Mercato Delle Erbe, From Local Market To Gourmet Food in Bologna (video)

Mercato Delle Erbe, from Local Market to Gourmet Food in Bologna

Aromatic cheeses, fresh produce, to-die-for pasta, gorgeous bread & pastries, wine, authentic eateries, and cozy ambiance – welcome to Mercato Delle Erbe, a slice of heaven for gourmet foods and the ultimate local market experience in Bologna.

Mercato Delle Erbe – the What, Where, and When

Mercato Delle Erbe is the largest covered market in Bologna, and is nestled in the historical nerve center of the city. Located at Via Ugo Bassi 23 near the statue of the hominy, it was originally designed in 1910 as a herb market by renowned Italian engineer duo, Luigi Melucci & Arturo Carpi. In 1949, it was revamped and reopened following the tragic bombing of WWII. It’s opened 8 am to midnight, daily except on Sunday.

As soon as you get into the market, you’ll be greeted by a raft of produce stalls teeming with super-fresh veggies and fruits. If you happen to run a cookery class in or around Bologna, this is your one-stop shop to get all your ingredients – tomatoes, spices, berries, shallots, onions, meats ……. the whole shebang!

Deep inside, you’ll find stalls that sell olives, all types of cheeses, wine shops, bread, and pastries. Perhaps the highlight of Mercato Delle Erbe is the magnificent butchery. It’s a fully stocked meat shop with a boatload of myriads of meats, poultry, fish (oh, fresh & delicate fish!), chicken, seafood, and lots more. And that isn’t all.

Besides traditional food & produce stalls, you’ll find cool & retro wine bars, pastry shops, gourmet food (don’t miss out on mouthwatering pasta), sandwich delis, pizzeria, homey coffee shops, finesse cafes, and other eateries that serve the very best of Bologna & Italian dishes, like lasagna, mortadella, tortellini, meatballs, and Gemelli, just to mention a few.

Mercato Delle Erbe is also a fantastic place to meet and hang out with friends, family, colleagues, and other tourists. More specifically, there are dedicated seating areas with 70s style chairs, tables, tableware, and other bells & whistles. You’ll love that retro & cool design style is replicated by nearly all eateries in the market, but southern-style is also featured.

Besides, you can meet, mingle, chat, and whatnot over aperitifs, wine, tea or coffee. With great wines sold in some shops, don’t be afraid to break out the bubbly – drink, eat, talk, mingle, and live like an authentic Italian!

Gourmet Shops at Mercato Delle Erbe

A visit to Mercato Delle Erbe is never complete without sampling its amazing gourmet shops and authentic foods. After all, Bologna is the undisputed superstar of Italian cuisine. Let’s delve right in, shall we?

a) MozzaBella

If your taste buds are hungering for some Bologna-style pizza, MozzaBella is the food shop to check out at Mercato Delle Erbe. It’s a classic Italian pizzeria with a touch of Via del Pratello and an atmosphere that’s cozy and welcoming. The eatery is operated as an eat-in, take-out, and delivery pizzeria, all wrapped into one.

There’s a reason locals and tourists love MozzaBella, and that’s because they are inexpensive and extremely good at what they do: make mouth-watering pizzas. They are authentic, served sizzling hot, and made with only the finest ingredients.

If you are anticipating for an unforgettable experience, try their square pizzas. They are whipped up with sourdough that is well-hydrated and baked lightly. It’s airy and fluffy with bubbles and a crisp, thin crust to boot! What’s even better is that all the toppings for the pizzas are locally sourced, seasonal, and come in a great variety. Whether you fancy cremini mushrooms, intricately sliced shallots or chicken, there’s something for everyone.

Like most stalls in the market, MozzaBella does more than pizza. They also offer a series of Mediterranean-style and Italian dishes, as well as several different vegan and vegetarian-friendly options. They also have a reasonably long wine list, a selection of drinks, and entries. MozzaBella staff comes highly recommended, and friendly.

b) Vineria Alle Erbe

Vineria alle Erbe is small yet cozy bar-cum-bistro where you can enjoy a glass of delicious wines, beers, cocktails, and indulge your palate with plenty of hearty meals. Right from the minute you enter, you’ll get quality service, gourmet food & drinks served with a smile. The modern lighting in the wine bar creates a fantastic ambiance and atmosphere where you can socialize, eat, drink, and feel at ease.

Vineria alle Erbe is indeed a hidden gem in Mercato Delle Erbe. It is often open until late, and they have a selection of meats, cheese, and snacky treats for your indulgence. The wine is sold by the glass or bottle, and overall the place is inexpensive so expect to get great value for your money.

c) Polpette e Crescentine

“Polpette” is Italian for meatballs, and “crescentine” is a type of bread that’s ubiquitous in the Bologna region. As you might guess from the name, Polpette e Crescentine is an excellent restaurant that serves cold cuts, amazing lunch meals, cheeses from the area, meatballs, and baskets of fabulous pastries and bread.

Of course, you want to indulge in a meatball dish here. It is the pivotal dish of home-cooking in Bologna, and no other place does it better than Polpette e Crescentine. Their dishes are so tasty that it’s a favorite lunch spot for market workers and locals. Their meat cuts prosciutto are superb, but they also offer vegetarian-friendly and vegan options. Their wine and drinks selection isn’t shabby too.

d) Vini e Sapuri

Vini e Sapuri is a nicely located wine bar, wine shop, and eatery in the Mercato Delle Erbe. It’s a cozy, nifty place that offers local eats, morsels, and drinks from the region, and well as a variety of delicacies from the north and south of Italy.

