Meals are very important to the Italian people and as a tourist, you should never miss the chance to explore the variety of dishes from the Italian cuisine, once you arrive in Lago di Garda. The region of Lake Garda features countless restaurants where you can taste a variety of traditional specialities starting from chicken, pork, ham and of course freshwater fish.
Don’t miss ‘Bigoli with Aole’, bigoli is a homemade fresh egg short pasta (similar to penne in length but different shape) and Aole is a freshwater fish that is fished in the waters of Garda Lake. You can also taste another freshwater lake fish ‘Trout with Grappa’ the secret here is that the trout is cooked in using the local ‘grappa’ the strong spirit made out of the skin of the local grape.
Other specific regional dishes are yota, frico, lesso and Zuppa di Valpelline. Yota is a stew made of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, ham and sometimes smoked ribs. This type of food is usually served with a lot of garlic and it stands out as a common main course. Frico represents a sort of chips made of cheese and they are usually served as aperitifs. Frico is made of thinly sliced cheese coated with flour and then deep-fried. Parmesan, Mozzarella or Montasio are the main types of cheese used for preparing frico. Lesso is a pepper sauce that usually accompanies different types of steamed meat. Zuppa di Valpelline is a stew made of cabbage and served with croutons or dried bread.
For the vegetarian don’t miss the ‘wild berry risotto’ when in season. You can accompany these dishes with a glass of Franciacorta, a sparkling wine from the Province of Brescia.
Here are the best restaurants in Lake Garda for perfect meals with your whole family!
Lake Garda is an ideal place for gourmets and wine lovers who can enjoy local produces while on holiday. A typical product of Lake Garda is the olive oil “extra virgin D.O.P.”, a fruity oil, light and delicate, that perfectly accompanies every Mediterranean dish. The oil is produced in the whole territory around the lake, as the mild climate with a relative absence of sudden changes of temperature suites olive groves cultivation.
An unforgettable experience of peace and authenticity… Aqua Ristorante is the perfect spot to delight your senses with unconventional dishes and a refined atmosphere. In front of Lake Garda, where mountains dive into the water, you’ll find a beautiful wide veranda with a spectacular view over the lake. Take a sit and look on the menu: would you prefer cut black angus with “monte baldo” herbs sauce and pinot nero or a serving of kamut crab macaroni with dices of fresh tomatoes and garlic? A little bit pricey, but definitely worth it! You’ll never forget the special taste. Aqua is situated in front of the enchanted small port that runs out on Lake Garda. Don’t hesitate to book your table for a gastronimic experience. The menu is mouthwatering!
Capannina pool bar & restaurant
Situated on the picturesque Via Le Botteghe, in Riva del Garda, a town and comune in the northern Italian province of Trento of the Trentino Alto Adige region. Just a few steps away from the Piazzetta of Capri, La Capannina has, since its opening in 1931, been the chosen restaurant of a steady stream of celebrities. This spacious poolside restaurant with an extended terrace offers a relaxed environment for lunch and dinner near the beach. Opened from May to September, it specializes in traditional Italian cuisine, light salad, genuine Neapolitan pizza, grilled meat, grilled fish, or a simple snack. At night, the Capannina Pizza & Grill with its candle-lit terrace reveals all the natural beauty of the park and provides the ideal setting for an informal family or a romantic dinner. Refreshments, fruit juices, aperitifs and cocktails are served at the bar throughout the day. Here you’ll enjoy meal starting from 10Euros, which makes it a nice and affordable place.
You can start your day in style with a generous buffet breakfast served here from May to September. The restaurant’s location is outstanding: directly overlooking the lake, the small port of Barbarano, a small hamlet situated between the coastal towns of Salò and Gardone Riviera. Splendid breakfast buffets are set out every morning in the peaceful and pleasant setting of the Veranda. They offer new specialities produced each day to ensure you ensjoy a tasty and vitamin-filled breakfast. The excellent food combined with the romantic atmosphere will make your experience a great one. The prices are extremely reasonable, starting from 15Euros and the view is absolutely lovely and mesmerizing. The restaurant is located right on the lake edge, next to the Barbarano port.
