Varese is famous for a simple, genuine yet imaginative style of cuisine.
The area offers many excellent restaurants where you can savour traditional local dishes. Lombard cuisine is based on rice, fish from the lakes, game and polenta and the area’s restaurateurs provide tempting menus that cleverly add an innovative, modern twist to traditional recipes.
Come and discover the unique flavours and places where you can try, and even buy, traditional local dishes, produce and products made exclusively in the Province of Varese.
Whether you are savouring a traditional meal in the city, an agritourism or one of the countless eateries across the province, we want to ensure you always enjoy the very best Varese has to offer so we have teamed up with the Varese Food & Wellness Club and Coldiretti (the farmers’ union).
Some local products that are an absolute must when visiting the area include the grappa and liqueurs from Angera, which the renowned Rossi di Angera distillery has been producing since 1847. Passing down its techniques and recipes from generation to generation, the distillery uses marcs from only the finest vineyards in Lombardy and Piedmont for its grappa.
Gavirate, a popular town with tourists on the shores of Lake Varese, is home to the Brutti e Buoni, which literally means "ugly and good".Created by Costantino Veniani, the recipe for these delicious biscuits dates back to 1878. The fragrant aroma of toasted almonds and hazelnuts and subtle hint of vanilla make brutti e buoni the perfect biscuits for any occasion and ideal for eating with a sparkling wine, liqueur, cream, quality coffee or a steaming cup of hot chocolate.
Formaggella del Luinese P.D.O. is a soft cheese with a medium-mild, delicate, pleasant flavour that becomes stronger as it matures and is made exclusively from whole, raw goat’s milk from “Camosciata delle Alpi” and “Nera di Verzasca” breeds.
The “Consorzio Qualità Miele Varesino” (Varese Honey Quality Consortium) protects Miele Varesino P.D.O. (Varese honey) and ensures that the honey retains its unique characteristics during production and when put on sale.
Cantello is one of the few remaining places in Lombardy where asparagus is grown. The town is famous for producing a variety of white asparagus with rose-purple tips (Early Argenteuil), which originated in France but has been grown here since the 1800s as it is loves the local weather and soil.
The area around Lake Monate is famous for Monate peaches, which have firm, white flesh. The peaches are canned on the same day that they are harvested and preserved in syrup without any preservatives or colourings.
Last, but not least, we have Dolce Varese, a very light, moist cake that is eaten at any time of the day. Ideal for breakfast and perfect for afternoon tea.