18 Delectable Dining Haunts in Cosenza, Italy

My luscious list of 18 delectable dining haunts in Cosenza, for when you next travel to this fabulous undiscovered city in southern Italy.

Food glorious food…

If you’re a foodaholic, then Cosenza is definitely the town for you – food here is amazing!

The passion for food in Italy is an obsession, especially in Calabria.

Fresh and seasonal produce creates deliciously mouth-watering traditional dishes that have evolved through centuries whilst influenced by the many cultures that arrived in Cosenza.

Grown throughout the region, the chilli is one of Calabria’s emblems and used in many classic and rustic dishes.

This list of 18 haunts – not in any order – is by no means complete. As I discover more restaurants in Cosenza, I’ll post another list in the future to share with you.

Tip: This article is now available as a mobile app on iTunes and GooglePlay. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

1. Osteria San Lorenzo

This is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in Cosenza as the food and service are always excellent.

Tagliere, Osteria San Lorenzo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

On Piazza G Mancini 23-24, this beautiful medieval building is tastefully furnished and exudes a lovely ambience whilst you devour a banquet over several hours.

The Tagliere for two (€20) is more than enough…

Tagliere, Osteria San Lorenzo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

…as the main meal.

Tagliere, Osteria San Lorenzo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

When a Calabrese waiter advises that the ‘Tagliere is large’ it certainly will be large!

It’s not necessary to order the Primi of fresh Lagana con Ceci (pasta and chickpeas).

Lagana e ceci, Osteria San Lorenzo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Or, the Secondi of grilled beef with a light accompaniment of fresh seasonal vegetables.

Grilled beef, Osteria San Lorenzo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

On another visit, the light stuffed veal Involtini – a local dish – with thick potato wedges and greens is too much after the massive Tagliere.

Involtini, Osteria San Lorenzo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Overseas relatives order the grilled meats for two – a meat coma.

2. La Calabrisella 2.0 – Pizzeria Rosticceria Proseccheria da Asporto

Venture along Corso Mazzini admiring the open-air MAB Museum (Museo all’Aperto Bilotti) with beautiful sculptures gracing this long pedestrian space. And, when you finally feel peckish, duck down Via Molinella 10/12, just off the Corso.

Tables and chairs placed under large sun umbrellas await. La Calabrisella 2.0 is another place to enjoy a feast.

Tagliere, La Calabrisella 2.0, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Order the traditional Tagliere for one and the side of chips. Don’t order anything else as there’s enough food that trickles out to feed a ravenous army.

Tagliere, La Calabrisella 2.0, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Popular also as La Calabrisella is a pizzeria and these are sold whole or by the slice. Be warned, this is a total carb overload!

Tagliere, La Calabrisella 2.0, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Wash down your carb feast (€12) with a bottle of crisp regional Rosato (€13).

3. La Prosciutteria Firenze

This is not your typical restaurant but it’s a gorgeous meeting place to savour scrumptious foods with a Tuscan feel.

Tagliere, La Prosciutteria Firenze, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

The high-quality food is amazingly fresh – put this one on your list. Check out the menu and start salivating: La Prosciutteria Firenze, the Tagliere is divine and the restaurant also offers succulent BBQ meats.

4. Tavernacolo Cosenza

Recently opened, this funky tavern on Corso Mazzini 159D offers two-level seating indoors, laneway dining, and also pleasant outdoor seating on the Corso.

Tagliere, Tavernacolo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Tavernacolo

Super friendly and attentive staff serve the Aperitivo Classico on lava stone or indulge in a freshly-baked Focaccia filled with local salami or Prosciutto.

A plethora of regional wines gracing the wall and boutique beers are available for dinner or your special event.

5. Apart

Another haunt near the Corso on Via Calabria 12, Apart is pricier than other restaurants although the quality is consistently good – shared many meals with overseas friends at Apart.

Tagliere, Apart, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Shaved zucchini and crispy bacon accompany a traditional Calabrese Fuselli pasta, as does Fileja with Calabrese sausage in a rich tomato sauce.

Pasta, Apart, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Loredana Jewitt

A creative flair adorns staple dishes.

