


Popular Genoese Drinks

In addition to its delectable cuisine, Genoa also offers a variety of popular and refreshing drinks that perfectly complement the city’s culinary delights. From traditional apéritifs to regional wines, there are many beverage options to satisfy your thirst while immersing yourself in the lively ambiance of Genoa.


One iconic Genoese drink is the classic Aperitivo Genovese. This pre-dinner ritual involves enjoying a refreshing drink, often accompanied by small savory snacks. The most popular aperitif in Genoa is the Spritz, made with Prosecco, Aperol, and a splash of soda water. It is a light and citrusy drink that awakens the taste buds and sets the stage for a delightful dining experience.


Limoncino, a lemon liqueur, is another beloved drink in Genoa. Made from the zest of locally grown lemons, Limoncino is known for its vibrant yellow color and its zesty and refreshing taste. It is often enjoyed chilled and sipped slowly to fully appreciate the bright and invigorating flavors.


Genoa is also a city that appreciates coffee culture. Italian classics like espresso, cappuccino, and macchiato are enjoyed throughout the day. Genoese coffee is typically strong, rich, and served in small cups, providing a quick but satisfying caffeine fix during your explorations.


For a non-alcoholic option, try a refreshing glass of Rosso di San Giorgio. This traditional Genoese drink is made by mixing a combination of fruit juices, such as strawberry, cherry, and raspberry, with sparkling water. The result is a fruity and effervescent beverage that is perfect for quenching your thirst on a warm day.


When it comes to alcoholic drinks, the region is also known for its wine production. Liguria produces a range of wines, and one of the most famous is the Vermentino. This white wine is dry and crisp with notes of citrus and herbs, making it an excellent pairing for seafood dishes and salads.


Another popular wine in the region is Rossese di Dolceacqua, a red wine known for its fruity and floral characteristics. It pairs well with red meat dishes, grilled vegetables, and aged cheeses, providing a delightful drinking experience.


As you explore the charming streets of Genoa, be sure to visit local bars and enotecas that offer a selection of regional wines and specialty drinks. Take the opportunity to savor a glass of local wine or try a traditional Genoese aperitif in a lively and convivial atmosphere.


Whether you’re sipping on a refreshing Spritz, enjoying a glass of Vermentino, or indulging in a classic cup of Italian espresso, the drinks of Genoa are an essential part of experiencing the city’s vibrant culinary culture.


So, raise your glass and toast to the flavors and traditions of Genoa, and let the popular drinks of the city enhance your dining and social experiences.


Genoa’s Wine Culture

Genoa’s wine culture is deeply rooted in its rich history and the surrounding vineyards that dot the picturesque landscape of the Ligurian region. From crisp white wines to full-bodied reds, the area boasts a diverse selection of wines that are deeply intertwined with the local culinary traditions.


The region of Liguria is recognized for producing unique and distinctive wines, thanks to its terroir and microclimate. The hilly terrain and proximity to the Mediterranean Sea create the perfect conditions for cultivating grape varieties that are able to thrive in this coastal environment.


One of the notable wines of the region is Vermentino. This white wine is renowned for its crisp acidity, vibrant citrus flavors, and delicate herbal notes. It pairs exceptionally well with the seafood dishes that are abundant in Genoa, highlighting the essence of the coastal flavors.


Another noteworthy wine from the area is Pigato. This white wine is characterized by its floral aromas, hints of minerality, and a slight zestiness on the palate. It is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of dishes, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


Liguria is also known for its red wines, with Rossese being one of the indigenous grape varieties that reigns supreme. Rossese di Dolceacqua, a red wine made from the Rossese grape, offers an aromatic profile of red fruits, violet, and spices. It is a medium-bodied wine with a refined structure, making it an excellent accompaniment to meat-based dishes.


As you explore Genoa, you’ll find numerous enotecas and wine bars where you can sample and learn about the diverse wines of the region. The passionate vintners and sommeliers are always eager to share their knowledge and guide you through a tasting experience that showcases the unique characteristics of each wine.


Furthermore, Genoa hosts wine festivals and events throughout the year, offering the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the local wine culture. These celebrations provide a platform for both renowned and emerging winemakers to showcase their products, allowing visitors to discover new and exciting wines while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the city.


So, whether you consider yourself a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, exploring Genoa’s wine culture is a must. Raise your glass, savor the distinctive flavors of the local wines, and let your taste buds embark on a delightful journey through the terroir and traditions of Genoa.


Dining Etiquette in Genoa

When dining in Genoa, it is important to appreciate and respect the local customs and dining etiquette. Following these guidelines not only allows you to fully immerse yourself in the culinary culture of the city but also shows your appreciation for the traditions and hospitality of the Genoese people.


One of the key aspects of dining etiquette in Genoa is punctuality. It is considered polite to arrive on time for a dinner reservation or when invited to someone’s home. Being punctual shows respect for the time and effort that the host has put into preparing the meal.


Another important etiquette in Genoa is to wait for the host or the eldest person at the table to start eating before you begin your meal. It is a sign of respect and indicates that you are acknowledging their role as the host or the honored guest.


During meals, it is customary to keep your hands visible on the table, but avoid resting your elbows on the table. This posture is seen as more polite and shows that you are engaged in the conversation and enjoying the meal.


When it comes to toasting, it is common to clink glasses with everyone at the table while saying “Salute!” (cheers). Remember to maintain eye contact and take a sip after the toast as a sign of goodwill and friendship.


When using utensils, it is customary to hold the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right hand. This is the traditional European dining style and is commonly followed in Genoa. It is also polite to keep your bread on the bread plate rather than on the main plate.


