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Are you in Genoa and feel like eating some pasta with pesto?

Or maybe you are planning to spend your holiday in the capital of Liguria and you want to find out where to eat the best pesto in Genoa.

In either case, you have come to the right place.

If you don’t know me, here’s my introduction: I’m Andrea from Discovergenoa.com and I was born and raised in Genoa.

In this article, I am going to talk about my top 5 restaurants where you can eat the real Genoese pesto.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

pasta with pesto

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Pesto in Genoa: Where to Eat the Best Pasta with Genoese Pesto

Which is the best pasta with Genoese pesto?

It’s never easy to talk about one of the foundations of Genoa — pesto —, but many fall into the trap of “top tens”, where you find boring lists of restaurants that were copied from some site on the web.

In this article, I propose instead an itinerary to the best pesto restaurants you should try at least once.

Almost all of them are family businesses, where memory and manual skills learnt at home come before professional experience.

Here’s a map to navigate with; moving on to the article, you’ll find the description of each restaurant, with address, opening hours and prices.

Trattoria Rosmarino Genova

trattoria rosmarino genova
Trattoria Rosmarino, Genoa

If you have already read some of my blog articles, you must have noticed that, every time I talk about food, I always mention Trattoria Rosmarino.

Well, yes, it is one of my favourite trattorias because of its incredible quality-price ratio.

Even though it is very close to the main square, Piazza De Ferrari, Rosmarino is a quiet, elegant and charming restaurant.

The pesto is made with basil from a small farm in Celle Ligure, Sardinian sheeps cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic from Vessalico, Italian pine nuts and olive oil from the Ligurian Riviera.

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

Trattoria dell’Acciughetta

trattoria acciughetta genova

Very close to the Acquario di Genova and the Museo Galata, there is Trattoria dell’Acciughetta, a young and vibrant restaurant that offers home-made pasta with delicious pesto.

It is very small, but shows great attention to detail, and the young staff are always friendly and smiling.

Have I convinced you to go there? Don’t forget to book! It’s almost always full.

  • Address: Piazza Sant’Elena, 16126 Genoa
  • Opening hours: From Tuesday to Sunday, 12:30-2:15 p.m., 7:30-10:00 p.m.
  • Prices: $$$$

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Trattoria delle Grazie

Trattoria delle Grazie is located in the old town of Genoa and is within walking distance from both Piazza De Ferrari and the Porto Antico.

This trattoria offers delicious traditional Ligurian dishes, with both meat and fish, and average prices.

It is pretty small — like all the restaurants in the old town —, therefore I suggest you book in advance.

The products are all home-made and the pesto is absolutely delicious.

  • Address: Via delle Grazie 48, 16128 Genoa
  • Opening hours: Mondays and Tuesdays, 7:15-10:30 p.m., from Thursday to Sunday, 12:15-2:45 p.m., 7:15-10:30 p.m.
  • Prices: $$$$

Trattoria da Ugo

trattoria da ugo genova
Pasta with pesto, Trattoria Ugo Genoa

It is a restaurant with home cooking and is strategically located in an alley within walking distance from Cattedrale di San Lorenzo (the main cathedral of the city), Piazza De Ferrari and Porto Antico.

If you love Genoese traditions, you must also try Genoese tripe, minestrone soup, stuffed anchovies or Ugo’s cuttlefish.

Speaking of pesto, you can choose between green spinach fettuccine or traditional trofie with green beans and potatoes.

It is a family business: in the kitchen you can find Patrizia, Ugo’s daughter, and in the main room her brother Fabrizio serves the tables.

  • Address: Via dei Giustiniani 86r, 16123 Genoa
  • Opening hours: From Tuesday to Saturday 12:00-2:00, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
  • Prices: $$$$

Trattoria da Maria Genova

Entering Trattoria da Maria, you’ll dive into the past.

This family business was founded by sciura Maria and now is part of the city history: practically all Genoa inhabitants have eaten there.

It is a typical restaurant where you can eat well without spending too much (for real!).

The pesto there is different from what you eat in the other listed restaurants, but you should definitely try it: it is more like a liquid sauce, but its taste is unique.

There are sharing tables, therefore don’t be surprised if a tourist or a passing Genoese sits next to you.