Pasta, Apart, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Fresh anchovies with cherry tomatoes tossed through Tagliatelle creates an appetising lunch.

Pasta, Apart, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Thin grilled beef slices topped with Rocket and shaved Parmesan, decorated with a Balsamic glaze and virgin olive oil.

Grilled beef, Apart, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Loredana Jewitt

6. La Locanda Ristorante Pizzeria Pinseria

On Vialle della Republica, La Locanda is another favourite restaurant.

To give you an idea of how good this restaurant is, I never order Gnocchi as none I’ve tried in any country including Italy comes close to my mother’s or grandmother’s Gnocchi.

Although pleasantly surprised on ordering Gnocchi at this restaurant. The sauce tastes very similar to my grandmother’s – high praise indeed, although the Gnocchi isn’t as featherlight soft. Guess it’s hard to replicate en-mass commercially. The divine Pinsa won’t disappoint.

7. Antica Pizzeria

On Via Vittorio Veneto 62 in the old town, think I found the best pizza in Cosenza.

Not expensive and incredibly good pizza served in a basic ambience. Check it out for yourself and let me know if I’m exaggerating.

8. I Sapori del Vicolo

Off the Corso down a cosy alleyway (Corso Mazzini 149/f), this tiny restaurant offers outdoor seating only. A piccolo (small) Tagliere (€14) is more than enough for two people and the local house wine is well-priced at €8 for 1 litre.

Tagliere, I Sapori del Vicolo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Excellent service from lovely staff accompanies good food.

9. Ristorante Calabria Bella

If you find yourself in the Centro Storico again, then wander next to the Duomo.

This restaurant ensures great service and luscious traditional meals made from the freshest ingredients.

You will be looked after very well.

10. 1930 Pub

Visit tiny Via Idria 31 lane for your fix of juicy hamburger and yummy freshly-made potato skins or chips – wash your meal down with a glass of icy-cold boutique beer or Calabrian wine.

Great service in a cosy ambience surrounded by eclectic memorabilia from the 1930s of course.

Hamburger, 1930 Pub, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

11. Osteria dal cugino

If you feel like a short drive south of Cosenza to Dipignano, then check out the Osteria dal cugino for delightful genuine Calabrese food in a family ambience, with very accommodating staff.

Cheeses, fresh pasta, Prosciutto, Sopprasetta, bread, and loads more are made in-house and delectable.

12. Carlo Quinto Pizzeria Gastropub

A quick drive south of Cosenza until Via Specola, 29 sitting atop of a hill in the tiny village of Laurignano, the boisterous and very busy Gastropub isn’t the cheapest around. The food is excellent (pizza €8+, Secondi €7+).

Exposed timber beams, stone arches, and many separate sections make up this restaurant.

13. Ristorante Orientale

If you live in Cosenza and need the occasional break from delicious Italian food, then head to Via Adolfo Quintieri 16, for good fresh Sushi and Asian meals. All you can eat for €19 and hot meals are included, this is not a buffet but each dish is made to order.

Considering where in Italy we are and how difficult it is to find Asian ingredients, this restaurant is excellent.

Sushi, Ristorante Orientale, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Hailing from Australia and especially living in Brisbane, we’re spoilt for top-notch Sushi at very cheap prices. Pleasantly surprised at the quality and enough to return several times.

I need to try a couple more Sushi restaurants that have popped up over recent months.

14. Delizie

On Corso Mazzini 3/8, excellent friendly staff serve mouth-watering pastries and savouries made in-house – gelato is also made for the summer months.

Lunch and dinner meals are also available.

Semi-fredo, Delizie, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

15. Caffe Italia

Along Luigi Fera, 98/100 and decked out with loads of nautical memorabilia, enjoy excellent service and delicious savouries, and of course, the coffee is also good.

The cafe’s heavy timber beams and chunky ceiling feel as if you’re inside a wooden boat. Hundreds of alcohol bottles adorn the bar and around the cafe.

Gelato of course

To finish off any excellent meal, gelato is a must and it seems that every corner of Cosenza boasts a gelato shop.

