Verona Food: Risotto al tastasal
A popular Verona dish, risotto al tastasal is a risotto made with the area's traditional smoked ham, called Tocai. The dish is flavored with rosemary and white wine, making for a unique and delicious flavor combination.
In Venetian dialect, tastasal means to taste the salt, and traditionally, this dish was made to make sure that sausage and salami meat was properly salted. Therefore, it's supposed to be a salty and savory treat, and it is. The deliciousness of this food item has ensured that it has long outlived its original use, and it remains one of the most popular foods in the city.
You'll find this on the menu of Verona restaurants just about everywhere you go, from Piazza delle Erbe to Piazza dei Signori, and it's the kind of dish that you can't really visit Verona without trying.
Verona Food: Amarone Wine
Is wine food? Italians certainly think so. Wine is an essential part of a traditional Italian dinner, and an essential part of life itself, and that's as true in Verona as it is anywhere else in the country.
While you're in Verona, don't miss the chance to try the local wine, amarone. Whether you embark on a wine tasting or just grab a glass at a traditional Verona bar like Antica Bottega del Vino, make sure to give this delicious, unique wine a try.
Amarone is made from partially dried grapes, and it's a little bit sweeter and heavier than other Italian wines. It's the perfect pairing for the heartier dishes you'll find in Verona.
Verona Food: Potato Gnocchi
The climate of Verona and the Veneto region is colder than much of Italy, and so you'll find that potato dishes are more popular here than they are further south. This relative cold allows potatoes to grow and makes the hearty, substantial dishes made from them more popular than they are in warmer climates. That makes potato gnocchi one of the most popular traditional dishes in Verona restaurants.
Gnocchi itself can trace its origins back to Roman gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, who wrote down a recipe for gnocchi in the first century A.D. However, there were no potatoes in Europe then, and it took centuries for this staple vegetable to make its way across the Atlantic. However, once it did, it didn't take long for clever Veronese to combine them into gnocchi to make this classic dish.
You can find potato gnocchi on the menu of just about any Verona restaurant, but make sure to try it at Ristorante Pizzeria al Teatro, where it's served with a delicious gorgonzola sauce. Trattoria Pane e Vino is also a good place to try local specialties and one of the favorite restaurants of local foodies.
Verona Food: Polenta
Another dish that's popular in this colder climate is polenta. This dish is made from boiled cornmeal, and while it's simple, it can be quite filling and satisfying. It's often eaten as a side dish or appetizer, but it can also be the main event.
Polenta has been eaten in Europe since prehistoric times, and today, it remains a popular food in many European countries. In Italy, each region has its own way of preparing polenta. In the Veneto, it's usually served with meat or cheese, and in Verona, you'll often find it served with rabbit.
If you want to try this traditional dish, make sure to check out Ristorante Pizzeria al Teatro, where it's served with a delicious gorgonzola sauce.
Verona Food: Risotto all'Amarone
So we've mentioned risotto. We've mentioned amarone wine. If you've considered combining the two, congratulations; you're thinking like an Italian. And we're not talking about sipping a glass of the local wine alongside the dish. No, risotto all'Amarone combines two iconic Verona menu items into one delicious dish.
Risotto all'Amarone is a dish that's beloved by locals and visitors alike. It's the perfect way to get a taste of both the local wine and the traditional risotto dish. Risotto all'Amarone is made with amarone wine, beef broth, and, of course, rice. It's then topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
If you want to try this dish, make sure to head to Osteria del Bugiardo. This restaurant is located in the heart of the historic center of Verona, and it's one of the favorite restaurants in the city to sample local specialties.
Verona Food: Frog Legs
You might not think of frogs as being a traditional Italian food, but in the Veneto region, they're quite popular. They're usually served fried, and they make a great appetizer or main dish.
This may not be the best dish for picky eaters or squeamish people. But washed down with a glass of good red wine, they can be quite surprising. If nothing else, they'll give you a memorable story to tell when you return home.
