There are special places where to go at least once in your life… they are places to see, to live, to taste.
Every city has ones. They are not simply traditional restaurants in Modena, but they are commercial activities and people that did the story of the city telling its identity through the foods that every day come out from their kitchens.
I’ve collected them in this post because I think they deserve a special mention and a particular place in my heart 😉
These are 6 traditional restaurants in Modena centre where to eat at least once in your life.
When I told you about the Historical Shops of Modena I’ve introduced you some of them highlighting their characteristics but I want now to tell you about them from gastronomic point of view.
5 traditional restaurants in Modena center
Ermes is not a simple tavern but it is a symbol for my city: its owner, Ermes, died in 2022, was one of the “characters” of Modena.
Authenticity, genuineness and folklore remain three words that come to my mind to describe this place.
Opened only for lunch, this typical restaurant, small but precious, has often a row in front of its door. You can’t book and you have to wait that other people finish to eat. Space is so rationalized that you may find yourself sitting at the same table with other customers: a good practice to socialize! 🙂
The atmosphere is cozy and friendly and there is a daily menu, just like at home! Drinking Lambrusco, chatting and having fun the lunch break becomes special.
Going to Ermes does not mean just have a good Modenese lunch but it is a real experience to do!
Ermes is in:
via Ganaceto 89 – 41121 Modena MO
Tel. +39 059 867 8070
Aldina’s restaurant is at the first floor of a pastel color house, in the center of the city, in via Albinelli, near the market. To come inside you have to ring the bell and go upstairs. Once entered you realize immediately that time has stopped. The furnitures are simple, old-fashioned, perfect for this traditional restaurant that transmits the authentic Modenese character.
Flavors are familiar, foods are typical. You have definitely to try this place!
Aldina’s restaurant is in:
Via Luigi Albinelli, 40, 41121 Modena
Tel +39 059 236106
Opening hours: at lunch time, Friday and Saturday also in the evening. Closed on Sundays.
Familiar and hospitable, Danilo is a traditional restaurant located near Mazzini Square. Its history dates back about 40 years ago when the owner, Danilo, took over the business where he grew. Here you can taste foods of Modenese tradition as the homemade tortellini, tortelloni, lasagna and tagliatelle.
The choice of starters and sweets is great.
Danilo is in:
Via Coltellini, 31, 41121 Modena
Tel +39 059 225498
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday for lunch and for dinner. Closed on Sunday.
Situated near Danilo’s restaurant, also Enzo is a great classic of local traditional restaurants. Go upstairs at the first floor, once you entered, you will be immediately thrown into the real spirit of the tradition. The homemade pasta show itself and welcomes the guest. Staff is really friendly, funny and authentic as I love!
Do you think that it’s possible to resist to these tortellini? I assure you that they were not only nice but also very good!
Enzo’s restaurant is in:
Via Coltellini, 17, 41121 Modena
Tel. + 39 059 225177
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday lunch only, closed on Monday.
Before speaking of this place, a premise is necessary: at the end of September 2018 the historical Oreste that here I have described closed the activity. Despite this, I decided to keep this few lines in this article first of all because I think it is important to continue to celebrate it and to make known it for how it was for so many years, second because the restaurant have reopened with a new management in 2019, remaining a charming place where you can it traditional food that worths to be visited. I’ll tell you about the old versione and the new one 😉
THE OLD ORESTE
Oreste is a place that has always intrigued me! Even if it is an historic local of Modena, I’ve tried it only recently. Every time I crossed Piazza Roma, I observed it with a great desire to learn more about its past. So I decided to enter. My experience was interesting, even if I have to tell that Oreste isn’t the first restaurant now attended by Modenese people.
As you can read on the menu, in 1932, the two brothers Cantoni, Guerrino and Alfonso, started their adventure as restaurateur. In 1944 Guerrino took over the restaurant “da Oreste” and since then everybody recognized him with this name. In 1959 the restaurant moved where we find it now and exactly in the way it’s now! The forniture is able to bring you back in ’60s.
Oreste’s prestige was immediately great. It had famous clients as for example Enzo Ferrari or the great singers of Opera and the King of Belgium to who Oreste even dedicated a dish, named “Fettuccine da Oreste”.
Oreste’s cooking knowledge has unchanged over the years: a family tradition, handed from generation to generation, is at the basis of the preparation of its dishes, that are strictly traditional as for example the Zampone prepared from raw, immersed in water all the night and cooked slow for over 4 hours.
Oreste is in:
Piazza Roma, 31, 41121 Modena
Tel. + 39 059 243324
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday lunch and dinner, closed on Saturday and opened on Sunday only for lunch.
THE NEW ORESTE
The new Oreste is a place that has enchanted me. I loved his historical version, but its “new look” impressed me a lot.
Its renovation was made respecting its unique character. The style and tradition have been maintained both in the beautiful selected vintage furniture and in the menu that alternate traditional dishes with some newer proposals.
The magical tradition of the boiled meat cart remains! I recommend a dinner, especially for those who saw it as it was 🙂
I like to think about these traditional restaurants in Modena as a great heritage for the entire city. These are places to take care of and enjoy as long as we can.
Do you agree? 🙂