Situated right next to the water the location is perfect for this restaurant. And naturally it's also very popular. We were lucky to get a table with a perfect view over the ocean, which made it a really special evening.
The staff was friendly and nice, but unfortunately not very efficient. From when they took away our plates for our primo piatto (trenette pesto) and until we got our secondo piatto it took about 30 minutes, and it wasn't until we started to yawn that our main dish was served.
The plate with the pesto spaghetti was fantastic, and we could easily have stopped eating after that. However, once the food arrived it was very nice. My grilled fish might have been a bit too grilled on the outside, but the fish meat inside the skin was just fantastic. My wife had stuffed mussels with tomato sauce, which she seemed pretty happy with too, but the highlight of the dinner was the spaghetti pesto.
We finished the dinner with two coffee, with the small cups hardly filled up halfway. I'm sorry, but how much would it have cost you to actually serve a full espresso…?
We were there just in the beginning of the season, and I believe that, considering the location, it might be a good idea to book a table in advance during real high season.
On a warm spring day this is the most popular place in the whole Riomaggiore. The local gelato guy made big business when we were there, but considering how the ice cream tasted there is no reason to wonder why.
We had one big cup each, and could choose from quite a number of different flavors. I chose chocolate, stracciatella and coconut, and did not regret that. Amazing!
Prices were surprisingly low, the owner could have been a millionaire if he had priced the products at a higher level.
Favorite Dish: So sorry there are no photos. I was kinda busy eating... ;)
A very nice restaurant situated on the main street of Riomaggiore. Unlike most other restaurants/bars in the village there is no possibility to sit outside, which suited us perfect on this rainy day. Most of the menu consist of different seafood options and my wife and I choose two different meals from the "primo piatti" section.
She had a pasta made with squid ink, cooked with tomato sauce and capers, olives and garlic and all tossed together with some fish meat. She was very anti-social during the whole meal, only focusing on her plate, not even talking to me. I guessed that means she was very happy.
I, on the other hand, had a spaghetti meal with squid, clams and big shrimps, mixed with olive oil and basil. Sometimes I can be a bit skeptical when it comes to clams, but I was quite happy my wife wasn't talking so I could focus on my dish…
We ended our meal with espresso and a chocolate cake and we were very happy with our lunch! Prices were a bit steep, 41 euro in total, and I probably wouldn't have paid the 4 euro tip if it hadn't been included in the bill. But Riomaggiore is a touristic place, and prices of everything are to that standard.
Great takeaway restaurant in the central parts of Riomaggiore. Very friendly service staff who gave us a discount already on our second visit. We had freshly fried calamari in a cone on our first visit, and then a mixed bread, straight from the oven, on our second visit. Perfect as a snack, both of them. You can also get huge pizza for 12 euros, which can shared by five persons. A place you come back to again and again and again.
Never found out why the place is named after the Mamma Mia movie, but they were playing the soundtrack on repeat the first time we were there. Probably that's why they only have take away, to not scare away the customers…
They opened up only in the beginning of March 2013, but seem to be doing fantastic business. People were walking around with their takeaway food all over the place, and we were no exception. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, night snack. It's all there.
Definitely our favourite restaurant in Riomaggiore!
Favorite Dish: Fritto miste. A mixed seafood cone filled with fried squid, fish and prawns. And with a bit of lemon spread over it. Yums!
Three different sizes, 5, 7 or 9 euro.
Our 2012 Riomaggiore trip we only had a single night in the Cinque Terre area and thus couldn't venture too far from our home base of Riomaggiore. After arriving shortly before noon and taking several walks around Riomaggiore and Manarola we headed back to our bed and breakfast to get ready for dinner. We had received a suggestion from the owner at the bed and breakfast of a place just down the road and a walk that was just a bit up hill from our location. That sold us on the place as we were not going to walk back down into town and then back up again this day.
Favorite Dish: The restaurant was locally owned, as I'm sure most if not all of them are. It's hard to remember exactly what we had and the pictures we took are a little out of focus so that does not help. The owner was our server and I believe his wife settled our bill at the end of the evening. We could see a few chefs in the kitchen. There were only a few other couples there during the evening even on a Saturday night as it was still before the main tourist season.
We did try a few things local and the main part of our meal was fish. Anchovies are the local favorite, but even fresh anchovies were not really my cup of tea. You can see from the fish plate that Sue had that they serve every part of the fish. I guess we are so used to fillet fish that seeing a fish head on our plate wasn't really what we were looking for.
The food was good, but since I don't remember too much about it probably a place I personally wouldn't go back to if I were in the area.
After hiking around for a couple of hours and before continuing on our future hiking journeys I needed a little bit of food to continue the trek. Sue had her Italian style pizza a few days earlier in Tivoli, so I needed to try my hand at it. So as we walked down through town toward the harbor this interesting little place on the main street caught my attention.
