They may be smaller than the award winning Gelateria La Romana (voted best Italian ice-cream 2016) but they make up for it with the quality of their ice cream. A tiny family run space located near the famous Prato della Valle, it may not look like much but it really tickles the taste buds. For me the nocciola (hazelnut) flavour is one of the best I have tried, but their trademark saffron flavour will add a bit of luxury to your day. Nowhere else will you find saffron flavoured ice-cream, trust me I’ve looked, so there really isn’t a choice, you have to go and try it!
The best part is, when in the winter you have a sudden craving for mulled wine and it seems that everywhere else is closed, this place may just turn out to be your saviour, your knight in shining armour on the cold winter nights when normal wine just won’t make the cut. It may not be the best mulled wine in the world but (in my experience) desperate times call for desperate measures….
The people working here are very friendly and they always recognize you and try to have a little chat. I find they respond particularly well to compliments about their ice cream, and if you take my advice you may just end up with a free one! Alternatively if you’re not in the mood for chatting, take your glorious ice cream to Prato and relax in the sun or under the stars.
One of my favourites, this little cafe has all the charm of old Italy decorated in warm hues. If it’s patisserie selection is not enough to tempt you then the plush red velvet sofas and warm golden colour scheme should lure you in. I would personally suggest going there at Christmas time. Take a seat and relax with a coffee or better yet one of their melt in the mouth almond croissants; it will give you that warm and wholesome feeling that we all long for during the festive season.
This quaint little joint is located on Via Umberto I, the street conjoining the main shopping street, Via Roma, so is great when you need a break at the end of a day of laborious high street shopping. They do a particularly good aperitivo, however not one for those of you watching your waistlines. Your drink of choice will be served not only with the typical bowl of chips (making one all the more thirsty for yet another drink) but with a plate of mini cheese and tomato puffs (dangerously more-ish.)
If however you were hoping to find a cafe for doing some work on your laptop, then this is not the place to go, due to a complete lack of sockets, adding, in my humble opinion, to its timeless charm and vintage escapist atmosphere. For those of you who need luring back to a simpler time, there is no better place….
This small family style Osteria offers a range of rustic Italian cuisine. Always full to the brim with locals, be sure either to book in advance or to go early to ensure a table!
Due to its home style cuisine, the menu does tend to change from time to time, however as a testament to its veritable authenticity it is good to note that the menu is in fact hand written (no English version available, unfortunately).
Hidden in one of Padova’s back streets near to the entrance of the old ‘ghetto’ (the old Jewish quarter of the city) it may not look like much; in fact in many ways it resembles a family dining room, with significantly more tables crammed into a small space (in typical Italian style), nevertheless it has a great, relaxed atmosphere.
Don’t miss the traditional Padovan dish, Fegato alla Veneziana (liver in a rich onion gravy served with polenta) which tends to remain on the precarious menu, the recipe varying slightly each time; it’s divine!
The staff are always extremely welcoming and never pressure you to scoff down your food if there are other customers waiting; in fact you are encouraged to take your time and are always offered a palette cleansing tipple to finish off your meal (limoncello or brandy). Admittedly not the best brandy I’ve ever tried, but this just adds to the charmingly make shift character of the restaurant.
I’ve also been served some odd flavour combinations, the type that you wouldn’t expect to work well together, but of course it was delicious. This particular dish was squid ink spaghetti in a broccoli sauce with ‘frutti del mare’ (seafood). The often eclectic options will make your evening all the more exciting, and are always impressive, particularly when in search of the authentic Italian experience.
N.B I would also recommend the chilli, chocolate dessert
During my time living in Padova, this quaint pizzeria was without a doubt one of my favourite go-to spots. Swarming with locals on any given day, this gem of a restaurant serves up some of the best pizza known to man. Pago Pago impresses with its elaborate Mediterranean garnishes and attractive, low prices for both food and drink. It is the perfect place for an evening on a budget. If you’re in the mood for some wine or Prosecco, then I’d suggest purchasing a carafe – a comfortable two glasses of wine for just €3!
The signature pizza at Pago Pago and of Padova is the Napoletana. Using only the freshest Italian ingredients and made by the masterful hand of the chefs, this is the one to go for if you are looking for a typical taste of Padova. The saltiness of the anchovies contrasts sublimely with the sweetness of the tomato and the creaminess of the cheese. What’s more, due to the restaurants’ spacious interior, you can enjoy this special dish in the company of many good friends – just remember to book in advance as this popular haunt fills up quickly.
If you’re not quite in the mood for pizza or are only in the restaurant as the result of a very eager friend, then do not fret, there is also something for you. I have been told their homemade gnocchi is to die for, so that’s definitely worth a try.
Just to warn you, they don’t take cards. So remember to take some cash and enjoy a lovely evening!