Food To Try While Visiting Genoa, Italy

As the birthplace of pesto sauce and home to some of the best seafood in Italy, Genoa is a foodie paradise. Located on the Ligurian Sea, this historic city is known for its fresh, flavorful cuisine. From traditional dishes like focaccia bread and cima alla genovese to more modern creations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Genoa. Here are some of the best foods to try while visiting this beautiful city.


1. Focaccia

Focaccia is a type of flatbread that originates from the Italian city of Genoa. It is made with a simple dough of flour, water, yeast and olive oil, which is then flavored with herbs and topped with olives or other vegetables.

Focaccia is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven, which gives it a characteristic chewy texture and smoky flavor. The dough is also often pre-fermented, which adds deeper flavor and a slightly sour taste.

While focaccia is now enjoyed all over Italy, it remains particularly popular in Genoa, where it is often served as a starter or alongside a main course. Whether you’re enjoying a slice at a local bakery or dining on a freshly made piece at a restaurant, there’s no doubt that focaccia is one of the tastiest bread around.



2. Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto alla Genovese is a traditional Italian sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. The sauce originated in the city of Genoa, and it is still a popular dish in the region today.

If you find yourself in Genoa, be sure to try an authentic Pesto alla Genovese. It is best enjoyed with trofie pasta, but it can also be used as a spread for bread or added to vegetables.

When made correctly, Pesto alla Genovese is a delicious and fragrant sauce that is sure to leave you wanting more. So next time you are in Italy, make sure to stop by Genoa and give this classic sauce a try.

Pesto alla Genovese
Pesto alla Genovese


3. Torta Pasqualina

The province of Genoa is the birthplace of many beloved Italian dishes, including pesto, farinata, and focaccia. However, one of the most iconic Genoese dishes is torta pasqualina.

This traditional Easter pie is made with a dense layer of spinach-filled dough, and it is often garnished with a variety of cheeses and meats. While it may sound like a heavy dish, torta pasqualina is actually quite light and flavorful.

If you find yourself in Genoa during Eastertime, be sure to try this delicious specialty. You won’t be disappointed!

Torta Pasqualina
Torta Pasqualina


4. Cannelloni

A visit to Genoa wouldn’t be complete without trying at least one of the city’s famous dishes. And when it comes to pasta, there’s no dish more iconic than Cannelloni.

This hearty dish is made with large tubes of pasta that are filled with meat or cheese and then covered in a rich tomato sauce. While it may sound simple, Cannelloni is actually quite complex, and each bite is packed with flavor.



5. Ravioli alla Genovese

Genoa is a bustling city with a lot to offer visitors, and one of its most popular attractions is the food. The city is known for its world-renowned cuisine, and one dish that you absolutely must try while you’re here is Ravioli alla Genovese.

This dish is made with fresh pasta dough filled with a unique filling of ground beef, Parmesan cheese, and onion. The entire ravioli is then cooked in a delicious tomato sauce.

The result is a mouthwatering dish that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. So be sure to add Ravioli alla Genovese to your list of must-try dishes when you visit Genoa. You won’t regret it!

Ravioli alla Genovese
Ravioli alla Genovese


6. Risotto al Pesto

Risotto al Pesto is a must-try dish when visiting Genoa, the capital of Italy’s Liguria region. This traditional rice dish is cooked with fresh pesto – a paste made from basil, pine nuts, and garlic – and topped with Parmesan cheese.

The result is a creamy, flavorful dish that is sure to satisfy. While there are many excellent restaurants in Genoa that serve Risotto al Pesto, one of the best is Trattoria da Ugo. This family-run eatery has been serving up hearty Italian fare for generations, and their Risotto al Pesto is no exception.

Risotto al Pesto
Risotto al Pesto


7. Polenta con Funghi e Salsiccia

Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and is known for its seaport, which has been a major center of maritime trade for centuries. The city is also home to vibrant food culture, and one dish that should not be missed is Polenta con Funghi e Salsiccia.

