Bea speaks English

.... if you happen to walk around in town

TOP 10

For a coffee or a breakfast, Le Petit Cafè
If you want to have your “coffee experience” in Bologna, that's your place. Le Petit Cafè has a whole existential concept around the famous Italian drink that here is branded Lelli, one of the best name in my opinion. You can chose among Plantation India washed arabica, Parchment India washed robusta, Barahona Santo domingo washed arabica and many others. Good for breakfast but also for a quick pleasure in the late morning or early afternoon.
Strada Maggiore, 25
051 230498
Everyday from breakfast til aperitivo

A quick, supertasty and well priced lunch at Twinside
I love lunches. Alone, with friends, for a “kiss good afternoon” with my boyfriend. And I find Twinside (the bistrot of reputated restaurant Caminetto d'Oro) extremely interesting for dishes and ingredients. Everything's very researched and comes from the best producers of Italy. My top choice? Tartare with marinated salmon, pineapple and pinenuts, pasta with fresh tomato and basil (it absolutely reminds me of that my grandmother used to cook for me when I was a child, a real madeleine), or sandwiches made with homemade pan brioche.
via de' Falegnami 6
from monday to saturday, sunday closed

The 8 cloves format for the gourmet pizza at Berberè
For those who want to experience the best pizzeria in town... but also the new age of pizza, this is the place to be. The trademark is that of Beniamino Bilali, one of the greatest pizza master of Italy, expert in natural sourdough. The project of Berberè belongs to brothers Aloe, with Matteo, the chef, who learned all his knowledge in the kitchen from some of the best Italian chefs and the pizza's secrets from Beniamino. 48 hours of rising, use of excellent flowers and a gourmet choices for the dressings. Pizza comes on the 19-23table already cut in 8 “cloves” and the best, if you want to taste more and are some people, is to taste one first...and then the others. I like the atmosphere and the place as well.
Le Piazze - Lifestyle Shopping Centre
Via Pio La Torre 4/b - Castel Maggiore, Bologna
from tuesday to sunday 12,30-14,30/19-23
closed on monday for lunch

Bologna la grassa, Bologna the Fat: Osteria Bottega
Osteria, originally, stands for “a place serving wine and simple food”. Bottega means “shop”. These words together want to give the customers the idea of a strong tradition (still, in Bologna, you can really find few original osteria+bottega where to eat and to foodshopping) and the possibility to eat very well and genuine in a nice atmosphere, far from waiters plaster and conformism. That's why the owner, Daniele Minarelli, could be called a “oste”. The breath of genuinity blows over the place but the mood is somehow very contemporary. Directly into your plate: broth tortellini, tagliatelle, cotoletta alla bolognese and the famous “twice cooked” pigeon of the chef Daniele Bendanti. Ah, I do not eat meat, but I trust my friends who say this is the best for typical bolognese food.
via Santa Caterina 51
from tuesday to saturday, lunch and dinner
closed Sunday and Monday

Italian Fusion: choose Casa Monica
Does it make a difference when you know the chef and when you do not? Well, I think so. That's why I know for sure that, when friends or people I don't know write to me to have a hint about where to eat in Bologna, Casa Monica is always on the guest list... because of the great food but also because of the chef, Monica Cuniberti, who is in the kitchen but also among the tables in the warm room that was once a mechanic. She's a great woman, really generous and warm hearted. Her food is like her and I would call it Italian Fusion, cause raw material and inspiration is Italian with a twist of International flavour Try the little octopus weaped with potatoes, olivs and capers. The cake artichokes with balsamic vinegar, the black ink of squid passatelli with white sauce of sea, ravioli stuffed with ricotta with chard cream or tuna crosted by sesame with crispy spinach, raisins, pine nuts and wasabi sauce. Good choice of wines.
via San Rocco 16
open all evenings (closed for august 10th til end august)

