Restaurants in Tuscany
With a local culinary history as iconic as its landscapes, Tuscany is a foodie’s paradise. The best restaurants in Tuscany prepare hearty local specialties such as bistecca Fiorentina, papa al pomodoro, rinollita, and funghi porcini from the local bounty that is as diverse as the region’s landscapes. And, of course, meals are served with generous pours of the provence’s first-class vino.
Arnolfo is just one of the restaurants in Tuscany to have earned Michelin recognition. Here, Chef Gateano Trovato’s contemporary takes on Italian fare are served alongside hillside views. And, at Tuscany restaurants such as Ristorante All’Olivo, outside Lucca, patrons can get even closer to nature with al fresco dining options. Here, customers can tuck into locally sourced meals on an outdoor terrace that’s shaded by vibrant bougainvilleas, while aromas from the kitchen waft above them.
Tuscany restaurants take advantage of their nearby coastline by stacking their bills of fare with freshly prepared seafood dishes. Set right by the beach, La Pineta serves up branzino caught on its owner’s family fishing boats. Trattoria Antico Moro also specializes in fishy fare, including the region’s famous cacciucco stew.
The outdoor terrace is seductively shrouded in bougainvillea and the aromas of a superior kitchen. Tuck into a langoustine that might as well be butter, amazing red mullet, fatty raw oysters, and a sauce of balsamic, oil, pepper, salt, and, yes, fellow kebab-defenders, soy.
At de Bondt chocolate shop by the Arno, Paul de Bondt, congenial, long-haired, and Dutch, was one of the original leaders of Tuscany’s cioccolate artigianale movement, blending exotic fine cacao beans long before the Pisa-Pistoia-Florence triangle became branded as “Tuscan Chocolate Vall
Start the day with cappuccinos and cornetti at this small café, which recently opened opposite a colorful Keith Haring street mural.
Firouz Galdo, an Iranian-born architect working in Rome, was brought in to create a contemporary space full of light, wood, and pewter—the whole thing could easily sit atop a Hong Kong skyscraper. Grano Salis, full of young locals, is certainly in the pro-kebab camp.
The refined, double-Michelin-starred restaurant combines impeccable service with Chef Gaetano Trovato’s creative dishes (suckling pig with cabbage pie and green apples) and sweeping views of the Tuscan hills.
The beach restaurant La Pineta may cater to Tuscan cognoscenti, but down-to-earth owner Luciano Zazzeri (a former fisherman) still gets his catch from his family’s boats. Try his take on the Livornese specialty caicciucco, a frothy soup made from wine, garlic, and branzino.
Lombardo specializes in very honest Lucchese cuisine, such as the stewed codfish with leek, and also represents some decent and inexpensive local wines.
For a lunch of expertly selected cheeses and cured meats, stop at La Vena di Vino, a no-frills wine bar with barrel-vaulted cellars. The pecorino cheese served with crystalline acacia honey is a standout.