In Genoa, it is appreciated when you try to taste a little bit of every dish that is served. It shows your appreciation for the variety of flavors and the effort that the host has put into creating the meal. It is also polite to finish everything on your plate as a sign of enjoying the food.


Lastly, it is customary to express your gratitude and appreciation for the meal by complimenting the host or chef. A simple “Grazie per il pranzo/cena” (Thank you for the lunch/dinner) goes a long way in showing your genuine appreciation for the dining experience.


By observing these dining etiquette practices in Genoa, you not only show your respect for the local customs but also enhance your dining experience by embracing the traditions and cultural nuances of the city. Enjoy the flavors, engage in conversations, and savor the hospitality of Genoa in the most authentic way possible.


Best Places to Eat in Genoa

When it comes to dining in Genoa, you’re in for a true culinary adventure. The city is home to a plethora of fantastic restaurants, trattorias, and osterias that serve exceptional dishes crafted from the freshest local ingredients. Here are some of the best places to eat in Genoa:


1. Trattoria Rosmarino: This charming trattoria offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere along with a menu showcasing traditional Genoese dishes. From trofie al pesto to pansotti di noci, the food at Trattoria Rosmarino is a true taste of Genoa.


2. Antica Trattoria da Maria: A local institution, this family-run trattoria has been serving authentic Genoese cuisine for over 90 years. From the famous farinata to mouthwatering seafood dishes, you can’t go wrong with a meal at Antica Trattoria da Maria.


3. Osteria della Vecchia Porta: Located near the old port area, this cozy osteria offers a menu that combines traditional Genoese flavors with a modern flair. From creamy seafood risotto to tender meat dishes, Osteria della Vecchia Porta is a hidden gem in Genoa’s dining scene.


4. Trattoria da Maria: Situated in the heart of the historical center, this trattoria is known for its warm and friendly atmosphere. It offers a menu filled with traditional Genoese dishes, such as focaccia di Genova, trofie al pesto, and delicious seafood options.


5. Il Genovese: This stylish restaurant prides itself on its commitment to using fresh and locally sourced ingredients to create innovative and flavorful dishes. With a menu that changes seasonally, Il Genovese showcases the best of Genoa’s culinary heritage with a modern twist.


6. Locanda Spinola: Located in the picturesque neighborhood of Boccadasse, Locanda Spinola offers breathtaking views of the sea while serving up delicious seafood specialties. From delicate crudo di mare to sublime fish dishes, dining at Locanda Spinola is a memorable experience.


7. Trattoria Cavour 21: Situated near Piazza De Ferrari, this trattoria is renowned for its homemade pasta dishes, including the famous pansotti di noci. With its cozy atmosphere and attentive service, Trattoria Cavour 21 is a must-visit for those looking to indulge in authentic Genoese flavors.


8. Il Veliero: Nestled in the charming neighborhood of Nervi, Il Veliero is a seafood lover’s paradise. Known for its fresh catch of the day and delightful seafood platters, the restaurant offers a dining experience that perfectly captures the essence of Genoa’s coastal cuisine.


9. Hostaria Il Pironetto: This intimate and charming restaurant prides itself on traditional Ligurian cuisine. With its focus on local and seasonal ingredients, Hostaria Il Pironetto serves up dishes like pansoti, stuffed vegetables, and delectable seafood options.


10. Ristorante Le Mura: Located in an ancient building near the city walls, Ristorante Le Mura offers a fine dining experience with a menu that highlights the flavors of Genoa. From elegant seafood dishes to succulent meat options, every bite at Le Mura is crafted with care.


These are just a few of the best places to eat in Genoa, but the city is filled with countless culinary gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you choose a traditional trattoria, an upscale restaurant, or an off-the-beaten-path osteria, you’re sure to find exceptional food and warm hospitality in every corner of Genoa.


So, savor the flavors, indulge in the local specialties, and embark on a gastronomic journey through Genoa’s vibrant culinary scene.



Genoa is a city that captivates the senses and leaves a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to experience its culinary delights. From the fragrant pesto to the crispy farinata, and the decadent gelato to the freshly caught seafood, the flavors of Genoa are a true reflection of the region’s rich culinary heritage.


The traditional specialties of Genoa, such as trofie al pesto, focaccia di Genova, and pansotti di noci, highlight the simplicity and freshness of the ingredients, creating dishes that are not only delectable but also imbued with a sense of cultural identity.


Genoa’s wine culture, with its distinct Vermentino and Rossese wines, adds another layer of enjoyment to any dining experience. The local wines perfectly complement the flavors of the cuisine and enhance the overall dining experience.


As you explore the vibrant streets of Genoa, experiencing the city’s culinary scene is a must. Whether you’re indulging in traditional dishes at charming trattorias, discovering hidden gems tucked away in the winding alleys, or sampling regional wines at inviting enotecas, each bite and sip will transport you deeper into the culinary tapestry of Genoa.


Beyond the food itself, Genoa’s dining etiquette, warm hospitality, and vibrant restaurant scene all contribute to the overall experience. Engaging in the local customs, such as waiting for the host to start eating or expressing your appreciation for the meal, allows you to fully embrace the traditions of Genoa and connect with the local culture.


In conclusion, Genoa is a city that rewards the taste buds, celebrates its heritage through food, and invites visitors to embark on a culinary journey that leaves a lasting impression. So, immerse yourself in the flavors, savor the traditional dishes, raise your glass to the local wines, and let Genoa’s culinary delights envelop you in a captivating embrace of gastronomic excellence.