"It is impossible not to eat well in Alba." We agree, but there are some restaurants that never disappoint. Here are six of the best.
The town of Alba is a jewel nestled among hills and vineyards of the Langhe in southern Piedmont, in the midst of UNESCO World Heritage territory. It is a paradise for food and wine lovers, as it offers unique products and wines that make it famous all over the world: white truffle, porcini mushrooms, high quality meat, artisanal cheese, and of course Barolo and Barbaresco—just to name the most famous foods and wines.
As Enrico Crippa, Michelin-starred chef of Piazza Duomo says, “It is impossible not to eat well in Alba and around.” You’ll eat well anywhere you go, but there are definitely some top restaurants in Alba that never disappoint. Here are six of the best.
6 top restaurants in Alba, capital of the Langhe
Three Michelin stars and ranked as no. 15 for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017, Piazza Duomo is one of the most renowned gastronomic temples in Italy and in the world. It is the reign of Chef Enrico Crippa, who reinvents traditional dishes and brings them to the highest level of quality and perfection. If Crippa was a color, he would be green, the recurrent shade in most of his dishes, along with other vivid hues of nature. He is not vegetarian, but he loves working with flowers and herbs and he personally cultivates a vegetable garden near Alba. He believes that it is the nature itself that decides the rhythms of his cuisine and his menu.
Pamper yourself with one of the tasting menus that best expresses Chef Crippa’s philosophy. Don’t miss the famous “Salad 21…31…41…,” “Tonnato non tonnato,” and of course “Albese,” the well-known beef carpaccio from Alba and its environs. For a truly unforgettable experience, come for the truffle menu available in autumn and early winter: it will be expensive, but worth every penny.
Piazza Risorgimento, 4, corner Vicolo dell’Arco
Open 12:30 pm-2:00 pm | 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
Closed Sun. and Mon. (except during International White Truffle Fair, open Sun. and Mon. for lunch)
Tel. +39 0173 366167
In the same building as Piazza Duomo but located on the ground floor is its “little brother” restaurant, La Piola. In local dialect, piola indicated the village tavern or inn, but in this case the name has been chosen to highlight its familiar and relaxed atmosphere. Here, you can taste typical dishes prepared according to authentic Piedmontese recipes with high quality ingredients. The menu is written every day on the blackboard and changes with market availability and seasonality. Vitello tonnato (veal with creamy tuna sauce), insalata russa (mixed vegetable salad with mayonnaise), and carne cruda (beef tartare) are evergreen menu items that will never disappoint.
When you sit at the table, have a look at your plate. It is literally a work of art. Indeed, nine famous artists have specifically created thirty-six plates for La Piola. If you love cheese, they will bring out a trolley with a wide choice of local products to pair with honey and typical marmalades. Finally, La Piola is the perfect place to try fine wines from the area, by the glass (perfect for trying multiple wines) or bottle.
Piazza Risorgimento, 4 – Alba (CN)
Open 12:15-2:30 pm | 7:15 pm-10:00 pm
Closed Sun. (except Oct. and Nov., open Sun. for lunch)
Tel. +39 0173 442 800
Alba has a great selection of fine dining for its small dimensions, and Larossa is another example of gourmet dining. Andrea Larossa is a young chef with a solid education from the kitchen of famous Carlo Cracco in Milan. He and his girlfriend Patrizia courageously decided to start their own adventure here in Alba. His cuisine is continuously evolving and improving. His menu changes every three months and it is based on an interesting combination of dishes from different parts of Italy, with different textures and flavors, but always tied to the traditions of Piedmont and the Langhe.
From the amuses-bouche to the post-dessert, diners are pampered and surprised with unexpected presentations and courses. Stick to tradition if you want to taste typical dishes, revisited, and don’t miss the freshly made agnolotti del plin, a handmade filled pasta. It’s are served in different ways according to the season, but if you are lucky you can taste them served on a pillow of “Alba air,” i.e. all the aromas that you can smell walking around Alba, from truffle to hazelnuts to mushrooms. Enjoy!
Via Don Giacomo Alberione, 10/D – Alba (CN)
Open 12:30-2:00 pm | 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
Closed Wed. lunch
Tel. +39 0173 060 639
The name itself clearly identifies the soul of this restaurant: wine is the protagonist of this scene. The cellar counts more than six hundred labels, with a focus on local crus of Barolo and Barbaresco. The wines perfectly match the cuisine of Marco Serra, Enoclub’s chef with extensive experience in high-end restaurants of the area. If you prefer a quick lunch, the room on the ground floor is more informal, but if you have more time, go downstairs to eat in the cellar. The brick walls, wood boxes, and warm lighting make for an elegant and beautiful atmosphere. Pasta is made fresh everyday, the meat is carefully selected from local producers, and vegetables change with the season. White truffle is a real cult here in autumn and winter, and tajarin pasta with butter and truffle is a must-try.
Piazza Savona, Alba (CN)
Open 12:30-2:30 pm | 7:30 pm-10:00 pm
Tel. +39 0173 339 94
Located in an internal court, Osteria dell’Arco is quiet and out of the bustling crowd, yet conveniently situated in the main Piazza Michele Ferrero. The restaurant can be defined as classic both in its atmosphere and in the cuisine. It is one of the best places to eat white truffles in Alba, because it offers simple dishes that allow the flavor of the truffle to shine: carne cruda, tajarin, and poached eggs. With a bottle of Nebbiolo or Barbaresco, ça va sans dire.
Piazza Savona 5 – Alba (CN)
Open 12:00-3:00 pm | 7:00 pm-11:00 pm
Closed Sun. except in Oct. and Nov.
Tel. +39 0173 363 974
Craving an unusual gourmet pizza? In Alba there is a restaurant that won several national and international awards for the quality of its pizza, Gusto Madre. The philosophy of its creators is to allow customers to taste different types of pizza, made with selected ingredients and special dough. Can’t decide what to get? The pizzas come cut in slices, to be shared and swapped with friends. Some are crunchy, while others are thick, and they hit that perfect balance between soft inside and friable outside. Whichever you choose, it will be love at first bite!
Via Armando Diaz, 2 – Alba (CN)
Open 12:00 pm-2:30 pm and 7:00 pm-11:00 pm
Tel. +39 0173 290 915