In Piedmont, enjoy a gourmet food selection at the same level as the designer clothing you're shopping for.

When shopping in Italy for designer clothes (at a discount!), you can hardly be expected to settle for the usual greasy mall fare. Recently, one outlet conveniently located near Gavi wine country in Piedmont has upped their food game. Previously offering food that was subpar in quality and variety, now Serravalle Designer Outlet has opened enticing restaurants whose gourmet selection is at the same level as their designer clothing.

Best gourmet food stops while shopping in Italy

Serravalle Designer Outlet is a real mecca for shopping lovers, with more than 200 shops and incredible discounts on luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, and Saint Laurent. The outlet is strategically located less than one hour from Milan to the north and the picturesque villages of the Liguria Riviera to the south, among the hills of Gavi. But after hours of walking from one store to another touting armloads of shopping bags, a gourmet break is exactly what one needs.

Italian breakfast - © Carola Braggio

Italian breakfast – © Carola Braggio

Breakfast or aperitivo at Le Dolci Terre

Le Dolci Terre is the best place to discover top-quality local products. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss their fragrant, fresh-from-the-oven croissants and cookies (try the almond amaretti and hazelnut-chocolate baci di dama). Aperitivo is the perfect occasion to taste some prosciutto, Italian salumi, and local cheeses with a glass of Gavi DOCG, the well-known local wine made with the cortese grape. Try the Gavi from Villa Sparina, a family-owned winery with a restaurant and resort located just minutes away from Serravalle. You also might want to relax after a full day of shopping with a wine tasting or night at their relais, L’Ostelliere!

Mozzarella every which way at Obicà - © Carola Braggio

Mozzarella every which way at Obicà – © Carola Braggio

A cheesy pick-me-up at Obicà Mozzarella Bar

Obicà is a real paradise for mozzarella lovers. In Napolitano dialect, Obicà” means “Here it is!” and refers specifically to something that is prepared right in front of your eyes, like fresh buffalo mozzarella, still dripping milk and begging to be tasted. At Obicà’s, order your mozzarella to taste—mild, intense, or smoked—and eat it with other gourmet Italian delicacies, like Culatello di Zibello, Prosciutto Crudo San Daniele, and Pantelleria capers. Don’t pass by the stracciatella from Puglia, either: essentially the creamy innards of a burrata.

If you need more than a quick mozzarella snack, pizza is the best and most classic way to “fortify” these ingredients. At Obicà, they make their pizza with Petra flour, the best stone-ground soft wheat. Allowing pizza dough to rise slowly makes all the difference to flavor and texture; at Obicà, the pizza dough is left to rise for at least 48 hours.

As a bonus, if you want to enjoy the same freshness of real mozzarella di bufala at home, place an order: Obicà will prep your mozzarella at their farm in Campania and ship it directly to the store for pick-up.

Satisfy your hunger at Ham Holy Burger

The Ham Holy Burger is no ordinary burger. The Italian pride in upholding quality and simplicity in their cuisine is deliciously clear at this joint. Ham Holy Burger selects only the very best ingredients: pure Piedmont Fassona beef, artisanal bread baked fresh in their ovens every day, and an exclusive selection of fresh seasonal products, from vegetables to salami, cheese to sauces. Choose American- or Italian-style burgers, rustic veggie burgers, lobster rolls, tartare, and a satisfying selection of salads. Their appetizers, like mozzarella sticks and onion rings, are classic mall fare, but definitely of gourmet quality. And sometimes, only a cold beer will quench your thirst—here, the craft beer selection is fantastic.

Use the iPad they provide at every table to place your order, ask for the bill, and browse on the free, unlimited web access. Not in the mood to wait for your food? Order before you arrive (or for take-out) on their app.

Gelato break at Caffetteria Pasticceria Bonetti

Because every outing deserves gelato. Here, the artisan gelato is prepared daily with genuine, high quality raw ingredients: hazelnuts from Piedmont, cantucci biscuits from Prato, Tuscany, lemons from Sicily, artisanal Slitti chocolate, and seasonal fruit. The traditional Bonetti recipes are still used, and the difference is real. For a final touch, finish your cone with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts. If you’ve already eaten your allotted gelato for the day (because when in Italy, daily gelato is a must), pick your favorite fruits and vegetables for a fresh smoothie.

International food cravings at Il Wok

Wok is a melting pot of tastes, traditions, and dishes from the East, from Shanghai to Bangkok, Tokyo to Singapore. Noodles are fried in the wok with prawns, eggs, mushrooms, and vegetables, according to your choice, and served in colorful boxes. Try Yakisoba or Pad Thai; and the selection of dim sum is mouthwatering: there are fried crispy gyoza with prawns, steamed veggie gyoza, wok gyoza prepared on the grill, vegetable rolls, and many others, all served in bamboo containers. Pair it all with a Japanese beer or green tea.

On the sweet side, don’t miss mochi, a squishy cake made with rice flour and filled with ice cream; and the Macha tart, with Japanese Macha tea and coconut.

The atmosphere of the store is elegant and relaxing, and the furniture and décor transport you to the streets of Tokyo on a weekend night.

International dining options - Il Wok - © Carola Braggio

International dining options – Il Wok – © Carola Braggio

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