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By Lauren Hill | October 4 2017
Celebrated across the globe for its traditional cuisine, Bologna draws travelers in for its food alone, so it’s no surprise the city has an outstanding dining scene. From the grandest dining rooms in historic locations to the chefs creating Michelin-starred fare, these are the five best restaurants in Bologna.
First opened in 1983, this Michelin star restaurant is now run by the Mazzucchelli siblings Massimo and Aurora who fuse the restaurant’s tradition with the modern design of the restaurant’s interior and contemporary style of the cuisine. In the kitchen Aurora creates dishes like stone cooked belly of lamb with peas and pecorino cheese, and tortelli with lavender Parmigiano Reggiano, nutmeg and almonds in multi-course tasting menus or a la carte with a wine list of Italian labels and champagne.
Having earned a Michelin star, this restaurant in the I Portici Hotel is considered one of the best restaurants in Bologna. Chef Agostino Iacobucci blends his own Mediterranean culinary influence with the flavors of traditional Emilian and Campanian cuisine in dishes such as seabass with fennel flavored by Pernod, baby vegetables and a tartlet of Gaeta olives. These plates are then served in a dining room that sits inside the elegant Eden-Kursaal Theater.
Considered the best restaurant in Bologna, Pappagallo dates all the way back to 1919. Since that time it has become known for its traditional Bolognese cuisine as well as its atmospheric setting in a 14th-century building on Piazza della Mercanzia. Here you can dine on traditional handmade Bolognese pasta dishes showcasing the season’s ingredients, and hearty specialties such as roasted thigh of guinea-fowl with green herbs, and beef cheek and oxtail braised in Sangiovese wine.
Located within the five-star Grand Hotel Majestic, I Carracci has a fittingly grand dining room featuring an ornate fresco ceiling by the school of the Carracci brothers, which the restaurant owes its names to. For guests staying at the hotel, the quality of food really takes out the difficulty when choosing where to eat in Bologna. The menu features a selection of classic Bolognese plates, which are prepared with finesse and paired with wines from the hotel’s historic wine cellar. Owing to the quality of food and grandeur of its setting, this is a fine dining restaurant that’s ideal for special occasions.
While it was founded in 1956 in via Santo Stefano, Ristorante Garganelli now lies within the park of the Savoia Hotel Regency and has become widely recognized as one of the best restaurants in Bologna. Here the chef Ermes Trombetti creates traditional Bolognese dishes, with a particular focus on fish and seafood, as well as decadent desserts. Try the risotto with Pugliese burrata and pepper, roasted oyster with tomato coulis, or wild salmon with panzanella. The wine list focuses mainly on the Italian wine regions.