Recently, this part of the region has been in the spotlight thanks to the Milan native writer Paolo Cognetti, who has set his latest work - “Giù nella Valle” (Down in the Valley) - precisely in Valsesia and who, according to its inhabitants, in an interview with radio show host Linus on RadioDeeJay seems to have spoken negative words about it. Cognetti, on the other hand, is reserved, saying that the book could be an opportunity to increase tourism in an area that is still little known.
We don't know how it will turn out, but in case you are curious and feel like visiting Valsesia, let us remind you that it is also a territory of wines - Gattinara Docg for example - and excellent products, one for all, the bread of Eugenio Pol in Fobello, awarded the Tre Pani in the Pane e Panettieri d’Italia Guide.
Valsesia’s 18 best restaurants
Where to eat in Alagna Valsesia (VC)
Restaurant. Chalet located at over 2,000 metre altitude, in a spectacular location, accessible by ski lift or marked trails from the centre of town. One comes here with the certainty of finding satisfaction in every moment of the day. There is the bar with a cafeteria service, snacks, appetisers, sandwiches and long-rising pizzas, but there is also the restaurant, with a traditional menu in which some creative touches appear. There is also a focused choice of wines, beers, cocktails and spirits. For a lunch or dinner out of the ordinary, book a Kabin Restaurant Privé, it's worth it.
Alpen Stop – località Pianalunga – 348 4621417 – alpenstopalagna.com
Where to eat in Boccioleto (VC)
Trattoria. Boccioleto is a charming little village surrounded by lush vegetation, and it is here that you will find this venue, dedicated to Giacomo Preti known as Il Giacomaccio, a prominent figure in the history of the area. On the menu are interesting and well-made dishes that speak not only of the territory: beef tartare, Jerusalem artichoke mousse and anchovy sauce; tagliolini with wild boar and mushroom sauce; donkey tapulone and stewed verse with polenta. Homemade desserts, good wines in the cellar. Reservation.
Il Giacomaccio – via Roma, 37 – 0163 75014 – ilgiacomaccio.it
Where to eat in Borgosesia (VC)
Osteria del Moro
Trattoria. In the heart of the village, in front of the church, it is a place where you can stop even if only for an aperitif and where you can eat well. Chef Simone Castaldi is at the fireside, and convinces with his flavour-rich and well-presented dishes: mortadella valsesiana, green peppers and mustard; tajarin with cardoons and smoked pancetta; donkey tapulone with Savoy cabbage and wholemeal polenta taragna; kaiser pears in red wine with custard gelato and crunchy millet. In season, mushrooms and truffles. Wine cellar to match. Booking required.
Osteria del Moro – piazza Parrocchiale, 4 – 0163 322578 – Facebook
Where to eat in Carcoforo (VC)
Trattoria. A beautiful chalet in a quiet and panoramic location is home to this restaurant, ideal for those who want to take a gastronomic tour of tradition without spending a fortune. For a simple snack, miacce (sweet and savoury) and sparöi (both a kind of crêpe) with a myriad of different fillings, one more mouth-watering than the other. If the appetite is more robust, there are rich platters of cold meats and cheeses, polenta with a variety of toppings, and maison cakes according to the day. To complete the offer, craft beers and house wine.
La Frangalla – località Presa, 3 – 340 3796586 – Facebook
Where to eat in Fobello (VC)
Agritourism. Open by reservation only, it is an agritourism restaurant a couple of kilometres from the centre, at an altitude of about 1,000 metres, in green and quiet surroundings. Genuineness and tradition are the keywords that best describe the culinary proposal. Depending on the market and the season, generous portions of ravioli (handmade), crespelle con la Toma, venison morsels in red wine, trout in carpione, and simple homemade desserts arrive on the table. House wine to wash it all down.
Il Campetto – frazione Roy località Campetto – 347 4907753
Where to eat in Gattinara (VC)
Restaurant. In spite of her young age, Agnese Loss has already accumulated a lot of experience until the decision to go her own way, opening this small, elegant restaurant with just a few tables. The ideas are clear, the interpretation is personal, the technique is mastered with confidence: all ingredients for an important future. Three tasting menus are on the menu, one of which is dedicated to the fifth quarter. The wine list is not extensive but has correct mark-ups.
Osteria Contemporanea – via F. Mattai, 4 – 339 4621463 – osteriacontemporanea.it
Restaurant. A spectacular place, with a mega open kitchen and a 14-metre counter with a Kauri wood top over 48,000 years old. The stage invites one to do well, as is being done by the talented Varese chef Stefano Battaini, who follows the territorial line but with an extra touch. There are three tasting menus, but a seasonal menu is also available: Fario trout leeks and ginger, pasta Massi eel and parsley, mallard beetroot and celeriac, pears and cocoa. Wine list with hundreds of labels.
Cucina Nervi – corso Vercelli, 117 – 333 1824123 – cucinenervi.com
Where to eat in Grignasco (NO)
Trattoria. A delightful little place, well furnished, with the right lighting and wine bottles on the walls. The menu - not strictly tied to the territory - varies often, according to seasonality and creativity, but whatever the choice, satisfaction is guaranteed. It starts off well with the antipasto alla piemontese with Russian salad, vitello tonnato and tongue in green sauce; then spaghettoni cacio e tre pepi, and tagliata di manzetta with potatoes. Not to be missed, in closing, the original “Brandomisù”. The wine selection is rich and well thought out. You can also come just for an aperitif.
