Where to eat in Lecco: the 14 best places chosen by Gambero Rosso

May 22 2024, 18:10
Situated on the eastern branch of Lake Como and surrounded by superb mountains, Lecco is famous mainly for being the setting of Alessandro Manzoni's novel "The Betrothed," but it is a city that reveals quite a few hidden gems

To discover and admire the many beauties Lecco offers, there's nothing better than exploring on foot, strolling through the narrow streets or walking along the lakefront, where you cannot miss the Campanile, known as the “big pencil,” standing 96 metres high right next to the Basilica of San Nicolò. Particularly charming are the ancient fishing villages, the square dedicated to Manzoni, and the Visconti Tower. There are also many opportunities for outdoor sports enthusiasts on the lake or in the green Orobie Prealps, and for food lovers seeking genuine and hearty cuisine, both freshwater and mountain fare.

Where to eat in Lecco

Antica Osteria Casa di Lucia

Trattoria. According to legend, this was the home of Manzoni's heroine. The place is warm and cosy (with a fireplace and a large pergola for the summer months) and serves typical homemade cuisine: local cured meats, tagliolini with missoltino ragù, rice with perch, polenta, and baked rabbit, homemade desserts. Focus on Valtellina wines in the cellar.

Autentico Restaurant

Restaurant. Black garlic and katsuobushi risotto or glazed eel with yakitori, charcoal peppers, and chimichurri are among the specialties of a refined menu where quality ingredients play a crucial role. Ideal for a quick lunch (there’s a dedicated menu) or a post-dinner cocktail. Contemporary style and a bakery lab producing gourmet pizzas.

Autentico Restaurant – vicolo G. Anghileri, 5 – 347 9015865 – www.autenticorestaurant.it

Da Ceko il Pescatore

Fish shop & Kitchen. Started as a fish market under the Ghislanzoni family’s management, it expanded to include a dining and takeaway service. The counter always has fresh lake and sea fish, and the menu changes daily based on availability. Don’t miss the delicious lake fish fry, marinated lake fish, and missoltino with polenta. Also, an aperitif option. Outdoor seating and a courtyard with bike parking.

Da Ceko il pescatore - località Pescarenico p.zza Era, 8 – 0341 284101-347 8448720 – www.cekoilpescatore.it

La Corte di Lucia

Restaurant. For meat lovers, there are perfectly aged premium cuts. But there’s also experimental cuisine, between land and sea, such as low-temperature cooked cuttlefish with salad, asparagus, buckwheat, and pecorino flakes, or Barolo braised meat-filled ravioli with Bitto fondue and pistachio crumbs. Homemade olive oil and fresh pasta. A well-curated wine list and a comfortable dining room.

La Corte di Lucia – via Caldone, 17 – 0341 1920091 – www.lacortedilucia.com

L’EK Bistrot Contemporaneo

Bistrot. Centrally located with a pleasant outdoor area, it’s a modern spot with a menu that creatively highlights local excellence and more. For lunch, an appealing menu (terrine of chub and surrounds with missoltino oil, risotto with lake fish, duck with chanterelles, apples, and vermouth-orange sauce); in the evening, a tasting menu is available, with gourmet focaccias and pizzas. The wine list is more than satisfactory, with many by-the-glass options.

L’EK bistrot contemporaneo – p.zza XX Settembre, 50 – 0341 1693747 – www.lekbistrot.it

Filet Osteria

Trattoria. Born from the historic butcher-gastronomy at No. 67, it serves traditional dishes, always preceded by assorted charcuterie and cheese boards accompanied by homemade pickles and “tapabüs de Lecch,” savoury pastries served with an aperitif and available for takeaway. The dining room is warm and welcoming, with a fireplace.

Filet Osteria – c.so Matteotti, 71 – 0341 282504 – www.salumeriafilet.it

FIORE Cucina in Libertà

Bistrot. A property confiscated from the mafia in the 1990s, it’s a social entrepreneurship project focused on promoting legality and integrating disadvantaged people into the workforce. The cuisine uses local, sea, and seasonal ingredients; bread, pizza, and related items are made with sourdough. Try the red snapper tartare in cold sea broth, bread gnocchi with lamb sausage, peas, and ricotta, and mascarpone cream with basil, crispy meringue, and strawberries. Good drinks selection.

