What to eat in Bergamo and where: 10 typical dishes and the best restaurants

The culinary richness of Bergamo and its province is truly immense and is based on genuine products such as meats and cheeses from local farms. From appetizers to desserts, Bergamo’s tables will not disappoint even the most demanding palates thanks to the simple recipes handed down from generation to generation.

1 – Polenta Taragna

Photo by Zonta72.In Bergamo you don’t eat simple polenta, but you can taste that taragna made from corn flour and buckwheat flour that are mixed with water.
Often melted butter and cheese (fontina or branzi) are added to the viscous and grainy dough to create the ” polenta onta “.
Alternatively, polenta taragna accompanies numerous main courses of meat such as pork or wild boar stews.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : from € 6.00
  • Main ingredients : corn flour, buckwheat flour, butter, cheeses

2 – Casoncelli

This stuffed pasta of ancient origins, was once prepared by hand with the raw materials available, so the recipe changed depending on who prepared it.
Poor families prepared it with water and flour, with a filling of cheese, bread and vegetable broth and hazelnut butter for the dressing.
Today there is the ” richer ” version: the pasta is made with eggs and flour, the filling is of meat, parmesan, macaroons, sultanas and parsley and they are served with melted butter, bacon and sage .

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : € 10.00
  • Main ingredients : eggs, flour, meat, macaroons, butter, bacon

3 – Scarpinocc

Photo of Lichinga.They are similar to the casoncelli, and the name derives from the shape that resembles the shoes of the same name worn in ancient times by the inhabitants of the village of Parre, in the province of Bergamo.
This pasta has a lean filling made from cheese, eggs, butter, breadcrumbs and spices used to stuff the dough disks made with white flour, warm water and egg yolk.
Everything is seasoned with melted butter, parmesan and sage .
In Parre, the third weekend of August also hosts the Scarpinocc festival where it is possible to taste the traditional dish.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : € 8.00
  • Main ingredients : flour, egg yolk, cheese, breadcrumbs, spices, butter

4 – Polenta e osei (versione dolce)

Photo by -jkb-.It is a typical dessert of the Bergamo tradition, not to be confused with the savory version.
If you walk around the city you will see these yellow dome-shaped sweets decorated with chocolate birds and sugars everywhere .
There are several variations but the original one is based on sweet polenta, almond paste and dark chocolate . Finally, the
” polenta scodellata ” is garnished with chocolate birds.

  • Recommended for : breakfast, snack, dessert
  • Average cost : from € 5.00
  • Main ingredients : polenta, almond paste, milk, butter, chocolate

5 – Torta Donizetti

According to the Bergamo legend ” if you have love sickness, just a slice of Turta del Dunizet and everything passes “.
Beyond this belief, this is a very tasty typical dessert to absolutely taste during your stay in the city.
It is a simple donut-shaped daisy cake but candied apricot, candied pineapple and maraschino are added to the dough which give a delicate but intense flavor.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : from € 4.00
  • Main ingredients : butter, sugar, eggs, flour, starch, pineapple and candied apricots, maraschino

6 – Gelato alla stracciatella

Photo by BeaC.Perhaps not everyone knows it but the stracciatella ice cream was born in Bergamo in 1961 when Enrico Panettoni, in his ice cream parlor, decided to combine some dark chocolate flakes with fiordilatte .
Thus was born a real taste, perfect for a nutritious snack, to refresh the mouth after a hearty lunch or to eat at any time of the day.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : from € 2.00
  • Main ingredients : dark chocolate, eggs, milk, cream, sugar

7 – Formaggi

Among the other foods to eat there are cheeses, one of the strengths of the local cuisine with as many as 9 recognized DOP cheeses .

The province, in fact, produces Strachitunt, Taleggio, Salva Cremasco, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Provolone Valpadana, Bitto, Formai de Mut and Quartirolo Lombardo.

Less known but not for this reason of lesser quality: Branzi, Formaggelle, Caprini and Stracchini with excellent production and Slow Food presidium.
In any restaurant, ask for a cutting board to taste these dairy delicacies!

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost : from € 12.00 per cutting board
  • Main ingredients : milk

8 – Polenta e osei (versione salata)

A typical Bergamo specialty is polenta and osei in a salty version, a dish where polenta , most often taragna, is served with birds such as pheasants, and other species readily available in the plain adjacent to the city.
Game is almost always cooked on a spit before being served.

This food is very old and was served in peasant and noble families during the hunting season.
Today many restaurants and taverns offer this specialty in every month of the year, as the game is frozen to be consumed even during the months when hunting is prohibited.

  • Recommended for : lunch and dinner
  • Average cost : € 16.00
  • Main ingredients : corn flour, buckwheat flour, birds, butter

9 – Salame di Bergamo

Bergamo salami has very ancient origins and after World War II it was used as a means of payment.

Its main feature is to exploit all the pork , even the parts that in other regions are used to make hams, coppa or culatelli and not to include other meats. Furthermore, the pigs used are fed exclusively with cereals such as corn.
It is a niche product because it is difficult to find outside Bergamo and the best salamis are still those produced by hand.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : from € 15.00 per salami
  • Main ingredients : pork

10 – Capù

Widespread in the Bergamo tradition, they are cabbage rolls stuffed with breadcrumbs, cheese and cabbage itself .
Once assembled they are boiled and then passed in the oven with some cheese to be au gratin.

