Where to Eat in Lake Como?

Lake Como, with its stunning Alpine backdrop and crystal-clear waters, is not just a destination for romance and relaxation—it’s also a paradise for food enthusiasts.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best dining options around Lake Como, from traditional Italian trattorias to Michelin-starred gourmet experiences.

1. Il Gatto Nero

Location: Cernobbio, Lake Como

Il Gatto Nero, perched on the shores of Lake Como, is renowned for its exquisite Italian cuisine and unparalleled views. The restaurant’s charming terrace offers a romantic setting for dining al fresco. Il Gatto Nero is celebrated for its seasonal menu, with dishes like saffron risotto and fresh lake fish. The extensive wine list complements the culinary offerings, making it a favorite among both locals and visitors.

2. Villa d’Este

Location: Cernobbio, Lake Como

Villa d’Este, set within the iconic Villa d’Este hotel, is a Michelin-starred restaurant offering gourmet dining at its finest. The elegant ambiance and lakeside terrace create a magical atmosphere. The menu showcases Italian and Mediterranean flavors with a modern twist, accompanied by an exceptional wine selection.

3. Trattoria del Glicine

Location: Varenna, Lake Como

Trattoria del Glicine is a hidden gem in Varenna, known for its warm and rustic charm. Nestled in a wisteria-covered courtyard, the trattoria offers authentic Italian dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Try their homemade pasta and traditional risotto while enjoying the tranquil surroundings.

4. La Punta

Location: Bellagio, Lake Como

La Punta, situated in Bellagio, boasts a stunning location overlooking Lake Como. The restaurant specializes in seafood, with dishes like grilled octopus and linguine alle vongole. The open-air terrace provides a perfect setting to savor your meal while taking in the panoramic lake views.

5. Bilacus

Location: Bellagio, Lake Como

Bilacus, a charming family-run restaurant, captures the essence of Lake Como dining. Set in a historic building, it offers a cozy ambiance and serves traditional Italian cuisine. Don’t miss their house-made ravioli and the delightful tiramisu for dessert.

6. La Veranda at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Location: Tremezzo, Lake Como

La Veranda at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo is an elegant restaurant offering a blend of Italian and Mediterranean flavors. With its beautiful lakeside terrace, it’s an ideal spot for a romantic dinner. The menu features fresh ingredients and innovative dishes, creating a memorable dining experience.

7. Vecchia Varenna

Location: Varenna, Lake Como

Vecchia Varenna, situated in the heart of Varenna, offers classic Italian dishes in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Their menu includes favorites like margherita pizza, osso buco, and a variety of homemade pastas. It’s a beloved spot among both locals and tourists.

8. Locanda dell’Isola Comacina

Location: Isola Comacina, Lake Como

Locanda dell’Isola Comacina is a unique dining experience on Isola Comacina, accessible by boat. The restaurant is known for its rustic charm and fixed menu featuring traditional dishes like lake fish and risotto. The setting is enchanting, with views of the surrounding lake and lush gardens.

9. Trattoria Baita Belvedere

Location: Bellagio, Lake Como

Trattoria Baita Belvedere is a charming mountainside restaurant offering panoramic views of Lake Como. Known for its warm hospitality, it serves hearty Italian fare, including homemade pasta, grilled meats, and delicious desserts. The cozy interior and terrace provide a welcoming atmosphere for a memorable meal.

10. Osteria Il Gallo

Location: Bellagio, Lake Como

Osteria Il Gallo is a quaint osteria tucked away in the heart of Bellagio. It’s a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike, offering a menu of traditional Italian dishes with a focus on simplicity and flavor. Enjoy dishes like tagliatelle with truffle sauce and indulge in regional wines.

Planning Your Culinary Journey

Considering Dietary Preferences

Before embarking on your culinary adventure around Lake Como, it’s important to consider your dietary preferences and any restrictions you may have. Whether you’re a seafood lover, vegetarian, or have specific allergies, Lake Como caters to every palate.

Budgeting for Dining Expenses

While dining by Lake Como can be an unforgettable experience, it’s wise to set a budget to make the most of your culinary journey. From affordable trattorias to upscale gourmet restaurants, the region offers options for various budgets.

