Suggested Restaurants – from Como going North

 

On Lake Como as elsewhere in Italy, there is a huge variety of places to eat, from small family-run Osteria and Trattoria to top-class restaurants. Here are just a few that we have tried and tested over the years, which you may not discover on your own (listed from Como town going north up the western shore). Menus are usually in English, but watch out for the cover charge or ‘coperto’ which is an extra per person charge. Many of these restaurants close out of season (November to February), so get your hotel to call in advance and reserve a table for you.

Key – based on 2 people having 2 courses (except for pizzerias) including ½ litre of house wine

€ up to 30                   €€ 30-50                      €€€ 50-80                    €€€€ 80 -100+

 

Como Town

€€ Il Pomodorino

Via Cinque Giornate, 62b                         031 240 384    ristoranteilpomodorino.it        open 7/7

Located in the cobbled back-streets of Como town, but well signposted. Offers a large selection of all home-made produce including the pasta and the bread as well as a varied menu including meat, fish, pasta and pizza (wood oven).

€€ – €€€ Il Pepe Nero

Via Pietro Boldoni, 26                        031 260333     pepenerocom.com                   open 7/7

Very central and easy to find, opposite the Coin store behind Piazza Cavour. Has both indoor and outdoor seating. Good selection of dishes and wines. Stylish dining atmosphere (no pizza).

€ – €€ Taverna Spagnola

Piazza Volta 33/Via Grassa                031 272 460                                        closed Wednesday

Just off Piazza Volta, down a side street. As the name suggests, this is a Taverna, not a restaurant (although it is not actually Spanish), with freshly cooked, fast/simple dishes – pasta, meat and huge pizzas. Tables are wooden and the atmosphere is usually buzzing. You can eat till late, often until midnight. Good food at a very reasonable price – always full of locals.

€ Il Messicano

Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini, 6              031 266 204 ‎                                                   open 7/7

If you just want a pizza, this is the best in Como, hence the long queues of Italians! The pizzas served on huge oval wooden platter, are thin and crispy and there is a huge choice. Pasta and salads are also available.

€€ Le Colonno (part of the Hotel del Duca)

Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini,                 031 264 859    albergodelduca.it                    open 7/7

Run by the same family for 15 years, the Santarelli’s, this cosy, friendly restaurant offers traditional Italian cuisine, specialising in fish. They also do excellent pizzas.

€€ Loft

Via Boldoni 3                                                                 031 267846                                                                                open 7/7 ((lunch)

A panoramic restaurant & bar on the 5th floor of the ‘Coin’ store just behind Piazza Cavour. Serves great food, as well as cakes for afternoon tea. Only open at lunch-time with daily menus, great on Sundays. It’s worth popping in just for a coffee or a drink for the view over the roof tops of Como.

 

Cernobbio (one of the more pricey towns to dine)

€€ – €€€ Albergo Centrale

Via Regina, 39                         031 511 411    albergo-centrale.com                              open 7/7

A great location on the main road running through Cernobbio, very central and always excellent food, with a great choice of pasta, meat and fish dishes (no pizza).

€€ – €€€ Harry’ Bar

Piazza Risorgimento, 2              031 512 647                                                    closed Tuesday

Very popular with well-heeled Italians. A stylish lakefront restaurant in the main piazza. Attentive service and a quite pricey menu. Superb for dining al fresco. (no pizza)

€€ – €€€ Il Ghatto Nero

Via Monte Santo, 69                                                   031 512 042            il-gatto-nero.it                                            closed Monday

Located in the hills above Cernobbio, affording stunning views of the lake below and the city of Como. Popular with Villa D’Este guests, the food is always excellent, with a huge choice of menu and an excellent wine list. Set on various levels, it has a very intimate atmosphere. Ask for a lake-view table outside on the terrace in summer. (no pizza)

€€€ – €€€€ Villa D’Este, Veranda Restaurant

Via Regina, 40             031 3481         villadeste.com                                     open 7/7

Hailed as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, this represent luxurious, attentive, formal lakeside dining. Dine either protected by huge glass windows which disappear into the ground in the summer or al fresco. Open for both lunch and dinner (don’t forget your jacket and tie in the evenings). Traditional Italian haute cuisine with an extensive wine list and a knowledgeable sommelier. (no pizza)