  • Address: Vico Testadoro 14r, 16123 Genoa
  • Opening hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12:00-3:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays 12:00-3:00 p.m., 6:45-9:30 p.m., closed on Sundays
  • Prices: $$$$

Pesto shop in Genoa: where can you buy the best pesto?

where to eat pesto in genoa italy

If I want to take home a jar of pesto, what can I do?

Since many of you asked me which pesto shops in Genoa are the best, I’ve decided to add a short paragraph about the top pasta makers and shops where you can buy a jar of Genoese pesto to take home.

Let’s find out together.

Pestobene Genova

In the heart of Genoa’s historic center, the Pestobene store has been located for several years. With a real traditional mortar in the window, you can’t help but notice it. The store sells delicious jars of pesto in three sizes: 80g, 160g and 240g, priced at €4.90, €8.95 and €12.90 respectively.

A special feature? If you plan to buy pesto and spend the day walking around, they provide the jars inside a mini cooler bag, so you can walk around without them getting spoiled.

Pesto Rossi 1947

In Via Galata, close to the central street Via XX Settembre, there is Pesto Rossi, a small shop whose pesto was awarded in 2008 as the best Genoese pesto by the magazine Gambero Rosso!

Made in Italy with PDO basil and Vessalico garlic, Pesto Rossi is also available online.

  • Address: Via Galata 30r, 16121 Genoa
  • Opening hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 3:00-8:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., closed on Sundays
  • Phone number: +39 010 564 332

Bottega del pesto

In the list compiled by Gambero Rosso, Bottega’s pesto ranked fourth in Italy, while having the best price-quality ratio.

The shop and lab of Bottega del Pesto are located in the coast district of Nervi, a 20-minute drive from the centre of Genoa.

Do you lack the time to go to Nervi? No problem, you can also buy the pesto online!

  • Address: Via Aurelia 42r, Genoa (in the Capolungo area)
  • Opening hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12:00-3:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays 12:00-3:00 p.m., 6:45-9:30 p.m., closed on Sundays
  • Phone number: +39 010 329 1617
  • Buy online: www.bottegadelpesto.com

Pastificio Gemma

This is one of those places you won’t find in gourmet guides or in Gambero Rosso’s rankings and that’s why it is so special.

Pastificio Gemma is a grocery store in district Marassi, within walking distance from the centrally located station Brignole.

It’s undoubtedly my favourite pesto.

  • Address: Via Monticelli 20r, 16142 Genoa
  • Opening hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 4:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesdays 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., closed on Sundays
  • Phone number: +39 010 839 3570
pasta with pesto genoa italy

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Genoese pesto: FAQ

pasta with pesto
Air travel? Can I put pesto in my carry-on baggage?

Thanks to an initiative of Genoa’s municipality, since June 2017 it is possible to carry Genoese (home-made or handmade) pesto in 100-500 ml jars in the carry-on baggage without inspections or limitations related to the transport of liquids.
Please don’t forget to apply a special label with the inscription Il pesto è buono (Pesto is good).

How do I make Genoese pesto?

Here’s a traditional recipe for Genoese pesto (written by a true Genoese):
What you need:
3-4 bunches of basil (with small leaves, it’s important!)
2 dessert spoons of Parmesan cheese
1 dessert spoon of pine nuts
A little salt (we already have Parmesan cheese!)
Extra virgin olive oil — enough to mix everything.
Now — if you don’t have pestle and mortar — blend it all together.
Be very careful and turn off the blender every 2-3 seconds in order not to overheat the blades, which would ruin the basil.

Which is the best pesto in supermarkets?

Among the pesto types available in supermarkets and grocery stores, my favourite one is undoubtedly Pesto Novella.

What are other typical Genoese dishes?

Besides pesto, traditional Ligurian dishes are pansoti with walnut sauce, fried squid and anchovies, salt cod, cheese focaccia, farinata, vegetable pies, cima and tripe.
I’ve talked in length about them in the article about the best typical Genoese dishes.


Well, here is the end of this article about the top restaurants where you can eat Genoese pesto and the best shops where you can buy delicious home-made pesto.

What do you think about the article?

Leave a comment below if you need more information or you’d like to suggest other typical restaurants — I’ll be happy to try them and maybe add them to this list!

Take care,

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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