I walked inside and it was like I was in a gelato store with about 20 different types of pizza slices to choose from. There was also a number of other items I could have chosen from, but pizza was on todays list.
Favorite Dish: The choice I went with was Red Pepper and Black Olives.
The strange thing about ordering a slice of pizza is that it had been made hours before and then reheated. Although I understand why this had to be I still prefer a nice hot pizza straight from the oven.
I've mentioned elsewhere that we purchased breakfast items from shops along the Via Colombo. We and countless other travelers also frequented some of these shops to pick up items for a light lunch to be eaten picnic style at just about any place we could find to sit down, along the street, at the harbor, or at the beach.
The Coop5Terre is notable for generally being least expensive, and for making sandwiches to go. Other shops feature items such as pizza slices, panini, and more.
We considered these informal lunches to be a fun and important part of our Italy experience. And - since we were spending so much money for dinner each evening, a nice way to save a few euros.
A white table-cloth setting, but still informal. Large picture windows give those sitting next to them a view of the goings-on on the main street through town. Cozy and appealing.
Favorite Dish: Spaghetti al cartoccio - spaghetti with seafood, baked in foil. So flavorful and aromatic, a meal in itself, actually
We had decided to eat at one of the harbor restaurants at least once. Each looked like a fine place to dine, but La Laterna had a couple of inside tables available, away from the very cool evening breezes off the Ligurian Sea.
Favorite Dish: We ordered two courses: pasta (mine with mussels and clams in a simple wine sauce); and the fresh catch of the day - in this case amberjack.
It would be almost redundant to report that the pasta was perfectly done and delicious. By now we had come to expect that anywhere we ate. While enjoying that, we noticed a fisherman walking right into the dining room with a plastic bucket with two fish - amberjack. Our dinner. Fresh fish!
It was our last afternoon in Riomaggiore during our Sep 2007 trip, and we were looking for somewhere for lunch. Having dined the previous day at the fabulous La Lanterna, I noticed a place nearby that looked interesting - Enoteca dau Cila. We were able to get a nice shady table overlooking the harbour so decided this would be a good place to dine.
Enoteca dau Cila is a small wine bar and restaurant, with smiley staff and a relaxed atmosphere. We ordered some beers and a big glass of wine for me (I can't get enough of Italian wine!).
Favorite Dish: To start we shared a Bruscetta with tomato - the tomato was so sweet and delicious. Main course was traditional lasagne and also a not so traditional lasagne, made with pesto and pine nuts. Both were delicious.
I have to start this review with a small admission: we did not enjoy La Lanterna nearly as much as other VT reviewers (sue_stone and tini58de) have done. Although I was pretty happy with my meal (and very happy with my main course), Chris was very disappointed with his, especially the main course. Maybe we were unlucky, maybe we caught them on an off night – who knows?
You certainly can’t fault the setting however – perched above Riomaggiore’s pretty little harbour with an excellent view from the little terrace. We had emailed a week in advance to secure a table there and were very happy to be given the best of them. We were welcomed enthusiastically by the owner and sat down to peruse the menu – a long regular one and a special set menu of the day. I should explain perhaps that like many in the Cinque Terre this restaurant specialises in fish and seafood, and while Chris quite likes the latter, he prefers not to eat fish, so his options were perhaps a little limited. But he found some things which appealed, so we both made our choices from the main menu and sat back in anticipation of a treat.
Favorite Dish: To start with I chose the tuna roe (Bottarga di tonno), which was served on slices of tomato – light and summery, but not very exciting. Chris was happy with his smoked fillet of tuna, one of the few fishes he does enjoy. My main course choice was excellent – a fillet of white fish served “Ligurian style” with olives, pine nuts and tomatoes. However Chris’s choice of Spaghetti al caviale d'oliva (described as “olive-caviar”, made with the pulp of black olives, olive-oil and parmesan cheese) was far too salty and the spaghetti itself overcooked. In fact he likened it to Heinz tinned spaghetti and after tasting a mouthful I could see that he had a point. We have had similarly disappointing pasta in English pubs and US “Italian” restaurants, but we don’t expect to find it in Italy! I can’t remember the last time Chris didn’t finish a plate of food ...
The desert though was excellent (we shared a tangy lemon sorbet), the wine crisp and refreshing, the service friendly and the view lovely, so not all was spoilt. The bill was a reasonable €61 (with a large glass of wine for me and beer for Chris). Despite our disappointment that the restaurant didn’t live up to our expectations, I wouldn’t let that put you off. In the end it was just one dish that really let it down, and as I say, we may just have caught them on an off day, given that others have had such a different experience.
Ristorante La Lampara is one of more than a few good places to enjoy dinner in Riomaggiore.