 

Moltrasio

€€€ Imperialino

Via Regina Vecchia 24             031 346 111    hotel-lago-como-imperiale.com           closed Monday

The restaurant is part of the 4 star hotel Imperialino and is mentioned in the Michelin Guide 2010. The lakeside location is romantic and the food is traditional Italian with an imaginative interpretation. Popular with businessmen at lunch-time and for candle-lit dinners in the evening. (no pizza)

 

Laglio

€€- €€€ La Locanda del Cantiere

Via Vecchia Regina, 91            031 401 400    lalocandadelcantiere.it             closed Tuesday

An interesting restaurant located in a former boatyard, located on the lower lake road and run by Father and 2 sons. The restaurant has huge windows overlooking the lake and an outside dining area in the summer. The varied menu changes weekly and there is a lunch-time specials menu at a reasonable set price.

€ Bar Il Saggitario

Via Regina Nuova 6                n/a                   n/a                                                       closed Tuesday

If you are looking for a real local experience and want to sample food cooked by mam and served up to the local workmen at lunch time only for the princely sum of €12 for 2 courses including house wine. There is no menu, as it changes daily, but there is usually 3-4 choices of pasta, followed by 3-4 main courses. It is more of a café/bar than a restaurant, but the food is always good.

 

Argegno

€€ – €€€ La Piazetta

Piazza Roma, 6                       031 821 110    piazzettargegno.it                               closed Monday

Offers a welcoming and stylish interior in the winter and al fresco dining in the piazza in the summer. The seasonal menu is always with a twist – pasta with unusual sauces, blackened salmon, fresh tuna, seafood risotto or chestnut risotto in the winter, as well as crispy based pizzas & home-made bread. Cash only.

€€ (lunch) – €€€ (eve) Hotel Belvedere

Via Statale                               031 821 116    villabelvedereargegno.it                       open 7/7

Lovely lakeside setting. Recently renovated and under new management, it has a varied menu and the setting is superb!

€€ – €€€ Barchetta

Piazza Roma, 2           031 821 105    www.ristorantebarchetta.it                            closed Monday

Try the menu Degustazione menu to sample some local specialities. The menu changes according to the season, so you will find pizzoccheri, chestnuts and porcini in the winter and fresh asparagus, artichokes and seafood in the summer. Their all-year round speciality is fillet steak with porcini mushrooms and potatoes.

€€ – €€€ Il Sorriso 

Piazza Rimembranza, 3                      031 817001 

Specialising in local fish and sea food.  Usually have a daily specials selection from the refrigerated display. No pizzas. Lovely both inside and out. Don’t let the entrance put you off, there is a lovely dining room in on the 1st floor with lake views. 

€ – €€ Ristorante La Corte  

Via Milano 14             031 821455     www.hotelargegno.it                           closed Tuesday in winter

Part of the Hotel Argegno, family run restaurant and pizzeria – good all round restaurant with an excellent choice of meats, pastas and a huge pizza list – all delicious!

 

Sala Comacina

€€€ La Tirlindana

Piazza Matteotti, 5     0344.56637    ristorantelatirlindana.com                             closed Monday

A delightful location in the piazza, overlooking Isola Comacina. Run by a husband and wife team of French-Spanish chef (Patrizia) and husband Freddie, a French-Italian, the food reflects their eclectic mix of cultures. Everything is home-made. Try the lemon ravioli. Portions are not large, so you can easily eat all 3 courses. The desserts are delicious.

€€€ Locanda del Isola

Isola Comacina            0344 55083     comacina.it                                                     closed Tuesday

Located on the only island on Lake Como, this is a real experience. This is where all the stars go when they visit the area! The menu has not changed since 1947 and today you get the same 5-course menu for €64pp including as much wine as you like. It is massive meal, so make sure you are hungry and is available at either lunch or dinner time from April to October. You even get a short history of the island during the coffee ceremony, presented twice daily by the unforgettable Benvenuto. Note: credit cards are not accepted. To get there you park in Sala Comacina and get the water taxi across.

