Portofino + the Italian Riviera

Restaurants in Portofino + the Italian Riviera

Come for the best plain focaccia.

This stone hut set directly on the water west of the city has been serving lunch and dinner in the same place for 210 years and Gianni Malagoli has owned it for 42 of them, but he recently ceded control of the cooking to his son-in-law, Marco Maistrello.

This restaurant is located in the five-star Hotel Splendido, a former 16th-century monastery overlooking Portofino’s bay. Sit on the outdoor patio and enjoy specialties like sea bream with potatoes, black olives, and pine nuts; and cappuccino cream with whipped meringue sauce.

The only place to go for focaccia with cheese.

In a village without a butcher's shop or a school, the hub of life is a 95-year-old bakery that serves freshly baked Ligurian focaccia, topped with onions or cheese. The pastries (miniature meringues, macaroons) are irresistible, too.

The ricciola, a fish similar to pompano, is topped with wafer-thin potatoes soaked in olive oil, ringed by olives, then baked in a very hot oven.

Come in for salsa di noci (a walnut-cream sauce combined only with pansotti pasta) and savory tarts.

You may have to compete with celebs, such as Denzel Washington and Giorgio Armani, for one of the 15 outdoor tables on Puny’s patio, but fortunately, there are another 14 tables inside. The simple dishes like handmade pappardelle pasta with tomato and pesto taste as good indoors as al fresco.

Dine on traditional Ligurian food while taking in the stunning views of the coast.

The scent of fresh basil from the chef’s made-to-order pesto greets you as you enter the hole-in-the-wall near the San Fruttuoso Abbey (a half-hour boat ride from Portofino). The menu depends on the daily catch, so this is a destination for the culinarily adventurous.