| Liguria food guide | Santa Margherita

Where to eat the best Italian Riviera food in Santa Margherita Ligure.

If you are spending some days in Santa Margherita you will quite immediately get obsessed on where to find the best local places where to eat focaccia, pesto, gelato and other amazing traditional Italian Riviera food. And if you are, as I am, a real foodie traveler, you will also get curious to know what are very local specialties worth to discover and taste.

Sometimes in beautiful tourist destination it’s difficult to distinguish a genuine, traditional place where locals love to go and serving local traditional food, from those places which maybe look pretty but have no soul or, worst, are conceived just for tourists.

Therefore, I want to give you a fistful of tips for finding the right bakery, eatery, food shop and restaurant to taste the best local food in Santa Margherita. Santa Margherita is a tiny village, everything is close by so you can also spend half a day visiting these places and building up your own Santa Margherita food tour. Let’s start!

Where to eat the best focaccia in Santa Margherita Ligure

Two are the bakeries you cannot miss in Santa Margherita. Both bake an amazing Genoese focaccia, probably better than many bakeries in Genoa. Shining of extra-virgin olive oil on top, thin, crunchy outside and soft and spongy inside. Focaccia is at its best just come out of the oven, therefore these bakeries bake focaccia many times during the day.

If you want to order focaccia like a local ask for “una fetta di focaccia”. If after tasting focaccia you fancy trying to bake it at home, here you find my genoese focaccia recipe.

PANIFICIO PINAMONTI

Via dell’Arco, 24, 

https://goo.gl/maps/rDvHXt7ZKDHHrPdQ9

One of my favorite bakery in Santa Margherita. Located in the heart of the Santa Margherita, Piamonti is one of the old traditional bakeries of the town, though refurbished recently. Here you will find not only the traditional plain Genoese focaccia, but also traditional such as focaccia with onions (focaccia con le cipolle) or focaccia with olives (focaccia con le olive). 

PANIFICIO FIORDIPONTI

Via Jacopo Ruffini, 26

https://goo.gl/maps/gmRrXbGfV2E4sjqd8

This bakery is located in the back of the port area, in the neighborhood called “Corte”, under gorgeous red and yellow porticos. Their focaccia, and the many variations, is wonderful. Here you can  also taste an amazing Focaccia al formaggio, another milestone of Liguria street food. It’s a cheese pie, not a flat bread as focaccia (though the name is misleading), prepared with a fresh chees produced in the backcountry of Recco and Camogli. It is also known as Focaccia di Recco. 

Where to eat the best gelato in Santa Margherita Ligure

Gelato shops in Santa Margherita are many, most of them are good. But there are two Gelaterie which offer a special local gelato you must have when in town

BAR VITTORIA

Via A. Gramsci, 43

https://goo.gl/maps/zd4eC7Zt3u8h1uZQ8

Bar Vittoria is located at the “beginning” of Santa Margherita, on the sea promenade in front of the beaches. It’a both a cafeteria and a gelato shop. 

This place is famous for its Panera, the traditional Genoese gelato (better, semifreddo), made with whipped cream and coffee. The owners are passing down the recipe, strictly secret, from generation to generation!

GELATERIA CENTRALE

Largo Antonio Giusti, 14, 

https://goo.gl/maps/zd4eC7Zt3u8h1uZQ8

Gelateria Centrale is famous for its Pinguino (literally penguin), a thin cone of ice-cream (you choose the flavor – all are amazing) coated with a thin, crunchy layer of dark chocolate.

An experience!

The best deli in Santa Margherita

If you are looking for some great food already cooked to bring home or to the beach or just to eat on a bench looking at the sea, this is the best place to go:

PORTOFINO GOURMET ITALY BY REVELANT 

Via A. Gramsci, 15, 

https://goo.gl/maps/31y8taoybnPsMJV86

Here you will find many dishes of the Ligurian traditional cuisine already prepared on top of selected Italian cheeses, cold cuts, pickles (they baby artichokes under oil are incredible) and other delicacies.

Where to taste Margheritine, the traditional shortbread cookies of Santa Margherita

PASTICCERIA ARTE DOLCE

Via Cairoli, 1/B, 

https://goo.gl/maps/LqQQxR6dtZ6hXFTH7

This elegant cafeteria in the heart of the historical center is the keeper of the secret recipe of Margheritine. They are the traditional shortbread cookies of Santa Margherita made with the finest toasted hazelnuts coming from Pedimont. 

