Best Brunch In Genoa: The Definitive Guide
Genoa is the capital of Liguria, a region in northwest Italy that is known for its stunning coastline, picturesque villages, and fabulous food. The city of Genoa itself is a bustling metropolis with a rich art scene and culture. As the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, the city bursts with history and is home to iconic sights like the Porto Antico (Old Port), the San Lorenzo Cathedral, and the vibrant Piazza de Ferrari. Tourists flock here on their way to or from the villages of Cinque Terre, to taste Genovese pesto, and to experience the Italian Riviera first-hand.
And when it comes to brunch, Genoa definitely has something to offer. There's no better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning than indulging in a delicious brunch with friends or family. And what could be more perfect than enjoying a leisurely meal in one of Italy's most beautiful and historic cities? In a city that's the birthplace of pesto and focaccia, you know the brunch food is going to be tasty. Expect great food and a unique Italian spin on classic brunch. Midday menus are full of fried seafood, beef ravioli, and basically anything with pesto made with pine nuts, basil, and olive oil.
Before you head out to explore everything this historic and exciting city has to offer, find a convenient Bounce luggage storage in Genoa to take care of your bags. There's nothing worse than dragging your suitcases all over town or keeping them under your table at brunch.
In this guide, we'll take you through some of the best places to enjoy brunch in Genoa. We'll also give you some tips on what to order.
Located in the historic center of Genoa, Il Genovese is a must-visit for any foodie. Head out from Piazza de Ferrari and a ten-minute walk along Via XX Settembre, which is one of the best shopping streets in Genoa, will get you to this popular restaurant. They offer a wide selection of dishes, including eggs Florentine, and baked goods like pastries and focaccia bread. The Genovese people take great pride in their focaccia, so don't leave here without trying some. They also have an extensive wine list, so you can enjoy a glass of vino with your meal.
The traditional bistro is open for brunch from noon until 2:30 pm and the prices are quite reasonable for its location and the portions you get. If you're looking for a truly authentic Italian brunch experience, Il Genovese is the place to go.
On Via San Lorenzo steps from the San Lorenzo Cathedral, also known as the Genoa Cathedral, Caffè Duomo is the perfect spot to people-watch while enjoying a leisurely brunch. The café is located in the heart of the city, and it's surrounded by some of Genoa's most popular tourist attractions. They offer a variety of breakfast pastries and sandwiches, as well as salads and soups for lunch. They are open all day from 7 am to 9 pm, so you can head here anytime. This is a great place in Old Town for any travelers that need to brunch or have breakfast outside the typical Italian time range between noon and 2 pm.
The restaurant is small with counter service so you won't find the usual bacon and eggs or eggs benny here, but Italians do brunch differently, and that's what traveling is all about.
Caffè del Mare
Seafood lovers won't mind the 40-minute walk from Old Town to the Corso Italia to sample the amazing Mediterranean dishes at Caffè del Mare. If this walk is too long, you can also grab a bus from Dante 2 near the Christopher Columbus House, and this will cut the time in half and save your feet.
The café is located right on the water, and they offer a wide selection of seafood-centric options like fish platters, swordfish, and countless varieties of bruschetta and carpaccio. Of course, they have pizza and pasta as well. Although not a typical North American brunch, the quality of food, friendly service, and amazing view are worth the trek out to the Corso Italia. In the summer, try to make a reservation in advance because this place gets busy.
Genoa Mercato Orientale
The Genoa Oriental Market is a food shopping center and marketplace located in the heart of the Centro Storico. It is one of the largest markets in Europe and is especially known for its selection of fish. Chances are, this is a stop that's already on your Genoa, Italy itinerary. Since you'll be stopping by anyway, head here at brunch time to do some food shopping and grab some delicious eats while you walk around. In fact, the area in and around the market offers some of the best shopping in Genoa. The aromas of fresh basil, candied fruits, and baked focaccia bread will make sure you're hungry.
The market was originally built in the early 20th century and has since been renovated several times. It is currently divided into two sections: a covered section with stalls selling various food items, and an open-air section where fishmongers sell their catch of the day. On the upper floor, you'll find a food hall for more complete meals.
