For dining with a view in Monterosso, look no further than Il Casello. Perched atop a rock outcropping next to the beach, this is a casually romantic place with stunning panoramas of the bay and Monterosso town. And amazingly, given this ultra-desirable location, prices are moderate (€8 for the trofie al pesto, €12 for seafood pastas) for a menu of typical Ligurian fare and a lot of seafood choices. That trofie al pesto, a ubiquitous Ligurian dish that isn't always executed perfectly at some other restaurants, is a particularly magnificent mixture (not too garlicky, allowing the fresh basil to shine) and al dente. But if you're all trofie'd out, I recommend trying one of their more unique primi, the gnocchi al salmone (green gnocchi with salmon and tomatoes).

Plenty of travelers see this place during the day and get it in their heads to have a sunset dinner at Il Casello, which is without a doubt rapturous. However, reservations for those patio tables aren't accepted, so it's a good idea to arrive at least an hour before you actually want to eat—which will probably be before dinner service even starts—and order a cocktail or two while you wait for that magical light. Note that you can reserve a special semi-private balcony upstairs if you call or stop by earlier in the day. While Il Casello is among the more romantic places to dine along the coast, it isn't at all formal: Instead, think yellow umbrellas, a makeshift wooden platform underfoot to level the tables, and a beachy vibe, which unfortunately can carry over to the service, which is notoriously slow.