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What to eat in Verona: the most-loved traditional dishes

What to eat in Verona: the most-loved traditional dishes

December 2022

It is part of our credo that tasting local food enhances the travel experience. Verona is certainly no exception, boasting a rich and tasty culinary tradition, made up of dishes that have been handed down for centuries, from one generation to another.

What to eat in Verona? In today’s article we take you on a gastronomic journey through the most popular dishes and flavors of the tradition.

Amarone risotto

Amarone is a fine red wine produced in Valpolicella, the viticultural area around Verona, and it’s the protagonist of this first course, one of the most appreciated of our local cuisine.

This risotto enhances two excellences of the territory as also the variety of rice used for it, Vialone Nano, is cultivated in the Verona area – more precisely in the south – and carries the PGI sign.

It’s quite an easy recipe to cook at home too. A tasty first course that will certainly delight your guests.

Potato gnocchi

If you are wondering what to eat in Verona, potato gnocchi (small lumps of dough) are always an excellent choice: a seemingly simple dish that acquires delicacy thanks to the many possible combinations with tasty sauces.

Gnocchi have very ancient origins that intertwine with Carnival. It is indeed said that in 1531 the population was victim of a serious famine and that, on the last Friday before Lent, Tommaso de Vico, a doctor, distributed large quantities of bread, wine, flour, butter and cheese.

At the time of their invention, gnocchi did not contain potatoes, because the American continent had not been discovered yet.

Boiled meat with pearà sauce

Bolied meat (the lesso) with pearà sauce is the typical Veronese dish with the most ancient origins: legends tell that it was created to make the Lombard queen Rosmunda recover her strength as she had been fasting since her father’s death.

It is boiled beef and vegetables served with a special sauce (the pearà) made with breadcrumbs, pepper, cheese and broth.

Boiled meat with pearà is a real institution and over the year there are festivals and thematic events in various areas of the province dedicated to it.

Pastissada de caval

Pastissada de caval is a stew made with horse meat, red wine and onions. Traditionally, it was a dish prepared for parties and special occasions, but today it is possible to taste it in many restaurants and trattorias.

We recommend combining it with the famous polenta. It may not be fancy, but it’s an absolute must-have!

Tortellini di Valeggio

As we told in the article dedicated to 3 things to do in and around Verona in Autumn, the tortellini di Valeggio are a great culinary pride for the area of the Verona province that borders with Mantua.

A very thin pasta layer that reveals a rich filling of meat, cheese, nutmeg and rosemary makes tortellini di Valeggio a timeless and always appreciated classic.


We finish our selection of Veronese specialties on a sweet note. The “Pan de Oro” (literally: golden bread) is one of the most-loved Christmas desserts in Italy and owes its fame, as well as its indisputable taste, to its inventor Domenico Melegatti.

Pandoro keeps us company during the Christmas holidays and we love it with a classic, soft mascarpone cream.

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