BrandOsteria – via R. Massara, 9 – 0163 417344 – brandosteria.business.site
Where to eat in Piode (VC)
Restaurant. A business that is run by a passionate young couple, Marco De Dominici at the cooker and his wife Valentina at the reception. In preparing the dishes, the chef puts quality ingredients and just the right amount of flair. Examples? Liquid polenta with seared cod and fried leeks, chamois braised ravioli with juniper berry garlic cream, Fario trout in a salt crust with lemon thyme, Valsesia-style bread cake. The food is good. Giardini is also a hotel/residence.
Giardini – via Umberto I, 9 – 0163 71135 – ristorantegiardini.it
Where to eat in Quarona (VC)
Risto Macelleria De Bernardi
Bottega & Cucina. At the helm of this sign is the De Bernardi family, who also own an esteemed bottega selling selected cuts of meat, food specialities and wines. Seated in one of the three available dining rooms, you can enjoy enticing dishes and, of course, meat to your heart's content, from Scottona battuta to arrosticini, from veal tongue in green sauce to fiorentine steaks, tagliate, rib-eye steaks and company. In the finale, house desserts. To accompany everything, wines and cocktails.
Risto Macelleria De Bernardi – via G. Zuccone, 7 – 0163 1906999 – ristomacelleriadebernardi.it
Italia all’Albergo Grand Italia
Restaurant. Since 1971, this family-run hotel restaurant has been satisfying the palates of a varied clientele that comes here to find a warm and professional welcome, comfortable hospitality, a beautiful terrace for the mild season, and last but not least, fine cuisine between sea and land, made with good seasonal ingredients and presented with grace. The wine list has an adequate number of references, from the region to the rest of the Peninsula.
Italia all’Albergo Grand Italia – piazza della Libertà, 19 – 0163 430147 – albergoristorantegranditalia.it
Where to eat in Rassa (VC)
La Crüggia dal Punt
Trattoria. Near the eighteenth-century bridge (the sign means 'the house on the bridge'), a characteristic Walser building in the countryside, simple and well cared for in its ambience and furnishings, as well as in its cuisine, firmly anchored in the territory. The menu is fixed and includes - for example - cold meats, cheeses, rice alla Toma, polenta, and braised meat. Gourmand closure with the typical bunet, apple tarte tatin and a small glass of homemade liqueur. There are good wines in the cellar for the right pairings.
La Crüggia dal Punt – cantone Sant’Antonio, 53 – 345 1001011 – lacruggiadalpunt.it
Where to eat in Rimella (VC)
Trattoria. Rimella, about 1,100 metres above sea level, is a very quiet and quaint little village and one of the oldest Walser settWhere to eat in Rossa (VC)lements in Valsesia. You have to book well in advance to secure a table in this family-run establishment, where you are greeted with kindness and warmth. Dishes are based on local products: cheeses, cold cuts, meats, flours, mushrooms, chestnuts and so on, accompanied by the house wine in bulk. If you wish, you can stay in the adjoining hotel.
Fontana – frazione Chiesa – 0163 55200 – rimellawalser.it
Where to eat in Rossa (VC)
Restaurant. In the former theatre in the centre of town, an address to take note of. The cuisine moves on the land/sea track with satisfying results, plus breadsticks and desserts are homemade. From the menu: Fassona carpaccio, lampascioni and light bagna cauda; tagliatelle with cocoa, hare ragout and mushrooms; Fassona tagliata with smoked black salt; babà. Accompanying everything, house wine and a few labels. Events and theme evenings are organised throughout the year. Booking.
GastroArt – piazza G. Pastore, 1 – 371 3425763
Where to eat in Scopello (VC)
Trattoria. On the cross-country skiing track, it is the classic mountain hut with ample indoor and outdoor space, a valid reference point both for an aperitif and for a full meal. The cuisine is typical of the area, starting with the inevitable platters of cured meats and cheeses that lead the way to generous portions of first courses (the fresh pasta is homemade), Toma and Nebbiolo risotto, tagliatelle with venison ragout, grilled meats cooked to perfection, tapulone d'asino with Savoy cabbage, tarte tatin and tiramisù. Craft beers and a few wines to round it all off.
Baruffa – via Giare snc – 0163 732575 – Facebook
Where to eat in Valduggia (VC)
Restaurant. In the former parish house dating back to the 1500s, a solid outpost of traditional cuisine has been in operation since 1992. In winter, the rooms are made even cosier by the fireplace and stoves, in summer it is al fresco under a beautiful pergola. The cuisine is closely linked to local ingredients, depending on the season. Don't miss the various samples of appetisers, accompanied by excellent bread. In the cellar, Piedmontese labels and a few craft beers.
La Topia – località Orsanvenzo, 1 – 327 5742019 – Facebook
Where to eat in Varallo (VC)
La Lum e il Cassù
Trattoria. Beautiful location, inside the sports centre, on the banks of the Sesia river and with a magnificent view of the Sacro Monte, a Unesco heritage site. When the weather permits, one eats outdoors, in a lovely outdoor space. From the kitchen a simple but satisfying proposal, based on market ingredients, to be enjoyed at lunchtime on a set menu and in the evenings à la carte; in both cases the prices are very honest. Reservations are recommended.
La Lum e il Cassù – frazione Crevola via Principale, 4 – 0163 52407 – Facebook
Where to eat in Vocca (VC)
Osteria Mont Rosè
Trattoria. A sober and tasteful ambience, characterised by a relaxed atmosphere, where you are warmly welcomed. One comes here for an aperitif or a full meal, marked by carefully presented dishes to be accompanied by some good wine. Don't miss the agnolotti with three sauces, the undisputed speciality of the house. A pleasant outdoor area and comfortable rooms in bed and breakfast formula are available. Call before visiting to ascertain the actual hours of service.
Osteria Mont Rosè – s.da prov.le 299 frazione Chiesa, 2 – 347 7227630 – osteriamontrose.it