One of Italy’s most beautiful Tuscan cities, Siena is home to the annual palio, or horserace, and the exquisite Siena Cathedral. If that’s not reason enough to visit this gorgeous city, then these 10 amazing restaurants serving delicious Italian cuisine should be.
Courtesy Gino Cacino di Angelo
Gino Cacino di Angelo
A must-visit lunch spot on any foodie tour of Siena, Gino Cacino di Angelo has one of the finest selections of meat and cheese available in the city. The staff here speak excellent English and are always willing to recommend dishes to foreign visitors. Choose a sandwich filled with roast pork or chicken, or pick a selection of cured meats and Italian cheeses to share between two alongside a bottle of Italian red wine. Any of the cheeses and meats can also be vacuum-packed to take away too.
For a truly authentic Tuscan experience, a visit to La Prosciutteria is in order. Specializing in sandwiches, small bites and antipasti, Tuscan wine and local cheeses, this places makes for the perfect lunch or aperitivo spot. The restaurant is split across a few adjoining rooms that are all rustic in decor with bare brick walls and cured meats for decoration. This makes it an extremely cozy and welcoming place in which to dine. The planks of meat, cheese and olives are perfect for sharing with a group of friends throughout a long evening of chatter and laughter, complemented by a couple of bottles of wine.
Ristorante Numero Unico, Siena | Courtesy Taverna San Giuseppe
Numero Unico is a gourmand’s idea of paradise. An equal amount of care and precision is put into the presentation of the dishes, making the dining experience as enjoyable for the eyes as it is for the belly. For an absolutely exquisite fine-dining meal, choose the marinated rabbit antipasti, the rosemary scented chickpea soup first course, the honey and coriander seed glazed duck main course and the chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream for dessert. The restaurant itself is very classy and clean-cut, with a decor that contrasts with the rustic feel of most Tuscan restaurants, but has a menu that is just as delicious.
La Taverna di San Giuseppe, Siena | Courtesy Tre Cristi
One of the most highly rated restaurants in the city, the Taverna San Giuseppe is an absolute must-visit for any food-loving tourist. Located within the heart of the old town, the restaurant is only 400 meters from the main square and is decorated in keeping with the ancient feel of the city. In the evening the cave-like restaurant is lit up with candles creating an extremely romantic setting perfect for an anniversary or special dinner with a loved one. All of the different types of pasta on the menu are made by hand in the restaurant’s kitchen, including the hugely popular green gnocchi.
Based in ancient rooms belonging to a 15th century building, Tre Cristi restaurant and wine bar has been in business since 1830. A true wonder to the eyes, the restaurant is decorated in keeping with its history and is covered in paintings from centuries past. The cuisine is primarily fish-based and all of the flavors are true to traditional Mediterranean cooking. Try the fixed-price ‘menu of the sea’ for a deliciously indulgent multi-course meal. Comprising an appetizer, an aperitif, five seafood courses and a sorbet, this menu may not suit those with small appetites but it’s so delicious it is worth splashing out on and giving it your best attempt.
One of Siena’s better kept secrets, Zest Ristorante & Winebar is hidden down a little back street just a short stroll from the main square. Open daily for lunch, dinner and impromptu wine stops, Zest offers diners a variety of menu options from snacks and light lunches through to multi-course dinners. Order a selection of appetizers to share alongside a bottle of wine or a couple of cocktails during a well-deserved break from playing tourist around the historic city. Or settle down for an indulgent meal of Tuscan rolled pasta tossed with a ragu of wild boar and thyme, roast beef served with a mixed green salad or salmon fillet and pea puree.
Set in ancient Etruscan rooms that have been carved out of the soft volcanic rock that Siena is built upon, Antica Osteria da Divo’s beautiful location is reason enough to visit. The rock and brick inner walls create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere in which diners can enjoy delicious Tuscan flavors cooked expertly by highly skilled chefs. The dishes on offer change with the seasons, which enables the chef to be creative with locally available produce. Roasted rack of lamb, rolled pork fillet, tagliata of red tuna and courgette risotto are just four of the delicious dishes that featured on the summer menu earlier this year.
Serving simple yet delicious traditional Sienese and Italian dishes, L’Oro di Siena has a menu full of pasta and pizza options as well as a few meaty mains. Order the carpaccio di bresaola as an antipasti to share before tucking into a first course of pappardelle al ragu or spaghetti pomodoro. Then for main course choose between the scaloppine di vitello ai porcini or the bistecca fiorentina. The only way to get the full L’Oro di Siena experience is to choose a delicious bottle of local wine to enjoy with dinner and end the meal with a digestivo. Reservations are recommended during busy periods.
The perfect place for lovers of fine wines, the Osteria Enoteca Sotto Le Fonti features more than 100 different bottles of wine on their menu, many of which are available by the glass. The restaurant is a small, family-run establishment and specializes in truly local cuisine crafted using seasonal ingredients. To sample a dish classically associated with Siena, try the wild boar ragu, the Ribollita vegetable soup or the fiorentina steak. Open daily for lunch and dinner (although closed in November for staff holidays) this is a great place for home-style Tuscan hospitality.
A restaurant that never seems to change over the years, Osteria Le Sorelline is a classically simple Sienese restaurant loved for its delicious flavors and friendly staff. Menu options include the traditional dish of pici alle senese,tagliolini al tartufo fresco,tagliata di veal, fried chicken with courgette, and fried artichoke. The welcoming ambience is the perfect setting for a family meal, a romantic date or a lazy lunch with friends. Guests are encouraged to indulge in an assortment of flavors and can choose to experience as many or as few courses as they can manage.