America's favorite Italophile reveals his go-tos for everything from killer tortellini to stellar gelato. (You're welcome!)

By Mario Batali
August 11, 2016
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© Nicolee DrakeJulian Elliott Photography / Getty Images


I lived in and around Emilia-Romagna’s capital for three years and saw its markets groan with every single good thing in season.

Where to Eat:

Ristorante DianaLunch here is one of the greatest experiences. Try the classic salumi, like culatello, and a trio of pasta: tortellini, tagliatelle and lasagna.

Trattoria BattibeccoThe rigatoni with canocchia (mantis shrimp) is mind-altering.

Rosteria LucianoA tiny, sexy spot for tortellini di ricotta.

Ristorante PappagalloGo ahead, try the fried veal brain.

All’Osteria BottegaFeels like a private home. There’s nothing on the menu I would not recommend.

Ristorante Al CambioStep outside tradition and trust the chef. The guinea fowl stuffed with black truffles brought me to tears!

Best Gelato:

La Sorbetteria Castiglione

Gelateria Gianni

Where to Shop:

TamburiniA gastronomic temple in the center of a food-obsessed town. If you’re lucky, owner Giovanni Tamburini will break out his guitar.

Via degli Orefici. The market stalls on this street are spectacular.


© Paolo Terzi

This magnificent small town, in the center of Emilia-Romagna, is famous for art, food and cars. Ferrari’s headquarters are nearby, and balsamic vinegar originated here.

Where to Eat:

Hosteria GiustiThis dining room behind a tiny deli has just four tables, serves lunch only and requires reservations. Everything I have ever eaten here, from the simple gnocco fritto (fried dough) topped with the most fragrant lardo, to handmade tortelloni with sage and butter, is perfection!

Osteria FrancescanaMy pal Massimo Bottura (pictured above, far left) is a very special cat, and the meal here is as emotionally satisfying as it is physically stupendous. It’s one of three 3-star restaurants I love in Italy.


© Ristorante Angiol d'or

A critical stop on the tasty tour that is Emilia-Romagna. Home to Parmigiano-Reggiano, the king of Italian cheeses. 

Where to eat:

Ristorante CocchiA simple trattoria; fresh produce arrives all day.

Ristorante Angiol d’OrClassic Parma cuisine, near the duomo.

Perfect Day Trips from Emilia-Romagna 

Porretta TermeMy old stomping grounds, home to Trattoria delle Tele, are an hour by train from Bologna through the foothills of the Apennines. Try the fresh pasta, still made with a rolling pin, not a machine.

RavennaA day or two on the Adriatic coast in the Romagna half of Emilia-Romagna is a fantastic experience.The mosaics in Ravenna are amazing. And I especially love the nearby town of Cesenatico.

Pavullo nel FrignanoThis town, an hour southwest of Bologna and Modena, is known for borlenghi, light crêpes filled with pancetta and herbs, then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.