After you've investigated all the magnificent Palladian architecture of Vicenza's center -- the Piazza dei Signori -- what better time than to have lunch at a place frequented by locals?
The Antica Casa della Malvasia is so well known, it didn't even have a sign out front at the time of my visit. It's located on a quiet cobblestoned lane right adjacent to the main Piazza. It was full of locals, business people, and a local family or two when I visited in April.
The ambience inside is charmingly rustic -- light and airy with a marble-tiled floor, a big fireplace, and brick-vaulted arches that divide the restaurant into several more intimate dining areas. There's also outdoor seating for warm weather.
The menu differs not only by day of the week, but also by season, as the restaurant strives to tailor its offerings to the available local produce du jour. A neighboring table was having a small pasta dish done simply with chopped arugula and asagio cheese, and a side of courgette flowers in batter. Sformato is also served -- a lasagna-like dish with artichokes and sharp cheese. The wine list is very extensive. Service is fast and unobtrusive.
On Tuesdays and some Thursday nights, the restaurant has entertainment such as jazz, and apparently is very popular on these evenings (reserve for dinner ahead). Closed Mondays, and possibly the first two weeks of August.
Favorite Dish: I enjoyed a pasta dish of small spinach seashells bathed in a lamb ragout (conchiglietti verdi al ragu di agnello), which was so flavorful I could have eaten two platefuls. This was accompanied by a mixed salad (insalata mista) loaded with enough vegetables to keep a vegetarian very happy. Prices are very moderate. A fine glass of red valpolicella, which comes from nearby Verona, is only Euro 2.50.
At the top of Monte Berico is Ristorante Al Pellegrino, named after the pilgrims who've visited the grand Santuario de Monte Berico for centuries. It is located opposite the basilica.
The restaurant has several components: a bar/caffe with pastries in the lobby (photo #2); a self-service display of hot dishes, cold sandwiches and salads; an upstairs elegant restaurant, often for groups (photo #3); and the pizzeria (photo # 4), where I ate lunch. Adjacent to the pizzeria is the outdoor terrace pictured, with wonderful views, although barely open on a somewhat chilly day in April.
The restaurant upstairs has a full menu of many selections, mostly based on seafood, and with an emphasis on "cooking a la vicentine." The pizzeria offers about 40 types of wood-oven-fired pizza, as well as some of the restaurant offerings. Service is quick and very friendly, although this place might get very busy during the height of summer.
Favorite Dish: With a hankering for pizza at lunch, I enjoyed a small, thin crust anchovy pizza, which tasted very Neopolitain (Euro 5), with a Barbera red wine. This was a fine spot for a casual lunch after the staircase walk up Monte Berico (see Tip).
Vicenza's best known dish, Bacala' alla Vicentina is based on a traditional receipt transmitted from one generation to another.
Made of stockfish, soaked for 48 hours, onion, anchovies, grated Parmigiano, olive oil and milk, Bacala' is usually served with freshly made hot polenta and a glass of white Berganze Bianco wine.
I'm recommending a country side restaurant for the best Bacala' - a spectacular creamy delight I'm still dreaming about at night.
A nice restaurant located in the center of Vicenza. Nothing special but worth a visit. Friendly staff.
Favorite Dish: I recommend the filleto ai Zi Teresa. It is no longer on the menu but if you ask for it they will serve it.
Be ready for a long but fun and eventful night when dining at Oi Bo. The owner, Bruno, will ensure a great time. The food is great and the drinks are always flowing. Later, when the kitchen closes, don’t be surprised to see people dancing on the tables with the workers right along with them. Expect a long night. NOT a place for a quiet romantic date. Oi Bò is hectic! Book ahead.
This place is touted as the Best gelato in town, we agree. They deal with gelato and a few other sweets, and seem to have perfected it. Making all thier icecream products on site.
The staff is very nice. There's not really any place to sit down inside, just get some icecream and stroll around.
The street that it is down is a small alley off of Contra Garibadi, between the Duomo and Piazza Dei Signori. Heading from the Duomo, make your first left and you should see the big icecream cone down a little ways on the left.
Favorite Dish: Quite a wide variety of flavors here, all that we've sampled so far has been great.
We've been to this ristorante pizzaria a few times and have never been dissapointed. Quailty food in a nice but casual environment. When the weather is nice, grab at one of the many tables they set out in the small sqaure. Inside is small on the first floor, ask for a table upstairs for a more intimate environment.
