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You’re going to visit Genoa, but you don’t know its typical Genoese dishes?

Hi, I’m Andrea from Discover Genoa and in this post we are going to explore 10 Genoese specialities you must try at least once in your life.

Are you ready to find out the best typical food in Genoa? Let’s start!

pasta with pesto

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What food is Genoa known for? 10 Genoa food specialities you should eat at least once in your life

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As a seaside town, Genoa managed to blend different cultures — even culinary cultures — thanks to the many goods and people passing by throughout the years.

Today, it is a modern city with strong food traditions: there are numerous Genoese culinary specialities that a visitor who loves to respect traditions and eat delicious food can taste.

Before leaving, you should know the Ligurian specialities, so that you can try them all!

But what food is Genoa famous for? Especially for its focaccia, pesto, pansoti with walnut sauce, sal cod, cheese focaccia, farinata, vegetable pies, tripes.

Let’s discover them all.


pasta with pesto

Who doesn’t know pesto?

This sauce is now well known all over the world, but its origins are Genoese and only here can you eat the real pesto with Prà basil.

One of the Genoese specialities you can’t miss: you can use it to flavour pasta (for instance trofie, testaroli, gnocchi), bread or bruschetta, but you can also try it on its own.

Genoese, like us, put it on everything!

Click here to find where to eat the best pasta with pesto in Genoa Italy

Pansoti with walnut sauce

best food in genoa

It is pasta stuffed with vegetables and covered with delicious sauce made of cream and walnuts.

Dedicated to refined palates.

It is a typical Genoese dish you absolutely can’t miss.

Fried squid and anchovies

Genoa is a port city with a long tradition of cooking what is fished there.

The fish is fried flawlessly in the historical chip shops of the old town: it’s light and dry!

Salt cod

fish and seafood genoa

Different country, different salt cod.

In Genoa you’ll eat it “accomodato” (prepared through a long process) with pine nuts, Taggiasca olives and potatoes.

Cheese focaccia

focaccia with cheese genoa italy

Typical Genovese food from the tradition of Recco.

A delicacy you can eat almost exclusively in Genoa’s province.

In the past few years, it managed to obtain the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) seal.

You should also try its variants.


farinata genoa

Put in the oven while still in a liquid state, it’s a mix of olive oil and chickpea flour.

The best one is thin and crisp on the surface, but soft inside.



It is known all over the world, but perfectly made only in Genoa.

And not everywhere — only in the best places.

The Genoese even immerse it in their latte at breakfast! It’s a real landmark.

Vegetable pies

vegetable pies genoa

It’s true, you can find hundreds of vegetable pies on the world, but every country and region has its own specialities.

The Genoese ones come from the cooking of poor people, which was passed down thanks to the old Sciamadde of the city centre.

The most famous pie is called torta Pasqualina — it’s puff pastry filled with chard, peas, artichokes and prescinseua, typical Genoese sour cheese.


genoa traditional dishes

Cima is a piece of veal stuffed with a mix of ingredients, such as eggs, peas, pine nuts, cheese, herbs and spices and part of the meat itself.

Afterwards, it is cut in slices about 0.5 cm thick with a slicer.

One of the most important things to eat in Genoa. It’s perfect as an appetizer.


best traditional genoese cuisine

Ok, maybe it’s not for everyone.

But why don’t you try it in one of the historical tripe shops of the city?

For the Genoese it’s the street food par excellence.


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Where to eat in Genoa Italy

After talking what to eat in Genoa Italy, let’s discuss about where to do it. Here are three of my favourite restaurants inside the old town of Genoa.

Trattoria dell’Acciughetta

The first one is called Acciughetta: when you enter the restaurant, it feels like going back in time and delving into the history of Genoa. Stone walls, young staff and typical Genoese food. Good quality-price. Good choice.

  • Address: Piazza Sant’Elena, 16126 Genoa
  • Opening hours: From Tuesday to Sunday: 12:30–3:00 p.m., 7:30–11:00 p.m..
  • Prices: $$$$

Trattoria Rosmarino

If you are looking for something less rustic and more sophisticated, I suggest Trattoria Rosmarino. It is now known as one of the best restaurants in Genoa — it’s the perfect mix of good quality and right prices. Fascinating and refined typical food and competitive prices. If I’ve convinced you to go there, I suggest you book, because it’s almost always full (especially at the weekends).

  • Address: Salita del Fondaco, 30, 16100 Genoa
  • Opening hours: From Monday to Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m., 7:30-10:30 p.m.
  • Prices: $$$$

Hostaria al Mercato

Hostaria al Mercato is a typical Genoese restaurant that revisits traditional Ligurian dishes in a modern way. Specialties include Mandilli al pesto, Pansoti and other delicacies that combine tradition and innovation. Located on the second floor of Genoa’s Mercato Orientale, the restaurant offers an authentic and refined dining experience using high-quality local ingredients.

  • Address: ia XX Settembre, 75 rosso, 16121 Genova GE
  • Hours: Monday to Wednesday 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday closed
  • Prices: $$$$

Genoa food: conclusion

Here’s the end of this long article.

I hope I’ve helped you find out the typical Ligurian dishes and the best food in Genoa.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the Genovese cuisine, leave a comment! I’ll be happy to read it.

Enjoy your meal 😛

best trattorias genoa italy

Tickets for Genoa Traditional Food Tour

Andrea Semonella

Hey! I'm Andrea and I am a little bit obsessed with exploring the world and meeting people on the road. I'm in love with my city, and I'm happy to share with you all the best place and most incredible secrets of Genoa, Italy.

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