While on Lake Como make sure not to go to the restaurants in Bellagio or any other tourist trap area because those restaurants can be pretty pricey. Take a drive along the lake and stop off in some out of the way towns on the lake that are not as well known and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Find a trattoria and you will eat well without spending much money. One thing about a trattoria though is that there aren't any menus, you eat whatever the cook has prepared that day.
A meal will cost you between 10-15 euros per person with a litre of house wine.
My Italian pal took us for a meal here and we really enjoyed our lunch there. It was very busy when we were there, clients were a mixture of locals and tourists. Waiter was very friendly and helpful, though we didn't really deal with him, as my pen friend did all the talking being the only one of us who spoke Italian. Ambience was lovely too and the bathroom was spotless.
Favorite Dish: We had different meats as antipasto...good but too salty. My friend and I had pizza, after all we were in Italy! My pal had risotto, which she said was excellent and it indeed looked delicious. Pizzas were very good too, though the problem I face everywhere is salt. I use very little salt or none at all when I cook and usually find any food in any restaurant too salty and it was the case here too. For the rest of the day I was drinking lots of water. Later when we had coffee I drank a 1,5-litre bottle of water and I was still thirsty.
This is a veeeeeeeeery BEAUTIFUL restaurant at the main square in Cernobbio, by the lake side, where the boat station, heroes monument and children playground are. :) It's quite small, but impossible not to detect as it is the only restaurant/bar over there! :) It is almost entirely glass-walled, with wonderful overview on the square, lake and everything around. You have a feeling that you're outdoors. They have a good heating system and you won't be cold even in winter, although glass is not so thick.
Behind the restaurant there are swimming pools. In winter - ice rinks as they're frozen! :-)
The food is YUMMY!!! They have the very best calzone I have ever had, and try it with aromatic olive oil with added hot peppers (olio al peperoncino).
Note: in winter they might close for a few months! Usually they are closed in November, December and January. BUMMER!!!
Family-run restaurant, pizzeria, bar, bed&breakfast on several floors on the cliffs above Como lake in Nesso, overlooking the stunning l'orrido di Nesso (sort of a gorge) and the lake itself. The owners are extremely kind, friendly and hospitable and the food is delicious!
Favorite Dish: Calzone!
A very nice and cozy place near Laglio, on the left bank of the Como lake. It's decorated in the old countryside style, with wooden ceiling and rustic ornaments and items. The food is great (delicious calzone liscio), but the staff is not the kindest in the world. The cashier is even rude, vile and very Nazi in her disposition. However, the atmosphere is pleasant. You might also run onto George Clooney, as his villa in Laglio is just a couple of hundreds of meters away. :)
Note: It's closed on Mondays.
Located on a sidestreet two back and parallel to Como's waterfront drag, a most non-descript entrance hides a spacious and bright dining room suitable for small or large groups. Frequented by locals as well as visitors, the restaurant boasts an excellent seafood menu as well as pizza/pasta and meat dishes ranging from 10-25 EU. I enjoyed immensely a well-presented mixed seafood grill that included trout, crayfish, shrimp, and some sort of whitefish, octopus.
Favorite Dish: see above
I hate to use the "example" given by VT but in this case - you definitely gotta try the fresh seafood! Earlier that day it was swimming in Lake Como... at lunch it's on your plate. It's that fresh and that good. Neither Mom nor I are seafood fans, and we really enjoyed the food here.
Look at that view! The food was forgettable but the view wasn't. We enjoyed the Prosecco and I had pasta amatriciana and Mom had pizza. Not great but not bad. But would you look at what we drank to!
Favorite Dish: Prosecco and the view.
On the only island of the lake there is this wonderful restaurant. The menu has been the same for over 50 years, and it's deliciou: you truly feel the freshness of the food. In combination to a perfect atmosphere this dinner was a wonderful experience.
Awesome is also the list of famous people who visited the restaurant: just have a look here http://www.comacina.it/isola/locanda_contactus.htm
The price is 58 Euro, but it's all inclusive. You can drink as much vine as you want!!
