Lake Maggiore is a wonderful place for food lovers to visit. Hopefully our dining guide will ensure that you sample some of the best food that the region has to offer in some of the best restaurants around the lake.
Lake Maggiore has a wealth of restaurants to choose from to suit all tastes and budgets. Bookings For You aim to help you find some of the best Lake Maggiore restaurants to dine at during your stay.
Situated on the Eastern shore of Lake Maggiore, the town of Luino has a wealth of restaurants to choose from each offering fantastic Italian food at reasonable prices. In the centre of town, La Vecchia Pesa is a very informal restaurant with a huge menu which includes the largest pizzas you will probably have ever seen as well as a range of pasta and meat dishes. It is also possible to get takeaway pizzas from here. (tel 0332.532408). A much smaller restaurant in the town centre which we can recommend is Al 29 Felice. Located on Via Felice Cavallotti, one of the town’s side streets, it serves food typical of this region of Italy. For much more formal (and expensive) dining in the town centre there is a restaurant at Hotel Camin – there are tables outside in the garden. As a result, whilst the food and service is formal here, it’s a great place for children too as they can happily amuse themselves on the lawns whilst the grown ups eat!
The same family also own the Camin Hotel in Colmegna just a few minutes along the lake. This also has an excellent restaurant and, whilst prices do tend to be more expensive than other eating establishments in the area, the food is superb and the setting just idyllic with a large terrace overlooking the lake.
Other smaller villages along the Eastern shores of the lake also have lots of great restaurants. There is a restaurant called ‘Andreas Ristorante’ in the pretty village of Portovaltravaglia. It’s a modern, newly built restaurant right on the waterfront. In the summer, it’s great to sit out on their terrace. Definitely not a restaurant for small children – more a sophisticated choice for couples or groups of friends or family or those with older children. Nearby is Monte Sole which again is situated right on the waterfront but is a more relaxed, laid back option for those with children.
For anyone staying in Brezzo di Bedero, the village has a great pizzeria which is extremely popular with the locals – Officina della Pizza.
In the opposite direction out of Luino is Maccagno which also boasts a wealth of traditional restaurants. Another more modern option to try here is Ottone at Golfo Gabella. This restaurant does great pizzas and has a much more contemporary decor than other restaurants in this area! Also in Maccagno is ‘La Gabella’. This is a lakeside restaurant serving both pizzas and meat dishes. Located at the end of the road just past the Golfo Gabella resort, it’s extremely popular with the locals so booking ahead is advised.
On the other side of the lake, the Western shores have just as many Lake Maggiore restaurants for holidaymakers to choose from. One recommendation would be Villa Maria in Cannobio which specialises in fish from the lake and the sea.
At the head of the lake, Ascona also has some great places along the promenade. Prices do tend to be higher here as it’s in the Swiss part of the lake and the Lake Maggiore restaurants here also have a much more modern and contemporary feel to them. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, then head to Ristorante Seven in Ascona, a Michelin starred restaurant with great views of the lake.
Right at the other end of the lake, Stresa has a wealth of restaurants. Some of the options nearer the port tend to cater more for tourists and we’d recommend heading slightly off the main streets to find some of the real gems in the town. Our favourite is Il Vicoletto, offering superb service and delicious food. Another fantastic option is ‘Verbano’ situated just off Stresa on Isola dei Pescatori, one of the only islands to be inhabited. As the name of the island would suggest, this is a great option for those who enjoy seafood. You should definitely book ahead and if you are staying locally on the mainland, then the restaurant will come and pick you up in one of their boats.
Alternatively if you fancy a bit of DIY cuisine, then a place not to be missed is the waterfalls of Cittiglio. It’s a popular place with the locals and is relatively undiscovered by holidaymakers. There are parking places in Via Laveno to get to the waterfalls – ‘Cascate’. It is a decent walk uphill to get to the picnic place so try to keep your food supplies to a minimum! However there are plenty of tables to leave your food on during the day whilst you head to the three waterfalls further on. The waterfalls are incredibly refreshing to swim in.
And for those looking for an aperitif, I can highly recommend Ciocco Bacco om Luino! In fact, this is a great place whatever the time of day. On a cold Winter’s day, they do a wonderful hot chocolate, coffee or range of teas whilst later in the day, they have an extensive selection of wine to enjoy. It has a lovely atmosphere and it’s easy to spend an hour or two relaxing over a drink with friends and family here.
If you would prefer the luxury of having a chef at home, please do get in touch. Bookings For You are pleased to be able to recommend a local chef who will come to your holiday rental and would be happy to serve up a delicious meal without you even having to take a step out of your front door.