Genoa Food

What and Where to Eat in Genoa?

We spent a month in Genoa researching what local foods to eat and where to eat them. We’ve compiled a summary of the information we collected so you can start enjoying these foods as soon as you arrive!

Significantly, Genoa food is defined by the use of local products to make traditional dishes. For example, Basilico Genovese is used to make Pesto Genovese which is combined with handmade pasta resulting in trofie al pesto. A similar process is true for pansoti with nut sauce and Ravioli alla Genovese.

Pasta may be king in Genoa, but it’s not the only dish in town. You can’t walk a block without passing a bakery with fresh focaccia and farinata in the window. If you’re anywhere near the port, fresh and fried seafood is everywhere you look. All pair perfectly with the local white wines.

The local food products are found in historic shops throughout the Old Town. You have many options if you want to cook your own traditional dishes using local products!

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Local Food Products in Genoa

Genovese food is typically prepared with local ingredients like taggiasca olives, basil genovese dop, and pesto alla genovese. The use of olive oil in the preparation of Genovese cuisine provides a distinct flavor to the food.

Protected Products

Basilico Genovese PDO

The cultivation of basil is strongly linked to the Liguria region. Genovese Basil (Basilico Genovese) was awarded Protected Designation of Origin (in Italian DOP) due to its close ties to the region.

Riviera Ligure PDO

Riviera Ligure PDO extra virgin olive oil is obtained from the Taggiasca, Pignola, Lavagnina, Razzola olive varieties and other local indigenous cultivars.

Acciughe Sotto Sale del Mar Ligure PGI

Acciughe Sotto Sale del Mar Ligure PGI are anchovies produced and conserved under salt. The anchovies belong exclusively to the gregarious and migratory Engraulis encrasicolus L. fish species.

Other Products

Pesto in Genoa, Italy

Pesto Genovese

Pesto Genovese is a symbol of the city. It is a green sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese (or both).

Trofie

Trofie is a small handmade pasta that forms the base of many traditional Genoese dishes. Trofie is shaped by rolling a sized piece of dough back and forth between your knuckles and a flat surface until a twist has naturally formed.

Trenette

Trenette is a long pasta like linguine, but thinner and narrower.

Olives and Olive Oil

Local olive oil is produced from the Taggiasca olive. The olives grow across Liguria, but the western part of the region from Genoa to the French border is particularly well known.

Taggiasca olives are small and dark with a fruity flavor. The oil from the olives is typically sweet with low acidity and pairs well with local fish and seafood.

Genoa Salami

Genoa salami (Salame Genovese) is a cured dry sausage typically made from pork combined with red wine, garlic, salt, and peppercorns.

Traditional Dishes in Genoa

The vibrant city of Genoa is known for its rich and diverse cuisine, which reflects its coastal location and cultural heritage. Genoese cuisine is simple yet well-balanced and has been recognized with IGP status. If you want to experience the authentic taste of Genovese food, then you must try their traditional recipes while visiting Genoa.

Appetizers

Focaccia in Genoa, Italy

Focaccia

Focaccia is salty, olive oil-flavored bread that comes in many forms and is often topped with olives, onions, or cherry tomatoes.

Cheese focaccia is a typical Genovese food that has gained popularity in recent years and even obtained the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) seal.

Farinata di Ceci in Genoa, Italy

Farinata di Ceci

Farinata di Ceci is a simple, oven-baked flatbread made with chickpea flour, water, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.

Cappon Magro in Genoa, Italy

Cappon Magro

Cappon Magro is a seafood and vegetable salad served on a hardtack cracker with green sauce. The ingredients typically include shellfish, white fish, carrots, potatoes, celery, olives, capers, and hard-boiled eggs.

This delicacy is the perfect appetizer!

Main Courses

Fried Squid in Genoa, Italy

Fried Squid and Anchovies

Fried squid and anchovies (fritto misto) are typical food sold by street vendors in the Porto Antico area.

These crunchy bites may not be a proper main course, but they make for an excellent snack!

