Situated on the Eastern shore of Lake Maggiore, the town of Luino has a wealth of restaurants to choose from. Most offer fantastic Italian food at reasonable prices. In the centre of town, La Vecchia Pesa is a very informal restaurant with a huge menu. La Vecchia Pesa serves up the largest pizzas you will probably have ever seen! Not only that. It also offers a range of pasta and meat dishes. And you can order takeaway pizzas from here. Pizzas are also served up at La Luinese in Luino. Alternatively, for good quality Italian cuisine head to Locanda Al Riposo. This is just outside the centre of Luino in the village of Poppino. For much more formal dining in the town centre, there is a restaurant at the Hotel Camin. Tables outside in the garden make for a lovely setting.
For those looking for an aperitif in Luino, I can highly recommend Ciocco Bacco! 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. And then, 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.
The same family that owns the Camin Hotel in Luino also owns the Relais Villa Porta in Colmegna. This is just a few minutes along the lake from Luino. This has an excellent restaurant with stunning lake views. Prices do tend to be more expensive than other eating establishments in the area. But, the food is superb and the setting just idyllic.
Other smaller villages along the Eastern shores of the lake also have lots of great restaurants. Just outside Porto Valtravaglia is the Ristorante Monte Sole. Again, it is situated right on the waterfront with terrific views. The atmosphere is relaxed and laid back making it a good option for those with children.
For anyone staying in Brezzo di Bedero, the village has a popular restaurant which gets excellent reviews – Ristorante al Cortiletto. Or if you’re looking for a pizza, then Officina della Pizza is the place to go!
In the opposite direction out of Luino is Maccagno. This village also boasts a wealth of traditional restaurants. Here, La Gabella is a lakeside restaurant serving both pizzas and meat dishes. It’s 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. Otherwise, the aptly named Ristorante Maccagno is a good option in the village too.
On the other side of the lake, the Western shores have just as many Lake Maggiore restaurants for holidaymakers to choose from. Our favourite recommendation would be the Ristorante Grotto Sant’ Anna in Cannobio. In nearby Cannero, the Olea Fragrans restaurant at the Park Hotel Italia is well rated. It serves up delicious food according to the traditions and principles of the slow food movement. It also offers diners the most idyllic lakeside setting from which to enjoy their cuisine!
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. 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 Ecco in Ascona. This is a two starred Michelin starred restaurant. Here you can choose from a 4, 5 or 6 course tasting menu. Ascona has two other Michelin star restaurants. Locanda Barbarossa is the second and Ristorante la Brezza is the third. Whilst the dining is top notch in each, they do all come at a rather high price point.
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. We’d recommend heading slightly off the main streets to find the real gems in the town. Our favourite is Il Vicoletto, offering superb service and delicious food. Also highly recommended is Il Clandestino in Stresa, specialising in fish and seafood.
Another fantastic option is Verbano. This is 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. We recommend you book ahead. If you are staying locally on the mainland the restaurant will come and pick you up in one of their boats.
All the towns and villages on this stretch of Lake Maggiore have restaurants worth trying. In Arona we like the lively Ristorante Pizzeria da Aldo. In Lesa, our favourite is the more upmarket Battipalo but also good are both Borgo Dan Giovanni and Il Rapanello. And, in Pallanza Verbania, there are a few options. Among them is Ristorante Milano.
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! Once there, there are plenty of tables where you leave your picnic whilst you head to the three waterfalls further on. The waterfalls are incredibly refreshing to swim in.
If you would prefer the luxury of having a chef at home, Bookings For You are pleased to be able to recommend some superb local chefs. These chefs will come to your Italian Lakes villa rental and serve up a delicious meal without you even having to lift a finger. Alternatively, they can run cookery classes where you will join in the creation of some fantastic Italian dishes.
One such chef is Marco Perocco. He can come to your home and cook up a delicious Italian dinner whilst you sit back and relax. Alternatively, he can come and run a cookery class for you, all in the comfort of your Italian Lakes villa rental. This experience can also be enjoyed at his home in Sesto Calende. He will liase with you to create the perfect menu and to ensure that any special dietary requirements are met. Please do take a look at his website and get in touch with him directly for more information at email@example.com. Mention ‘Bookings For You’ and you will also receive a complimentary bottle of prosecco if you do go ahead and book.