By: Laura Rong
February 5th, 2020
BOLOGNA, Italy – Home to the SAIS Europe, Bologna has welcomed students from different parts of the world since the 1960s. Although the local cafeteria on campus, Giulios, offers delicious Italian breakfast and pasta everyday, sometimes one just wants to feel closer to home by going to a restaurant that offers Sunday brunches or iced coffee.
Traditionally, Bologna is famous for its rich Italian cuisine. Tagliatelle al Ragu is known by the world as ‘Spaghetti Bolognese’; mortadella can be found at every corner shop and gelato stores are open until 10pm in the evening. In recent years, however, several foreignf restaurants have been opened. A Japanese ramen bar, a Chinese hot-pot restaurant, an Indian buffet, a German bar s, a place to have overpriced fish and chips as well as the shepherd’s pie…the list goes on.
It is interesting to see how Italians interpret food from other countries and adapt to their own tastes. Below is a list of bunches and cafes that adopt hints of American cuisine. Get ready for the reverse of Italian American food!
Close to the Due Torri, Pappare might be the most famous brunch spot in Bologna. But is it good?
I went to the restaurant at 9am on a Sunday morning and there was a considerable line already. After waiting for a bit I was greeted by a waitress, who pointed me to a seat. After another 20 minutes, a waiter finally came to take my order. I ordered ‘English Breakfast’, which consisted of American bacon, scrambled eggs, Italian beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and Italian sausages – a combination of English, American, and Italian cuisine. The atmosphere was also cozy, with people talking to each other in a variety of languages The seating space was limited.
While Pappare is crowded with tourists, Lampadina is a hidden gem for those who are searching for good breakfast in Bologna.
According to TripAdvisor, people rated it the best brunch spot in Bologna. They serve brunch from 9am to 15pm on Sundays. Lampadina has a diverse selection of of food on its menu, with cringeworthy names such as ‘Thank you, next’, ‘#Nofilter’, ‘Sleek’ and ‘Sex with me’ for pancakes, granola bowl, avocado toast, bagels and poke bowls.
The avocado toast was of course overpriced, but it was delicious. I never had avocado toast with bacon before, and I thought they were good as well. Va bene!
Overall, Lampadina gives you a lazy Sunday morning if you are tired of having cornettos and espresso everyday.
Located close to the Basilica di Santo Stefano, Zoo is famous among the student body. From 10am to 7pm, Zoo opens everyday and offers free WiFi. By paying only a few euros, you can choose from a menu that includes fresh bagels, burgers, sandwiches, bakery and cheesecake. Vegan options are also included. The cafe has an ambient atmosphere, with beautiful Italian prose printed on its wall. ‘La fantasia e un posto dove ci piove dentro.’ (Fantasy is a place where it rains.) by Italo Calvino. If you want a space to work but also to enjoy healthy non-Italian food, this is the place for you.
A lot of places are trying to emulate the American-British culture. With clubs and cafes playing music in English, Italians nowadays are willing to embrace other cultures. My own landlady even purchased a drip coffee maker “to have American coffee”. Though some people at SAIS complain about overpriced food, others think having food that resembles a taste of home is better than nothing, even though it means having to pay more. Overall, people at SAIS are excited to see more variety of food in the future.