You’ll fall in love with its beautiful atmosphere, affordable prices, and comfy chairs. In Vini e Sapuri, you can indulge in taste-tingling meat cuts, local cheeses, savory bread, and wine by the glass (or bottle). Or sip your drink and immerse yourself in the world that’s passing by. And the staff is a godsend – absolutely lovely and friendly.

Wrap-Up

Mercato Delle Erbe is tucked smack right in the heart of historic Bologna center. It’s easy to get to, and around the market. Whether you’re just touring, looking to buy produce/grocery or want to indulge in gourmet food or drinks, Mercato Delle Erbe is no place to miss in Bologna!

Best Food Experiences in Bologna

If you have a passion for food and wine, then Bologna, Italy is the place you need to have in your travel bucket list. You will live a unique experience and rediscover true Italian flavours. Check out some of the best food experiences that we have compiled for you.

1. Take the 3 food tour.

parmigiano reggiano

The 3 food tour with Foodies Delight is one that will leave you craving for more of Bologna’s delicacies. The 3 food tour is offered at an affordable price for small groups of at least 3 people. The food tour begins with a ride in a luxurious Mercedes van from Bologna at around 7:30 am to about 12:30. If you are at Modena, the tour begins at 8:30. You will have the pleasure of experiencing the full Parmesan cheese production, followed by the legendary Balsamic vinegar production and tasting. The food tour comes to its peak with a visit to Vilani’s Salami which is famous for its delicious Parma ham in Modena. At the end of the food tour, you will have the opportunity to excite your taste buds once again with cured meat tasting. This is a food tour that you can’t afford during your stay in Bologna.

2. Dine at Trattoria Anna Maria.

Tagliatelle al ragú

Your holiday is not complete if you have not experienced the legendary Trattoria Anna Maria in Bologna, it is the sanctuary of Bolognese cookery. The Bolognese cuisines will leave you craving for more. The Trattoria Anna Maria has been making Bolognese traditional meals for over 30 years. The products and ingredients used in making the food are high quality and made in the authentic Bolognese tradition and style. This is what makes it so popular and a personal favourite to both local and international tourists. Trattoria Anna Maria offers you a full 3 course meal of your favourite Bolognese cuisines and your favourite dessert like the Dolce gelato al limone to top it all up. The Italian dishes are made at really pocket-friendly prices and you are guaranteed to receive value for your money because the food is just amazing. The Trattoria Anna Maria is located in Via Belle Arti, 17/A, Bologna. Make your stop and have an unforgettable Italian food experience at Trattoria Anna Maria that will make your vacation even more memorable.

3.Stroll and eat around Mercato delle erbe.

Global market

The Mercato delle erbe is a popular food market in Bologna where you will experience all of the famous Bolognese traditional cuisines. Most tourists prefer the Mercato delle erbe because it is like a hidden gem. It is an indoor market that is hidden to those who are not very familiar with its existence. There are even locals in Bologna who have no idea that the Mercato dele ebbe exists, it is therefore the perfect get-away for a laid back afternoon stroll in the streets of Bologna. The Mercato has been around for over a century, locals used to line out on the streets and offer home made traditional food at affordable prices. Locals used to frequently visit the market to get their daily supply of food as there was a lot of fresh vegetable, meat, cheese, fruits and even fine wine. The market was refurbished and now it is a modern market with great food joints like the Banco 32, which is a seafood joint. Then you can also visit the Altro, a contemporary restaurant that also serves all traditional Bolognese delicacies. Other eateries at Mercato delle ebbe include the Mai Chan, a Japanese take a way restaurant, Pollo e Patate, the place for roast chicken and potatoes and also the Vino e Sapuri for tasty wines.

4. Dine at a private home with Cesarine.

During your stay at Bologna, you can also enjoy dinner at a private home with Cesarine. Le Cesarine include a number of carefully selected hosts that open their homes to visitors and entertain them through offering local food. The main aim of the Cesarine is to share the great local recipes in order to preserve them and pass them on to many generations to come. If you wish to experience firsthand local Bolognese traditions, the Cesarine provides a unique opportunity and a good learning experience of the local Bolognese traditions and delicious recipes that you can go back home and try on your own. All you need to do is to create your Cesarine love list and browse the available Cesarine in the city you are in. Then you are expected to purchase a Cesarine flexi voucher and lastly book your experience with your preferred cesarine and go ahead to experience true Italian recipes. This is an opportunity of a lifetime if you visit Bologna where there are a number of Cesarinas ready to give you the restaurant experience in their homes.

5. Visit Fico in Bologna.

Bologna (BO), 2018, Eataly Bologna: FICO.

Fico is the largest agri food park in Bologna, Italy. Home to over 40 Italian restaurants, Fico,Italy. Offering you some of the best Italian traditional recipes, Fico has all types of eateries from Trattorias, starred restaurants, bistros and food kiosks. The place is fun for all types of ages and no one is sure to go home unsatisfied. The place is a must-visit because it offers all traditional Italian food at one point. It is a favourite to both locals and international tourists who converge for the love of Italian food. There are also relaxing cafes that offer you the best espresso and bars where you can drink from the producers and manufacturers of the finest wines in Italy.

In conclusion, Bologna, Italy has some of the best joints that will let you experience Italian food like never before. The 3 food tour with Foodies delight and the delicious Bolognese recipes at Trattoria Anna Maria, with a stroll at the famous new Mercato delle erbe will give you a wonderful Italian food experience. Not to forget the private dinner with the Cesarine of your choice and a visit to Fico, Bologna to sum it all up. Make a point of visiting the food joints and let your vacation in Bologna be a memorable one.