€€ – €€€ La Comacina          

Via Statale, 14             0344 55035     ristorantelacomacina.it                                   closed Monday

On the main road by the bank in Sala Comacina, a stylish restaurant with a lovely balcony overlooking the lake. Run by a husband and wife team, Gianni and Cristina, it serves home-made pasta, fish of the lake and steaks, as well as seasonal dishes and special theme nights e.g truffles or suckling pig. Also closed on Thursday during the winter

 

Ossuccio

€€ Crotto La Sorgente

Via P. Castelli, 5         0344 55270     crottolasorgente.com                                       closed Tuesday

You would never just stumble across this ‘secret’ restaurant. Dating back to 1962, it is actually a trout farm in the hills above Ossuccio. Full of rustic charm, and featuring river trout, fished daily from fresh water beds provided by the nearby Perlana waterfall – smoked, dried (missoltino – a lake speciality), grilled or served with sage and butter- all served along with a health dollop of polenta. If you book in advance you can order sausages, pork ribs, cassoella (cassoulet) or Brassato (melt in the mouth beef braised in red wine).

 

Lenno

€€€ Lido di Lenno

Via Comoedia, 1          0344 57 093    lidodilenno.com                                               Open 7/7

Located on the angle of the bay of Lenno, where they have constructed a beach/lido area as well as a stylish nightclub on the beach with Bedouin tents! A haunt of Milanese footballers, this restaurant is only open in the summer, as it is set in a marquee. The menu changes regularly, based on fresh local produce, they also have a BBQ grill for meat and seafood. Offers an international menu and an excellent wine list – over 100 different wines from all over the world.

€ – €€ Il Cris

Via Armando Diaz, 7              0344 55 131                                                                closed Tuesday

An excellent find, just off the beaten track, down a narrow driveway, just above Lenno. A well-kept secret, here you will find great pizzas, excellent pasta, amazing steaks and seafood (try the seafood basket – a seafood stew served in a pizza-base bread basket). Cash only.

€€ Hotel Plinio

Viale C. Lomazzi, 3    0344 55158                                                                closed Wednesday

With a lake front terrace in the pedestrian lake-front of Lenno, they serve a daily set menu with home-made pasta, meat and lake fish dishes. A good venue for lunch on Lenno market day (Tuesday), followed by a trip to Villa Balbianello.

 

Tremezzo

€€ – €€€ La Darsena

Via Regina, 3               0344 43166     www.centrohotelslagocomo.it/darsena_tremezzo      open 7/7

The restaurant is part of the hotel and is located right at the front in a stunning lake front position overlooking Bellagio. Indoor dining with panoramic lake-view windows or outdoor dining, so be sure to book a table on the terrace in the summer. The menu changes regularly and is based on local, seasonal produce.

€€€ – €€€€ Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Via Regina, 8               0344 42491     grandhotel tremezzo.com                                            open 7/7

Refined al carte dining at the 5 star hotels La Terrazza lake-view restaurant. The terrace offers stunning views of Bellagio, almost directly opposite and very romantic with its twinkling lights in the evening. Dress code of smart, casual attire (no jeans).

 

Tremezzo (Frazione Roghero)

€€ Fagurida Trattoria

Via St Martino, 15      0344 40676                                                                 closed Monday

A real local and rustic experience with platters of meats, cheeses, polenta and braised beef brassato), with wine in earthenware jugs. Try the antipasti della casa.Ask for a table with a view.

€€ – €€€ Al Velu

Via Rogaro, 17            0344 40510     alveluu.com                                         closed Tuesday

Stunning views and good food from this elegant restaurant perched on a hill in a hamlet above Tremezzo.

 

Menaggio

Menaggio is one of the larger resorts and as such offers a large selection of restaurants. If you are staying there, ask your hotel for their recommendations or if you are visiting just for the evening, go early, have an aperitivo in one of the lake-front bars (suggest Hotel du Lac), then browse the menus displayed outside each restuarant and take your pick, depending on taste and budget.

 

Aquaseria

Crème Caramel

Via Molino Nuovo 7   0344 50932                                                                 closed Wednesday

Down on the lakefront in Aquaseria is a real gem, the Crème Caramel. In summer they have tables so close to the lake that you can almost touch it and they serve some of the best pizzas for miles around, but only in the evenings. The lunch-time is a set menu at €15 with good home-cooking and a choic