Wife and I will be traveling the Cinque Terra in September and were curious about places to eat in this village.
I usually just have a look at the different restaurants, and try one that looks appealing. From what I recall, there are lots of places down in the main part of town close to the harbour.
Hope you have a wonderful visit in the C.T.!
In May we ate lunch at Marina Piccola in Manarola with a great harbor view, and you must try the exquisite lemon mousse, which is actually frozen lemon gelato, blended and served in a chilled martini glass. Wow. My favorite dinner suggestion is to hike the Via dell' Amore at sunset to Riomaggiore, and dine on spaghetti al cartoccio (shellfish & spaghetti cooked in foil) at La Lampara. Wonderful waiters too.
My husband and I were in the Cinque Terre in May photographing all the villages, so we came to know the restaurants pretty well. We really loved the Trattoria Il Porticciolo just below the train tracks in Manarola. . We ate lunch and dinner there. They had a delightful Italian salad table or salad bar, which was very good as were the pastas, fish, and pizzas. It gets pretty crowed at night so go when they open or get reservations. Another good restaurant in Vernazza is Il Pirata at the top of the town. Very small so you might need reservations. We stayed right next door and had breakfast there--superb Sicilian pastries--and we made reservations for dinner after breakfast. The brothers that own the restaurant are very funny and you will enjoy their banter as well as the food.
I am away from my journal, and not Manarola, but La Lampara(Riomaggiore) was mentioned. If you mean the place below the tracks from the main street, by the harbor...Wow! I gorged on anchovie dishes (In citrus, fried, in tomato and potato casserole, maybe even gelato) hands down the best meal (of many great) I had in Italy.