Tradition remixed at Trattoria Serra
The first time I entered this trattoria I felt like being at home. Yes, this is the atmosphere you find at Trattoria Serra, named after the street it lies on in Bolognina neighbourhood. Great selection of genuine products from our Emilia land, knowledge of our food tradition to start and slight contamination of contemporary vision to handle certain dishes with care. The owners, Flavio and Tommaso, are totally kind and thoughtful, especially when you call to book a table and they “have” to tell you it's sold out. Something that happens frequently. So, I suggest you book in advance!!! Mostly for meat eaters, some options are for vegetarians...better ask.
via Luigi Serra 9/b
closed mondays and tuesdays
wednesdays and thursdays open for dinner
fridays saturdays sundays open lunch+dinner

Chatting, drinking, vintaging at Camera con vista
You enter in the space and everytime you want to change place and try all the decor possibilities. Camera a Sud is like this. Comfortable, cosy, easy going. You can stay seated the whole afternoon and nobody will bother you. But this is not because it's mainly a student place. This is trans-generational. And very adult, so to say, in the choice of wines, in the care for food, in the friendly art of waiting the tables. White, rosé, red or sparkling? Or just a coffee and a chat with your best friend? In winter time better phone to reserve a table. In summer, from tuesday tiol friday you can have a drink outside, in the small piazza Biagi.
via Valdonica 6
From mondays to saturdays 12pm-1am
sundays 5pm-1am

Bologna and a whole Region in da plate with I Matti della Polenta
A more or less open kitchen, a small room with seats. That's it. The most famous food format in Bologna town. But, be careful, the substance, the “filling” of the idea should be brilliant. Just like when talking about I Matti, their love for bolognese food and especially polenta: coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal boiled with water or stock into a porridge and eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled, as wikipedia suggests. One of the owner, Roberta (together with Alessandro she shares a story of sacking and restarting a new foody life) will entertain you with great stories and recipes about food. Prices are really good, a fast food for gourmets. Gorgeous! In summertime I Matti is closed in July and moves to a beautiful place called “Il ponte della bionda”, just a bit outside the town's old walls, in the land. You should visit it and also eat crescentine.
via Sant'Isaia 84/a
in winter open all days, from morning til dinner (closed in august)

A food rave to know people and experience great chefs for free at Le Club des Pirottines
Le Club des Pirottines is my kitchen club. I really mean it. I started it with my friend Simona, an art curator, inside her art gallery 2 years ago. Every month we invite a famous chef to teach us a recipe. They all come for free and nobody pays anything. This school is a knowledge exchange project and sometimes also the pupils, called “le pirottine” or “i pirottini”, can teach their best recipe. It's like a “carbonaro” circles where a certain idea of a food revolution is going on, with kindness. You can sign up on facebook. Search for Le Club des Pirottines, ask and you'll be part of the band!
one monday a month
from september to june

My favourite aperitivo in town is Lestofante
I admit I don't lik aperitivo time so much. This ritual of drinking and eating, usually standing, from 7 pm to 10 pm in bars. Usually I don't like it because I love to eat properly, sitting comfortably, tasting genuine products. But yes, this can happen at Lestofante (swindler in English), a little and cozy bar in the center of the town. Everything is really small here. Tiny and soooo sweet. And you find young and adult people in a generational mix that tells the story of a part of citizens in my beautiful Bologna. I belong to this people, spiritually. Even if I go everywhere with no real relational problems. What I love in Lestofante, to tell about food, is the aperitivo with excellent product from Romagna. Piada (a special bread with no yeast), great cheese from romagna farm, genuine salami and ham and the wines of Ca' Montalbano from Brisighella. Gentle table waiting and great prices.
via S. Petronio Vecchio 15/b
from monday to friday 3,30pm-1am
saturdays 5pm-1am
closed on sunday (closed in august)

Welcome to Apranzoconbea, my blog, which welcomes you to Bologna and wishes you a nice tour!
Apranzoconbea is a blog about food, about people into food and about places of my town devoted to food, where is possible to eat good but also enjoy a moment of relax and great inspiration. Architecture, attention to details, new formats, trends and vision... is all part of the game and goes directly to my pleasure for this world.

This below is my 2012 top ten. It's not only about great restaurants, but mixes up different styles of eateries to give a quick view to what is happening in town. And I tell you - for your luck - it's a lot!