Tips for Restaurant Reservations

Lake Como is a sought-after destination, especially during the tourist season. To secure a table at the most popular restaurants, it’s advisable to make reservations in advance. This ensures you don’t miss out on the best culinary experiences.

Culinary Diversity in Lake Como

A Taste of Italian Cuisine

Lake Como offers a delightful mix of Italian cuisine, with an emphasis on locally sourced, fresh ingredients. You’ll encounter regional specialties like risotto, pasta dishes, and delectable seafood options.

Fresh Ingredients and Farm-to-Table Dining

One of the joys of dining in Lake Como is the emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Many restaurants practice farm-to-table dining, ensuring that the flavors on your plate are as vibrant as the surrounding landscapes.

Dining with a View

Lakeside and Waterfront Restaurants

The dining options around Lake Como come with breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Enjoy your meal while taking in the serene beauty of the lake and its charming villages.

Al Fresco Dining Experiences

Lake Como’s temperate climate allows for delightful al fresco dining. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, where you can savor your meal under the Italian sun or a starlit sky.

Traditional Italian Eateries

Trattorias and Osterias

For an authentic Italian dining experience, visit the local trattorias and osterias. These charming eateries serve classic Italian dishes like homemade pasta, risotto, and hearty meat dishes.

Regional Specialties

Each region of Italy has its own culinary traditions, and Lake Como is no exception. Try dishes that reflect the local flavors, such as lake fish and risotto cooked with saffron.

Wine and Cheese Pairing

Pair your meal with some of Italy’s finest wines and cheeses. Lake Como is home to some excellent wineries, and the cheese selection includes varieties like Taleggio and Gorgonzola.

Fine Dining by the Lake

Michelin-Starred and Gourmet Restaurants

For those seeking an exceptional dining experience, Lake Como boasts Michelin-starred restaurants and gourmet establishments. Indulge in degustation menus and artistic presentations.

Romantic Dinners with a View

Many upscale restaurants offer a romantic setting with stunning lake views. It’s the perfect ambiance for a special occasion or a memorable evening.

Local Food Markets and Delicacies

Exploring Food Markets

To immerse yourself in the local culinary scene, explore the bustling food markets. Here, you can sample fresh produce, regional delicacies, and artisanal products.

Street Food Adventures

Don’t miss the chance to try local street food. From arancini to porchetta sandwiches, the flavors are diverse and exciting. Street vendors offer a taste of everyday Italian life.

Shopping for Local Products

Lake Como is known for its artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and olive oils. Don’t forget to visit local shops and markets to bring home some of these delectable treasures.

Breakfast and Lakeside Cafes

Italian Breakfast Classics

Start your day with traditional Italian breakfast classics like cappuccino, pastries, and fresh fruit. Lakeside cafes offer the perfect setting for a leisurely morning meal.

Sipping Coffee by the Lake

Italian coffee culture is rich and robust. Sip your espresso or macchiato while gazing at the serene waters of Lake Como—it’s a morning ritual you’ll cherish.

Dinner Options for Every Taste

Casual Dining Choices

Lake Como offers casual dining spots where you can unwind after a day of exploration. Try a local pizzeria or a charming trattoria for a laid-back evening.

Themed and International Restaurants

If you’re in the mood for international flavors, Lake Como has themed restaurants offering a diverse range of cuisines, from Mediterranean to Asian.

Pizzerias and Family-Friendly Options

For families, Lake Como’s pizzerias and family-friendly restaurants provide a welcoming atmosphere and kid-friendly menus.

Dietary Preferences and Allergies

Restaurants Catering to Dietary Needs

Lake Como is accommodating when it comes to specific dietary needs. You’ll find vegetarian and vegan options, and many restaurants are attentive to allergies.

Seafood Lovers’ Paradise

Lake Como’s menu offerings include a delightful array of seafood dishes. If you’re a seafood enthusiast, you’re in for a treat with fresh catches from the lake.

Culinary Experiences and Cooking Classes

Participate in Cooking Classes

Enhance your culinary journey by participating in cooking classes. Learn to prepare authentic Italian dishes and take the flavors of Lake Como home with you.