The view from the fantastic Roof Garden restaurant, overlooking the Lake, will make it the perfect dining room for you, your family and your friends. In the summer months, you can enjoy a grand buffet breakfast on the terrace of this wonderful restaurant. This exclusive terrace affords panoramic views over the park and the Dolomite mountains in the background, providing a dream setting for a relaxed breakfast. The menu includes a variety of dishes starting from 5,5Euros for a portion of ‘Pasta al pomodoro fresco’, and 16Euros for ‘Secondi Piatti’. The impressive view over the lake, the exquisite dishes and the romantic sceneries will offer you the pleasure of exploring the real and authentic Italian cuisine. The restaurant is located in Riva del Garda on the northern end of Lake Garda.
Agritur Madonna delle Vittorie
If you want to spend memorable moments with your family at the highest level, you should choose Agritur Madonna delle Vittorie, located in the northern part of Lago di Garda. During the opening hours, you can taste typical regional dishes like smoked trentino burrata with field salad, apple and berries (8Euros), homemade pasta – tagliatelle with regional rabbit sauce, olives and onions (9Euros) or special desserts. The menu is daily enriched by their chefs with a few ‘dishes of the day’, in order to make the offer more interesting and appetizing. All the wines and the extra virgin olive oil Garda DOP are produced in their farm which can be visited. The setting outside is just lovely with a beautiful garden and some rustic tables and chairs. Worth booking ahead to be sure of getting a table outside!
Osteria al Pescatore
The “Al Pescatore” Osteria is located in Castelletto di Brenzone on the eastern shore of Lake Garda. Owned by Livio and Rosaria, a couple who have spent their lives in the region, the restaurant is a cozy little place with exceptional food and service. You’ll enjoy here a great dinner evening with your family while admiring the sunset over the lake. And… surprise, there is no menu! From perch to pike and tench, from sardines to eels… you’ll have the opportunity to taste what the lake offers. Fresh, silver, shiny, tempting fish that, thanks to chef Rosaria’s passion and skill, is transformed into delicious dishes! Besides the fish, the only ingredients are extra virgin olive oil and the herbs provided by nature, in their house’s garden. What else can we say? Did we mention the view? Come and experience unique flavours in a splendid setting!
Pizza Per Caso Le Quattro Coppe
After all these exquisite recipes, there is always time for a slice of pizza! A long day travelling around the lake ends with a final stop at this incredible place suitable for all pockets. Try pizza with pumpkin sauce, caramelised apple with cinnamon and Parma ham… it’s a blessing! Also, you can ask the waiter to pick pizzas for you – you won’t be sorry! For certain, each family member will taste the most delicious pizza ever with perfect accuracy. Don’t miss their house sparkling white wine! Pizza Per Caso Le Quattro Coppe is a little hidden away, located in the south, but once you get there is definitely worth a visit!
Restel de Fer
With prices between 8-18Euros, the menu focuses on local delicacies like Garda lake fish ravioli, Trentino beef meat with coriander and Garda lake fish balls with cherry tomatoes and leeks. Restel de Fer restaurant is a family-run locanda presenting a selection of regional and seasonal ingredients, offering a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and suggesting the best wines matched to your dishes. Go with an empty stomach so that you can enjoy the proper Italian full course dinner! Despite their excellent service and local composing menus, the atmosphere is absolutely gorgeous, away from the buzz of the main street. Overall, here you’ll enjoy an amazing culinary experience with service to match. Book your table in advance! They are open all evenings, except Wednesday.
The Italian cuisine of Lake Garda is very rich and diverse, so don’t waste your time and reserve a table at one of the restaurants mentioned above. Taste the local traditional specialities based on a large range of meals (chicken, pork, ham and fish) and spend some memorable moments with your lovely family. You can take a photo before tasting carpaccio of trout with fennel and elder… so, delicious! Count the memories, not the calories!