FIORE cucina in libertà – via Belfiore, 1 – 0341 1693609 – www.fiorecucina.org

Mamaioa Bistrò

Bistrot. Centrally located, a few steps from the lakefront, this is an interesting all-fish restaurant with a scenic open wine cellar and outdoor seating. People come here to enjoy the fresh daily seafood (for lovers of raw fish, there’s a mixed platter with Gillardeau oysters, Sicilian red shrimp, red shrimp tartare, scallops, barnacles, salmon tartare, tuna tartare, slipper lobsters, prawns, sea truffles, and sea lemons), tasty first courses, spicy tomato soup with baby octopus, and grilled amberjack with aubergine and cherry tomatoes.

Mamaioa Bistrò – vicolo del Torchio, 1 (piazza M. Cermenati) – 0341 321688 – www.mamaioa.it


Restaurant. A sophisticated and intimate setting characterises the dining room of this comfortable hotel, which also has a pleasant outdoor area. The cuisine, personally curated by chef and owner Giovanni Cattaneo, includes established classics (notably the tasty Russian salad) and successful creations based on selected seasonal land and sea ingredients, such as BBQ octopus with Béarnaise sauce and asparagus, puff pastry filled with Ligurian-style rabbit, and veal sweetbreads with carrot cream and lemon gel. Service and wine cellar are in line.

Nicolin – località Maggianico via A. Ponchielli, 54 – 0341 422122 – www.ristorantenicolin.it

Osteria Olga

Trattoria. A reliable establishment a few minutes from the centre. Spread over two levels, it offers the opportunity to dine outdoors in good weather. The cuisine navigates between lake and Tuscany, with well-executed dishes with clear flavours: raw meat tartare, tagliolini with missoltino ragù, crispy rice with peas and Taleggio sauce, rosemary beef tagliata. There’s also a focused selection of wines.

Osteria Olga – località Maggianico via Poncione, 7 – 0341 422030 – www.osteriaolga.it

Porticciolo Restaurant

Restaurant. In the San Giovanni district, it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting addresses in the city, with elegant and understated interiors. The kitchen is in the capable hands of a young and motivated team led by chef Lorenzo Ferrari. Highlights include: amberjack carpaccio with samphire and smoked mussels; fresh half paccheri with pork shoulder, fava beans, and coffee; beef tataki with oyster, hazelnut, and cauliflower. Offers tasting menus and two lunch menus. Excellent wine list. Booking recommended.

Porticciolo Restaurant – via F. Valsecchi, 5 – 0341 498103 – www.porticciolorestaurant.it

Torchio Moderna Osteria

Bistrot. In an ancient building in the centre, it’s a welcoming, informal, and original venue aimed at showcasing lesser-known local, lake, and garden ingredients, following seasonality and creativity. The environment is charming, and the formula allows for multiple experiences, from aperitifs to Sunday lunch, with an intriguing menu without distinctions between starters, first and second courses. Unusual wine list, with by-the-glass availability.

Torchio Moderna Osteria – vicolo Granai, 12 – 0341 324109 – www.torchiomodernaosteria.com


Bistrot. A versatile concept by Jacopo and Nicolò Peccati (with the valuable support of chef Emanuele Spinelli) combining a bistro, contemporary pizzeria, and cocktail bar. The dynamic and modern environment and eclectic formula (offering light lunch options) make it a popular place by the lake. Among the pizzas (available in the evening and at lunchtime on weekends), don’t miss the Prawns and Courgettes (with courgette cream, prawn tartare, guanciale, and buffalo cream). Spacious terrace.

Üsteria – via C. Cattaneo, 77 – 379 2094021 – www.usterialecco.com

Vecchia Pescarenico

Restaurant. In the ancient fishermen's quarter described in "The Betrothed," a classic and tidy setting frames a lake-and-sea cuisine that impresses with the quality of its ingredients and the simplicity of its preparations. Just taste the raw fish to get an idea of what ends up on the table. Vegetarian dishes, such as vegetable strudel with poivrade sauce and caramelised apples, are also commendable. Good wine cellar, courteous service, and pleasant outdoor seating.

Vecchia Pescarenico – località Pescarenico corso Carlo Alberto, 5 – 0341 368330 – www.vecchiapescarenico.it

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