Varenna, Lake Como: Nilus Bar

by gigi on December 29, 2008

Because Varenna is quite a small town (population of about 850 people), there were only so many places we could go to for our meals.  Also, because the number of restaurants was relatively low, the prices were in general a bit more than what we usually saw in the bigger Italian cities.  While we were at Lake Como, we tried to stick to cheaper places for lunch so that we could splurge on dinner.  Nilus Bar was located right on the shores of Lake Como and was a reasonably-priced pizza and sandwich joint.


It was a bit rainy the day we were there but we were set on eating outside so we could enjoy the view of the lake.  Luckily, the restaurant had a bunch of tables set underneath large umbrellas with a great view of the lake and mountains so we decided to sit there.  Despite the rain, the weather was still quite warm so eating outside wasn’t a problem at all.

Jenkins and I decided to order drinks first and we both decided on orange-flavoured Fanta.  For some reason, I think the Fanta in Europe is less sugary than what I find in Vancouver / North America and the taste is more similar to the flavoured San Pellegrino drinks.  I’m not sure if my suspicions is true or not but I almost always order Fanta in Europe so I can get my fill before I head back home.  :)


Nilus Bar has a huge menu mostly focusing on pizzas and paninis.  Jenkins and I decided to order one of each and share.  I picked the crimini mushroom and prosciutto pizza.  I liked the pizzas that I had in Varenna as well as the rest of Italy because they always use the tomato sauce and cheese sparingly.  Although I like cheese, I don’t like it to be the main ingredient in my pizzas so this Italian style of making pizza suits me quite well.  :)  I really enjoyed the mushrooms on my pizza but I felt that the crust from Albergo del Sole was lighter and more crispy.


Jenkins picked a simple prosciutto and mozzarella panini.  The bread was really crispy and had a nice crunch to it.  I enjoyed the sandwich but both Jenkins and I agreed that the pizza was definitely a better choice.


This was our first and only visit to Nilus Bar during our stay but we often walked past it on our way back to the hotel and it always had a steady crowd of customers.  I would peg the food as being only ok but the prices are definitely reasonable especially if you take into account the lovely view you get to enjoy while you eat.

Riva Garibaldi 4, Varenna, Italy

Food: [rating:3]
Service: [rating:2]
Price: $$

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