Sale in Zucca, Spontaneous Kitchen Laboratory
This is a "dream come true" style restaurant. This is the "once upon a time" dream of chef Marco Zaccaria, who I first met through his food when he was working at Capo Nord. And he conquered me. Now, in its own kitchen @ Sale in Zucca, where it works with Francesca, he creates a taste  in the pan  who follows seasons with harmony and creativity. And, last but not least, Marco is simplicity and opennes-sick which is a great thing when mixed with knowledge. Another very important thing that I (as vegetarian) do appreciate, is the possibility to eat very well cooked fresh vegetables: they come from the farmers around the Parco dei Gessi, (the biggest karst park in Emilia Romagna) where Sale in Zucca was built. The following dishes you can taste@ the restaurant: potato millefoglie au gratin with crispy sausage grains, crepe cannelloni filled with cow's milk ricotta, winter vegetables and crispy speck on traditional tomato sauce. The menu is frequently changing, so, before going, try to book and ask what's on the menu!
Sale in zucca
Via Croara 7/1 
San Lazzaro di Savena (BO)  
closed on sunday night and on Monday

Cibosano landed last march on my favorite neighborhood, Bolognina, just behind the train station, in a not so much traffic congested area, just opposite another renowned restaurant, El Greco (greek cuisine). Laura Cacciari, the owner, has been following this project for a long time where she cooks natural and seasonal recipes for take away and a list of dishes that also vegans will appreciate. Among the offers: all tastes cupcakes and muffins (e.g. chocolate and turnip), vialone risotto timbale with Savoy cabbage and leek, tofu with black cabbage and sesame, caramelized turnips with hazelnuts, vegetables and potatoes with dill, cardoon with béchamel and caciocavallo cheese.
via Nicolò dall'Arca 44/d
from tuesday to saturday from 10 to 2,30 pm and from 17 to 19,30

Petit Cafè
Mario Ferrara at work

This is one of my favorite cafes in town. I like the place, iI like the Portico where the cafe is, I like the street it overlooks, Strada Maggiore. A street that becomes languid and pleasing during sunny days, with sunbeams crushing on pillars and a natural fizz that usually grabs me and makes me happy. So...this is exactly the mood that brings me automatically to desire a coffee or a lunch in this smart place where everything talks about passion and where the core is sublime coffee (the brand is Lelli, best coffee around in my opinion). Since few months Petit Cafè has started a special breakfast on Sunday (9 am-2pm) defined by coffee extraction in ways different to traditional espresso, using the most suitable mono-sources, matching every extraction to sweet and salty food. Last november 25th it was promoted the first episode of "Breakfast with the chef": between a breakfast and a brunch prepared by a great bolognese chef. The first guest was Mario Ferrara of Scacco Matto: his dishes paired with Lelli's blends. An example? Parmesan fluffy with marinated red onion, misticanza (a mix of various fresh and selvatic herbs used in salads) and balsamic reduction with Hounduras Montana Verde SHG infusion. This Petit Cafè is exactly the contemporary evolution of the Italian bar.
Strada Maggiore 25/d
From MOnday to Saturday, 7am-8pm. Sometimes opened on Sundays

Il Giardino delle Camelie
Bologna has never shined for tea-rooms. But, in less than 2 years 2 beautiful tea rooms opened. The first one is Mondo di Eutèpia in via Testoni and you'll find more infos here. The second one is Il Giardino dell Camelie, opened last April by two friends, Veriscka and Cinzia, and devoted to quality tea. The idea is to give tea time a nice and refined place, without formality...though. The king brand is Marriage Frères and the suggested moment is the Afternoon Tea from 2pm, with the typical multilayered trays full of salty and sweet delikatessen, from scones filled with marmalade to tiny sandwiches.
via San Vitale 7/b
closed on Monday

