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Cinque Terre + Portofino restaurants

It doesn't take much: a table outside a harborside trattoria, a plate piled high with spaghetti al pesto and a flask of frisky Vermentino wine, congenial company and a view of the sun setting across the bay. But the Cinque Terre dining experience doesn't always match up to this vision. The main problem is the sheer volume of visitor numbers and the lack of the sort of regular local clientele that forces restaurateurs to stay on top of their game. To eat really well in the Cinque Terre, you need to be prepared to seek out the diamonds in the rough and to go in the opposite direction from the crowds (two of the best places to eat here, Cappun Magru and Il Ciliegio, are up in the hills, surrounded by vineyards).


Portofino restaurants maintain a fairly high standard, but they're not cheap. Here, too, it's worth straying farther afield—perhaps to a temple of traditional cuisine like La Cucina di Nonna Nina in San Rocco on the other side of the promontory, or to farinata specialist Luchin in Chiavari.

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Cappun Magru, Groppo di Manarola

The hamlet of Groppo is just a scatter of houses high up on the hill behind Manarola, but it's here, in two rooms of a converted private house, that you'll find...more

Editors' Pick
Focacceria Il Frantoio, Monterosso al Mare

Focaccia, the less doughy Genoese form of pizza, is the staple local snack. Just about every village has a bakery or focacceria where you can buy slabs of the...more

Editors' Pick
Gambero Rosso, Vernazza

Right above Vernazza's small beach, next to the colorful fishing boats pulled up onto the slipway, this is one of the very few Cinque Terre waterside...more

Editors' Pick
Il Ciliegio, Monterosso al Mare

In the hills above Monterosso stands this utterly charming country restaurant (they'll even send a minibus down to pick you up if you book ahead). Eat on the...more

Editors' Pick
La Cucina di Nonna Nina, San Rocco

In such a dramatically perched village you'd expect a panoramic terrace, but apart from a handful of tables near the entrance, "Grandma Nina's Kitchen" is all...more

Editors' Pick
Luchin, Chiavari

When you've had your fill of Portofino's yachty elitism, head for the historic town of Chiavari, around 20 minutes away by train. Chiavari rivals Bologna as...more

Editors' Pick
Osteria a Cantina de Mananan, Corniglia

Aloof on its rocky spur and lacking a port, Corniglia feels less touristy and more authentically Ligurian than the other four Cinque Terre villages. Its more...more

Editors' Pick
Puny, Portofino

If you want to hang with the Portofino smart set, book a table chez Puny, the most classic and chichi of the harborside restaurants, with its refined marine...more

Editors' Pick
Trattoria Cavour, Levanto

In a corner of Levanto's main square, a couple of blocks back from the sea, this local institution is always full of regulars. Angle for an alfresco table on...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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