Alba is a foodie town home to no less than 12 restaurants holding Michelin Stars in the surrounding area. Had just Dan and I visited Alba in November, we would have certainly eaten at one. However, we traveled to Alba with our entire immediate family (read about that here and here), so we had to find something a little more economical. Luckily for us, in addition to Michelian-starred restaurants, Alba has great reasonably priced restaurants, most offering seasonal white truffle menus. Here are some of our favorites.
MONVISO ITALIAN COFFEE FACTORY
Our first introduction to the Alba food scene was a brief stop for coffee at a local coffee factory, Monviso Italian Coffee Factory, located just off of Alba’s main shopping street. Monviso has a small interior, an outdoor courtyard, and a few tables on the street. Monviso’s menu offers a few real foods, such as toasties, pancakes, and meat and cheese plates, and the most amazing espresso beverages, as well as regular coffees. We all went with espresso dessert beverages. They were seriously amazing!!
In sum, I think Monviso was all of our favorite in all of Alba! We kept wanting to return, but it unfortunately did not match up with our schedule. Highly recommend for a stop off in Alba.
On our first night in Alba, we dined at Enosfizioteca Conterosso, largely based on their availability and ability to book online via Facebook. If you are visiting Alba during truffle season, you had better have a reservation, especially for 8 people…I emailed a few places three months in advance and they were booked. Luckily for us, Enosfizioteca Conterosso was very, very good. Located only 5 minutes from the truffle festival, Enosfizioteca Conterosso has two floors. We were seated on the bottom floor, surrounding by lots of locals. Always a good sign! Enosfizioteca Conterosso’s menu is very Piedmontese, serving all of the famous dishes, such as cruda battuta (similar to beef tartare) and vitello con salsa tonnata (veal with tuna sauce). It also offered a season white truffle menu, which was super expensive due to the late truffle harvest in 2021.
Our table split a couple of the Piedmont Speciality starters, which included cruda battuta, vitello con salsa tonnata, and vegetable flan. The veal with tuna sauce was a surprising standout! For mains, we all got different things, from lamb, to mushroom risotto, to my pasta topped with white truffle! Despite the varying dishes, we were all happy with our orders.
The desserts were also outstanding, including a Langhe Bonnet, a famous local dessert, and panna cotta served in a coffee cup! Both were excellent.
All in all, Enosfizioteca Conterosso was a great first dinner. Not too fancy and delicious food. I would absolutely return.
Our second evening was spent at a pretty decently rated restaurant just outside of Alba’s old town called Osteria dell’Arco. And, not surprising, its very close to some beautiful archways! Like Enosfizioteca Conterosso, Osteria dell’Arco serves traditional Piedmontese cuisine and had an in-season white truffle menu. Its also part of the Slow Food Movement. Here, we again ordered some veal in tuna sauce (seriously, its quite good and where else can you get it?!) and I again ordered pasta topped with white truffle. Our desserts here were also delicious – Connolo di Langha and an amazing layer cake that was layered with hazelnut chocolate sauce (yes, like Nutella!).
In sum, Osteria dell’Arco was very nice. It was quite busy with Italians (no foreigners) on a Saturday night. Attire was casual and a reservation is recommended. The staff was nice here, but not as lovely as the other restaurants we visited in Alba. But then again, we may have been an annoying table…
On our final evening in Alba, we dined at one of Alba’s most highly rated non-Michelin starred restaurants, Cortiletto d’Alba. Cortiletto d’Alba is a family run restaurant in the lovely basement of a bed and breakfast. The restaurants has exposed brick walls and arched ceilings, and it’s also tiny! Its highlight is a tasting menu for less than €30. That being said, we were full from a full day of wine touring, so we ordered on the lighter side. I will have to return for my inexpensive tasting menu! Everything was excellent.
Cortiletto d’Alba was really, really great. I wish we had been hungrier. Dress was slightly upscale, and the staff was absolutely lovely. They gave us a short of local Amaro when we left. Make a reservation far in advance. Diners should note that guests must descend a staircase to dine here. Cortiletto d’Alba is also open on Monday!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Monviso Italian Coffee Factory: Vicolo dell’ Arco, 1 A/B, 12051 Alba CN, Italy. Open 7:30 (9:30 on Sunday) – 19:00. Closed Wednesday. Casual. Indoor and outdoor seating.
Enosfizioteca Conterosso: Via Pietrino Belli, 4C, 12051 Alba CN, Italy. Open 12:00 – 22:00. Reservations suggested. Seasonal truffle menu.
Osteria dell’Arco: Piazza Michele Ferrero, 5, 12051 Alba CN, Italy. Open daily for lunch and dinner (break between the two services). Reservations recommended. Seasonal truffle menu.
Cortiletto d’Alba: Corso Michele Coppino, 27, 12051 Alba CN, Italy. Open daily until 21:30. Reservations highly, highly recommended. Seasonal truffle menu.
ON A BUDGET
Of these restaurants, the tasting menu at Cortiletto d’Alba and Monviso are the best options. They were also my favorites, so you are in good hands!