Caffè del Museo/Colazione da Bianca
This cafe tastes so much of internationality. My feeling about this place, a cafe inside a museum, is for sure influenced by the idea we, people of Bologna, have about our town, that we always consider very provincial. So, to have the possibility to drink a coffee inside a museum (the one dedicated to History of Bologna), something that in other towns of the world happens everyday since decades, gives me the feeling to be somewhere else. Right! Everything said, about our provincial people' s syndrome, I have to say that this cafe is pretty a must. It was originally opened last january, during the big Art Fair, and recently it changed management. The new one is signed by Colazione da Bianca, a brand that launched its first foodie space in via Santo Stefano, few years ago. If there the atmosphere is quite popular, here the method is a bit different: less people, more attention, excellent service, same quality though. If you are lucky you can have the chance to speak with Mrs. Laura, assistant to the owner. She is a globetrotter and has charming stories to tell. I had a lunch last week, a very nice sandwich with eggs and tuna and salad all around and my friend went for a curry chicken with rice. 
Caffè del Museo
Palazzo Pepoli, Museo della storia di Bologna
via Castiglione 8
Monday closed, opened everyday from 10am to 7pm

Delogo, cucina greca
Greek restaurants in town are on average very good. No complains at all. And Delogo, opened last july in a part of Bologna just recently built, is a new offer that has been delighting my taste a lot. Taste for food and architecture, I have to say. The food celebrates the island of Crete and is so good! My favourite dish is Kalamaro gemisto (squid filled with tomato and feta, laid down on salad, tomatoes and olives) and I eat it drinking a savory greek beer. But also: Suzukakia (meatloaf), meatballs in different tastes, Garides  Saganaki (jumbo prawns in tomato+ouzo sauce). Accessible prices and top quality! Parking is a bit difficult, unless you go by bike, as I do!

via Zaccherini Alvisi 19/d

Trattoria di via Serra
Well well... I tell you with happiness about this Trattoria. Why?
1- because it opened right in my neighborhood (Bolognina, behind the train station)
2- because you will eat with great satisfaction surrounded by a very comfortable location full of heart. 
During lunch and dinner.

Leaders of this unmissable little culinary island are two guys, Flavio (he follows the service) and Tommaso (the chef), who decided to leave their previous gem, the Sole in Zocca, and come back in town with a very similar menu linked to tradition,  which is yet opened to tiny contemporary reinterpretations. For us, in Bologna, is not time anymore for strict tradition. Or at least: when you have the knowledge, then you can fly! The musts, however, remain the same: research, quality, territory, season. In the end, as the great Pellegrino Artusi used to say, "before becoming tradition, everything used to be innovation". I would say... that also his great book "La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangier bene" or "Science in the Kitchen and the art of Eating Well", at the beginning was too much innovative to be understood, but now is a must. And explains very well, in my opinion, the attitude at this Trattoria.
The products used for the dishes come from Rosola, in Zocca, and are among the best in our region: the delicious bread, the cow's milk ricotta that you find inside tortelloni, together with Abate pear...what a fantastic filling....the parmesan, cut in tiny flakes on red turnip dumplings. In the wine list you'll find many natural ones. Good balance between quality and price.
Trattoria di via Serra
via Luigi Serra 9/b
from 12 to 2pm and from 8 to 10 pm
closed on Monday and on Tuesday for lunch

I want to close my top ten writing about a place that really intrigued me this past year. It's the reign of tramezzini that you will call sandwiches and I really think that in a town like Bologna, something like this was necessary. A format dedicated to take away or to those people always in a hurry but always looking for something good to eat fast. I do adore tramezzini. I could live on this food forever. And I am sure that, since the very first bite, you'll love the they call the "little soft white or brown bread filled with everything" triangles here. Then, if I only could live eating just one kind of them, salmon, lemon slices and capers, I'd be heart's-ease. Give a look here for the menu.
via Orefici 4
always open