All dishes we've sampled have been great. Pizza's are great from thier wood fired oven, and always a good choice if you are on a budget. We're not fans of the local dish "Bacala alla Vicentino", but prepared here is as good as anywhere else.
All in all, a top chioce for good food at reasonable prices in the center of town.
Favorite Dish: All has been good- they've got fresh calamari fritte, good bigoli al'antra (a local dish, small pasta with a duck ragu), and good pizza from the wood fired oven.
Well this ones mentioned in Mr. Steves' guide book so we thought we'd give it a try. We were dissapointed with the food. The setting is pleasant enough, wait staff was nice, but as far as the eats, you'd probably do better in any one of the other Restaurants close by. In particular, we asked what the waiter might recommend and that dish (a creamy gnocci dish) was hardly edible. This is one restaurant in Vicenza that I would not return to.
Instead, head a block north then right on contra Pescherie Vecchie- there's a small square with a few decent restaurants including Ristorante Pizzeria Paradiso- great food here at good prices, local atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: nothing memorable, you probably can't go wrong with a pizza though if you find yourself at a table here.
The Drive-in has recently been taken over by a lady from Naples, Vincenza, and the menu has changed to more traditional Italian food. The wine is good, it's closed on Mondays, and the food is still cheap.
Favorite Dish: Squid, sardines and so on.
This restaurant is located just in front of the Monte Berico Church. It offers good food and excellent views over Vicenza and the surrounding area. During nice weather, you can sit out on the huge terrace and take in the vista (2nd photo is taken from the terrace).
The restaurant is a large facility, with a bar/ fast food type area for a quick snack or Gelato. The Restaurant area is pleasant but not to formal.
We've eaten here a couple times and have always had good prompt service and great food, to include sea food, pastas, and main dishes. The Pizza?s great; the kids like to watch as the pizza?s being prepared and cooked in the wood fired oven.
I'd recommend reservations for Fri-Sun seating. The receptionist has understood English when I?ve called.
Favorite Dish: We can't resist the calamari fritta. Also, the pasta frutti di mare is excelent and huge portion. Just be prepared to shell some of the fish.
There are more then dozen ice-cream shops in the very heart of the city, but "Tutto gelato" is one and only. It is situated in a small and narow street behind Corso Palladio. Dunno the name of the street but it wont be difficult to find it, just ask any of locals you meet on the street.
Favorite Dish: Gelato is definetely one of the best I ever had and whenever Im in Vicenza it is inevitable to me. Do not miss it, no metter if summer or winter coz it is absolutely delicious.
Trattoria Vecchia Guardia is perfectly located, right in the heart of the city and just a foot from Piazza dei Signori.
Favorite Dish: Besides very good pizzas, trattoria offers traditional dishes from Vicenza among which "baccala al vicentino" is the most famous one.
I suggest you seafood, and my favourite is a Cod(-fish) with corn-mush. Another option; grilled gamberoni.
White wine from Soave goes very good with seafood.
If you like fish and wine, go to Pitanta near Ponte degli Angeli, in Contrà Sta. Lucia. There you can drink wine at 60cts a glass, and pay the same for sardines in saura and a bit more for other pieces of fish. It’s a bit like tapas in Spain. No cover charge, no first or second course, you just order what you want. If you want the equivalent of a meal it won’t cost more than about 5 or 6 euro.
Best time to go is early evening for aperitifs.
Favorite Dish: Sardini in saura, sardines fried, and then marinated in onion fried in the same fat, and vinegar. Just right for washing down plenty of white wine.
The restaurant has a different menu for every day of the week, so you can definitely visit it more than once!
They have local dishes like Baccala, and their salads sound delicious and at least the one I ordered with rucola, appels, grana and sesame seeds was amazing in it's simplicity.
Order the whole round of antipasti, a primi and a secondi plus dessert!! (it won't even come too expencive!)
The service is very fast too, you will not have to wait for your dinner!
This is maybe the best place to go for pizza in Vicenza. They have a huuuge menu, with pizza bianca, pizza rosse and all the traditional pizzas. There is also a variety of warm sandwiches and different types of tex-mex food (I don't know about the authenticity of those ;) )
Favorite Dish: The pizza rosse with fresh rucola and pomodorini (small tomatoes) was really good!