Pizza and spaghetti are considered emblematic of Italy, but actually every single region, town or village has its typical delicacies. Bologna is full of culinary masterpieces. Many of the Italian cousin most famous dishes were originated here (mortadella, tagliatelle al ragù, lasagne alla Bolognese, tortellini…). There are lots of bars and restaurants so you will find lots of different eating options. However, if you want to taste the real Bolognese food, go to a Trattoria.
Trattoria (or Osteria) is the Italian name for the restaurants serving regional dishes. The Trattorias/Osterias are often informal places, sometimes run-family businesses with recipes past down from generation to generation. In Zola Predosa, “Il Pignotto” is defitively the best choice. In the city centre of Bologna there are hundreds of options. Osteria al 15 (cosy place and nice food) and Trattoria del Rosso are my favourite ones. These place are usually very busy so it is recommended to book a table in advance before going.
One of the most fun food experience you can have in Italy is the aperitivo. Italians love to relax and socialise having a drink and some food together with friends just before dinner. This is known as aperitivo. It is kind of an appetizer, a pre-dinner drink accompanied by food and chat with friends. After 7 pm, many bars will serve the aperitivo. In many places, if you order a drink, you have access to a free food buffet. Very often you start with a drink and you end up eating more than a full-course dinner 😊
Via delle Pescherie Vecchie and Mercato delle erbe are two of the most picturesque areas of the city centre for an aperitivo with friends.
Suggestion: if you look for traditional food in town, avoid places with menus translated in multiple languages. Those places generally aim at attracting tourists, they cost more than other restaurants and don’t necessarily offer the authentic Italian cuisine.