Ca' Pelletti
I really like a final surprise in every top ten! My chart has not a winner nor a loser, but the plus one can say a little more about my tastes concerning how to think a place for food nowadays. So, here it is my ace in the hole! A place that combines the idea of  bar, trattoria and take away. But we would call it locanda or "Ca'" (contraction for case, house)... which means inn, as the inspiration for the eatery goes back to 19th century inns,  travelers would find between Tuscany and Romagna, when they would go from place to place, even walking. This is one of the best formats of the year in my opinion. In fact the idea was lost among the various proposals you find in town. And, to tell the whole story, this place was born on the ashes of another very interesting eatery called Omelettes and Baguettes, that opened 4 years ago and closed recently. That was, for the time it opened, a revolution for the town of Bologna, not very much developed in the territory of fast but nice lunch. Omelettes expressed this idea and now (different owner and different food concept) Ca' Pelletti does again the same. The core is the lunch, and, around this mission, rotates the whole menu and the whole offer of the Ca', that is opened however since the very morning, for breakfast of course...and just give a look to the huge breakfast on the list to understand!  The menu is the result of a very deep and interesting study around the food tradition of Tuscany and Romagna, with an Emilian Touch (Bologna is in Emilia, the region is Emilia Romagna) and a final bow to Pellegrino Artusi, the italian master of science in the kitchen, whom the list is totally inspired. The interesting thing is however, that the eatery was launched by Surgital, Italy's leading company producing deep-frozen fresh pasta and sauces for quality restaurant cooking. And you'll find on the menu a lot of fresh offers (from the garden: the sales, e.g. or "from the farm yard" plates with eggs) as well. My favorite dishes? Raviolotti filled with cornmeal mash and Montasio cheese, seasoned with light gorgonzola cream and hazelnuts or cappelletti with butter and parmesan, pumpkins tortelloni or potato dumplings with tomato sauce. And last but not least at all: tortellini. Then pies, cold cuts, cheese, vegetables. Everybody (vegetarians included) will find something. And you can also go for a delicatessen shopping at Ca' Pelletti. Good balance between quality and price.
Ca' Pelletti
via Altabella 15/c/d
Everyday, from 7,30 am to 6 pm


  1. bloody hell yes! finalmente mettiamo a frutto gli studi no Veronic? ma sarà slowly slowly e solo per certe cose

  2. Congatulations and Celebrations, then!
    Biutiful and megic Bea.
    I'll defilitely read you in English.

  3. Great idea, Bebe! just one question: where do you find the time for all this?? ;-) kisses and hugs, Francy

  4. kids, not a fixed job, not every day is the same everyday.... and I don't like to waste time :)) LOL dear!

  5. AHhHA Sounds like you've got the life of my dreams.
    "You were gifted", as my Guru said to me once.
    And your my only one, the origin of lots of marvellous things.
    I love you every day more and more.
    And, let's think about it, who would love to have a fixed job now?
    Not me, please =)

    p.S. I would like to make you Administrator of this shitty and absolutely noprofit Page, so you can share your contents. Think about it, and DON'T BE SNOB.

    1. Dear Veronic, thanks a lot, especially because I know your words are true. I am a romantic and I do appreciate what you write and I do like your dreams, of course, especially because you have dreams. If we meet on monday at pirottine, you'll tell me more about the Admin thing! love xxx

  6. Ciao, Bea! This is great. I have been reading your blog in Italian (as much as I can read in Italian). Compared to cities like Rome and Florence, there are very few Bologna bloggers who write in English. I think this will be very appealing to English-speaking Expats living in Bologna (there are a lot of us) as well as English-speaking tourists (& there seem to be more and more people visiting Bologna these days). Complimenti!

  7. Thanks a lot CIAOBOLOGNA! It's great to have a response by English-speaking I think my translation job is worthing the effort! I'll try to translate at least the lists of places I do from time to time and the main article, to help you all understanding better our lively town. Have fun!

  8. Ciao Bea, complimenti bel blog. Io adoro andare fuori a pranzo/cena/colazione ma un po per pigrizia un po per il poco tempo a disposizione tendo a finire sempre negli stessi posti... Ad ogni modo grazie alla tua English version posso fare da "food advisor" a dei miei colleghi native English che vivono in Italia ma che di italiano conoscono solo il gergo del ristorante.
    A tale proposito se volessi tradurre in inglese qualche sezione in piu' del tuo blog, potremmo collaborare se ti va


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per me è importante sapere cosa ne pensate! grazie, Bea

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