ALL ABOUT PARMA - IN ENGLISH!

Parma mia! is a blog for ex-pats and English-language speakers in Parma as well as for tourists who want to learn more. We've got lots of tips and tidbits to share: where to buy your foreign foods, favorite restaurants, what's on for kids during the weekends, local agricultural fairs, where you can find a babysitter or chiropractor and hints on how to make it through the bureaucratic maze that is Italy (see tabs below). This forum is for you: please share your ideas/events with us at parmamia@gmail.com or on FB at Parma Mia.

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Eating Out & Eating Home

Restaurants: there are hundreds of them in Parma and in the area - most of them quite good.
You should not be disappointed with the following places. Remember that good restaurants means early booking!

We've also noted when we've found a restaurant to be particularly child-friendly.
Favorites are highlighted below.

1. Italian cuisine in Parma
2. Italian cuisine outside of Parma (Trattorie, Agriturismi)
3. Pizza
4. Ethnic Food
5. Home Delivery

Good "foodie" restaurant guides include: L'Espresso (see below), Slow Food, Michelin.

1. Italian Cuisine in Parma:
Typical
-Trattoria Corrieri, via Conservatorio 1, for traditional Parmesan meals (homemade style)
-Hosteria Da Beppe, via Imbriani 51B, simple restaurant but good choice of risotto.
-Trattoria del Tribunale, vicolo Politi in the center (recommended by locals)
-Trattoria del Ducato, via Paganini (recommended by locals, approved by us)
-La Forchetta, Borgo San Biagio 6, new and improved (2013)
-Sorelle Picchi, Via Farini, now with new "sandwich" restaurant
-Osteria del Gesso
Less Typical
-Euricide, strada Rota Ligneres (near the fiera), good selection on the menu, has a garden and
small park for children.
-La Gatta Matta, borgo degli Studi 9, inventive Italian cuisine
-La Raquette, via Racagni, 13, very good fish menu (fresh and fried) in a lovely setting under the cittadella wall
-Cocchi - via Gramsci 16/A - "bollito" and more
-Mentana 104, Via Mentana 104, one of our favorites - good food, lovely atmosphere
-Borgo20
-Bolle In Pentola, Borgo Correggio, Cute new "bio" restaurant right near the European School!
-Operaviva, fish restaurant in the oltretorrente
-Meltemi, fine fish restaurant in P.zle Carbone (Via Sauro)
High End
-Al Tramezzo, via Alberto del Bono, v good high end cuisine (fish or meat)
style)
-Inkiostro, via San Leonardo (relatively new, high end)
-Parizzi (most expensive restaurant in Parma).

For a more "continental approach" in the center:
DOC for good burgers
F.I.S.H., via Maestri, great fish menu (small portions, high quality); low-key approach
Ten, via N. Sauri, good sandwiches and salads.

T-Cafe' is nice for a quick bite or a coffee in the center.

2. Italian Cuisine Outside of Parma:
New favorite: L'Osteria Armania near Tabiano Castello - great day trip too!
-Ai Due Platani, Coloreto
Excellent food, based on traditional cuisine. Has won the Slow Food Guide's best Tortelli di Zucca
for several years in a row. Not to be missed: the homemade ice cream at the end of the meal!
-Castello di Varano di Melegari,
Great food but on the expensive side. Worth the visit!
-Mariella, Fragno, Frazione di Calestano
If you're looking for great quality/price and a superb wine list in a very down-to-earth setting, you can't get any better than this. Every year it receives top recognition in the Slow Food guide. Mariella is wonderful and Fragno is famous for its unique truffle. Her husband also owns a wine & record player shop in the center of Parma in Borgo Onorato - excellent wines and champagnes.
-Mariposa, Montechiarugolo
Good Sardinian food in an old farmhouse near the Fondazione Magnani Rocca.
-I Pifferi, Bosco di Carrega, Sala Baganza
Good food in beautiful location. Great place in the summertime with kids as it has outdoor seating and a large enclosed lawn right behind the restaurant. We recommend the gnocchi with apple curry if you don't mind the heavy cream and are looking for a new taste experience!
-I Tre Schiocett: good food, one or two non-typical plates, nice trattoria. Run by very friendly younger guys. Nice for a Sunday lunch with kids.
-Le Viole: restaurant with very good quality food. Run by two sisters from Friuli so you may find some of their regional cuisine on the menu in addition to the usual Parma fair...and definitely on the wine list.
-Trattoria Beccofino, Monticello Terme: Nice outside garden and tiny playground. The food
wasn't bad and the owner was really friendly.
-Podere Miranta, Gaione (near Collechio): Small outside place, interesting menu. Somewhere between a restaurant and an agriturismo. Located near the Taro River Park, so makes a nice day trip.
Other "big" local names:
-Da Romeo, Via Traversetolo, 185, Localita Botteghino
-Parma Rotta, Strada Langhirano, 158, Parma
-MasticaBrodo, Castello di Torrechiara
-Antichi Sapori, Gaione
-Osteria delle Vigne, Varano, usually packed, tortelli revisited
-Bar Trattoria Fontana, in the Langhirano hills. Small restaurant set up in an old house in a hamlet. Traditional fare, super low-key atmosphere, good food.

