A step inside the traditional Italian cuisine

Visiting Lake Como means not only interacting with the beauty of the region, but also enjoying the flavors and tastes of the local food and the deliciousness of the traditional cuisine. It’s no secret that the Italian cuisine has a diverse variety of gastronomic dishes, starting from fish to cheese and ending up with meat-based dishes. As long as you know the right places, you’ll be enjoying the best Italian food experiences.

Lake Como typical dishes

We recommend you try ‘Risotto with pesce persico’ a local fresh water fish which is pan fried and served on top of a white risotto.

Or for meat lovers: ‘Polenta con uccelli scappati’, a puree made with corn flower and skewered veal and pork to resemble escaped birds. Not to forget the traditional Panettone. Let’s talk more about the traditional food in Lake Como.

Risotto con Filetti di Pesce Persico

As we said earlier, this delicious food is made with fresh fish found in Lake Como and white risotto. Nutritionists have found Lake Como perch to be low in fats and rich in noble proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s sometimes served on pasta dough with butter nut, sage, parmesan, and a hint of wine.

Insalata Caprese (Tomato Salad)

Originated on the Isle of Capri, Insalata Caprese is a tomato and mozzarella salad with slight variations, with fresh ingredients. Because the dish is relatively simple, it is essential that the ingredients are farm fresh and flavorful. Other regions of Italy are better known for growing tomatoes, but the Lake Como area offers a wide variety of farmer’s markets between Como and Lecco.


Polenta is a side dish made from corn meal and can be served in a variety of ways. Creamy and hot or cooled, sliced and then baked, this can be served with meat, fish or with cheese.

Brasato di Cinghiale Selvatico (Braised Wild Boar)

If you are a meat lover, this dish is for you! Wild boar is a traditional food served most likely in autumn, but it appears on menu in other seasons. Often it’s marinated in wine and served with local vegetables.

Foiolo (Tripe)

Tripe or Busecca or Foiolo is a variation on a common dish in Lombardy. This is a dish traditionally served during  the Christmas night dinner celebrations. Even if you don’t want to try this dish, it is a part of local cuisine. It’s an appetizer for the adventurous and, unlike, some other choices, the flavor usually is fairly neutral.

Missoltino (Sun-Dried Lake Shad)

Sun-dried lake shad is also a traditional dish for this region. Shad are like sardines and they are found in Lake Como. They are prepared with salt for several days, then hang to dry. In Italian, the menu item is missoltino. Missoltino can be served with bread as an appetizer.

Fragole con Gelato (Strawberries with Gelato)

You can’t say you have been to Italy and didn’t try gelato. This traditional dessert is prepared with sliced strawberries atop a serving of fine Italian ice cream. If you are looking for a fancy dessert, you could try some other traditional sweets, but this is very delicious and representative for this region. Yummy!

What to drink in Lake Como?

Digestivo Drinks

A digestivo is a post-dinner drink that is taken after eating a large meal. These drinks are not normally mixed with any other drinks and are to be taken straight.

Limoncello – this is a liqueur made from adding lemon zest to pure alcohol. It is bright yellow in colour with a slightly syrupy consistency and is said to have originated from Southern Italy.  Best served chilled.

Sambuca –  this liqueur is made from infusing elderberries or licorice roots in pure alcohol, sweetened with sugar and the addition of some spices gives it the anise taste. The result is a clear colored liquid and it’s drunk straight. Some Italians have a dash of this added to their after dinner espresso.


Italy has overtaken France in the wine-producing business and exports its fine wine worldwide. Northern Italy does have a few good labels such as: Grumello (red), Asti Spumante (sparkling), Moscato (white) and Soave (dry white), which are just a few of the wines from this area of Italy. Pair them with local food and enjoy!


Espresso coffee dates back to the 1800’s. However, it was in the early 1900’s when Luigi Bezzera, who was the owner of a manufacturing company in Milan, wanted to find a way to reduce the time taken by his employees for coffee breaks. To date, espresso has become popular worldwide and in many towns and cities throughout the world, but if you are in a vacation on Lake Como you need to try an authentic Italian coffee here.

Best restaurants in Lake Como

The Italians like to sit down and eat their meals without rushing them. Mealtimes are very important to Italians, as it is not only the food that they enjoy, it is also the social aspect of eating with family and friends. One of the first thoughts of this region, except the beautiful surroundings, is the amazing food and drinks. Discover the best restaurant where you can enjoy the Italian specialties in the company of your friends and family and eat like an Italiano vero!

Red and White Restaurant

This is the perfect restaurant for family and friends, where you will taste very good food in a warm atmosphere. Located in Tremezzina, across the street from the shores of Lake Como, with extensive views. The chef and his wife are charming, friendly and they speak English. Here you can either select different dishes from the menu, or you can choose an aperitif or two. The food is absolutely outstanding: you can eat the best ‘pasta e fagioli’ or the best lasagna that you have ever tried. If you are a pizza lover and you want to have a slice later on that day, you have the possibility to benefit from the take away pizza service. Prices start from about 10 Euros for pizzas and pastas and the main dishes from 20-22 Euros. With the great selection of classical Italian food at the best affordable prices, you can’t go wrong if you choose the Red and White Restaurant.

Azalea Restaurant

Set right on the shore of Lake Como, in the heart of Tremezzo, this restaurant offers panoramic views across the Lake. Azalea Restaurant is the best place where you can enjoy great Italian food and drinks and even relax at the bar with some of the most interesting cocktails of the region. The food menu is extensive and delicious and the view is absolutely stunning and breathtaking. Azalea Restaurant offers an a la carte service, with fresh fish dishes and specialties from the Lombardy region.

Red Bay Restaurant

Located right in the Piazza, near the water, in Menaggio, with a wonderful view, the outdoor eating area is perfectly arranged in order to offer to each client the possibility of admiring the lake, taking in  the fresh air and relaxing in the best way possible. The food is very fresh, consisting in salads, pasta and pizza, but you should not miss the wine and the desserts. The delicious menu offers the possibility of eating light meals, with several kinds of salads, as well as fresh and well prepared pizza. The best local beer will delight your senses at the Red Bay Restaurant. The prices are very affordable: starting from 8-12 Euros, you will get the chance to get acquainted to the local cuisine, being spoiled with the deliciousness of the Italian cuisine.

Pizzeria Balognetti

Wondering where you can eat the best pizza in Lake Como? Here is the perfect place that will satisfy your desire for tasting a real pizza. In the beautiful Tremezzo, in an Italian home, you will be welcomed by the simple pleasure of cooking the traditional pizza. From wood-oven pizzas, to roasted fish to vegetables harvested from the owner’s garden, you will taste the finest and freshest ingredients. The authentic regional food will make your experience an excellent one. Wondering how much an authentic Italian pizza costs? For only 12,50 Euros you will have the chance to taste the best pizza in Italy. A pizza take away service is also available here.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the best attractions in Lake Como

On Lake Como you will feel free and in unison with nature. From everywhere along the Lake you will enjoy breathtaking views, fresh air and be permanently on a pleasant vacation mood. Take breakfast anywhere around the Lake on one of the wonderful terraces with views upon the lake, take the plunge and travel by boat in order to take the best photos and, at night, why not order one of the huge selection of fresh fruits and yogurt ice cream to share with your family and friends? Besides these, don’t miss the chance to admire the tourist attractions.