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Often regarded as the culinary capital of Italy, the vibrant food markets showcase the Bolognese specialties and artisanal products.
While exploring the local specialties in Bologna, we enjoyed visiting vendors at local markets to discover the secrets behind the food and local products.
To guide your culinary adventures in Italy’s food capital, we share the best food markets to visit in Bologna.
Delve into Bologna’s food traditions at these 6 bustling Bologna food markets.
Visiting the food markets in Bologna is an exceptional way to delve into the region’s rich gastronomic heritage.
Map Of Bologna Food Markets
Most of the best food markets in Bologna are located within Bologna city center. Here is where to find Bologna food markets.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the best way to explore the food markets in Bologna is to join a Bologna market tour with a local guide. We took and recommend this Bologna food tour with a market visit to taste Bologna. For about 3.5 hours, you’ll visit Bologna’s historic center including family-owned stalls at Mercato delle Erbe and Quadrilatero. In the more than 10 tastings, sample Bolognese tagliatelle, cheeses, cured meats, and tasty desserts. Local wines are also featured, making it a wonderful introduction to Bologna food and culinary history.
The Top 6 Food Markets in Bologna
1. Il Quadrilatero
The Quadrilatero is a historic market dating back to the Middle Ages. More than a simple farmers market, the Quadrilatero is also a bustling neighborhood.
This Bologna food market is both an open-air market and an indoor market, with stalls and local shops on both sides of narrow cobblestone streets.
The area was an ancient marketplace that was home to specialized artisans and local producers.
Nowadays, the Quadrilatero market is an enchanting maze of captivating aromas and colors of some of Bologna’s freshest foods and produce.
What and Where To Eat at Il Quadrilatero Market
As you explore the medieval streets, you’ll find food stalls with the freshest produce, fresh fish, and excellent fresh pasta stores made according to tradition.
One of the most well-known deli shops is Salumeria Simoni where you can pick up local cured meat, fresh cheeses, and more.
We recommend picking up a sandwich or fresh pasta and heading to the nearby Osteria del Sole, the oldest trattoria in Bologna.
At Osteria del Sole, you can bring food from the outside and the only requirement is to purchase a drink. And, in particular an alcoholic beverage. Pair your lunch with local wines like Pignoletto or Lambrusco.
How To Get to Quadrilatero Food Market Bologna
Located in the heart of the old city, this Bologna market is easy to reach by bus, getting off at the Rizzoli stop.
Address: Quadrilatero, Bologna BO, Italy
Hours: Open daily, 9:00 am -12:00 am
2. Mercato delle Erbe
The name, Mercato delle Erbe roughly translates in English to “herb market” is one of the best food markets in Bologna to visit.
It’s a beautiful building with a tall roof, glass, and iron, and impeccably clean. It has been in its current location since 1910 and it is both an indoor and outdoor farmers market.
Inside, you will also find fresh produce stalls with seasonal vegetables and the freshest fruits. Fresh cheeses, cured meats, and local delicacies are also available from local producers.
At night, this Bologna market is transformed from a food shopping destination to an evening dining spot both inside and outside the market.
This is one of the best spots to enjoy an Italian apertivo in the evening.
What and Where To Eat at Mercato delle Erbe Market
Right at the entrance of this Bologna covered market, you will find Oggi Gelato, the best places for freshly made gelato.
Inside Mercato delle Erbe, you can enjoy handmade fresh tortellini from a local vendor for lunch. In the evening, you can savor pizza or a meal from a horse meat butcher.
All around the covered market on the outside are a number of local eateries where you can enjoy local wines, cold cuts, and a number of Bologna classic dishes.
How To Get to Mercato delle Erbe
Mercato delle Erbe is easily reachable by bus, with Ugo Bassi as the hop-off point. On foot, it is an easy 10-minute walk from the Fountain of Neptune.
Address: Via Ugo Bassi 23
Hours: Open, Monday to Saturday, 7:00 am – 12:00 am, Closed Sunday
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST: If you want to learn how to make delicious Bologna food with seasonal fresh ingredients, consider taking a cooking class. See our guide to the Best Bologna Cooking Class in 2023 For Authentic Bolognese Pasta Making
3. Mercato Albani – Bolognina
This small Bologna food market is located in Bolognina, the neighborhood we stayed in while exploring the local food specialties.
Established in 1934, this rectangular-shaped market with about 10 stalls on each side has its own unique local atmosphere.
It’s a familial vibe with local farmers from the Bologna countryside showcasing the best local produce.
You’ll find small stands with seasonal fruits, fresh meat, cheeses, cured meats, vegetable, and much more.
This is a great Bologna food market to do your early morning shopping any day of the week.
What and Where To Eat at Mercato Albani – Bolognina
This small market is best for food shopping, from fresh vegetables to seasonal produce, fresh fish, and meat.
You will find different butcher stalls where you can get cold cuts and organic meat. Make sure you don’t miss the Zucchine Ripiene, stuffed zucchini with pork.
Each of the local farmers and shop owners offers you the best Italian food. Find Stefino Organico, located about two blocks away from the market a highly recommended stop for organic gelato.