Verona Food: Sfogliatelle di Villafranca
These pastries are a must-try when you're in Verona. They're made with layers of flaky pastry dough and filled with ricotta cheese. They're then fried and dusted with sugar. Shaped like a doughnut complete with a hole in the middle, these pastries are made according to a recipe dating back to 1870, and they are the perfect sweet treat if you want to enjoy the sweeter side of Verona.
Sfogliatelle can be found throughout Italy, but this version is specific to Verona and is something you should definitely try when you visit.
You can find these delicious pastries at Pasticceria Filippi, one of the most popular bakeries in the city. This pastry shop has been serving up sweet treats since 1881, so you know they know what they're doing.
Verona Food: Soave Wine
Soave is a type of white wine that's produced in the Veneto region. It's made from a grape called Garganega, and it's known for its light, refreshing flavor. Soave is the perfect wine to drink on a warm summer day, and it pairs well with light dishes like salads or fish.
If you want to try Soave wine while you're in Verona, make sure to check out Cantina Sociale di Soave. This winery is located in the town of Soave, just outside of Verona. Cantina Sociale di Soave offers tours and tastings, so you can learn all about this type of wine while enjoying a few glasses.
Verona Food: Pastissada de Caval
This dish is a specialty of Verona, and there's no point beating around the bush: it's made with horse meat. While eating horse is almost unheard of in the English-speaking world, it's quite common in Europe, particularly Italy. And if you're an adventurous eater, you may well be ready to try this classic Veronese dish.
This is a food item that goes back a long way. The story goes that back in the sixth century, Verona was attacked and besieged by its enemies. With food supplies running low, the people of the city scavenged meat from the dead horses left on battlefields around Verona. After all, they say necessity is the mother of invention.
The meat is cooked in red wine and then served with polenta. It might not be for everyone, but it's definitely worth trying if you want a taste of the local cuisine.
You can find this dish at Osteria Sottoriva, which is located in the historic center of Verona. This restaurant is known for its traditional dishes, and the pastissada de caval is one of their specialties. You'll often find this classic dish on the menus of the best Verona restaurants, and it's worth spending some money to make sure you get the best possible version.
Verona Food: Gelato
No trip to Italy would be complete without trying gelato, and Verona is no exception. This creamy dessert comes in a variety of flavors, so you're sure to find one that you love. And what could be better than enjoying a bowl of gelato on a hot summer day? Even the best ice cream can hardly compare with a good gelato.
There are plenty of places to get your fix of this delicious dessert in Verona, but one of our favorites is Gelateria Giolitti, a ten-minute walk from Piazza delle Erbe. This gelato shop has been around since 1905, so they know what they're doing. They serve up classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate, as well as more creative flavors like pistachio and Nutella. So whether you're in the mood for something sweet or something adventurous, Gelateria Giolitti has you covered.
Verona Food: Lesso con la pearà
This dish consists of boiled beef served with a thick gravy made from breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and beef broth. It's a hearty dish that's perfect for a cold winter day, and it's often served with polenta. It's perfect for a cold or rainy day in the city, and although you'll find different variations on the classic recipe on the menus of the best restaurants in Verona, every version retains that satisfying feeling you get from a home-cooked dish like this.
Verona Food: Pandoro
Pandoro is a type of Italian sweet bread that's often eaten around Christmas time. It's traditionally shaped like a star, and it's usually dusted with powdered sugar. This dessert is the perfect way to finish off a holiday meal, and it's also a popular snack food. If you want to try pandoro while you're in Verona, make sure to head to Pasticceria Marchesi. This bakery has been serving up delicious pandoro since 1894, so they know a thing or two about this classic dessert.
As you can see from this list, Verona, like any Italian city, has no shortage of delicious things to eat. The truth is, Italians were eating local long before it was ever fashionable, and that remains the best way to eat in the city. Verona restaurants often pride themselves on using local ingredients to make local recipes, and pairing some of these classic Veronese dishes with a wine tasting is a surefire way to guarantee you have a great evening in the city.
Of course, it's not all about eating. There's lots more to do in Verona than just that, and after a few plates of potato gnocchi or bowls of ice cream, you may find yourself longing to do something a bit more active. Check out the best hiking trails in Verona to burn off those extra calories so that you don't go home looking a little too much like a potato gnocchi yourself.