Marina di Andora is a town of apartments built mainly in the last century, interspersed with a few old buildings. However, there are a number of beautiful old buildings on a hilltop behind, near the motorway, and another stunning old borgo (Colla Micheri) overlooking Laigueglia.
Casa del Priore (Via Castello - on a hilltop by the autostrada) Tel 0182-87330
This is well off the beaten track. If you come off the autostrada at Andora and head towards the Marina, shortly you will find a small turning on your left (strada per il Castello), following which you take another left that takes you up a very steep, twisty and narrow path – eventually arriving at a small car park on your right. Walk up the steps and you are there. There is a restaurant, brasserie and bar, open mainly in the summer months. The restaurant may be open only at weekends. Phone to book and check.
This is in a very beautiful old priory building, fully restored. You sit in a majestic room with an idyllic view through the windows over the Andora basin and the sea. The food is very fine, and you pay accordingly. <tooc, August 2006>
You eat on the terrace adjacent to the restaurant. The food is not the main attraction – more the beautiful location and the cool air. <tooc, July 2004>
Rocce di Pinamare (Via Aurelia, Capo Mele) Tel 0182-85223
(8) This is situated at the bottom of the cliff, with a lovely view over the sea and the marina. You park at the road level and walk down the steps. It is run by a Swedish lady, Louisa, who speaks perfect English. As you would expect, fish is the speciality – and it is very good. In hot weather, it is worth booking a table outside or by an open window. <tooc, August 2004>
Pan de Ca (Strada per Conna - on the plains North of the autostrada) Tel 0182-80290
(6) This is quite hard to find, but it is signposted. As you come off the autostrada, take the first exit at the roundabout. Look out for a turning on the left after about 1 km. At the end turn right, and then shortly left and you are there. It is an interesting and unusual building. You can ask to sit on the narrow terrace outside if it is hot. The food is a set menu, which may have a few choices – but you might not be offered any choice if you don't ask! <tooc, July 2004>
Al Cinquantasei (Via Doria - on a corner in the shopping streets, not far from the sea) Tel 0182-86586
(4) This is a straightforward, agreeable ristorante/pizzeria offering a standard range of dishes. <tooc, July 2003>
La Bolognese (Viale Roma, the main pedestrianised square) Tel 0182-88270
(5) You can sit at the tables in the piazza, in an adjacent glasshouse, or inside. They serve fish and meat, all very nice. <tooc, July 2005>
Il Grillo Parlante (Via Castello, near the autostrada entrance) Tel 0182-85109
(4) This is a popular pizzeria/ristorante, where you can eat inside or out. They serve some pasta dishes that you rarely find in this area (spaghetti al aglio, olio e peperoncino, for example), and you have a choice of normal or integrale (whole grain) pasta. There is no fish – only barbecue-style meats. The service is very fast, and if you don't get on with eating your food you'll find the next course arriving before you are ready to deal with it! (Makes a welcome change from some restaurants, though, doesn't it?). <tooc, August 2005>
Il Pedale d'Oro (via Cavour 72) Tel 0182-87389
(4) This is a little way back from the sea front near the railway station, in the streets between the river and the railway line. It is a very relaxed and welcoming family run establishment serving simple dishes at a moderate price. Pizza is served, but in the evenings only. <tooc, November 2008>
Colla Micheri Tel 0182-499590
(6) This is a place you would never find unless you were specifically looking for it, and even then it is difficult enough! You can get to it from Laigueglia or from the Andora side of the hill. As you go westward through Laigueglia, towards the end of the town you will see a brown sign for Colla Micheri on the right. You proceed up the steep, narrow and twisty Via Monaco until you reach the crest of the hill (stop to admire the view!). Here the main road continues down the other side towards Andora, coming out near the autostrada exit/entrance in Via Castello, and you could have come up this way (which is actually wider and less twisty). Anyway, from the crest you go along the side road for a couple of hundered metres until there is turning area with three very narrow tracks leading off it. You need to swallow hard and take the middle one up a slight incline past a large double door in the wall, and then just keep going, hoping nothing is coming the other way. Once there, hopefully you'll manage to park! Admire the beauty of this tiny hidden borgo before proceeding under the arch into the osteria.
Inside, there is an atmospheric small room, seating about 25, that was formerly a frantoio, with carefully preserved pieces of the apparatus still in place. There is a fixed menu of typically Ligurian food - well-prepared and plentiful. You choose the wine, and among those offered is their own red and white (bottled, but unlabelled and a bit rough). The price is very reasonable. An unmissable experience, but you must book. <tooc, March 2007>