I can only advise don't miss this restaurant if you are in the region!
This is another splendid pizzeria in Cernobbio. Its location is not spectacular - it's right on the main road to Como facing the street, but they have a very delicious calzone! Odd enough, Cernobbio has the best pizza's I've ever had! This is the second place I tried in Cernobbio, and it was splendid again! They are not limited to pizza only, they have an exuberant menu of Italian food, they are also specialised in rice, but I haven't tried any of that. The interior is lovely, all in glass looking on the back yard. And the service is FAST!
We were not able to find a place to have lunch in Bellagio (it was Sunday and the town was crowded) so we decided to continue our trip to Como and stop if we found a restaurant. At Faggeto Lario, about 10 kms. far from Como, we found Il pescatore. It was advertised as Ristorante but also Paninoteca (sandwich bar). We wanted not to waste too much time at lunch, so we chose the Paninoteca. Sandwichs were nothing special, but what was really special was the sight at the veranda. Impressive! At the main floor they have a restaurant and they offer fresh food. I didn't try it, so I can't give an advice. The photo is taken from their web.
Favorite Dish: No pudimos encontrar sitio para comer en Bellagio (era domingo y estaba atestado de gente), as? que decidimos continuar viaje hasta Como y parar por el camino si encontrabamos un restuarante. En Faggeto Lario, a unos 10 kms. antes de Como, encontramos Il Pescatore. Se anunciaba como Ristorante pero tambien como Paninoteca (Bocateria). Los bocatas no eran nada especial, pero lo que si era alucinante era la vista desde la terraza. En la planta principal tiene un restaurante y ofrecen pescado fresco. No lo probe, asi que no puedo aconsejar. La foto esta sacada de su pagina web.
I read about this place in VT and set out to find it. Although it is a hotel, it holds its own as a restaurant. We arrived at the train station in Varenna and I overlooked directions - but soon as we worked our way to the lake we found Albergo Olivedo. After arriving I asked the lady serving if she was Laura, and she gave me a surprised smile and said yes. What happened later was an culinary treat. I lack the words to explain how good the soup and the fish were. The fish was very fresh and perfectly prepared! The service was outstanding! This restaurant is a little gem worth the ride up from Milan. The surroundings are beautiful, and very romantic. After lunch you can set out for a nice walk of the town ... but don't leave without dessert! Next time I am in the area I am planning to stay in the Albergo. Varenna is more laid back than Bellagio, and very beautiful. This is a great place to enjoy a nice glass of wine across the lake. We visited restaurants in many countries, but when someone asked me what my favorite restaurant was - this one immediately came to mind! According to the web page Laura is the owner, and the place has been in the family for a few generation. The pride of ownership shows!
Favorite Dish: Everything! I had vegetable soup and the fresh salmon - what a treat! The fresh fish changes, but is sure to please.
This wonderful restaurant is in the very heart of Bellagio, on the main street (where navigazione ferry station is), right under Villa Serbelloni hotel, with a spectacular view over the lake! The sun is there all day long and you can enjoy yourself under the shade of trees.
Pity I forgot the name, shame on me...
LA PUNTA is the only restaurant in this part of Bellagio. It has a splendid view on the lake and the park in front, with lovely spring foliage.
Staff is very kind and pro, they speak several languages (English, German, French...)
Menus are delicious!
Favorite Dish: Try antipasto di lago, a starter with freshwater fish of the lake, delicious!
Then, gnochetti al gorgonzola or tagliattelle al salmone (I never know how to spell tagliatelle right!?)
Don't forget limoncello!
In the Como downtown there is this cute and nice boat café, where they serve very delicious ice cream! It´s also a perfect place to hide when there is the rain, as it was in my case. But don´t go there when the lake is wavy if you suffer from sea nausea, as it shakes a lot! :)
Sorry for the horrible photo, but on a rainy afternoon this was the best I could do...