If you’re a foodie and you’re planning a trip to Italy this year, there’s one place that should definitely feature on your itinerary- Genoa. Trust us when we say this, you will come away satiated in the true sense of the word. Here are our top 5 street- eats in Genoa:
Italians love their food but the Genovese seem to love their focaccia over and above anything else. For those of you not familiar with the Focaccia, it is an Italian flat-bread, seasoned with olive-oil and salt. Genoa is jam-packed with the quaintest focaccerias, displaying focaccia breads with every imaginable topping. So all you really need to do is follow your nose and see where it takes you. Pick the focaccia that tickles your fancy- take a bite, close your eyes, and savour the moment.
A Hole-in-the-wall Focacceria in Genoa
Genovese Focaccerias could tempt you into ordering a LOT of food
#2 Genovese Pesto
Did you know that Pesto originated in Genoa? It’s easy to gloss over that fact, until you taste Pesto in Genoa. It is made from scratch using Genovese basil and pine-nuts and Ligurian extra virgin olive oil and tastes completely different from the shop-bought variety back home. It is fragrant, green, and evocative of Mediterranean warmth.
Have a pesto-based pasta dish (Trofie al pesto is a local speciality), or a pesto pizza. The latter is incredibly popular in Genoa, and it is easy to find them at Trattorias around the city. The juxtaposition of green pesto paste on a traditional thin-crust pizza base makes a pretty picture. Inhale the aroma wafting from pizza and dig in.
Savour each mouthful of the Genovese Pesto Pizza
The Farinata, a Genovese speciality, is a pancake made out of chickpea flour, olive oil, and water. It’s light on the stomach, so have it as an entreé or snack. The smell of the extra-virgin olive oil in the Farinata makes for an inimitable Genovese experience. Have it sitting inside a focacceria, by the sea, or in a cobbled street under the bright Genovese sun- the choice is all yours.
A slice of typical Genovese Farinata
#4 The Best Sandwich of your Life
You will excuse us for resorting to hyperbole once you taste the sandwiches at THE Gran Ristoro, a Genovese institution. A sandwich here tastes like nothing you’ve had before. Choose from the large variety of meats, cheeses, and toppings and personalise your sandwich. The Italian owners are more than happy to help you and their enthusiasm is contagious. At just under €5, this one is worth its weight in gold- or should we say proscuitto.
Think we got too carried away? Check out some more reviews of Gran Ristoro here: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187823-d1101747-Reviews-Gran_Ristoro-Genoa_Italian_Riviera_Liguria.html
Spicy Salami or Prosciutto? Decisions, Decisions!
#5 Rosa’s Gelatos
An entry on Italian food just wouldn’t be complete with gelatos would it? Round off your meal by opting for a scoop (or two?) of smooth and creamy Italian gelato. It’s easy to find a Gelateria in Genoa, but we would recommend looking for “Profumo Di Rosa”. It is definitely worth that extra bit of effort- the owner (Rosa) is friendly to a fault, speaks 5 languages, and makes the best gelatos in Genoa (or so we think!). Try the mimosa chocolate, apple-cinnamon, and pistachio flavours. If you’re lactose intolerant/vegan, try Rosa’s sorbet.
Profumo Di Rosa- The best Gelato in Genoa?
Profumo Di Rosa The best Gelato in Genoa?
That’s a LOT of food. Try not to succumb to a food coma; instead reward your gluttony by ordering some local beer and spend your afternoon observing people in the medieval cobbled streets of Genoa. That’s what we did 🙂
Gluttony needs to be rewarded- after all, it’s Italy!