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.
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 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.
The famous Michelin-starred La Mora still keeps tradition in check after 143 years with its inventive cooking.
A five-minute drive north of Lucca is the glass- walled dining room at the Michelin-starred Ristorante La Mora. With just 10 tables, the low-key restaurant is disturbed only occasionally by the faint roar of a passing train.
The owners used to have a popular shack by the sea and now they’ve gone big in the city, creating an outdoor summertime oasis favored by up-to-date locals—everywhere you look you’ll spot those famous Lucchese schnozzes buried tide-deep in fish.
With its rough-hewn ceiling, vintage cupboard wall hangings, and 1950's furnishing, Le Chiavi d'Oro wins the prize for the region's most outlandishly decorated restaurant.
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.
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.
Lombardo specializes in very honest Lucchese cuisine, such as the stewed codfish with leek, and also represents some decent and inexpensive local wines.