Discover Parma excellent food (and wine) scene

Discover Parma excellent food (and wine) scene

Thomas Vogel

Parma, Italy is one of the food capitals of the world, renowned for its famous Parma ham and Parmigiano cheese. This charming city has been producing these delicacies for centuries. No wonder that it has become a culinary destination for food lovers from all over the world.

But Parma is more than just its famous cured meats and cheeses. It is also a city of exceptional wines, Italian cuisine, and warm hospitality.

Parma is not only food… It is also wine!

Parma’s wine-making history dates back to ancient Roman times. The fertile soil and ideal climate of the region make it perfect for growing grapes. So, over the centuries, the locals have perfected the art of winemaking. The wines produced in Parma, Italy, are known for their quality, taste, and unique characteristics.

Life in Parma

Photo by Gabriella Claire Marino

Parma’s grape varieties

Parma is home to a variety of Italian wines… Let’s see the most important!


Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine that is produced using the Lambrusco grape variety. It is one of the most popular types of wine in Parma, and it’s easy to see why. This refreshing wine has a fruity flavour with notes of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It pairs well with cured meats and Parmigiano cheese.


Malvasia is a white grape variety that produces aromatic and fruity wines with floral notes. The wine has a straw-yellow colour and a soft, delicate flavour that makes it an excellent pairing for seafood dishes or light pasta dishes.


Barbera is another red grape variety that produces full-bodied wines with high acidity and tannins. The wine has a deep ruby colour and flavours of blackberry, plum, and cherry. It pairs well with rich pasta dishes or grilled meats.


Sangiovese is a red grape variety that is known for producing some of Italy’s finest wines. The wine has a ruby-red colour and flavours of black cherry, leather, and tobacco. It pairs well with hearty meat dishes or aged cheeses.

In Parma for an evening

So, if you’re in Parma and need help designing your evening out, don’t worry - I’ve got you covered.

Here is a plan for your ideal evening out.

Are you alone? Or perhaps planning a romantic date, or an evening out with friends or family?

Regardless, read on and find out the venues not to miss.

La Piricucca

One of the best places to start your evening in Parma is at La Piricucca wine bar. This small enoteca located in the centre of town focuses on natural wines and serves small cold plates that are perfect for sharing. The atmosphere is friendly and informal, making it a great venue to relax and unwind after a busy day of exploring the city.

La Piricucca, wine bar in Parma

Are you’re looking to start your evening with a glass of wine for an aperitif? Or are you rather in the mood of share a bottle over some food? In either cases, La Piricucca is definitely worth checking out.

La Piricucca is also a great place to meet some new people if you’re travelling solo. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes it easy to strike up a conversation with other patrons.

La Piricucca’s unpretentious vibe and excellent wine & food selection make it a must-visit spot in Parma.

You can find La Piricucca in Via Giosuè Carducci, 16A, 43121 Parma, Italy.

Cortex Bistrot

If you’re looking to continue your evening in Parma with a great meal (and lovely wine!), then you simply can’t miss going to Cortex Bistrot.

This cosy restaurant in the heart of Parma offers modern European food with Italian and Japanese influences, creating a unique and innovative dining experience.

Cortex Bistrot, Parma

The menu changes frequently and is based on seasonal ingredients, ensuring that every dish is fresh and bursting with flavour.

Here, the portions are satisfying without being overwhelming, allowing you to savour each dish’s flavours fully.

The ingredients used are of the highest quality, resulting in dishes that are delicious and also beautifully presented.

Food at Cortex Bistrot, Parma

As for the service it is excellent, striking the perfect balance between professional and friendly.

As for the wine selection, it is refined and favours local and natural wines. The wine menu spans from sparkling to orange, from white to red, with bottles that are interesting and worth trying.

And the staff is knowledgeable and can help you pick the perfect wine to complement your meal and make your dining experience unforgettable.

Cortex Bistrot may not be as well-known as some of Parma’s other culinary destinations. Yet, believe me, it’s definitely worth seeking out for an unforgettable dining experience. Here I had the best meal I’ve had in ages in Italy. The food is great. No exaggeration!

You can dine at Cortex Bistrot at Borgo del Correggio, 20/b - 43121 Parma, Italy.

Vanissa C’est la vie

If you’re still looking to continue your evening, Vanissa C’est la vie is a must-visit spot. This stylish and intimate venue is the perfect place to enjoy some cocktails in Parma. Tucked away on a small side street in the town, this cosy cocktail bar is a hidden gem that’s well worth seeking out.

The bartenders at Vanissa C’est la vie are true masters of their craft, expertly mixing up classic and creative cocktails with precision and care. Each drink is perfectly balanced and bursting with flavour, making it clear that they use only the finest ingredients.

Vanissa, C'est la vie, Parma

In addition to great cocktails, Vanissa C’est la vie also offers a small but excellent selection of premium spirits and local wines. And when you order a drink here, you won’t be left hungry… The abundant nibbles served with each drink are delicious and keep you nailed at this great little venue.

And the decor of Vanissa C’est la vie also needs a mention… It is stylish and colourful, with eye-catching artwork adorning the walls and comfortable seating that invites you to relax and linger over your drinks. This little cocktail bar is sure to impress. Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot for a date or just somewhere to unwind alone or with friends.

You’ll find Vanissa C’est la vie in Via Strada Nuova 28/b , Parma, Italy.

Wrapping up…

Parma is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves good food and wine.

It’s easy to get caught up in the allure of Parma’s famous cured meats and cheeses. But trust me, there is so much more to explore in this vibrant culinary city. From innovative bistros to trendy cocktail bars, Parma offers a contemporary food and drink scene that is not to be missed. So if you end up here, make sure to venture beyond the Parma ham and Parmigiano cheese. Give your taste buds a chance to discover all the other delicious offerings that await you.