Best Brunch In Bologna: The Definitive Guide
With a name like Bologna, you may find yourself thinking of a nice thick meat sandwich or a bologna sausage. However, if you are thinking about brunch in Bologna, the city has a lot more to offer than that. Bologna brunch is probably not going to be what you expect although if you expect Italian food, you are spot on!
If you cannot choose between breakfast food like pancakes, eggs, bacon, and a croissant or some kind of lunch or dinner food such as cold cuts, bread, salads, and desserts, that is what brunch in Bologna is for. The only thing you have to choose is what you want from the brunch menu at practically every restaurant in Bologna.
Some of the best brunch restaurants in Bologna you find will take some looking though, such as the Chalet dei Giardini Margherita, which is in a little tucked away corner in Giardini Margherita Park. You will get more than eggs and toast at this place. The beautiful cafe fills up fast so come early. Their outdoor seating in a cool sunken terrace and great service are the perfect mix.
Another place off the beaten path where all the locals head for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, is the Billi Bar Pasticceria. It is one of the last authentic bars in the city. Get a great cup of coffee and brioche or try a slice of real authentic Italian pizza. However, they have no website and definitely no Instagram profile either, but they do have a Facebook page. It is on Pietro de Coubertin, you may have to ask the locals where it is.
Just about everywhere in the Bologna city center, you will find cozy cafes and delightful diners where you can get some avocado toast, french toast with maple syrup, or scrambled eggs. If you would rather have a club sandwich with your coffee, you will find that on the menu at many of the local restaurants as well during brunch time.
Whether you are looking for a small Bologna restaurant with outdoor seating for breakfast pancakes as well as a brunch menu or a luxurious hotel spread with the best brunches, you can find it in Bologna. But first, you need to drop off your luggage at a nearby Bologna suitcase storage site. You don't want to have to drag them around with you.
Camera a Sud Restaurant
This is another one of those places you have to look for but this one is totally worth it. It seems like a vintage or thrift store that just happens to sell coffee. But on Sundays, they have the most wonderful brunch in the city. Their avocado club sandwich is hearty with brown bread, egg, and bacon.
Or try their brunch plate that has baked beans, a club sandwich, eggs, bacon, sausage, and even a pancake for dessert. This is a very historic part of Bologna in the Jewish Ghetto, which is one of the biggest ghettos in Italy. Stop by and eat some great food with the regular customers who really love the stuffed mushrooms and delicious sweetbread.
Lampadina Cafe is a really laid-back and relaxed place to enjoy breakfast and brunch foods like flaky pastries and the best coffee in Italy, according to locals. Start with one of their pancake flavors like Oh My Lord featuring caramelized pears and white chocolate pearls or the Heavy with hazelnut spread, coconut, and bananas.
They also boast eight kinds of bagels. The Raffaella has chicken, bacon, tomatoes, and lampa mayo and the Vasco has endives, anchovies, scamorza, and taggiasca olives. Every day from 11;30 AM to 3:30 PM you can get all sorts of delightful dishes including avocado toast with flowers on top. Also, you get free WiFi so you can spend all day there drinking coffee and chatting with the locals.
Doppio Civico Bakery Station Restaurant
This is the very first bakery in Bologna that served up sweet and savory foods for a typical Americanized brunch. Try some pancakes and maple syrup with berries on top with a side of sesame seed bagels with lox. The salmon and cream cheese are a local favorite but you can also enjoy a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon with a glass of orange juice.
You will find this delightful brunch bakery on Don Luigi Sturzo in the heart of Bologna. It is surrounded by several parks so you can grab some grub and head out to relax on a bench at Nicholas Green Park or the stunning Filanda Green Area. Then work off that huge pastry or cheesecake on one of the trails at any of the parks nearby. Another idea is to eat here and then head out for a vigorous hike.
For brunch as well as a unique twist on things, Zoo Caffe is a great place to enjoy Sunday brunch or something delicious from the breakfast menu. The family-run cafe on Maggiore is famous for its hearty meals whether you want a burger, bagel, or vegan food. And the pink milk is a favorite with the locals so be sure to try it. You get free refills on all drinks.
