After spending two beautiful weeks in Trento and its gorgeous surroundings, I came to learn a little bit about the traditional Trentino cuisine after trying it at quite a few restaurants in town. As I have never visited this region of Italy before, I didn’t know what to expect from the cuisine and in my mind I envisaged pizza and pasta, with an Alpine twist. But Trento surprised me with fantastic flavours and an intricate cuisine which I couldn’t get enough of. In this article, I have tried to include all my favourite Trento restaurants which impressed me with their quality of food. If you are searching for where to eat in Trento, I hope my article will give you some helpful suggestions.
About the Local Food in Trento
If you have visited the Trentino and Alto Adige regions in Italy, you probably noticed that the local cuisine wasn’t what you expected. Even if these are Italian regions, the regional dishes are heavily inspired by Germanic, Austrian and Swiss cuisines.
One of the most popular appetisers in Trentino are dumplings, which are called Candereli (or Knodel in German). In the original recipe they are made from stale bread, milk and eggs, and are served boiled. Most restaurants however include cheese or ham in the recipe. Talking about ham, speck is another popular meat product in Trentino. It is a lightly smoked bacon, dry cured, made from the pig’s legs.
The cuisine in Trentino is based on simple products such as polenta, sauerkraut, and corn. When you visit Trento, try the strangolapreti, the local version of gnocchi which are served in an onion butter sauce, topped with plenty of parmesan.
For dessert, you will notice that many restaurants serve apple strudel, a favourite of the Germanic countries. The strudel Trentino is made with pasta sfogliata, which is a flaky, layered pastry, and local Golden Delicious apples.
My Favourite Trento Restaurants:
Ristorante Al Duomo
I discovered Ristorante Al Duomo on my last evening in Trento. The food was so good that I really wanted to return for lunch the next day before leaving the town. Unfortunately, I arrived too late from my morning day trip to Riva del Garda. This restaurant is without a doubt my first choice of where to eat amazing Italian food in Trento. The restaurant specialises in classic North Italian cuisine made with local, seasonal ingredients. I ordered the gnocchi with wild boar ragu, which tasted divine. Each mouthful was like an explosion of flavour. The portion was quite big too. I enjoyed my dinner with a glass of white wine, which was a great pairing with the intense flavour of the ragu.
The restaurant is located on a street with a direct view of the Cathedral. It has a lovely outdoor terrace, with many large umbrellas. It is not the cheapest restaurant in Trento, but it’s well worth eating there, even if only for one evening.
Ristorante Pizzeria Green Tower
Green Tower is a great pizzeria close to Castello del Buonconsiglio. They have a lovely terrace as well as a traditionally decorated indoor premises.
I enjoyed a three-course meal here, starting with a delicious vegetable frittata served with a white peppercorn sauce. The pizza that followed was simple but full of flavour and baked to perfection, just like pizza should be. I enjoyed lunch here with friends, and we had a selection of different pizzas to try. The dessert was simple but again, extremely flavoursome: chocolate mouse with almonds and strawberries, which balanced nicely with the richness of the cocoa.
Ristorante Pizzeria Antico Pozzo
For a unique innovative Italian food experience, check out Ristorante Pizzeria Antico Pozzo. Here I had the most unusual (but delicious) three course lunch during my stay in Trento. Their menu changes with the seasons and they only use high quality local ingredients in the preparation of their dishes.
The meat and blueberry mezzelune were definitely an interesting combination.
Antica Birreria Pedavena
I attended at event at Antica Birreria Pedavena and whilst I didn’t have a traditional meal here, I had the chance to sample some of their pizzas and artisanal beer and I must say, they were amazing!
The brewery is huge, with plenty of seating both inside and outside. As it is an antique brewery, the interior is decorated with all sorts of machines and different tools which were used to make beer in the past.
They brew three different beers, all unfiltered: Chiara, Scura and Weizen.
As I was here for an event, I didn’t take a photo. I do however remember how delicious the pizza was, so if you’re after a pizza fix, this is the place to go.
Forno Urbano is a small pizza al taglio café, where you can buy slices of pizza and focaccias and freshly baked loaves of bread. You can either have them to go, or eat them at one of their few tables which are situated inside and outside the bakery.
Forno Urbano use local organic ingredients and pride themselves on the traditional method of baking their products. Some of the herbs and vegetables they use come directly from their family garden, and this becomes apparent from the first bite of their focaccia, when all the flavours hit your taste buds.
After a few friends raved about this tiny gelateria, I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about. Gelateria Cherry opened only a few days before I arrived in Trento, and it was already the talk of the town.
After I tried the first gelato at Gelateria Cherry I returned over and over again to get my gelato fix. It was so good! Whilst I was on my way to the station on my last day in Trento, I passed by the gelateria and decided to go in and have a last delicious coppa of pistachio and amarena gelato. That was the only time the gelateria was empty and it gave me the chance to chat with one of the owners, a very passionate ice cream maker. He suggested some combinations of flavours, but I went for my all time favourite: pistachio and wild cherry.
The gelato was creamy, extremely tasty and one of the best I have ever had on any of my 30 plus trips to Italy. I always judge the gelato I try based on the pistachio flavour, as this is the hardest to make. If it’s natural, it tastes fantastic. If you see bright green pistachio gelato, you will know it’s not natural and it’s made with artificial ingredients, which means the other flavours will be the same. Natural pistachio gelato has a light green – brownish colour and a fantastic sweet, nutty taste.
I stopped at Bar Pasi on many an afternoon for a glass of Aperol Spritz or a local Hugo, at aperitivo. The bar has a lovely vibrant terrace which gets quite busy with locals in the early evening. Along with every drink they brought us a free plate of snacks. Even though the bar is on the corner of Plaza Duomo with views of the Cathedral, the prices were more than decent, on the budget side.
Even if you are a fan of Aperol Spritz for the aperitivo, you must try a Hugo as well. Originating in South Tirol, Hugo is an aperitif based on prosecco, seltzer, elderflower syrup and mint. It is extremely refreshing, exactly what you need after a long, hot summer’s day.
Another great, affordable bar, popular with locals is Café 34. Located in the main square, Pizza Duomo, it has a large terrace with lovely views of the Cathedral.
Here I had a great aperitivo, different than the usual Aperol Spritz. A friend was drinking it, so I had a sip and ended up ordering one myself. The cocktail was made with melon liquor and tasted sweet, just like honey. It was delicious. If I remember right it was called “Meloncino” but I am not a hundred percent sure.
Spending a Few Days in Trento?
I spent almost two weeks in Trento, where I stayed in an AirBnB apartment shared with friends, then at a B&B Mazini on my own when I extended my stay. Whilst B&B Mazini is a budget accommodation option in Trento, I felt very welcome and most importantly, extremely comfortable. The room was simple but spacious and had its own private bathroom. Breakfast included coffee, pastries and freshly made eggs. I was also able to leave my bag there during the day whilst I visited Riva del Garda, as my train back to Verona wasn’t until late in the afternoon.
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