Wine Tastings and Vineyard Tours

Wine enthusiasts can explore Lake Como’s vineyards and enjoy wine tastings. Sip on local vintages and discover the region’s winemaking traditions.

Olive Oil Production

Lake Como is renowned for its high-quality olive oil. Visit local olive groves and mills to learn about the olive oil production process.

Insider Tips for Dining around Lake Como

Embrace Local Dining Etiquette

Embrace the local dining etiquette, which includes savoring meals slowly and appreciating the company of fellow diners. Lake Como’s residents are known for their warmth and hospitality.

Must-Try Local Delicacies

Don’t leave Lake Como without trying local delicacies like risotto alla milanese, polenta, and the famous Italian gelato. And of course, pair your meals with some of Italy’s finest wines.

What Food Is Popular in Lake Como?

Lake Como is renowned for its delectable Italian cuisine, and some dishes stand out as local favorites:

  • Risotto: Lake Como is famous for its risotto dishes, often featuring saffron or freshwater fish from the lake. Risotto alla milanese, with saffron and a rich sautéed onion base, is a must-try.
  • Lavarello: Lavarello, a delicate whitefish native to Lake Como, is often grilled or fried and served with lemon and herbs. Its fresh and mild flavor is a local delicacy.
  • Polenta: Polenta, a cornmeal dish, is a staple in the region and often accompanies main courses. It can be served soft and creamy or sliced and grilled.
  • Missoltino: This traditional dish consists of sun-dried and lightly salted lake fish, usually perch or shad. It’s rehydrated and grilled, resulting in a unique flavor.
  • Tiramisu: For dessert, savor the classic Italian tiramisu, featuring layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone.

Where Do the Celebrities Eat in Como?

Celebrities visiting Lake Como often opt for the region’s finest dining establishments and upscale hotels. Some famous spots include:

  • Villa d’Este: The Michelin-starred restaurant at Villa d’Este in Cernobbio is a top choice for celebrities. Its gourmet cuisine and lakeside setting make it a luxurious dining experience.
  • Il Sereno: Located in Torno, Il Sereno offers gourmet dining and a stylish ambiance, attracting celebrities seeking an intimate and elegant experience.
  • Grand Hotel Tremezzo: La Terrazza restaurant at this grand hotel in Tremezzo is frequented by celebrities. It offers breathtaking lake views and fine Italian cuisine.
  • Vista Palazzo Lago di Como: This luxury hotel in Como features a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a romantic meal.

Which Side of Lake Como Is Best?

Lake Como has three main arms: Como, Lecco, and Colico. Each offers its own charm, and the choice depends on your preferences:

  • Como: The western side is known for its picturesque towns like Bellagio, Menaggio, and Tremezzo. It’s ideal for luxury travelers, as it features upscale hotels and dining.
  • Lecco: The eastern side is less touristy and more serene, perfect for those seeking a quieter experience. Lecco and Varenna are charming towns on this side.
  • Colico: The northern tip, including Colico, offers a more budget-friendly option and is great for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s known for windsurfing and hiking.

What Is the Most Famous Part of Lake Como?

The most famous part of Lake Como is the central area, particularly the towns of Bellagio, Varenna, and Tremezzo. These towns are celebrated for their scenic beauty, historic villas, and upscale dining options. Bellagio, often referred to as the “Pearl of Lake Como,” is especially renowned for its charming streets, botanical gardens, and luxury boutiques. The central area also offers easy access to Villa Balbianello, a historic villa featured in several films and a popular tourist attraction. This region epitomizes the romantic and picturesque allure that has made Lake Como an iconic destination worldwide.


Lake Como offers not only breathtaking natural beauty but also a diverse and delectable culinary scene. Whether you’re savoring a traditional Italian dish at a trattoria or indulging in a gourmet feast by the lake, each dining experience is a journey into the heart of Italian cuisine. As you bid farewell to the picturesque shores of Lake Como, may your memories be as rich and flavorful as the dishes that accompanied your journey. Buon appetito!

Leave a Comment