Ticino cuisine has its origins in the pre-Alpine, mainly Lombard, tradition and culture. Despite these influences, which can be found in many recipes, Ticinese cuisine can be called "regional cuisine" because it is based on Ticinese products. These exquisite dishes are served in both traditional and modern ways, both in upscale restaurants and in the typical grotti.
In the Ascona-Locarno region there is the right restaurant for every taste. Luxurious restaurants with star chefs who conjure up refined delicacies on the table, pizzerias that serve crispy pizzas from a wood-fired oven, grotti where the polenta is still prepared on the fire or bars where a quick espresso is traditionally drunk at the bar. Whether dignified, simple, hearty, light, Mediterranean or exotic - the list is endless. But what is the difference between a restaurant and a grotto? If the restaurant is working out new creations from traditional dishes and usually offers the whole range of dishes, the Grotto attaches great importance to simple traditional cuisine. Only a few dishes are served, such as polenta, risotto, braised meat, cold plates and cakes. In contrast to the restaurant, grotti are usually a little hidden and away from the hustle and bustle - like in the valleys or far above the lake. But they have one thing in common - the use of seasonal and local products.