Modena Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Modena

August 29, 2017 Weston Hennigan

Known for its medieval history, its auto-making prowess (as home base of both Ferrari and Maserati) and its famous balsamic vinegar, Modena is a treat for visitors of all ages. The 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral of Modena, with its spectacular Ghirlandina bell tower (under restoration until the end of 2010), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just outside of town (and next to the car maker’s factory) in Maranello is Galleria Ferrari, dedicated to the brand and Italian motor racing industry.
Things to do in Modena

1. Osteria Francescana

Via Stella 22, 41121, Modena, Italy Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Italian, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night HK$557 - HK$1,664 +39 059 22 39 12
Excellent
75%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Osteria Francescana

Reviewed By Giovanna C

My boyfriend and I were visiting the area and through luck managed to get a last minute spot at this world-famous restaurant. Our excitement was justified in terms of ambience, artistic merit and a delicious meal- albeit not the best I’ve ever had. We opted for the standard tasting menu but were convinced to add in the 5seasons of Parmesan- a fortunate addition as this really was the one outstanding dish. Everything else was however excellent and variety and imagination were what justified the expense if not taste alone.
A minor setback was the initial insistence in speaking English to us- potentially understandable given the mostly international clientele. Unfortunately our waiter’s English was pretty much incomprehensible which resulted in a rather embarrassing conversation where I had to pretend it was my English that was the rate-limiting factor that necessitated a switch to Italian. I in fact prefer to speak Italian in Italy but if you’re hoping to understand the subtleties of your dish in English, this might be worth bearing in mind.
The real reason however for the bitter taste that accompanied me out the restaurant was unfortunately one that is far more serious. I noticed almost immediately that the army of waiters that greeted and served us was entirely made up of men and wondered what the explanation could be. In a world where the majority of waiters are women, why had none reached the pinnacle of waitering jobs and gained employment at Bottura’s restaurant. This question played on my mind throughout the meal until eventually I dared to ask. Through misfortune I asked a waiter who confessed to being relatively new but suggested that it might well be that WOMEN CAN’T MAINTAIN THE SAME WORKING PACE AS MEN. I could barely believe such a comment could have been made- particularly as I am a female doctor who happens to work back-to-back 13 hour night shifts in a busy hospital- a pace that I imagine is certainly no less tough than that at the restaurant. Shocked into silence I left the restaurant wondering- could it really be that a forward-thinking man such as Bottura is actively discriminating against women? Or was it just pure chance that no women were there that day? Either way this waiter’s comment was a somewhat revolting reminder of how women are still often viewed in 2018. What a disappointment!

2. Trattoria Il Fantino

Via Donzi 7, 41121, Modena, Italy Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner HK$196 - HK$290 +39 059 223646
Excellent
55%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Trattoria Il Fantino

Reviewed By RichardKelley

Came here with my son on our first night in Modena - and what a wonderful first impression this gave us. The place is a hidden gem in the centre of the town.
Tasty, well presented, interesting food. Home made pasta, local cheeses and hams, tagelle bread - all ticked the right boxes.
The meal was also excellent value - total for the two of us was €56 and included three courses, wine (a nice Sangiovese) and coffees.
Finally our waitress was lovely - helpful, patient and very welcoming and friendly. Her English was great and she explained the various dishes well.
All in all highly recommended.

3. Ristorante Vinicio

Via Emilia Est 1526 | Via Emilia Est 1526, 41126, Modena, Italy Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Seafood Dinner HK$385 - HK$777 +39 059 280313
Excellent
60%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 311 reviews

Ristorante Vinicio

Reviewed By sirtk - Markyate, United Kingdom

We chose to eat here because it was close to our hotel and from the map looked like we could walk to it. And the reviews looked good.
When we got there we found it to be in a very ordinary location on a busy main road with no footpath, so we had to take the car anyway.
It has its own carpark. As we entered the restaurant we went past a large function room which was in use, but the restaurant entrance was quite nice and the greeting most welcoming. We were given a glass of presecco and some crostini while we ordered. I noticed that the prices seemed very reasonable.
Starters looked OK - my lobster spaghetti was very tasty, if a bit rustic. My wife's prawn confection was fine, though apparently lacked flavour. We both had prosciutto-wrapped rabbit fillet. It ate as if it had been pre-cooked and kept warm, which I would think odd as a fillet of rabbit can be pan-fried in just a few minutes. Accompaniments of potato and courgette were massively overcooked, watery and tasteless and the balsamic dressing was unremarkable. We had a very nice Pinot Noir from the Sudtirol. We declined desserts so the waiter brought us a plate of excellent petit fours - a nice touch.
During our meal, the very loud band in the function room started their set and there was a procession of people from the function walking to and from the toilets past the open front of the restaurant. Some unsupervised children burst into our room at one point.
All in all, it has some of the touches of a classy restaurant and service was engaging and professional. However, the quality of the food was really disappointing, somewhere just below the standard of an ordinary local trattoria. And the function room is a problem if you just want a quiet dinner.

4. La Quercia di Rosa

Strada Scartazza 22, 41126, Modena, Italy Parking Available, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Validated Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Outdoor Seating, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +39 059 280730
Excellent
61%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 613 reviews

La Quercia di Rosa

... Good Traditional Emilian Food and Original Balsamic Vinegar ...

Reviewed By frog1208 - murrieta

After visiting Venice and Florence, we took a detour to Modena to see the Ferrari museum. We were looking for a place to eat and stumbled upon this gem. Lovely grounds and true Italian atmosphere. We opted for the tasting menu and were not disappointed! The food was excellent and prepared in house.The dessert tray was a sight to see and tasted great too. It was during the week near the end of lunch hour, so there was only one other table of locals. The hostess was very pleasant and helpful. Grazie Mille!

