This summer (Summer of 2023), I had the most amazing time in Italy, enjoying some of the world’s best food, wine, and views. One of the most picturesque places I visited was Finale Ligure along the Italian coast. From the culture to the cuisine, it did not disappoint. Follow along for my top picks for the best restaurants in Final Ligure, Italy.
Finale Ligure is a tiny coastal town in the Liguria region in northwest Italy, part of the Italian Riviera. Whether you’re the mountain type or the beach type, Finale Liguria has every kind of breathtaking view imaginable. It’s quite easy to reach by plane. I flew into Nice, France then it’s about an hour drive. What a day I flew from CA to Germany, to France, then arrived to Italy. 3 countries on the day I landed was quite a first! See my packing essentials that got me through the travel day here.
The first stop I made in Finale Liguria was Il Sogno and dinner. They had a fantastic wine selection and great drinks, and of course, dinner was spectacular. We dined in their adorable outdoor space in the heart of the town square. Like most places in Liguria, Il Sogno boasts extremely fresh seafood, hand-made pasta, and more bottles of bubbly than you can even imagine, seriously one of the best restaurants in Finale Ligure.
This is a family-owned restaurant and our server was the daughter of the Chef/Owner. We loved her local expertise and guiding us on what to order and what wines to try. This was hands down our FAVORITE Restaurant in Finale Ligure so visit early as you may even want to go back a second time@
Via Roma, 45, 17024 Finale Ligure SV, Italy.
Me and Cathy all smiles during our first night in the Italian Coast.
Our server who’s family owns the restaurant was amazing! She brought us wine at the end of the meal to try for fun.
It’s no secret that hunting for iced coffee in Italy is nearly impossible. After a few stops, I finally found some at this adorable coffee and candy shop in Finale Ligure. Giovannacci Cafe was the perfect mid-day stop for some sweet treats and a pick-me-up after a morning spent in the Italian Sun. Everything we tried was so delicious and the staff was super friendly! Via Calice, 52, 17024 Finale Ligure SV, Italy.
Cafe Van Gogh
Another fabulous restaurants in Finale Ligure was Cafe Van Gogh. This was a charming spot in the piazza where we went for Happy Hour. Most of the bars share a complimentary appetizer plate (during their happy hour usually 5-7pm or so) when you order drinks.
Here we enjoyed a beautiful salumi plate and some wine and spritzes before our actual dinner a bit later in the evening. Hour (Apertivo, as the Italians say) is the perfect time for some small bites and drinks like Aperol or Campari spritzes. These pre-dinner snacks and drinks are said to stimulate the appetite to prepare you for your meal. While they don’t have a website, learn more about Cafe Van Gogh on Trip Advisor here. Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II 10, 17024, Finale Ligure Italy.
Late-night gelato is a classic Italian experience enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. We discovered some great gelato in town at Ice Cafe.
JSF Tip: Look for the Gelateria as that means they specialize in Gelato vs. just a cafe serving Gelato but not making it from scratch on site.
This no-frills hidden gem was recommended to us by a local who we ran into at the beach club. When an Italian Winemaker recommends a small local restaurant with no frills you can bet it will be great! It did not disappoint. La Tavernetta is known locally for their fresh seafood dishes and to die for handmade pasta. I had a green pesto pasta which they said is their specialty. As someone who normally avoids pesto this dinner converted me. I am now a Pesto girl, or maybe only in Italy when I’m enjoying the freshest pesto imaginable….
Plus, the price point was super reasonable for the great quality of food and service. Via C. Colombo, 37, 17024 Finale ligure SV, Italy
The life changing pesto pasta.
Il Castello (in next door FinalBorgo)
Another one of the best restaurants in Finale Ligure’s region, next door about a 15 minute walk was Il Castello located in the quaint town of Finalborgo. This is a MUST see if you want to see rich history and culture and a very adorable spot for tourists to walk around, shop and eat great food. Il Castello was the perfect stop for a late afternoon wine and a delicious lunch of salad and pizza.
Keep in mind: Italians do pizza a little differently than in the U.S, as they’re typically personal sized. We looked around and were the only table having a pizza for two. I loved the fresh caprese along with my pizza and of course some wine! Piazza del Tribunale, 8, 17024 Finale Ligure SV, Italy.