The Oriental Market is open every day except Sundays and due to its grab-and-go nature, the brunch prices are some of the cheapest on the list.
Antica Trattoria Maria Del Porto
The Porto Antico neighborhood is one of the best places to stay in Genoa, and one of the main reasons for this is the access to great food. A stone's throw from the Genoa Aquarium, Antica Trattoria Maria del Porto is a cozy traditional Italian brunch place to visit when you're in the area. Their specialty is a seafood lunch, which makes sense when you're so close to the water. For lunch, you can also choose a basic but flavorful pasta dish like the spaghetti marinara, and just try to save some bread for sopping up any sauce left in the bowl.
This trattoria opens from noon to 2:30 pm and then again in the evening for dinner. The idyllic spot in Piazza Caricamento with views over the Porto Antico makes this a worthwhile addition to any list about brunch in Genoa.
Pastificio Artigianale di Canneto
A five-minute walk from Piazza de Ferrari and close to the Porto Antico, Pastificio Artigianale di Canneto offers you the option to try another Genovese specialty: salsa di noci. Otherwise known as walnut sauce, this interesting pasta topping may not sound appetizing, but trust us, it's popular for a reason. The restaurant also has a selection of takeaway food in their counter (mostly pasta) that you can take home to cook for dinner if your accommodation has a kitchen.
The restaurant and deli counter is the perfect place to brunch like a local since this is a lesser-known spot. But, just because it's not as popular with tourists, don't assume it isn't busy. This is a place with some of the best food in town and there is often a line of people waiting. If you prefer a leisurely brunch, this restaurant isn't the right choice.
Open from noon to 3 pm for lunch, Groove is the quintessential burger joint in Genoa, Italy in the heart of the Centro Storico. And, because you're in Italy, they also do pizza. This is one of the best restaurants for lunch for vegans and vegetarians who are sick of pasta. They offer two vegan burgers as well as a vegetarian burger featuring a plant-based Beyond Meat patty. Not to worry, Groove also has plenty of meat options. And, if you get a fried egg on your burger, that definitely counts as brunch! You can also enjoy a cold beer to accompany any of their menu items.
Groove opens again after the lunch rush from 7 pm to 11 pm for dinner. Although it's not technically brunching at that hour, it's good to know that you can grab something quick here pretty late into the night if needed.
Another excellent cafe in Genoa for coffee, Cafhein specializes in coffee art for a few memorable photos, decadent baked goods, and classic Italian sandwiches. Just five minutes away on foot from Piazza de Ferrari and adjacent to the Christopher Columbus House, this is a convenient stop that will fit easily into your sightseeing adventures.
The sandwiches here are made with homemade bread and if you're in need of a dessert, the Red Velvet or Oreo cheesecake slices are a must. You don't often find this type of sweet treat in Italy, so take advantage while you can. Cafhein also has traditional pastries to pair with an espresso or latte, like croissants, pain au chocolat, and fresh-baked cookies. The menu also offers a selection of fruit and vegetable smoothies if you need something healthier. They are open continuously from 9 am to 7 pm during the week, but close by 6 pm on the weekends.
Panificio E Grissineria Claretta
Another option near the Genoa Aquarium is Panificio E Grissineria Claretta, and this one makes the list for one reason alone - focaccia. They have some of the best in the city, although it might depend on who you ask. Panificio E Grissineria Claretta makes authentic Genovese focaccia for you to sample. This is done by adding the salt to the surface of the focaccia rather than to the dough itself. The result is a crispier texture, unlike any focaccia you've likely had before. Stop in for a slice or two to go and continue your journey through the port city.
Although the brunch options in Genoa may seem a little unconventional to a crowd used to full English breakfasts or omelets, Genoa puts a unique spin on brunch that will have you trying many new things. From focaccia to pasta to seafood, rest assured that you won't go hungry at midday in Genoa. The coffee here is consistently excellent, and sometimes all you need to go with it is a fresh-baked croissant or pain au chocolat. You can also get burgers and beer for more of a lunch feel.
Regardless of which restaurants from this list you choose, you're sure to have a satisfying meal made with care and often fresh local ingredients. And whatever you do, don't miss out on tasting the iconic Genoa dishes of pesto, salsa di noci, and focaccia.