Known as Italy’s foodie capital — as well as the home of Bolognese sauce —Bologna has sprawling food markets and a lively local wine scene to explore. Local resident Sarah Lane shares her top places to drink and dine in the city…

Mia Cantina

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Artisanal charcuterie and wines from independent Italian producers at Mia Cantina. Credit: Mia Cantina Facebook

Break a walk back from the hilltop San Luca sanctuary at this wine bar with its ever-changing selection of labels, mostly from independent Italian producers. A tapas-style menu features artisan specialities from the owners’ home regions of Sardinia and Basilicata. Find out more

Bio’s Kitchen

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Light wood interiors and natural ingredients at Bio’s Kitchen. Credit: biositalia.com

Dishes that startle both the eyes and the tastebuds. Everything is certified organic and although the choice is largely vegetarian there is seafood too, while speciality meats include local Razza Romagnola beef. Find out more

Mercato delle Erbe

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An innovative take on seared squid at Banco 32 inside Mercato delle Erbe. Credit: Banco 32 Facebook

An authentic market atmosphere. Great options include Vineria alle Erbe for platters and wine or Banco 32 for a delicious seafood lunch or evening tapas. Just behind, Le Sfogline also runs half-day pasta-making courses. Find out more

Cantina Bentivoglio

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Candlelit dinner, wine and jazz at Cantina Bentivoglio. Credit: cantinabentivoglio.it

Bologna’s premier jazz venue is also known for its excellent traditional food, though you can just come to enjoy the music with a drink. Another tip is the Zola Jazz & Wine festival, 16 June-7 July: sunset picnics and live jazz among the vines at Colli Bolognesi wineries. Find out more

Trattoria Serghei

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Eyes peeled for the hidden canal visible from this trattoria… Credit @pepmunuera Instagram

Archetypal trattoria: genuine Bolognese dishes such as stuffed courgettes with meatballs. When you leave, look through a nearby window onto one of Bologna’s hidden canals. Call +39 051 233 533 for bookings

Osteria del Cappello

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Sample exciting regional food and wine at one of the oldest osterias in Bologna. Credit: alcappellorosso.it

A welcoming eatery serving exquisite versions of Bolognese favourites, such as tagliatelle al ragu or cold cuts with crescentine (fried doughy pillows) and tigelle (baked bready disks). All the bread, pasta and desserts are homemade and wines are from small-scale regional wineries, including several lesser-known native varieties like Famoso and Centesimino. Book now

Osteria del Sole

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A 15th-century wine bar with local meats served in paper wrapping. Credit: Osteria del Sole Facebook

Mercato di Mezzo’s narrow streets are full of eateries, but buy mortadella from Simoni and fresh bread from Paolo Atti bakery, then eat with a Pignoletto or Sangiovese at a shared wooden table at this atmospheric wine bar dating from 1465. Find out more

Osteria Bartolini

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Seafood al fresco on Osteria Bartolini ‘s picture-perfect pastel terrace. Credit: osteriabartolinibologna.com

Relax on the wide terrace at this simple but high-quality seafood eatery. The Bartolini family’s other restaurants include Michelin-starred La Buca on the coast at Cesenatico. Find out more

Mercato Ritrovato

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Catch the weekly food festival overflowing with local Bolognese produce. Credit: mercatoritrovato.it

Far more than just a farmer’s market, this is more like a weekly street food festival. Don’t miss Forno Brisa’s pizza (Monday evenings in summer, otherwise Saturday morning). Find out more

Antica Drogheria Calzolari

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Over 2,000 wines packed into a traditional old standing-only bar. Credit: @c_holmgreen Instagram

Historic corner store with wooden furnishings and standing room only. The Delfiore family’s core business is supplying restaurants, but they will open any of their 2,000-plus wines, even for a single glass. The regulars are keen on Barolo, but there’s a good selection of local labels too. Find out more


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