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10 Things to eat in Bergamo and where

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Joel Fulleda
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The culinary wealth of Bergamo and its province is truly immense and is based on genuine products such as meats and cheeses from local farms. From appetizers to desserts, Bergamo's tables will not disappoint even the most demanding palates thanks to the simple recipes handed down from generation to generation.
Here's what to eat during a stay in Bergamo.

Index

  1. polenta taragna
  2. Casoncelli
  3. Scarpinocc
  4. Polenta and osei (sweet version)
  5. Donizetti cake
  6. Stracciatella ice cream
  7. Cheeses
  8. Polenta and osei (savory version)
  9. Bergamo salami
  10. Capù
  11. Where to eat in Bergamo: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Polenta Taragna

In Bergamo you don't eat simple polenta, but you can taste that taragna a corn flour and buckwheat flour base which are mixed with water.
Often with a viscous and grainy dough melted butter and cheese are added (fontina or branzi) to create the "polenta onta".
Alternatively, polenta taragna accompanies numerous main courses of meat such as stewed pork, or wild boar.



  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: from € 6,00
  • Main ingredients: corn flour, buckwheat flour, butter, cheese

2 - Casoncelli

This stuffed pasta of ancient origins, once it was prepared by hand with the raw materials available, so the recipe changed according to who prepared it.
Poor families prepared it with water and flour, with a filling of cheese, bread and vegetable broth and hazelnut butter for the dressing.
Today there is the "richer" version: the pasta is made with eggs and flour, the filling is of meat, parmesan, amaretti, sultanas and parsley and they come served with melted butter, bacon and sage.



  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: eggs, flour, meat, macaroons, butter, bacon

3 - Scarpinocc

They are similar to casoncelli, and the name derives from the shape that resembles the shoes of the same name worn in ancient times by the inhabitants of the town of Parre, in the province of Bergamo.
This paste has a lean filling made from cheese, eggs, butter, breadcrumbs and spices used to fill the discs of pasta made with white flour, warm water and egg yolk.
The whole comes topped with melted butter, parmesan and sage.
In Parre, the third weekend of August also hosts the scarpinocc festival where it is possible to taste the traditional dish.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 8,00
  • Main ingredients: flour, egg yolk, cheese, breadcrumbs, spices, butter

4 - Polenta and osei (sweet version)

It is a typical dessert of the Bergamo tradition, not to be confused with the savory version.
If you walk around the city you will notice these everywhere dome-shaped yellow cupcakes decorated with chocolate and sugar birds.
There are several variations but the original one is based on sweet polenta, almond paste and dark chocolate.
Finally, the "dished polenta" is garnished with chocolate birds.

  • Recommended to: breakfast, snack, dessert
  • Average cost: from € 5,00
  • Main ingredients: polenta, almond paste, milk, butter, chocolate

5 - Donizetti cake

According to the Bergamo legend "if you have love sickness, just a slice of Turta del Dunizet and everything passes".
Beyond this belief, this is a very tasty typical dessert to absolutely taste during your stay in the city.
It is a simple one donut-shaped daisy cake but in the dough they are added candied apricot, candied pineapple and maraschino which give a delicate but intense flavor.



  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: from € 4,00
  • Main ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, starch, pineapple and candied apricots, maraschino

6 - Stracciatella ice cream

Perhaps not everyone knows it but the stracciatella ice cream was born in Bergamo in 1961 when Enrico Panettoni, in his ice cream parlor, decided to add some dark chocolate flakes to the fiordilatte.
Thus was born a real taste, perfect for a nutritious snack, to refresh the mouth after a hearty lunch or to eat at any time of the day.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: from € 2,00
  • Main ingredients: dark chocolate, eggs, milk, cream, sugar

7 - Cheeses

Other foods to eat include cheeses, one of the strengths of the local cuisine with well 9 recognized DOP cheeses.

The province, in fact, produces Strachitunt, Taleggio, Salva Cremasco, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Provolone Valpadana, Bitto, Formai de Mut and Quartirolo Lombardo.