The name probably derives from the meager consolation of naming a simple, poor and recovered dish with the name of a rich dish: the capon (in Bergamo capù).

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : € 10.00
  • Main ingredients : cabbage, cheese, breadcrumbs

Where to eat in Bergamo: cheap restaurants, typical bars and street food

Bergamo, in addition to being a beautiful city, is the perfect place for lovers of good food.
In the center and in the surrounding area there are many typical trattorias where you can taste numerous traditional dishes at the right price and without giving up on taste.
Not only that, even wine bars for quick lunches and snacks, or more luxurious restaurants for important events and romantic evenings.
Here are the best places to eat in Bergamo !

1 – La Colombina

  • Description : meeting place to taste the real grandmother’s cuisine in a place with picturesque and welcoming rooms
  • Specialties : casoncelli, taragna polenta, braised with polenta
  • Average price : from € 25.00 per person
  • Address : via Borgo Canale, 12 – Tel: 035 261402 –

2 – Trattoria del Teatro

  • Description : traditional place perfect for tasting dishes cooked according to ancient recipes in an excellent way
  • Specialties : rabbit with rosemary, casoncelli, cheeses and cured meats
  • Average price : from € 16.00
  • Address : piazza Lorenzo Mascheroni, 3 – Tel: 035 238862 –

3 – Cavour pastry shop

  • Description : the perfect place for a breakfast, a snack or an afternoon tea accompanied by exquisite sweets
  • Specialties : polenta and osei (sweet version), donizetti cake
  • Average price : from € 5.00 per person
  • Address : via Gombito, 7 – Tel: 035 243418 –

4 – Polentone upper town

  • Description : small casual kiosk with stools and wooden counter, perfect for a quick lunch or snack
  • Specialty : polenta taragna with salama
  • Average price : from € 4.00 per person
  • Address : Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe, 1 – Tel: 348 804 6021 –

5 – Cozzi Winery Restaurant

  • Description : Gourmet cuisine with pasta dishes and homemade desserts served in an 1848 restaurant with retro and Provençal furnishings
  • Specialties : strachitunt ravioli with escarole, casoncelli, egg with fondue
  • Average price : from € 30.00 per person
  • Address : via Bartolomeo Colleoni, 22 – Tel: 035 238836 –

6 – Trattoria Parietti

  • Description : family restaurant with frescoes on the walls and checked tablecloths serving Bergamo specialties
  • Specialties : polenta with mushrooms, rabbit, cheese platter, homemade gnocchi
  • Average price : from € 18.00 per person
  • Address : via Costantino Beltrami, 52 – Tel: 035 221072 –

7 – The Shard

  • Description : small and cozy place where authenticity is at home. The dishes are all freshly prepared, there are daily specials that change daily and there is also a take-away service.
  • House specialty : homemade tagliatelle with meat sauce, ossobuco in gremolada
  • Average price per person : € 15.00
  • Address : Via Sant’Alessandro, 54 – Tel. 035 093 2338 –

8 – Trattoria D’Ambrosio – Da Giuliana

  • Description : tavern with traditional Lombard dishes, in particular first courses based on fresh pasta. A fixed price lunch menu is also available for just € 10.00.
  • House specialty : Bergamo-style casoncelli
  • Average price per person : € 20.00
  • Address : Via Broseta, 58 – Tel. 035 402 926 –

9 – The Fiaschetteria

  • Description : Who stops here for an aperitif, then ends up completing a real dinner. Indisputable quality of both the wine proposals and the cutting boards.
  • Specialty of the house : platters with cold cuts and mountain cheeses
  • Average price per person : € 15.00
  • Address : Via Borgo Santa Caterina 8 – Tel. 035 245653 –

10 – Goss Quality Burger

  • Description : offers quality street food, the specialties are sandwiches stuffed with hamburgers. The possibilities of choice, however, are varied, ranging from grilled meat to salads, without forgetting the classic cutting boards.
  • Specialty of the house : the Gamburger, the Bergamo-based burger at km 0, made in collaboration with the Gamba Edorda company from Villa D’Almè.
  • Average price per person : € 10.00
  • Address : Via Bartolomeo Colleoni 20 – Tel. 035 224206 –

11 – Osteria della Dogana

  • Description : tavern that also offers fish dishes and pizza. At lunch, fixed-price menus are available which, with only € 10.00, allow you to enjoy a first course, a second course and a side dish of your choice.
  • House specialty : tuna steak
  • Average price per person : € 15.00
  • Address : Via Pietro Rovelli 28 – Tel. 035 239483 –

12 – Osteria Tre Gobbi

  • Description : one of the first taverns in the city, so much so that, as a special plaque at the entrance recalls, even the composer Donizetti used to go there often, this place offers the simplest and most genuine Bergamo cuisine.
  • House specialty : cut of meat with polenta
  • Average price per person : € 15.00
  • Address : Via Broseta 20C – Tel. 035 243405 –


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