The colorful buildings, aquamarine Ligurian Sea, and boats galore … What’s not to love about Portofino? It’s classically Italian because of its luxury labels (think: Gucci and Hermes), iconic fishing and sailing boats, and bella vita Italy aesthetic that you can’t quite find anywhere else. Italians have a long history and culture of dwelling by the seaside in summertime, and Portofino is a quintessential Italian summer beach hotspot.
We love it for its natural beauty, picturesque views of the harbor, plenty of things to do, and of course, the endless food options you’ll find all over town. After all, you can’t visit Italy and skip out on amazing cuisine. That would be a betrayal to the handmade pasta, fresh seafood, and cool wine you’ll find here.
We’re sharing our best places to eat like a local in Portofino (and surrounding towns!), so if you’re a fellow foodie, keep reading for our favorite restaurants for dinner or to catch a quick bite. Viva la Italia!
Stopping in at Hotel Belmond Splendido is one of our favorite things to do in Portofino – especially for that delicious aperitivo.
If you love dinner with a view, then this is your spot! Indulge in Ligurian seafood and regional wines, while enjoying the sunset from the wisteria-covered balcony at La Terrazza. Food is truly an experience here, inspired by travel, good company, and experiences, which you’ll find in dishes like the beloved Homage to Elizabeth Taylor (Pastificio Verrini Gold-Drawn Spaghetti and tomatoes) or Trenette Avvantaggiate, which is arguably the most authentic dish of Liguria.
Langosteria is a lush, beautiful waterfront restaurant known for its mind-blowing oysters, seafood pasta, and robust wine list both from local wineries and other provinces in Italy. It’s no wonder it’s one of the best places to eat in Portofino, and that’s just off of the menu alone! In addition to the incredible food, the decor here is modern, with a view of the water so good you can’t help but daydream of summer days well-spent and relaxing nights spent living the good life.
The restaurant in The Eight Hotel in Paraggi is not only a spectacular location but also a great place for both light fare and a full dinner spread. From roasted octopus and courgettes to pasta and veal, it’s the details that make the food here particularly special. With rave reviews, you can’t miss this one!
Spending a day in Camogli is one of our favorite things to do in Portofino! And while you’re there, you’ll probably want a great place to eat, right?
Xodo is one of the greatest spots on your day trip. A charming restaurant along the main boulevard with a view of the water, it’s the perfect place to enjoy an evening meal. Indulge in the acclaimed house limoncello, and enjoy favorites like the cod ravioli and spaghetti allo scoglio. Our favorite dish is the Fritto Misto, best enjoyed with white wine.
We love La Cesarina for its traditional, handmade Ligurian dishes and welcoming staff. You’ll definitely feel like a local here at this family-owned restaurant as you sip the house red wine. Be sure to order a hefty plate of pasta, which is always made fresh.
Founded in 1960, U Giancu is a beloved favorite in the hills above Rapallo. While the walls are covered in over 700 original comics and drawings, both from ordinary people and iconic cartoonists from all over the world, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, like home. From their homemade focaccia and fresh pastas to the diverse wine list and house-made beer from their very own brewery, U Giancu is simply unforgettable.
Nestled in the mountains with scenic views of the countryside, La Brinca was originally a 19th-century farmhouse that the family transformed into a restaurant and wine cellar. It’s known for its excellent local foods which are made in the peasant tradition of Eastern Liguria and made only with local, in-season ingredients. If you’re a foodie, you’ll want to check out this restaurant, as it made the Michelin Guide in 2021 (and is clearly one of the best places to eat in Portofino!).
What’s not to love about absolutely to-die-for classic Italian pizza? Delfino Pizza is known for its super thin pizza, which you can get with a variety of great toppings like fresh parmesan and arugula. It can get busy on weekends, so be prepared to stand in a queue that wraps around the block. Trust us, it’s worth the wait.
Out of all the places on this list, Manuelina may be the most local of them all, with a truly authentic atmosphere and excellent food. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the focaccia al formaggio, a crisp, flaky, cheesy bread that is equally light and savory.
Pastificio Dasso was started over sixty years ago when two sisters opened a shop that specializes in artisanal, fresh pasta. They are most known for their ravioli, fresh pesto, and handmade Pansotti, a traditional first course in Tigullio.
Deep within the city streets of Rapallo, you’ll find Vivaldi, a classic Italian bakery, with what we consider to be the best Focaccia in the area, especially if you order the focaccia alla cipolle . Open since 1950, you can be sure you’re getting a taste of classic Italy at this iconic bakery.
Whether you choose to eat in or take away, Pezzi is tucked away near a cathedral and a strip of restaurants along the pier, which lends even more atmosphere to this laid-back, already-a-classic restaurant. You’ll love the farinata, which is basically an Italian-style flatbread made with chickpea flour.
Known for its epic views of the coast and high above the water, Bar Dai Muagetti is known for its coffee, cocktails, and wine list alike. Whether you order an Aperol spritz or sip a classic white Ligurian wine, you’ll have expensive, unencumbered views of the cliffs, which is nothing but flawless at sunset.
Great cocktails and people-watching along the avenues of Santa Margherita Ligure? What’s not to love? Sabot has incredible Rossini so classic you can’t miss it as you also enjoy a meat and cheese platter, which comes with every drink order.
Next time you’re here, you have a full list of the best places to eat in Portofino. Save this page so you can make your reservations and enjoy!
And if you’re looking for more guides for your upcoming trip to Italy, check out our blog!