5. Ristorante Europa 92

Stradello Nava 8, 41126, Modena, Italy Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Mediterranean, European, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner +39 059 460067
Excellent
63%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 461 reviews

Ristorante Europa 92

On the 25th of April 1991 the Restaurant Europa 92 opened in the Modena countryside. The restaurant, highly sought after, loved and attentively attended by the great master Luciano Pavarotti, has always been a meeting point for gourmets and lovers of the typical flavors of Modenesi.

Reviewed By 2480mc - Oxford, United Kingdom

The best place to go for a meal, especially on a Sunday. We speak English, they spoke very little but between us we managed well. They were brillant. The waiters were fab. We loved the older gentleman who kissed my hand at the end of the night. The atmosphere was fab the service incredible and food perfecto!!!!! What can I say. Go visit them and the plus side is it is a favourite haunt of Pavarotti!

6. Strada Facendo

Via Emilia ovest 622, 41123, Modena, Italy Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations, Private Dining, Accepts Credit Cards Mediterranean, Contemporary, Italian, Seafood, European, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner HK$432 - HK$777 +39 059 334478
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 485 reviews

Strada Facendo

Reviewed By thebowl - Voorhees, New Jersey

This restaurant, tucked away in an unassuming location on the outskirts of Modena, serves the finest, most carefully prepared and presented Italian food. My wife and I and another couple recently had lunch there, and it was among the best meals I have ever had. Each dish was explained to us, and featured a variety of different flavors, each recognizable, but together forming a harmonious taste sensation.
The staff is friendly and attentive; the Chef came to our table to take our order (which allowed him to instantly answer my wife's question about getting a dish without mushrooms). Dessert was preceded by the "pre-dessert" and followed by the "post-dessert". Yeah, our wives were happy.
The food is relatively expensive but, in this instance, you get what you pay for. Highest recommendation.

7. Antica Moka

Via Emilia Est 1496 | Via Emilia Est 1496, 41126, Modena, Italy Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night HK$385 - HK$824 +39 059 284008
Excellent
73%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Antica Moka

Reviewed By MMB1954

Wonderful restaurant with amazing food served in a great location. Lots of interesting dishes and wine list. Definitely worth a visit when in Modena.

8. L'insolito Bar

Viale Dell'Autodromo 35 | Parco Ferrari, 41126, Modena, Italy Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments Italian, Bar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night +39 059 332835
Excellent
56%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 465 reviews

L'insolito Bar

Reviewed By Iason_Angelos - Rome

This place has won the award for the best Gnoccho Fritto in the world and the reputation is merited 100%. It is very simple and there is often a pretty long queue, the gnoccho Fritto was truly exceptional. Great cold cuts and cheeses, friendly warm and efficient service and very fair prices. Will come back again on our biannual trips to Modena. Top destination and great atmosphere.

9. Olimpia Restaurant

Viale Gaetano Storchi 487, 41121, Modena, Italy Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Accepts American Express, Accepts Credit Cards Seafood, Mediterranean Dinner HK$385 - HK$581 +39 333 273 1707
Excellent
71%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 148 reviews

Olimpia Restaurant

Piccolo ed elegante locale, vicino al centro di Modena, dove assaporare pesce crudo dalla Sicilia e le ostriche dalla Bretagna. Specializzati in metodi classici dall'Italia e dalla francia.

Reviewed By GBBee - Croston, United Kingdom

Elegant dining experience.
Although there was limited vegetarian options on the menu (the restaurant specialises in fish dishes) we enjoyed a beautiful meal of spinach and ricotta tortelloni in sage butter and typical Modena Deserts. All paired with a beautiful light sparkling rose wine.
The waiter spoke excellent English.
Catered for nut allergy without a problem.
A little pricey but worth it for a romantic and classy dining experience.
Obvious a place for locals rather than tourists which makes it a more authentic dining experience.
Would highly recommend.

10. Hosteria Giusti

Vicolo Squalore, Modena, Italy Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Italian Lunch, Dinner +39 059 222533
Excellent
79%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 107 reviews

Hosteria Giusti

Reviewed By tensaisimon - Beijing, China

You have to book in advance, because it's very popular, and because this little place can only serve less than 20 people.
The restaurant is at an entrance to the city hall square. Actually it's in the back of a traditional salumeria (which is 400 years old!). When we arrived for lunch at 12:30, the shuttle door was rolled down. A neighbor gentleman simply raised the shuttle door and told us to go straight in. We were warmly greeted by the staff (later we learned that they are all memembers of the owner family) and ushered to the back. The tables are laid in a cosy semi-basement room. Then we realized why they have to close the salumeria at lunch time - not enough hands to run the shop, everyone's come to help on the restaurant side.
The dishes are simple but amazingly delicious. Coldcuts, cheeses, wines and traditional vinegar. That's for sure because they've been selling those ingredients for hundreds of years, they really know the good food. In our opinion, the lunch was sufficiently Modena, a capital of fine Italian food.
After main dishes were served for every table, the cook came out to greet us. It was Mommy of the family. Good Italian food is often mommy or granny food, as we have found out. Young daughter's the waitress. Her brothers help to cook and serve. Eating there let us feel becoming part of a local family.
In the desert part, remember to order their home-made gelato. It was dressed with some traiditional balsamic vinegar. 35 years old! (Later we tried to buy a little bottle in the front shop, but gave up after learning about its price.) A few drops would make the icecream to glitter and shine.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.