This traditional dish is made with cornmeal porridge, mushrooms, and sausage, and it is hearty and satisfying. The best place to try Polenta con Funghi e Salsiccia is at the Trattoria da Burde, which is located in the historic center of Genoa.

The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, and the food is cooked to perfection. Be sure to arrive early, as the restaurant gets crowded quickly.

Polenta con Funghi e Salsiccia
Polenta con Funghi e Salsiccia


8. Farinata

If you find yourself in Genoa, be sure to try Farinata. This traditional dish is made with chickpea flour and olive oil, and it has a deliciously crispy texture. It’s often served as an appetizer, but it can also be a meal in itself.

The best place to try Farinata is at one of the city’s many open-air markets. There, you’ll find vendors cooking the dish in large copper pans.

Be sure to take a look around the market before choosing a vendor; there can be quite a lot of variation in quality. Once you’ve found the perfect Farinata, enjoy it with a view of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!



9. Pansoti in Salsa di Noci

Genoa is a food lover’s paradise, and one of the most beloved dishes in the city is pansoti in salsa di noci. This dish features delicate ravioli filled with a flavorful mix of spinach and cheese, served in a rich walnut sauce.

The key to this dish is choosing the right cheese; a creamy Fontina or Robiola Bosina will provide the perfect contrast to the crispy pasta. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the pasta without being too heavy, and the walnuts should be roasted to bring out their flavor.

Pansoti in salsa di noci is best enjoyed with a glass of crisp white wine, making it the perfect meal for a special occasion.

Pansoti in Salsa di Noci
Pansoti in Salsa di Noci


10. Stoccafisso alla Genovese

Genoa is a bustling city with a rich history, and its cuisine reflects this diverse heritage. One of the most iconic dishes of Genoese cuisine is Stoccafisso alla Genovese.

This dish is made with salted cod, which was once a staple of the Genoese diet. The cod is simmered in olive oil and garlic, and then it is cooked with onions, tomatoes, and potatoes.

The result is a hearty stew that is full of flavor. If you are looking for a truly authentic Genoese experience, be sure to try Stoccafisso alla Genovese on your next trip to Genoa.

Stoccafisso alla Genovese
Stoccafisso alla Genovese


11. Genovese Salami

Genovese Salami is a must-try when visiting Genoa, Italy. This tasty salami is made with pork, garlic, white wine, and spices. The result is a flavorful and slightly spicy salami that pairs well with a variety of foods.

Genovese Salami is often served as an appetizer, but it can also be added to sandwiches or used as a topping for pizzas and pasta. If you’re looking for a unique and delicious culinary experience, be sure to try Genovese Salami on your next trip to Genoa.

Genovese Salami
Genovese Salami


12. Genoese Cima

If you’re looking for a truly authentic Italian dining experience, you can’t go wrong with Genoese Cima. This dish originated in the city of Genoa, and it combines fresh seafood with a variety of vegetables.

The result is a light and flavorful meal that is sure to please any palate. While there are many different ways to prepare Cima, the classic recipe calls for searing the fish fillets and then simmering them in a tomato-based broth.

Once the fish is cooked through, it is then topped with a variety of vegetables, including peas, zucchini, and potatoes. Finally, the entire dish is garnished with fresh herbs and served with a crusty piece of bread.

Genoese Cima
Genoese Cima


In conclusion

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian dining experience, Genoa is the perfect place to visit. This city offers a wide variety of traditional dishes, from Farinata to Stoccafisso alla Genovese. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find something to love in Genoa. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip today!

So what have we had so far?

Simply Guides

Everything you wanted to know about Italy

More guides about Italy

Mon – July 19, 2021
A trip to one of the most beautiful parts of the country in Europe with amazing views and wonderful nature. worth every moment
Wed – November 17, 2021
An urban vacation, a romantic wine tour in Tuscany or an adrenaline-filled vacation around water and amusement parks - a vacation in Italy includes everything, and in a big way
Fri – February 28, 2020
A maddening journey through the routes of southern Italy, with wild nature in the scent of limoncello

And that's not all...