Agriturismi - Farm food and space to play:
-La Longarola: Agriturismo in Lesignano dei Bagni. Excellent food, animals, area for kids to play. Right near the Molinazzo pools. Personal Fave!
-Agriturismo Montebaducco, Salvarano di Quattro Castella (RE)
Largest Donkey Farm in Europe. You can visit the animals and then have lunch there.
-Agriturismo La Sera di San Prospero - Cute little agriturismo close to the city
-Podere Cristina: Fantastic agriturismo near Lesignano Bagni. Call before going. There are animals on the property and a "KM 0" approach. Fixed Menu (but kids can get pasta).
-Agriturismo Al Vigneto: Barbiano di Felino. Incredible view of the pianura...on a clear day you can see across to Verona!
-Azienda Agricola Le Colline della Luna, Medesano.

Additional agriturismi recommended for children:
Il Cielo di Strela (Compiano)
Agriturismo Al Fagiano (Selva di Bocchetto)
Ca Dal Bras (Berceto)
Il Gelso (Traversetolo)
Le Cascatelle (San Nicomede)
La Collina del Sole (Varano Marchesi)

3. Pizza
We recommend:
-Pizzeria Al Petitot, Strada Torelli (the number one "Napolitan" pizza in Parma)
-Rossopomodoro, Barilla Center (always good for a reliable pizza, pasta, or large salad)
-Pizzeria Orfeo, via Carducci 5, good pizzas too, but avoid Wednesdays and Saturdays because of the street market (also home delivery and some outdoor seating in V.le Rustici)
-Ristorante Pizzeria Al Tramonto, Via Traversetolo, 161/a - Botteghino (super pizza - you can order to take away. They have a specialty pizza called "Primavera" with arucola/rocket, sweet balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese on top: out of this world!). You can order separate pizzas or "by the meter" with different toppings.
-La Vela, Zona Montanara, Great pizza similar to Al Tramonto. Friendly atmosphere but often crowded and noisy.
-Da Luca, Via Mentana (high-crust and low-crust pizzas)
-Don Alfonso, Via Emilia in front of Barilla center
-San Martino, End of Via Solferino, super thin-crust pizza, kid-friendly
-Pizzikotto, new pizzeria near Parco Bizzozero. Outdoor seating, good pizza (thick to thin crust).

For delivery pizza, see below.