How To Get to Mercato Albani – Bolognina
This is a multicultural area, perfect to explore a local neighborhood away from the historic center of Bologna. You can reach this Bologna food market on the bus, line 92, stop Arca.
Address: Via Francesco Albani
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday, 7:30 am – 1:00 pm; Closed Sunday
4. Mercato Ritrovato
Mercato Ritrovato was Rosemary’s favorite Bologna food market.
It’s a farmers market with more than 50 local farmers and producers who sell KM 0 seasonal products.
The slow food producers sell the highest quality products directly at fair prices.
This market is part of Slow Food Bologna, offering an authentic taste of Bologna flavors.
At the time of our visit, there were cooking classes taking place in the central area surrounded by food stalls.
The outdoor market extends across the street with street food, farm animals, and more food stalls.
Right next to the market is the cultural center Centro Sociale Ricreativo Culturale Giorgio Costa, also worth exploring.
More than simply a food market, Mercato Ritrovato is a destination.
What and Where To Eat at Mercato Ritrovato
One of the best ways to enjoy this market is by getting local dishes from one of the many stalls offering prepared food and eat next door at the cultural center.
On our morning visit to the market, we picked up fresh Italian pastries and enjoyed coffee tastings seated on outdoor tables.
You’ll find several Bologna classic dishes and street foods like Piadina or rustic flatbread, local wine and beer, fried seafood, pastries, and more.
How To Get to Mercato Ritrovato
From Piazza Maggiore, Mercato Ritrovato is easily reachable on foot and less than one mile away. By bus, take bus lines 32 or 35.
Address: Via Azzo Gardino, 65 (Piazzetta Pasolini e piazzetta Anna Magnani)
Hours: Open Saturdays from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. In the Summer months, open on Monday evenings from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
5. Mercato del Novale
Mercato del Novale is a small organic market with slow food producers open only on Sundays.
It was created in 2017 in collaboration with Slow Food Bologna.
This outdoor open air market features the best of each season, including fresh vegetables and fresh produce, directly from farmers and the Bologna countryside.
Compared to other food markets in Bologna, the prices are on the higher side. Though the organic KM 0 produces warrant the more expensive prices.
What and Where To Eat at Mercato del Novale
This Sunday morning market is a great stop to pick up seasonal fruits, vegetables and local Bologna cheeses, cured meats, honey, and more.
You can meet and talk to the farmers while learning about the fresh produce.
This market is for food shopping and not really a place to eat a full meal. However, one of the best local restaurants nearby is Vâgh íñ ufézzí, an easy 10-minute walk, where you should try the tagliatelle.
How To Get to Mercato del Novale
Mercato del Novale takes place in Piazza Carducci, named after Giosuè Carducci, an Italian Nobel prize-winning poet. The piazza or square is exclusively pedestrian, but bus line 32 with a stop at Carducci will get you close to the market.
Address: Piazza Giosuè Carducci in the Santo Stefano district
Hours: Open Sunday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
6. Mercato di Mezzo
Mercato di Mezzo, which translates roughly to the Middle Market, is a covered market spread over three floors.
There are tables inside and outside where you can try several Bologna food specialties from some of the best restaurants and stalls.
It’s not a market for food shopping but a convenient place to stop for lunch or a quick bite on a day of sightseeing.
What and Where To Eat at Mercato di Mezzo
In addition to local wines, you can also try fresh craft beers like Birra Cerqua. Pizzas and fresh pasta local specialties like tortellini and tagliatelle should not be missed.
For sandwiches, get ones stuffed with mortadella or Mora Romagnola cured meat which is similar.
For dessert, don’t miss Torta di Riso, a traditional soft cake made with rice and milk. Gelato is always a good idea regardless of when you visit Bologna.
And if you happen to visit during the holiday season, try the seasonal Christmas dessert, Certosino, with honey, chocolate, and candied fruit.
How To Get to Mercato di Mezzo
This central market is in the center of Bologna, near Piazza Maggiore.
Address: Via Clavature, 12
Hours: Open daily, 9:00 am – 12:00 am
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Make your culinary travels worry-free! With the right travel insurance, you’ll enjoy a delicious experience. From medical emergencies, flight cancelations, car rental protection, or tour cancelations, a good travel insurance has got you covered. Check out our travel insurance review for food lovers to get started.
FAQs – Food Markets in Bologna
What days are the markets in Bologna?
During the week, you can find many open markets, like the Quadrilatero, but not all of them are open on Sunday, so make sure to check the hours above.
What is the famous food street in Bologna?
Via D’Azeglio is one of the most famous streets in Bologna, where you can shop, relax, and dine.
What is the oldest food market in Bologna?
The oldest food market in Bologna is Mercato di Mezzo, which has a history dating back to the Middle Ages. It is one of the most iconic food markets in Bologna.
What food is famous in Bologna?
The tortellini are the most famous local dish and perhaps the oldest, from a tradition of simple yet tasty foods.
Which of these food markets in Bologna would you like to visit? Please let us know in the comments below.
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest