Traveling to Italy means you can pig out on all the delicious Italian food the country has to offer. When visiting Bergamo, there are plenty of places to eat, but it can be tempting to go way over budget by eating all day, every day. Luckily, you can still eat to your heart’s content and be easy on your wallet with these cheap places to eat in Bergamo, Italy.
Casoncelli alla Bergamasca
This is the local pasta from the Bergamo region. It is similar to a meat-filled ravioli, covered with a butter and bacon sauce. Topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a delicious Bergamo specialty. Practically every restaurant in Bergamo will serve casoncelli but at varying quality and prices. Most restaurants have menus available to peruse before getting a table, so you can shop around for a casoncelli that’s within your budget.
After looking over several menus, I found a restaurant that served casoncelli for a price that I was comfortable with (€7,50). With an adorable outdoor patio in the back, Caffetteria Corsarola was a great place to sample this local favorite.
And you better believe I ate this whole plate of pasta.
…and probably could have eaten another
Polenta e Osei
Another local specialty from the Bergamo area is Polenta e Osei. First created in 1910, Polenta e Osei is an almondy sponge cake with a light chocolate-hazelnut filling, wrapped in a yellow, sugar-coated marzipan and topped with a little chocolate bird. You’ll see them in the shop windows of bakeries in Bergamo. They come in lots of different sizes, so you can either have a small one to sample or a larger cake to take home and nibble on for several days.
This is one of the more popular bakeries in Citta Alta, Bergamo. Located just past the main square of Piazza Vecchia, the Polenta e Osei in the window will draw you in. This particular Polenta e Osei had an appealing crunch with the outer sugar layer. One small one was just enough to get a taste of the dessert and have my sweet tooth satisfied for a while. Each cake was only €3!
Sugary Italian deliciousness
Nessi Bergamo Alta
This is another popular bakery in Citta Alta, due to is close proximity to the funicular that brings you to this part of Bergamo. Nessi serves many different sizes of Polenta e Osei, including this giant one in the photo below. I found this cake to be a little fluffier and fresher tasting, but it did cost more than at Panificio Tresoldi, at €3,90.
Cannolis are one of my favorite Italian desserts. There are days I feel like I could sit down and plow through a bowl of cannoli cream. Cannolis are traditionally from the Sicily area, but you can find them all over Italy.
To make a cannoli you deep fry some pastry dough in the shape of a tube. Then, fill the inside of the tube with a sweet ricotta filling. Some people add chocolate chips or orange peel to the filling for a little something extra. Prices of cannoli usually depend on what size it is and what filling is inside. I found them to be €2-4 around Citta Alta Bergamo.
Nessi Bergamo Alta
At the same bakery where you find Polenta di Osei, you can get delicious cannolis. The ricotta cream inside has just the right amount of sweetness and the outer shell has a great crunch. It’s a great snack to pick up while hiking up to the Parco della Rocca.
You can’t visit Italy and not eat pizza, am I right?? I was so excited for pizza that I ate it for breakfast and had zero shame about it.
Pizza looks and tastes a little bit different, depending on where in Italy you have it, and what kind of pizza each restaurant specializes in. For example, Pizza Napoletana looks and tastes different than Pizza Siciliana, but they’re both Italian pizzas. In Bergamo, you can find a few different styles of pizza, so try a few and find your favorite!
Il Fornaio is one of the popular cheap places to eat in Bergamo. The windows are filled with dozens of pizzas and the smell wafts out onto the cobblestone streets. It’s hard to resist going inside. Il Fornaio serves Pizza al Taglio, meaning “pizza by the slice”. You just let them know what kind you want and how many slices, and they will cut off your portion, heat it up and serve it to you hot ‘n greasy! If you can find a table at the back of the store, that’s great but I recommend taking your pizza to the nearby Piazza Vecchia and eating it in the square. For meal of margherita pizza and a bottle of coke, I paid only €4,70.
So many flavors to choose from!
Pizzeria alla Fara
Another delicious spot in Bergamo is Pizzeria alla Fara. This place is much smaller and tucked off the main drag in Citta Alta. But that just makes it so much more wonderful! For only €2,50 per slice, this is a great place to find a cheap meal. There is no place to sit and eat, but you can take your pizza down the hill to Parco della Fara and have lunch with a view over the city below.
Too excited to remember to take a photo before chowing down… Classic Brianna.
Remember that pizza I had for breakfast? I polished it off with a helping of gelato. Sorry, not sorry.
Gelato is another must-have while traveling through Italy. You’ll find gelato everywhere and it’s a perfect treat to help cool off from those hot Italian summers. Gelato is a denser, creamier version of ice cream that comes in tons of different flavors. It’s really easy to find gelato in Bergamo and there are many locations that sell it. In Citta Alta, there are two main gelaterias that you’ll want to visit.
This was my favorite place to get gelato. I may or may not have gone here twice in one day. For the low, low price of €2 you can get two scoops of gelato. This can either be two scoops of one flavor or one scoop of two different flavors. Note: If you’re going to go the two flavors route, make sure you pick flavors that go well together! My 100% favorite flavor was Variegated Cherry. Holy cow. It was like a sweet cream gelato with tart black cherry pie filling mixed in. So flippin good.
Seriously the best gelato I’ve ever had
Another popular place to get gelato is Dei Mille. It is located in Piazza Vecchia, so it can get crowded with people, but it’s still worth a try! Here, you can get a baby-sized cup with one flavor for €1,50. I visited this location during midday when the sun was quite warm. I recommend going with either fruity or citrus flavors when eating gelato in hot weather. These flavors are typically less dense and more refreshing in the heat. This limoncello gelato was the perfect afternoon snack!
Nothin’ like a little limoncello in the afternoon