While it may go without mentioning, the fish along the Ligurian coast is some of the freshest in the world (as most restaurants source from small local fishermen, they get their supplies within minutes of the catch). Most of the fish here is of the flaky, white variety, although during certain months you can find the massive tuna swimming just meters off the coast. Italians love their fish simply prepared, but if you come in spring, make sure you order yours with the delicious seasonal 'carciofi' (artichokes).
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Cappuccino in the piazza
What it lacks in cost-effectiveness (3 euros, really?), the cappuccino at Da Gennaro in Santa Margherita Ligure makes up for in charm. Nestled in the middle of the central piazza, Da Gennaro's location makes for prime people watching. Come for lunch, and stay in the glass-enclosed restaurant to linger over a steamy cappuccino (even if it is afternoon and not prime cappuccino time, who really cares when you are on vacation?).