From time to time, on Sundays, it happens to wake up with that uncontrollable desire for…a Sunday lunch!
Does it happen to you too?!? Today we live in a world so dynamic and always in a hurry that, I must be honest, even just enjoying in messudí (literally “a midday”, as my grandmother would say) sitting at the table with the whole family seems just a distant memory.
Are we too busy to even find time for a good Sunday lunch? Impossible! I am sure it just takes the right excuse and…I’ll give you five!
Here are the 5 typical Ligurian trattorias/taverns where you can eat a lot, and for cheap!
Trattoria Nazionale in Chiusavecchia
Don’t get offended, my other innkeeper friends: the Trattoria Nazionale is a must!
Their kitchen proposal features classic Ligurian cuisine and, of course, like many serious restaurants of the hinterland around here, it offers a rich tasting menu at a fixed price (but don’t worry: if you want you can order even just a dish of their delicious ravioli).
Often you don’t buy in Liguria: you cook what your neighbour has collected the day before.
At Trattoria Nazionale they follow this rule, and the quality of the products used by Marco, Selma and Silvia is unquestionable, as well as their mastery in cooking them.
Price: average for the area, that is 30/35 € including drinks.
Menu: try their supreme ravioli and the rabbit rollè!
Location: a real small-town trattoria, now featuring a new nice terrace on the village square.
Censin da Bea in Borgomaro
Let’s be clear: this is for people who love eating a lot!
Yes, let’s say that if you have recently started a diet, here you will be in danger…as you will risk biting off more than you can chew! We tried to count the starters and we are already lost, just saying!
You also need to know that Censin da Bea (lit. Vincenzino of the River, dialect abbreviation for Vincenzo – Vincenzin – Censin) is the fixed stop for those looking for a party in addition to Sunday lunch. Yes, because here there is always a party going on!
Marco is the embodiment of the ideal host: he will always find you a seat, he will try to stuff you from appetizer to dessert, he will entertain you with his gags but above all…he will make sure to quench your thirst! Invite him to the table for the final grappa and listen to one of his many incredible stories!
Price: on the average for the area, 30/35 € per person, all-inclusive.
Menu: Ligurian cuisine with a little bit of madness, and if you are lucky, you will taste his incomparable snails!
Location: an old mill on the river that exudes the history of our valley!
Osteria Didù e Osteria Bugamatta a Imperia
Until last year, I would have had no doubts about where to direct you to savour the tastes of our area by spending a trifle: Osteria Didú.
Here, in this tiny restaurant on the outskirts of Oneglia, you can enjoy true typical Imperia cuisine for both lunch and dinner, with particular attention to the freshness and genuineness of the product.
I say until last year, because since 2019, arm in arm with Didú, the new Osteria Bugamatta in the centre of Oneglia, became one of my favourite places.
They both are on the same wavelength in terms of menu and service, so I don’t know how to give a preference: know that whichever one you choose, here you will find good food, REAL good food, and you will come out with only one question: how did I manage to spend so little?
Price: the menu is à la carte, or rather on the blackboard! Both won’t charge you more than 35 € each!
Menu: fresh pasta, tasty and amazing!
Location: you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Osteria Cadò in Cosio d’Arroscia
To try this tavern, you will need to drive for half an hour to reach Cosio d’Arroscia, but it will be a journey worth taking!
Recently opened, the little Cadò tries to blow fresh air down the valley, bringing some innovation to the Imperia gastronomic panorama.
Starting from the first appetizer, you will experience the passion of Antonio, the owner, as he shows you the origins of the proposed recipes. These are the stories of our ancestors, of those who lived in these places for decades and were able to bring out the best even from the smallest spontaneous herb, transforming it into a very tasty frisciö (Liguria’s traditional savoury fritters).
Price: 35 €, drinks included (you will also have a nice choice of drinks here).
Menu: the recipes are niche if you think about the research behind some proposals, genuine if you keep in mind the simplicity of the product, innovative if you think about plates as pumpkin and amaretto tagliatelle…that would make my grandmother jump in the chair for the surprise!
Location: the terrace: unforgettable!
Agriturismo Cà Sottane a Borgomaro
Do you try to imagine heaven but can’t? Maybe because you haven’t been to the beautiful Ca Sottane farmhouse yet!
An enchanting place, surrounded by the green Ligurian hills and completely immersed in nature. Here Laura and Brigitte, daughter and mother, have learned to combine catering and agriculture thanks to their small orchard and their various two and four-legged friends.
A simple cuisine, based on what the earth and animals can give, but which already conquered many! Enjoy a lunch on their veranda, surrounded by the magical rustle of the olive trees!
Price: very cheap, 30 € including drinks!
Menu: tends to be Ligurian with some Provençal influence due to Mamma Bri’s French origins!
Location: peace and tranquillity, care and love but above all colours!