Parma is the home of “anolini” (also known as “capelleti”), of Parmigiano Reggiano and of the world-famous Hams, and in recent years, Parma has become a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. So we are talking about a small Emilian jewel full of history, arts and quality food, where you can see that “you really live well”. So let’s get to the point: where can we enjoy the well-known excellence of its traditional cuisine? Here are five places to eat in Parma, for you to try on your next camper trip to the city.
At Corale Verdi, you can enjoy not just traditional Parma dishes like tortelli, torta fritta or the risotto of Verdi, but also enjoy lyrical music in the Verdi tradition: the restaurant is also the centre of a Cultural Association, and in the building in vicolo Asdente, in a nineteenth century palace, choir rehearsals are still held. It served in the past as one of the stables of Maria Luigia of Hapsburg, Duchess of Parmam, and today it continues these traditions of cuisine and music. Do not miss the starter of cold cuts and torta fritta, washed down by a traditional Emilia win1!
The Trattoria Corrieri is well-known in Parma cuisine, located in Strada Conservatorio, in the historic centre of the “little Paris”. It is a rustic restaurant with stone columns and wide white walls: the perfect location for dinner with friends or family. From the nineteenth century onwards, couriers who travelled on horseback would stop here for a break and to eat, and so even today, the restaurant has tried to maintain as much as it can of this history. Make sure you enjoy the vecchia di cavallo, one of the less well-known dishes of Parma: it is horse-meat cooked with tomato, peppers and potatoes, with a sauce of fried onions, garlic, parsley, celery and a little broth. It is best served with a good glass of red wine. And what you should choose as a starter? The cappelletti or “anolén” as they are known in Parma dialect.
For people from Parma, heaven is a large pot of bolliti made in the traditional manner. It goes without saying that heaven in Parma has an address, the Cocchi restaurant in via Gramsci 16/A. Opened in 1925, it offers all the classic Parma cuisine. What distinguishes the restaurant? An obsessive attention to detail, using only carefully-selected raw materials and ingredients, the pasta dishes are made by hand, and the food is all served with the best local and regional wines, which you also enjoy in tasting sessions in the wine cellar of the restaurant.
Obviously, the most important dish is the mixed bolleti, boiled meats served with sauces, purees and mustard: but you can only enjoy this between September and April!
Ristorante Leon d’Oro
the Leon d’Oro restaurant in Parma is run by the Ghinelli family, three generations of restaurantuers, who say that they are “sceptical and sincere, like their cuisine”. The Leon d’Oro offers the classic flavours of old Parma, serving large portions of quality dishes made with local ingredients, in a welcoming environment where you can eat next to a portrait of Giuseppe Verdi or one of the city’s most interesting characters: “Sicuri the Crazy”.
The Leon d’Oro is also a hotel, located near to the train station. Enjoy the boiled meat pot, the cold cut pot, the roast meat pot or the cakes, but make sure that you do not miss the vegetables and fruit, to help digest the main dishes!
Officina Alimentare Dedicata
Finally, we suggest the Officina Alimentare Dedicata, the newest of the five places we suggest today. The food is all organic and seasonal, creating a balanced menu based on what nature offers in each period. Again you can enjoy traditional Parma dishes, in an informal and innovative atmosphere. It is in the historic centre of Parma and the menù brings together the dishes of our region, as if they were tools in a mechanics’ garage. And as lubrification, we find all the vegetables grown in house, the polenta and torta fritta; tortelli and meat dishes (of our Vacche Rosse breed) complete the menu.
Each restaurant will appeal to a different palate, but one thing unites them: the taste of our traditions!