This is it – foodie central. If you crave all things edible and Italian, there’s no better destination than Bologna. From classics to cutting edge if it’s yummy and from Italy, the odds of finding it here are on your side. True gourmands may even want to consider taking an extra suitcase to ensure there’s room for all the local delicacies and specialities worth bringing back home.
Here’s a list of some of the best places in Bologna to shop for food – all centrally located within easy walking distance of each other, near the Piazza Maggiore and around the evocative and quaint Via Drapperie. But the wisest advice for any Italian food lover visiting Bologna would be simply to hit the cobbled streets and explore every last portico of this delicious city.
Via degli Orefici, 19, 40124
Stocking a range of items beyond what foreigners and traditionalists might think typical Italians are supposed to be eating, this modern and multi storey shop right off the Piazza Maggiore offers the chance to check out the contemporary tastes of the average Bolognese local. For example, did you know there’s a great artisanal beer scene brewing in Italy? Sample some great local beers here in between browsing for books, gifts, freshly made pasta and more.
Visit Eataly online.
Via Drapperie, 5, 40124 Bologna
Just outside Eataly is family run grocery, Drogheria Gilberto. Open since 1905 with the look and feel of a bygone era, this s a fantastic little shop for the discerning sweet tooth seeking local treats. Be sure to try the zuccherini all’anice (anise flavored cookies) when you pop in and just try leaving without buying some handmade chocolate for back home!
Find out more.
A F Tamburini
Via Caprarie, 1, 40124
Across the street from Gilberto at the corner fo Drapperie and Caprarie is A F Tamburini, a brilliant spot for picked up (and sampling) a variety of cheeses, dried and cured meats and some of the best pastas you’re ever apt to try. Bologna is where tortellini pasta was first created (or so legend has it), and the folks at Tamburini has been making their own for customers for more than 80 years. Budget travellers will delight to know Tamburini also has a dine-in section serving quality cafeteria style meals at affordable prices.
More info here.
Mercato di Mezzo
On the other side of Piazza Maggiore is Mercato di Mezzo, an open air food market dating to the middle ages. Fresh fish, fresh fruit, fresh … you get the point. Gorgeous food beautifully presented with Italian flair.
The official tourist site for Bologna, offers great tips for making the most of a visit to the market and the area around Piazza Maggiore.
Mercato delle Erbe
About a ten minute walk from Mercato di Mezzo off Via Ugo Bassi is the other Bologna’s two biggest covered food markets, Mercato delle Erbe – home to almost 40 specialist food shops and over 70 fruit and veg stands.
Visit the market’s website.
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Photo: Chris Osburn