Cima Alla Genovese aka traditional Genoa loaf

Cima alla Genovese

Cima alla Genovese is a traditional dish made by stuffing veal breast with numerous ingredients including ground meat, various offal, pork fat, pistachios, peas, carrots, onions, garlic, hard-boiled eggs, bread, and numerous spices. The loaf is sewn together with a needle and thread and then cooked for a long period of time.

Trofie al Pesto

Trofie al pesto is one of the most famous dishes in Genoa. It is a combination of two local products:  trofie and Genovese pesto.

Pansoti with Nut Sauce

Pansoti is a special kind of pasta made in the shape of a triangle, it is filled with vegetables and dressed in walnut sauce (Salsa di noci) and cream.

Ravioli alla Genovese

Ravioli alla Genovese is pasta filled with a mixture of meat seasoned with endive and borage and served with a sauce called tocco. The sauce is made from the slow-cooked meat used for the filling. The dish is finished with freshly grated Parmigiano.

Torta pasqualina

Torta pasqualina, the most famous pie from Genoa, is made with puff pastry filled with spinach or chard, peas, artichokes and prescinseua – typical Genoese sour cheese.

Torta di bietole

Torta di bietole is another popular dish made with chard. It is a type of pie that can be found in almost every bakery or restaurant in the city.

Trippa Genovese

Trippa Genovese is lining from the stomach of cows slow-cooked with tomato sauce.

Stoccafisso alla Genovese

Stoccafisso alla Genovese is a classic Ligurian stew made from dried cod cooked with potatoes, tomatoes, pine nuts, and raisins.

Desserts

Pandolce Genovese

Pandolce Genovese is a typical sweet bread made with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk, and lemon juice filled with raisins and pine nuts.

Torta Sacripantina

Torta Sacripantina is a three-layer cake filled with two different creams. The sponge cake is soaked in sweet Marsala wine.  The cream fillings can be traditional custard, chocolate and hazelnut, or zabaione flavored.

Historic Shops in Genoa

Genoa has the most interesting historic food shops of all the Italian cities we have visited. Some of our favorites include:

Antica Polleria Anna e Sergio in Genoa, Italy

Antica polleria Anna e Sergio

aka Antica Pouleria Aresu has been selling poultry and fresh eggs since 1910.

Address:  Vico Inferiore del Ferro, 1r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

Nicos Butcher Shop in Genoa, Italy

Nico's Butcher Shop

aka Macelleria Nico opened in 1790.

Address: Via dei Macelli di Soziglia, 8r, 16123 Genova GE

Tripperia Casana in Genoa, Italy

Tripperia La Casana

Address: Vico della Casana 3, 16129 Genova GE

Traditional Foods at Gastronomia de Micheli in Genoa, Italy

Gastronomia De Micheli

Address: Via dei Macelli di Soziglia, 52 r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

Sa Pesta in Genoa, Italy

Sa Pesta

aka He knows’ Pesta

Address: Via dei Giustiniani, 16/R, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

Pietro Romanengo Antique Chocolate Shop in Genoa, Italy

Pietro Romanengo Stefano (Soziglia Square)

Address: Via Soziglia 74 R, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

Pietro Romanengo Stefano Shop in Genoa, Italy

Pietro Romanengo Stefano (Via Roma)

Address: Via Roma 51 R, 16121 Genova GE, Italy

D Villa in Genoa, Italy

Pasticceria Profumo

aka Profumo Pasticceria aka D. Villa is a beautiful pastry and confectionery shop that has been open since 1827.

Address: Via del Portello, 2, R, 16124 Genova GE, Italy

Viganotti Historic Chocolate Shop in Genoa, Italy

Cioccolateria Romeo Viganotti

The historical shop has been open selling chocolate since 1866.

Address: Vico dei Castagna, 14, R, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

Mangini Historic Caffe in Genoa, Italy

Caffe Pasticceria Mangini

A classic Italian cafe.

