Locarno : eating and drinking
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Piazza Grande is full of cafés and pizzerias buzzing from morning until after midnight, but eating and drinking is more atmospheric in the old town alleys. Fresh fish plucked from the lake is Locarno’s speciality – look out for trout (trota), perch (persico), pike (luccio) and whitefish (coregone). Simple self-service fare can be had at the Inova across from the station.

Bar del Pozzo, Piazza Sant’Antonio. Friendly local café-bar on a quiet Old Town square, a little out of the tourist crush.

Cantina Canetti off Piazza Grande. Plain local cooking (Fr.15) in a noisy diner, with the added bonus of live accordion on Friday and Saturday nights.

Centenario, Lungolago 13, Muralto (091/743 82 22). Best restaurant in Locarno, serving internationally acclaimed nouvelle cuisine in an appealing blend of French and Italian styles. A lakeside terrace and three-figure bills come as standard. Closed Sun & Mon.

Cittadella, Via Cittadella 18 (091/751 58 85). The popular trattoria section at ground level is excellent, serving pizzas, pasta and simple fish dishes for Fr.20 or less, while upstairs the formal restaurant concentrates on fish alone – and does it well (menus Fr.30–35). Closed Mon.

Funicolare, beside funicular top station. Quiet, simple place that benefits from a spectacular secluded terrace garden overlooking Madonna del Sasso at which to savour their fish specialities. Closed Thurs & Nov–Jan.

Lungolago, Via Bramantino 1. Classy pizzeria, paninoteca and pub where locals go to flee the invasion of white-knee’d northerners.

Navegna (see “Accommodation”). A little east of town in Minusio, but right on the lakefront and highly acclaimed for its delicately prepared and presented Ticinese cuisine (menus Fr.35). Closed Nov–March.

Simba, Lungolago 3a. Lively DJ bar that’s one of the more popular places in town.

Svizzero, Piazza Grande. Best of the many pizzerias and diners on the square, with affordable fresh-made pasta, wood-fired pizza and plenty of Italian staples. Bustling from breakfast till the small hours.

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