The Typical Food and Dishes of Lake Garda that you must try

Lake Garda is one of the main tourist destinations in Italy thanks to the richness of its gastronomy. Typical products of the lake such as fish, lemon, olive oil and wine end up on the tables of Italians and are the ingredients of some of the typical dishes of Lake Garda.

Among first courses, pasta, risotto, meat, fish and desserts you are spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding what to eat on Lake Garda and the restaurants of the towns and villages along the lake are of the highest level.

To this wealth of ingredients is added the great cultural diversity of the lake and the fact that it’s divided between three regions, with respective shores.

You can therefore live a culinary itinerary to discover both the typical dishes of the Venetian shore of the lake, with the influences of cities such as Verona and Padua, as the dishes of the mountain tradition of the Trentino shore, well exemplified by Riva del Garda, and the richness of the cuisine of the Brescian Upper Garda, where many typical dishes of Lake Garda come from. Let’s go find out the best.

Some Typical Food of Lake Garda

Bigoli with the sardines of Garda

The cuisine of Lake Garda is based on the use of fresh local products.

One of the simplest dishes to prepare and the most popular on the Venetian shore of the lake are bigoli, a traditional Venetian egg pasta, prepared with fresh sardines caught from the lake. Delicious!

Bigoli Pasta With Sarde from the Lake

Risotto with tench 

Fish is obviously the main protagonist of many typical dishes of Lake Garda, in all its shades. Among the most common fish we find the pollen, which is delicious when cooked on the grill, the carpion and the pike.

A lake fish with a very tender meat is the tench, which is used as the main ingredient of the delicious risotto that bears his name.

We suggest you to taste it in a restaurant overlooking the lake in the company of a good bottle of Garda wine.

Risotto with Amarone wine

Another typical dish of Lake Garda is the risotto made with Amarone della Valpolicella, the finest red wine from Veneto that enriches the dish with thickness and elegance.

The rice is also from the area, it is in fact the Vialone Nano variety which is grown in the lower Verona area, that is south of Lake Garda and further down towards Mantua in the rice fields that follow the course of the river Mincio.

Finally, the cheese that adds flavour to everything is Monte Veronese, originally from the Monte Baldo area that stands out on Lake Garda with its father figure.

Rice with Amarone

Polenta Carbonèra

The many events and festivals of Lake Garda are the ideal opportunity to discover its typical dishes, including the Carbonèra, a traditional polenta with three different types of cheese from Monte Baldo and the inevitable Garda DOP olive oil.

This dish is so rooted in the local culture that during the Fair of Santa Caterina di Brenzone sul Garda there is a real "challenge of Carbonèra" to decide which is the best in the town.

Polenta with Cheese

Cassata Gardesana

We close the overview of the typical dishes of Lake Garda with a dessert, the Cassata Gardesanamade with ricotta, honey and candied fruit.

The peculiarity of this version of cassata is the use of a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil from Garda, which in fact local chefs use in almost all their recipes because of the unique taste that can give to every dish, even when it comes to the dessert.

Cassata Gardesana


Among the typical dishes that are sometimes tasted in the Brescia shore of the lake there is also the persicata, a dessert of medieval origins based on ripe peaches that are boiled with the addition of sugar creating a delicious final course to be tasted in company.


Would you like to discover the typical dishes of Lake Garda crossing the Lake by boat with one of our Exclusive Tours?

See our home page where you can find all the information on Boat Tours on Lake Garda or contact us via the button below or via the button Book Tour in the upper right.


Credits: some images are taken from the sites: and