Less known but not for this reason of lesser quality: Branzi, Formaggelle, Caprini and Stracchini with excellent production and Slow Food presidium.
In any restaurant ask for a cutting board to taste these dairy delicacies!

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost: from € 12,00 the cutting board
  • Main ingredients: milk

8 - Polenta and osei (savory version)

Typical Bergamo specialty is polenta and osei in a salty version, a dish where polenta, most of the time taragna, it is served with birds such as pheasants, and other species easily found in the plain adjacent to the city.
Game is almost always cooked on the spit before being served.

This food is very old and was served in peasant and noble families during the hunting season.
Today many restaurants and taverns offer this specialty in every month of the year, as the game is frozen to be consumed even during the months when hunting is prohibited.



  • Recommended to: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 16,00
  • Main ingredients: corn flour, buckwheat flour, birds, butter

9 - Bergamo salami

Bergamo salami has very ancient origins and was used as a means of payment after the Second World War.

Its main feature is to exploit the whole pig, also the parts that in other regions are used to make hams, coppa or culatelli and not to include other meats. Furthermore, the pigs used are fed exclusively with cereals such as corn.
It is a niche product because it is difficult to find outside Bergamo and the best salamis are still those produced by hand.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: from € 15,00 per salami
  • Main ingredients: pig meat

10 - Capù

Widespread in the Bergamo tradition, they are cabbage rolls stuffed with breadcrumbs, cheese and cabbage itself.
Once assembled they are boiled and then passed in the oven with some cheese to be au gratin.

The name probably derives from the meager consolation of naming a simple, poor and recovered dish with the name of a rich dish: the capon (in Bergamo capù).

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: cabbage, cheese, breadcrumbs

Where to eat in Bergamo: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

Bergamo, in addition to being a beautiful city, is the perfect place for lovers of good food.
In the center and in the surrounding area there are many typical trattorias where you can taste numerous traditional dishes at the right price and without giving up on taste.
Not only that, even wine bars for quick lunches and snacks, or more luxurious restaurants for important events and romantic evenings.
Here are the best places to eat in Bergamo!

1 - La Colombina

  • Description: meeting place to taste the real grandmother's cuisine in a room with picturesque and welcoming rooms
  • specialty: casoncelli, taragna polenta, braised with polenta
  • Average price: from € 25,00 per person
  • Address: via Borgo Canale, 12 - Tel: 035 261402 - Get directions

2 - Trattoria del Teatro

  • Description: traditional place perfect for tasting dishes cooked according to ancient recipes in an excellent way
  • specialty: rabbit with rosemary, casoncelli, cheeses and salami
  • Average price: from € 16,00
  • Address: piazza Lorenzo Mascheroni, 3 - Tel: 035 238862 - Get directions

3 - Cavour pastry shop

  • Description: the perfect place for a breakfast, a snack or an afternoon tea accompanied by delicious sweets
  • specialty: polenta and osei (sweet version), donizetti cake
  • Average price: from € 5,00 per person
  • Address: via Gombito, 7 - Tel: 035 243418 - Get directions

4 - Polentone upper town

  • Description: small casual kiosk with stools and wooden counter, perfect for a quick lunch or snack
  • specialty: polenta-based specialties with different sauces, salami and cheeses
  • Average price: from € 4,00 per person
  • Address: Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe, 1 - Tel: 348 804 6021 - Get directions

5 - Cozzi Winery Restaurant

  • Description: Gourmet cuisine with pasta dishes and homemade desserts served in an 1848 restaurant with retro and Provençal furnishings
  • specialty: strachitunt ravioli with escarole, casoncelli, egg with fondue
  • Average price: from € 30,00 per person
  • Address: via Bartolomeo Colleoni, 22 - Tel: 035 238836 - Get directions

6 - Trattoria Parietti

  • Description: family restaurant with frescoes on the walls and checked tablecloths serving Bergamo specialties
  • specialty: polenta with mushrooms, rabbit, cheese platter, homemade gnocchi
  • Average price: from € 18,00 per person
  • Address: via Costantino Beltrami, 52 - Tel: 035 221072 - Get directions
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