4. Ethnic Food
We've recently (9/2013) learned about a fun eating experience in Parma!

Not a staple of Parmigian life but...for lack of better choice, we recommend:
"American"
-America Grafitti, Parma Retail Center, heard not-so-great things about their burgers, but supposedly they do lunch and there's place for kids to play
-The American Diner in Via Emilia (old-style American diner)
Asian Fusion
- Zenzero recently tried and really liked it. in Via Emilia in Ponte Taro, one of the best "Asian Food" restaurants we've found in Parma.
French:
-Tutti Frulli, via Mistrali 6, is run by a French-Italian family and perfect for a quick lunch with French classics of family cooking such as (real) quiche lorraine, (authentic) croque-monsieur and (very good) homemade pastries.
Greek:
-Atmosfera, Borgo San Biagio (Ital-Greco)
Hamburgers:
-DOC Burger House, best in town, Borgo Piccinini, 7/a
-MEET Hamburger Gourmet, via XX settembre, 8 - organic and vegetarian burgers.
-Hamburgeria Eataly, Barilla Center. Mixed reviews. Children's play space.
-We're personally not big fans of T-Bone at the Barilla Center, but we've heard Roadhouse Grill (right of the A1 highway) has decent food and is always open.
Indian:
-Sri Ganesh, via d'Azeglio 79
Food slightly overpriced compared to offer.
--Maharaj Express, 0521.238829/328.2881476 (delivery)
-Curcuma Ristorante, Viale Piacenza 19
Japanese:
-Gainen, via Mantova
-Koi, via Mentana 8
By far the 2 best Japanese restaurants we've tried in Parma for food quality. At Koi the lunch menu (menu fisso) is excellent value for money.
-Shibuyu, viale Milazzo, 35 (run by a very friendly Chinese family)
-Zushi, Sushi's pretty good, European chain (and they deliver too!).
Mexican:
-Cinco de Mayo, Fornovo Taro. Recently (9/2013)
-Hot Chili in Reggio Emilia which is a cute place, food quite average.
-Avocado Mexican Express, via Zarotto 20/A. Mixed reviews. CLOSED??
-Heard Ritual in Via Mentana isn't v good.
Lebanese: 
Lebanese Restaurant! in Fidenza
Sardinian:
-Sa Marjoga, borgo Garimberti
OK, so it's still Italian food, but here it's practically "foreign".
Vegetarian:
Aprite Sesamo
The restaurant itself is behind the station and looks like any other trattoria inside but they do a fantastic lunch delivery service (you order via email in the morning), the food is very good, and the owner is quite nice. They often offer vegan dishes as well. Worth a try!
La Pentola Magica (in Via Pini, you need a car to get there)
Vegan food that's good to eat too. All chilometer zero and homemade. We love Anna!
Mangia La Foglia
Organic food, take-away with a few seats. Delicious and they offer cooking classes too.
Universe Vegan
Vegan "fast food" in Via Farini. Not bad at all.


We've also tried a couple other Argentine and German restaurants in Parma but they're not much to
write home about!

______________________________________________________________
The restaurant guide "L'Espresso" in its 2012 edition mentions these restaurants as the best in the province:
Antica Corte Pallavicina in Polesine Parmense (15/20). There is also a caffeteria (follow the sign "antiche cantine").
Gal├╣ in San Secondo (15/20)
Parizzi, via della Repubblica (14.5/20)
Trattoria Ai due Platani, strada Budellungo, Coloreto di Parma
Al Tramezzo, via Alberto del Bono
Cocchi, via Gramsci (hotel Daniel)
La Greppia
Piccolo Principe, Via Budellungo, Coloreto di Parma

Please share your good (or bad...) addresses in the comments or send a mail to parmamia@gmail.com

5. Home Delivery (Consegna A Domicilio)
Home delivery is not overly present in Italy but here are a few options in Parma:
- Pizzeria da Tonino: delivers quickly, begins early (from 6 pm), and usually arrives warm. You can order round individual (super-filling) pizzas or big square slices. Tel: 0521244504
-Orfeo: said to be one of the best pizzas in Parma. Tel: 345.1301222
-La Divina del Poeta - strada Farini, 92/a Tel: 0521 207210. V good delivery pizza, starts early!
-La Vela, via Montanara
-Zushi: good quality chain sushi. Tel: 0521237557
-ApriteSesamo: excellent vegeterian (and vegan) dishes, available at lunchtime. Tel 0521 270274
-Rosticceria China Express: average Chinese food but reliable delivery service. Tel:  0521273505
-Piadina Romagnolo: Sandwiches on piadine etc Tel: 0521 247144 (2,20 Euro per delivery)
-Avocado Mexican Express, via Zarotto 20/A. Have heard good things about it (relatively speaking, of course!). Possibly Closed?
-Maharaj Express:  Indian delivery 0521.238829/328.2881476

There are also other chain pizzerias, kebab restaurants...which deliver. Look under "consegna a domicilio Parma" on Google search.

We've also  read about a new "home delivery service" which will bring things to your home/office as long as it fits in a bike basket.  http://www.bicicorriere.eu/servizi.php Please be aware that don't know anybody who has used it yet.

5 comments:

shelley said...

For Pizza you can't beat Don Alfonso and if anyone can tell me how to find Cinco de Mayo I'd appreciate it. We have looked and looked for it and cannot locate it

Sarah said...

Hello Shelley, thanks for your message. As mentioned on the page, we've heard about Cinco de Mayo from some friends but have not tried it yet. Their address is mentioned on their website (piazza mercato 5) as well as the phone number. Hope this helps!

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