Like most restaurants in the Cinque Terre, the emphasis is on seafood, and the pasta is wonderfully Italian with a Ligurian twist of sauce liguria and local pesto.
Ristorante La Lampara
- (Lampara is a lamp - anchovy and some other fishing is done by the technique of using a night fishing light 'lampara' in sea beds not far from Riomaggiore)
has comfortable old-world, fishing villiage ambience, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. For such an small/intimate place, there were lots of good things on the menu.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish at La Lampara was the much-recommended Spaghetti al Cartoccio.
This is a tasty concoction of ligurian-style spaghetti pasta mixed with fresh local seafood all cooked together in foil. It looked great, and tasted even better, as all the aromas and flavors blended together. They brought some good pesto & antipasti, with a yummy formaggio plate for dessert.
Wine was local-white, and excellent.
il Castello, a steep climb up to the ruins of Vernazza's old castle, has great food and a killer view.
As I was staying in Riomagiorre I took a quick (15min) train ride to Vernazza for a great lunch on the castello terrace. It faces W so sunsets there must be amazing, if you can get a table.
Favorite Dish: Try Penne Al Castello, but all the dishes are much better than you would expect from a place with a view this good. Food, wine, service are excellent, but it's the view you'll take home with you.
I spent a beautiful afternoon over a slow lunch & carafe of local wine, looking down at the Ligurian sea and harbor watching the locals "surf" the huge & powerful 15' waves and jump up onto the rocks below.
I took the picture on the left from my table at il Castello looking down over my railing. This picture shows the waves at low ebb and the rock the fearless "wave-surfers" were jumping up onto.
I'm hopeful the tables you can see on the huge rock below give it some scale so you can see the waves had to be dangerously enormous & powerful to lift a swimmer/"surfer" all the way up so he could literally step up on the rock.
Very beautiful and entertaining. A perfectly great day in a gorgeous villiage.
In 2009 we stopped for lunch in a restaurant called 'La Lanterna' down by the marina in Riomaggiore. It’s not a large restaurant – it has more or less only 20 tables, some inside and some outside on the balcony.
Favorite Dish: Originally in this building people used to salt anchovies - so what better place to taste them? We had spaghetti with Monterosso anchovies and found them amazing – so we asked if they had something else with anchovies… They did not, but immediately offered to prepare a special dish with them for us… I don’t know why – possibly they thought that because I was pregnant I would get into a tantrum if I could not have the food I wanted. So we had a lovely dish of baked anchovies, on a bed of potatoes, covered with some tomatoes, and lots of delicious herbs.
There are a couple of bars quite close to each other on Via Colombo (Riomaggiore’s main street) and after sampling both we quickly decided that this one was our preferred choice. These two establishments (bar and gelateria) share a largish outdoor area with plenty of tables and chairs, and although there seems to be some distinction between which tables belonged to which, no one really minds where you sit, which menu you order from or which waiter you place that order with. The exception to this is at breakfast time, when the Bar opens earlier serving a limited menu of coffee and pastries (for which you need to place your order at the bar – no table service at that time of day). When the Gelateria opens at 9.00 it offers a full breakfast menu and table service – but the coffees will be fetched for you from the Bar. Confused? We were, at first at least!
This is an all day destination. Indeed on one day we were here on four separate occasions: breakfast, mid-morning coffee, mid-afternoon gelato and post-dinner grappa. Maybe that was a bit of overkill, but we did like it here – a busy little spot for people watching and something to tempt you whatever the time of day or night.
Favorite Dish: I can definitely recommend the ice creams on offer in the Gelateria. My own favourite was a kiwi one, but I also liked the Cinque Terre, made from the local desert wine, Sciacchetrà – it tasted rather like rum and raisin flavour. They also have a small outlet down by the harbour, by the way, but it is no way a chain! This is good “home-made” gelato Italian-style.
We also had a good breakfast from the Gelateria on one occasion. They specialise in pancakes, and in an effort to convince myself that this was a healthy breakfast I chose one filled with fresh fruit, which was delicious – melon, kiwi, pineapple, orange etc spilled out as I cut into it and were all fresh and tasty. Chris meanwhile had a cheese omelette, and the bill of €9 for these, with coffees and an orange juice, seemed very reasonable.
Although we never ate dinner or lunch here, the Bar has a limited menu of hot dishes (pizza and pasta) which seemed to be enjoyed by those we saw tucking into them and which could make a good choice if you’re travelling on a budget. Our evening visits were all for post-dinner drinks, usually my favourite grappa, although on one occasion I sampled the local limonata , which is more or less like limoncello and like it a little sweet for my taste, but it made a change. With generous measures, pretty glasses and ample people-watching opportunities, this was the perfect place to end our evenings in Riomaggiore – especially as it was only a short (uphill) stagger back to our hotel from here.