Buon Appetito in Lake Como!
Are you craving a great pizza or local fish from the lake? Below are our favorite places to dine in Lake Como!
The prices include a primo, secondo, dessert and half a bottle of average priced wine from the restaurants below..
La Colombetta (Como) – EUR 100/person
This may be the best cuisine in the entire Lake Como region. It is owned and managed by 3 Sardinian sisters and while all the food is good, they specialize in seafood. Their pasta is just amazing. It sits in the heart of Como and is in a converted chapel. Because it is more expensive than what most Italians can afford, it is often quiet inside—even though the sisters are fun and casual. We consider this an elegant, upscale restaurant.
Al Veluu (Tremezzo) – EUR 70/person
Besides having excellent cuisine the view here is one of the best on Lake Como. The owning couple, Luca and Cheryl, are delightful. Our female guests all fall in love with Luca. The cuisine is great but not as spectacular as La Colombetta. Still for great food and a remarkable view, this is a good choice. Try to come early enough to see the transition from daylight to dusk to darkness. It’s lovely how the view changes.
Locanda dell’ Isola Comacina (Sala Comacina) – EUR 75/person
Okay, yes every star who ever came to Lake Como has eaten here and it is the place where every fancy hotel sends their guests. Yes, it is even the place where some locals refuse to go to because of the high fixed price and the abundance of tourists. Still, this is universally one of our guests and our family’s favorite places at which to eat. My wife and I have been going here since 1984 when we were impoverished students in London. Only go here on a day when the weather is lovely and you will have such a nice meal with spectacular views. Stay for the end when Benvenuto, the owner, selects the vestal virgin to remove the curse of the Island.
Ristorante Rino (Como) – EUR 65/person
This is a genuine Tuscan restaurant in the heart of Como. It resides on one of Como’s most lovely cobblestone streets. The food is outstanding. Go here for amazing porcini mushroom dishes, wonderful steaks and homemade pasta. The Tuscan wines are delicious and fairly priced. We are so happy this restaurant is here on Lake Como.
Da Rosa (Capiago Intiminiano) – EUR 65/person
You need to know our natural prejudices. We tend to dislike the fancy Italian restaurants and have a particular distaste for the Michelin starred Italian restaurants. The reason is because they tend to be the exact opposite of what we love about eating in Italy—friendliness, great food, locals rather than foreigners, etc. You will not find a tourist at Da Rosa. It is inland so there is no view of the lake. It is owned by 4 Napolitani brothers. The speciality here is seafood and they do a marvelous job. The decor and atmosphere is large and casually nice. It will be packed with locals, families and lots of talking and noise. Make sure to ask for the focaccia to start your meal. Whether you have pasta, seafood or meat, your meal here will be exceptional.
Alle Darsene di Loppia (Bellagio) – EUR 85/person
This is a lovely restaurant just outside Bellagio. Go here for lunch only if you can reserve a seat on the veranda overlooking the fisherman’s wharf. The outdoor veranda is so lovely with the colorful and beat up fishermen boats. The food is very good (not as good as the above but still good) and tends to have a nice mix of pasta, risotto, meat and fish.
La Barchetta (Argegno) – EUR 55/person
This sits in Argegno which is a gorgeous tiny village up the lake. When George Clooney was filmed in Vanity Fair, numerous photos came from Argegno. Walter, the owner of La Barchetta, is a delight and what we love about this restaurant, besides the amazing views of the lake and the kindness of the owner, is that it always has the simple wonderful Italian dishes that have become comfort food for us—tagliatelle bolognese, bucatini alla carbonara, tagliata di manzo, etc. Many Lake Como restaurants correctly steer their guests to lake fish and Lake Como cuisine which is not always what we want. Here you get delicious, typical Italian dishes that you probably have in your own country but it’s done much better here.
Ristorante Pizzeria Valverde (Cernobbio) – EUR 50/person
As our world famous Canadian designer friends told us, “The outside of the restaurant offends every element of taste and design.” You won’t likely find a tourist here but if you did, he/she would be a knowledgeable one who has been to Lake Como before. It is owned and operated by the Sicilian brothers Pino and Pietro. You can be a billionaire or just a local craftsman and you get the same treatment here. The food is unbelievable. Don’t be fooled by the “pizzeria” in the name. It’s speciality is seafood and someone in the group (or everyone) should order the Branzino al Sale. We highly recommend that groups order different pastas and eat them family style so you can taste all of them. Do the same with the desserts as you will have different and wonderful Sicilian options. When we are in Lake Como, it is here a week doesn’t go by without a dinner here. Keep in mind, it isn’t fancy—quite the opposite. But, if you want to go to a place where Italians eat, where there is a full restaurant, laughter, great food and great prices, this is your place.
Pizzeria Trattoria Da Benito (Como) – EUR 35/person
This is the best pizza in the Como region. It’s an unattractive restaurant and hard to find. I recommend having a driver take you here. But, the pizza will be some of the best you will have ever had. Benito’s son, Gaetano, runs the restaurant now and it’s other worldly. Go here when you are in a very casual mood and are not expecting fancy ambiance or service. Make sure to call in advance and you can wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts. This is not a fancy night out.
Locanda Sant’ Anna (Above Argegno) – EUR 60/person
This like eating in the Dolomites. It sits high up the mountain with spectacular views of Lake Como. You come here if you want to eat meat. It has delicious risotto and pasta as well but they are known here for their quality meat.