Their scrumptious homemade cinnamon rolls coated in frosting and pancakes with fruit are delicious but you do not have to have breakfast food for brunch. Vegans can enjoy homemade salads, a vegan bagel with tofu, a veggie burger, and a great selection of sweetbreads. While you are in Italy, you can eat whatever you want.
Pappare on de Giudei near Maggiore Plaza (Piazza Maggiore near Bologna Centrale Station) is the place to go for a dessert bar in Bologna. They are known for their sweet breakfast croissants, fluffy and buttery pancakes, and delicious desserts of all kinds. Their fruit tarts are served with a smile and this is the ideal place to taste everything you have been trying not to eat.
The Pappare Cafe is a place where friends gather around the tables on Sundays to enjoy the coffee as well as the food. Try a Pappare Full House, which includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, baked beans, and toasted sourdough bread. All of their meals are hearty so make sure you come hungry.
Trattoria Bertozzi Restaurant
This awesome place is full of fun and laughter as well as some amazing food for brunch. You may need to use your GPS to find this spot off the beaten path on Andrea Costa but you will be glad you did. The tortellini and all their pasta, sauces, and whatever else you choose are all made with products from Italy.
Fabio and Alessandro serve everything Italian from homemade stuffed pasta and Bolognese cutlet to the amazing homemade gelato or pancakes for dessert. Fabio strives to make an old-city Italy flavor while Alessandro spends a lot of time in the dining room entertaining the diners. Brunch in Italy has never been so fun.
On Porta Nova, Aroma Caffe has been wowing the locals with its spectacular coffee flavors. It is said that owner Alessandro dances with his coffee machine and that is what makes it so delicious. Co-owner and wife, Cristina will serve you coffee as well as a nice selection of pastries, cakes, and gourmet foods for brunch.
This is a weekend hotspot in Bologna with mostly locals but once you taste the coffee, you may want to move to Italy to be closer. Their coffee has been crowned the Italian Brewers Cup winner in 2018 and 2019. They probably would have kept winning every year but Covid canceled the competition. Nevertheless, you should not miss trying their coffee while you are in Bologna.
Palazzo Fava Cafe
For that sweet tooth, the Renaissance Museum in Belloni Plaza has brunch with eight different types of chocolate as well as a soft croissant and a cup of the best coffee in Bologna. Another museum restaurant, the Palazzo Fava Cafe is open to the public whether you visit the rest of the museum or not. Their pastry chef, Sebastian Caridi is known for his special chocolates in all sorts of formats.
Order from the breakfast menu, lunch menu, or ask for your favorite, even if it is not on the menu. They will try to make it for you if you tell them how. The tables are almost always full, especially on Sundays, so make sure you get there in the morning if you want a seat.
After a night out in Bologna, this brunch spot is the ideal stop. One of the best places in Bologna, Italy to grab some brunch is the local bar. This Mediterranean bar and restaurant offers up classic pasta dishes, cheese boards, and all sorts of soft pastries for brunch every day. It's located near Maggiore Plaza across from the Santo Stefano Basilica so you have an exceptional view.
They have three incredibly tasty brunch menus to choose from and pair whatever you have with a nice cocktail, wine, or brew. This fabulously vintage restaurant seems outdated until you ask for the menu and they show you it is digital. And if you don't see it on the menu, just ask.
Regina di Quadri Bakery
Another Bologna hotspot for brunch is Regina di Quadri on Castiglione where you can get inventive pastries from pastry chef Francesco Elmi. Using locally farmed butter, the dough used in his pastries is just amazing. Whether you want sweet or savory, you will love everything you can get here so come hungry.
Being right next to Margherita Gardens Park, you can grab some tasty treats and take a seat on the grass or stroll along the lake as you enjoy every decadent bite. Just looking at their website will make you want to jump on a plane to Bologna, Italy right now.
Bologna, Italy has so much to offer whether you are looking for breakfast food, lunch food, or just some sweet desserts. Brunch in Bologna is easy to enjoy in such a stunningly beautiful city. From small cafes in the park to sophisticated restaurants in art museums, you can find whatever you are looking for in Bologna's city center. Bring your hunger because Bologna restaurants serve big dishes.