This may be a slight exaggeration but if you consider that most of the bars make their own gelato in the summer, then it isn’t far from the truth.

16. Don Peppinu

Think I’ve found the best gelato in Cosenza and I’ve tried many although, on Corso Mazzini 242, this Sicilian gelato bar is excellent. Great portions (€2+) and friendly service.

17. Le Vele caffè

This gelato bar offers indoor and outdoor seating on Corso Mazzini 288. And, is very close in quality to Don Peppinu although Le Vele makes unusual gourmet flavours and is a little more expensive.

18. La Cremeria

At Piazza Bilotti 8, you can watch scrumptious gelato being made. When this first opened, portions served were large, but smaller portions now that it’s been open for 6-plus months.

My creations

Whilst in Calabria, I’m learning how to make local dishes but still also make the occasional Asian meal for a break. Why not, it’s fun creating right?

Two types of stuffed Gnocchi (shop-bought, I cheated) – Gorgonzola and spinach in a sun-dried tomato sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan.

Gnocchi, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

My speciality – fresh egg lasagne with beef, vegetables, and three types of cheeses. I’ve made this with a few thin slices of hard-boiled egg in each layer – a Calabrese version.

Lasagne, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Three-coloured Trofiette with crispy fresh seasonal Asparagus and chilli, adorned with shaved Pecorino cheese.

Pasta, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Two types of stuffed round fresh ravioli – one with spinach and the other with Gorgonzola – tossed in a mushroom and three-peppers’ sauce.

Pasta, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Smoke salmon Gnocchi with the spiking of fresh chilli.

Gnocchi, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

There are a plethora of dry and fresh pasta variations available – check out this list from Wikipedia although extensive, I know there are more to add. In Australia, supermarkets typically have one aisle for pasta, here in Cosenza, there are three aisles. Pasta to Italians is what rice is to Asians.

Time to get back to creating, eating, and my expanding waistline!

A little on Cosenza

Cosenza, Calabria, ItalyIn case you haven’t heard of Cosenza in Calabria, Italy’s southern region, it lies near the boot’s toe.

The Tyrrhenian Sea, which flanks the Calabrese coast is only a quick 25-minute train ride away. An hour’s drive and you’re in the middle of the expansive Sila National Park, which stretches 74,000-hectares across Calabria.

Steeped in centuries of history, Cosenza’s medieval Centro Storico (historic centre or old town) is one of the city’s precious intrinsic jewels, rendering a dazzling landscape from any angle.

Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Centuries of invasions have seen this city recreate itself many times and today, the city is becoming a cosmopolitan magnet.

An abundance of lovely piazzas enhance many areas of the city, creating comfortable gathering places for taking an evening passeggiata (stroll) or areas where children play.

Excellent restaurants serve delicious Cosentine cuisine either with a creative modern twist, or heavenly but timeless dishes of yesteryear.

Check out my recent post on Cosenza, Calabria: Italy’s Undiscovered City where I take you on an in-depth tour of this fabulous city.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts on Italy.


46 thoughts on “18 Delectable Dining Haunts in Cosenza, Italy

Add yours

    1. I studied in Rome for 6 months and have been to Sicily and Naples however I would love to travel further south of Naples and do some more of the coast! Italy is a place I will always be drawn back to, but I love the detail/ picture accompaniment of the dishes you showed!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Fabulous! What did you study? At least you got to travel around the country.
      Further south from Naples is another world that most travellers leave alone – a good reason to visit. 😉
      Thank you, the food is lush here and very mouth-watering. I’m not great at food photography and still learning.
      Tried to access your site, but it doesn’t seem as though you’re online.


    1. What a shame you’re not coming over but if the Captain is around he’s welcome down in the deep south. 😉
      I’m sure we’ll meet somewhere, but for now, I’m off to The Land of Oz on the 1st Feb to renovate.


    1. Oh Yes Madam..!! Surely.. I am checking them up.. 🙂
      Thank you once again for sharing..!!
      Italy has so much to offer.. even a month long vacation isn’t enough for even scratching the surface..

      Liked by 1 person

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