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 Restaurants in Bologna according to the Bolognese

foodietourbooknowBologna is known as the fat. The city is characterized by a particularly hearty and flavorful culinary tradition, here below you will find some of the best restaurants throughout the city and surrounding areas.

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Don’t leave Bologna without trying tortellini in brodo

The Best restaurants in Bologna to eat the regional specialties.

Al Pappagallo is an historic restaurant to eat the local cuisine of Emilia-Romagna. It is located downtown, just close to the two towers. It pays tribute to local recipes but sometimes they are revisited with a contemporary twist. It is has been opened since 1919  (check the suggestive photographs on the walls). Within the city center there is  another restaurant that allows you to enjoy the best dishes of the Emilian tradition namely Trattoria Pizzeria Delle Belle Arti. The restaurant is located inside a  palace dating back to the fifth century and it is not far from the university area. You will be welcomed by the owners, the 2 Favaro brothers. In the menu you will find dishes ranging from lasagna bolognese, tortelloni with porcini mushrooms or meat sauce. Just outside the  old town you can find several restaurants serving local  cuisine. For example in San Lazzaro Di Savena you can try the Antica Osteria dell’Oca. The chef has been awarded several times with prestigious awards. For those who come here should try the hand-rolled pasta, tortellini with meat sauce and tagliatelle noodles, as well as ravioli stuffed with guinea fowl and black truffle. You can also try the main meat dishes that apparently are very good! Emilia Romagna is also home to the restaurant La Bottega di Franco. It is located in an old manor house just outside the city center. People come to enjoy delights such as mortadella mousse,  tortellini and ravioli squacquerone cheese, pancetta, black olives and rosemary. In the surroundings of Bologna, one the best restaurants to eat  the Emilian cuisine is la Corte dei Molini  located in the town of  Castel Maggiore. It is born from the idea of combining the rich local cuisine with an extensive wine list, it is like paying tribute to the rich heritage of the territory by offering  the famous crescentine combined with regional meats and cheeses. Here you can not miss the Lambrusco .

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Crescentina fritta is a tipical dish of Bologna

What  the Bolognese eat in the best restaurants in Bologna ?

The restaurants of Bologna are particularly famous for their homemade pasta that is stuffed or simply made into strings or shapes and served with a variety of sauces. In some restaurants you can still find a the sfoglina. She is the person in charge of creating the dough by hand, and she literally manufactures all the fantastic dishes that Bologna is famous for. In fact Bologna is the only city that has even a school to learn how to make tagliatelle namely La Vecchia Scuola run by pasta chef Alessandra Spisni . In Bologna among the most common types of pasta you will find noodles or tagliatelle. The recipe specifies that each string needs to be 8 mm wide and less than a millimeter thick . In the first gastronomic book of united Italy (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well , 1891) it states that the noodles have to be long and never broken. In the restaurants of Bologna are almost invariably topped with Bolognese sauce, and the recipes change from restaurant to restaurant. Sometimes the meat sauce is prepared only with the beef, for others the recipe also includes pancetta, and sometimes a combinations of chicken and pork . However the chefs all agree that the cooking should be slow and last for at least 3 hours. Another classic of Bologna cuisine is the tortellino which is also one of the most popular dishes of the Emilian cuisine. The legend narrates about its shape that has been inspired by the navel of a charming aristocrat. It seems that originally the tortellini was a dish of the poor, it was created to reuse meat scrap which was wrapped in a thin sheet of pasta. The best restaurants in Bologna serve the tortellini strictly  in a broth made with capon and beef. Friggione is  another dish from humble origins that you will find in the he menus of the finest restaurants in Bologna, it is is often served as a side dish. Not to mention the mortadella of Bologna which enhances the Bolognese restaurant menus and it is turned into delicacies such as  mortadella mousse (made with mortadella, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and cream). Mortadella often accompany fried dumplings. In Bologna these are called crescentina fritte. I hope that this short guide will help you choosing the best restaurant and the most traditional food from the area. The guide is a rough translation of this article.

Best eateries in Bologna that will not break the bank

If you are after a gourmet weekend in Bologna you should definitely try one of those

by Marcelo Pinto  July 8th 2012

So you’re thinking about visiting Bologna for the very first time and ready to check out famous landmarks like the Pizza Maggiore, Torre degli Asinelli, and Palazzo Comunale.

However, before you jump on a plane and get ready to fly, it’s important to know where you’re going to eat!

In this article you will learn all you need to know about the 5 best Eateries in Bologna. This article will make sure that you won’t go hungry wether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 1. La Baita Del Formaggio

La baita del Formaggio is located behind the famous landmark Pizza Maggiore and is a place you must visit if you’re interested in food.

La Baita is known as the most delicious cheese shop in the area. Hungry travelers can take a break and enjoy a tasty lunch of affettati also known as cold cuts.

You can also try yummy cheeses  such as their Parmigiano , delicious fresh ricotta, cheese and ham platters, You can also try various meats and cheeses from around Italy.

The platters are very good value you can have lunch with 10 euros.

 

Trattoria Anna Maria

Trattoria Anna Maria is known for serving excellent tortellini in broth for the last 26 years. Dishes are fairyl priced and  they are definitely worth it. You can expect to spend around €25– €30 for full coursed meal – and , by doing so you are guaranteed to be completely satisfied. Portions are plenty, enough to satisfy any appetite. Here you will find all the excellent pasta dished that made Bologna famous for the food.

The Trattoria Anna Maria is also known for its beautiful kitsch interiors, photo decorated walls of famous diners, and outstanding waiters dressed in red waistcoats while balancing plates piled high with delicious orders.

Taverna dei Lords

Taverna Dei Lords of Lords offers an outstanding cuisine from  traditional Bologna’s repertory at small prices. They have many signature dishes, while also serving  all of the standard traditional meals. Taverna dei Lords offers 3 set menus for lunch that are affordable and tasty. Here you will get an idea about how to eat like a Bolognese here without breaking the bank. The Restaurant also has a very rustic Bologna interior and the friendly waiters will not fail you .

Sobetteria Castiglione icecreams

The Sobetteria Castiglione is located between the gorgeous arch spanning from 1000 and the town entrance of Porta Castiglione.

Sobetteria Castiglione is a well known ice cream shop that uses fresh ingredients and makes desserts to die for. Sobetteria Castiglione prides itself in making each creation just as tasty as the last.

If you’re searching for a place to get dessert after dining at the places listed above Sobetteria Castiglione is the place to go. Bologna is known as the food capital for a reason.

 

 Al Sangiovese

Al Sangiovese is a small romantic restaurant located in Borgo D’Azeglio and very near the gorgeous landmark Piazza Maggiore.

Al Sangiovese is a very traditional eatery with a deep love for the dishes they create. Their welcoming hearts and delicious food is enough to warrant any traveller to dine there.

Good selection of local (and not so local) wines hence the name.

 Bologna for the food traveller

Visiting Bologna for the very first time will be a thrilling adventure that you will never forget. From the famous Landmarks, to the wonderful people, and delicious Eateries …Bologna offers it all.

Convince your friends or significant other and make sure to visit Bologna, Italy once in your lifetime, Within Europe you can fly to Bologna for a weekend and fares tends to be reasonable as well as the hotels. From Bologna also you can explore other foods such as Parmesan, Balsamic vinegar, Parma ham and wines.