Address: P.za Corvetto, 3 r, 16122 Genova GE, Italy

Marescotti di Cavo in Genoa, Italy

Marescotti di Cavo

Address: Via di Fossatello, 35r, 16124 Genova GE, Italy

Restaurants in Genoa

Genoa is home to some of the best restaurants, serving authentic and delicious Ligurian cuisine. Following are some of the best restaurants in the city center:

Trattoria Rosmarino

Trattoria Rosmarino offers classic Ligurian meat and fish dishes prepared from top-quality ingredients.

Address: Salita del Fondaco, 30, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

Ristorante Santa Teresa

Ristorante Santa Teresa specializes in Ligurian fish and seafood.

Address: Via di Porta Soprana, 55/R, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

20 Tre Restaurant

20 Tre Restaurant offers “cuisine between tradition and innovation.”

Address: Via David Chiossone, 20 r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

The Cook Restaurant

The Cook Restaurant is one of only two Michelin-star restaurants in Genoa – and the only one in the Old Town. It is located in the 14th-century Branca Doria palazzo. The cuisine is served on three tasting menus that are more creative than traditional.

Address: Vico Falamonica, 9R, 16123 Genova GE, Italy

Food Tours in Genoa

To get the most out of your dining experience, consider taking a food tour to sample a variety of authentic Genoese dishes. Here are some highly-rated food tours!

FAQs About Genoa Food

What Kind of Food Is Genoa?

Genoa is a city on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, not a type of food. However, Genoa is known for its traditional Ligurian cuisine, which includes some of the best food in Italy. Some of the must-try dishes include focaccia, pesto sauce made with Genoese basil, and farinata, a savory chickpea flour pancake. You can also enjoy fresh seafood along the coast and try local specialties like stoccafisso alla genovese (dried cod cooked with potatoes and onions) or trenette al pesto (pasta with pesto sauce).

What food is Genoa known for?

Some of the most famous foods from Genoa include:

1. Pesto: This classic sauce is made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. It’s typically served over pasta or used as a dip or spread.

2. Focaccia: This flatbread is a staple in Genoa and can be found in bakeries and cafes throughout the city. It’s often topped with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary.

3. Farinata: A simple street food made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt. It’s cooked in a wood-fired oven until crispy and golden brown.

4. Trofie al Pesto: This traditional pasta dish features twisted noodles tossed with basil pesto and potatoes.

5. Cima alla Genovese: A hearty meat dish made from veal or pork stuffed with vegetables, cheese, and breadcrumbs.

If you’re planning a trip to Genoa, try some of these delicious dishes and explore the city’s vibrant food scene!

What Is the Signature Dish of Genoa?

Pesto Genovese is Genoa’s signature dish. The recipe originated in the middle ages as an olive oil and garlic sauce. Over time, different ingredients were added to the recipe: nuts, cheese, herbs, and basil. The best way to make pesto Genovese is with a mortar and pestle.

What is Genoa, Italy in English?

Genoa is the English name for the Italian city of Genova. It is located in the Liguria region on the northwest coast of Italy and is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and delicious cuisine.

What are Italians from Genoa called?

Italians from Genoa are called Genoese. They are known for their rich maritime history, delicious cuisine, and beautiful architecture. The city of Genoa is located in the Liguria region of Italy and has a population of approximately 600,000 people. The Genoese have a strong sense of regional pride and are known for their industriousness, entrepreneurial spirit, and love of good food and wine. If you ever have the chance to visit Genoa or meet a Genoese person, be sure to try some of their famous pesto sauce or focaccia bread – you won’t be disappointed!

Where Is The Best Place To Stay In Genoa?

Hotels in Genoa

There are many great places to stay in Genoa. For the best experience, we recommend staying in the Old Town. But Genoa Old Town is large. So, where in the Old Town? We recommend staying near Piazza Banchi  (the castle marker on the map below). It is in the heart of a beautiful shopping area, is close to the historical Palaces, and is centrally located in the Old Town.

Here’s an interactive map with hotel and apartment options that can be filtered to meet your needs. Select your travel dates to get specific availability and prices.

Book your stay now!