The best fresh pasta in Santa Margherita

PASTA FRESCA DA RENATO

Largo Giovanni Amendola, 1, 

https://goo.gl/maps/tRLJPxmi8dXa7jAh8

This is the place where to buy traditional Italian Riviera pasta fresca.

Local specialties to purchase are are ravioli filled with veal meat and greens, pansoti, our traditional dumplings with a belly shape and filled with green leaves veggies, corzetti, the round shape pasta with a garnishment embosomed, trofie and potato gnocchi.

Here you can also taste a selection of savory pies and the famous Santa Margherita chards fritters, big ravioli filled with chards and then deep fried. By the way, this is not only a shop but also a fascinating museum of old pasta machines!


The best food shop in Santa Margherita … and probably in the world!

ANTICA DROGHERIA SEGHEZZO

Via Cavour, 1,

https://goo.gl/maps/8Nt95baZcdRvGxPq6

Welcome to paradise. If you are a foodie, you will go crazy here! I believe that almost all the finest food products of Liguria, Italy and the rest of the world are collected in this ancient spice shop. Born as a village spice shop of few square meters, in the ownership of the very same family for decades, Seghezzo is now a big food store at the ground floor of an ancient building in the center of Santa Margherita.

Sweets, chocolates, cookies, candies, coffees, wines, spirits, vinegars, extra-virgin olive oils, pickles, seasonings , jams, honeys, teas, soaps, cheeses, cold cuts, fresh greens and fruits…Everything. They also have a deli corner with already cooked dishes to take away. Foodie tip: try their famous octopus carpaccio.


Santa Margherita seafood market and fishmongers

SEAFOOD MARKET

Corso Guglielmo Marconi, 6°

The seafood market opens around 4:30 pm, when the first fishing boats arrive. It is located just in front of the quay, under pink colored porticos. The boats download their colored shining cargo straight on the counters of the market. Restaurants and fishmongers have the precedence in buying the fish. What remain is sold to the public. Remember, Santa Margherita is famous for its big purple prawns.

PESCHERIA BARDI

Via Tommaso Bottaro, 24,

https://goo.gl/maps/nFCD3TMn2qPwbg5L7

This is the oldest fishmonger of Santa Margherita with its old marble counters and copper scales. Located under the porticos in front of the port this shop is opened in the morning and in the afternoons, always selling the freshest catch of the day.


A couple of restaurants in Santa Margherita I love

Santa Margherita and the surroundings are full of restaurants, many of them are very good. However, if I have to give a suggestion to a friend I recommend these places:

TRATTORIA DA PEZZI

Via Cavour 21 

https://goo.gl/maps/qNYmUhjnALHMofKF6

This is an informal restaurant where to eat traditional Italian Riviera cuisine in Santa Margherita.

Very good value for money, great choice of dishes made with fresh local ingredients. Here you can taste troffie with pesto, ravioli, lettuce rolls, stuffed vegetables, cima alla Genovese, stewed codfish, many savory pies, farinata baked in the wood oven and the famous chard fritters.

OCA BIANCA

Via XXV Aprile 1945, 21

https://goo.gl/maps/dnmohKZVvaPcBU8d7

web site: https://www.ristoranteocabianca.it/

This is the place where to eat meat in Santa Margherita.

TRATTORIA DEI PESCATORI

Via Tommaso Bottaro, 43,

https://goo.gl/maps/XM7u5edPj2CZjrKS9

This is the restaurant, in vintage style, where locals go to eat fish in Santa Margherita.


If you are in Santa Margherita for few days and you wish to learn more about Italian Riviera food culture, take a train and come to Genoa! You can join one of my Genoa cooking classes and learn how to cook like a local or you can taste Genoa flavors through one of my Genoa food tour!

Or, if you are a group, we can organize a private Camogli & Santa Margherita Food tour or any of my Private Food Experiences!


Santa Margherita food tour

Ciao! I’m Enrica

a home cook, food researcher and experience curator born and bred in Liguria.
I study, tell, cook, share and teach Ligurian cuisine and the culture surrounding it.
Here we celebrate Liguria’s gastronomic diversity and richness through its recipes, producers, traditions and shops.

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