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“Dinner under the stars in the town center”
Review of Albergo Del Sole

Albergo Del Sole
Ranked #18 of 33 Restaurants in Varenna
Cuisines: Pizza
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 16 June 2014

This restaurant is in the town piazza near the church. Great atmosphere sitting outside in the evening. Food very good and staff attentive. Definitely a good choice for cuisine and atmosphere. House wine very good in a carafe and was reasonably priced. Locals walking in the square with their dogs. Perfect evening.

Thank Susan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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207 - 211 of 451 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2014

We love Varenna, the feel of the place, and the views. We picked this eatery with a few friends close to our hotel after a busy day of walking. It was not a good choice.

It is in the small town square across from the cathedral. We went there wanting "lake fish" which is a big local dish. In the end we got "spaghetti missoltini" which was pasta with lake fish, and the "lavarello ai ferri" which is their lake fish entrée. The pasta had hard bits of fish in it with the skin still on it. In the end the fish got picked out of the pasta and what was left just wasn't very good. The main fish dish was bland, did not have a good flavor, had skin, and some bones.

Those two entrees, with two small salads, and water was 42 euros. On the expensive side for this small town and the quality of the meal.

There are better choices, with charm and a view, down by the waterfront or on some of the side streets.

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3  Thank Trek-Always
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We dined here twice during a 5 day stay in Varenna and were pleased with both meals. Their lasagne is loaded with meat, their calamari is fresh and tasty and their pizzas are thin crusted and topped with the freshest ingredients. Wine is very affordable, they offer limoncello on the house after a meal and on our last night dining there we were given a glass of prosecco to celebrate a birthday. It's a restaurant frequented by locals as well as tourists and the friendly staff goes out of their way to make everyone welcome! If you're looking for a quiet spot, ask to eat in their garden room in the back or you can eat at small bistro-like tables on the main piazza and people watch while you enjoy your meal or beverage. Lots of local flavor!!

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Thank gvy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

The pizza was good but not amazing ... I was dying for a great salad and the side salad was not. The greens were not all that fresh looking and although the bowl was large we did not finish it. Salad was $5 @and cheese pizza was $6, plus the $2 up charge per person. Located on the main square that has three churches - be sure to visit all three.

1  Thank nowpacking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Dined here twice during a recent five-day visit to Varenna. With a restaurant on nearly every doorstep in town, my friend and I really liked the location, atmosphere, food, and value for money at Albergo del Sole.

Location: The restaurant is situated on the main square in town, near the iconic church tower and all the colorful activity of the Piazza San Giorgio. It is not on the lakeside, but neither does it have lakeside prices. One coolish Spring evening, we dined at an outdoor table, and we truly had the feeling that we were participating in the goings-on of a real, living northern Italian town…Friends having a glass of wine (and speaking Italian, oh my!), greeting other friends as they walked across the plaza, several lovely dogs resting at their owners’ feet.

Atmosphere: There is both indoor and outdoor seating. The overall feel of the place is very homey and comfortable. The service is super-quick and friendly, but I never felt rushed at all and was even encouraged to linger over coffee as long as I wanted. The owner and chef mingle with the guests frequently, and this definitely contributes to the friendly, homelike ambiance of the place. On the two occasions we stopped by for dinner, there were many local folks having a drink or a meal. Always a good thing, to my mind. And this can’t be said for many of the lakeside eateries which seem to cater more to visiting tourists. If you like being in a place where you feel like you’re one with the residents, Albergo del Sole might be just for you.

Food: To me, the menu here was one of the widest-ranging in town. It definitely had more fish on offer than any other place we surveyed. They have several dishes featuring missoltini, the tiny sardine-like fish endemic to Lake Como. There were starters, pasta dishes and main courses highlighting the missoltini. Also hard to find in Varenna is the hearty, typically local pasta dish called pizzoccheri (pee-TZO-ker-ee). It’s made with buckwheat pasta and also includes potatoes, onions and cheese. As I say, very hearty. It looks kind of “gloppy” on the plate, but is extremely tasty. The portion is immense and certain can/should be shared. Maybe it’s too “real” for some tourist palates, and therefore isn’t offered everywhere, but I love trying truly local specialties, and pizzoccheri was definitely high on my list to try. I paired the pasta with a great mixed salad which included lettuce, arugula, radicchio, shredded carrots, and tomatoes. Perfect! We also tried the pizza and some grilled fish on another visit. They were great, too.

Value for Money: By far, Albergo del Sole was the most reasonably priced place for dinners we experienced in Varenna. It’s easy to have a great meal of salad, bread, pasta, wine, and coffee for under $30. Even the vino rosso della casa was a bargain compared to other places in town we visited. This house wine was robust, fruity and eminently drinkable.

I cannot really relate to some of the negative reviews I’ve read here for this restaurant, but dining is the quintessentially personal choice, isn’t it? Perhaps I’m more inclined to sample local eateries and local foods than some, or maybe I’m just revealing a bit of my family’s Old Country peasant beginnings, but Albergo del Sole suited me to a tee.

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3  Thank Traveler20190
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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