Fine local dining amidst ancient cave dwellings, authentic Napoli style pizzas and northern Italian street food eats; just a few examples of the culinary delights awaiting foodies eating out in Matera. Read on for our round up of the southern Italian city’s very best local restaurants.
An artisan piadineria typical of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, Piada is the place to head in Matera for a fix of quick and tasty northern Italian street food eats. The menu is fairly straightforward with three main options – piada (a flatbread-based sandwich), crescioni (a stuffed, pasta-like bread) and piadipizza (pizza toppings on piada bread) – but guests can choose from an array of fillings and toppings ranging from speck, squacquerone cheese and grilled eggplant to buffalo mozzarella, Parma ham, tomato, oregano and olive oil. Treat yourself to a sweet take on the street food classic with a Nutella-filled piada for dessert.
Piada, Via Delle Beccherie 45, Matera, Italy +39 320 411 6206
Since Pietro Marrocolli and his brother, chef Domenico Marrocolli, opened their doors in 2013, Ristorante Soul Kitchen has quickly become one of Matera’s most raved-about restaurants for its modern take on classic Basilicata cuisine. Begin with the chef’s choice antipasti – a selection of three hot and three cold small bites that often include the likes of fried onions drizzled with balsamic vinegar and local cheeses – followed by heartier plates like risotto with asparagus and mushrooms or roasted wheat orecchiette pasta with turnip greens, sun-dried pepper oil, garlic, anchovies and red pepper.
Ristorante Soul Kitchen, Via Casalnuovo 27, Matera, Italy +39 329 933 1094
Seafood fans in Matera, take note: a visit to the scenic city would be incomplete without a visit to Il Mare nei Sassi. Chef Gianpiero Monaco serves contemporary, fish-focused regional cuisine in an airy, modern space boasting a rooftop terrace with spectacular views over Sassi di Matera. Appetizers like carpaccio of smoked swordfish with pomegranate are followed by first and second courses like calamarata pasta with clams, monkfish and pennyroyal mint and almond-crusted grouper with Murgia-grown potatoes and lentils.
Il Mare nei Sassi, Via Rosario 73, Matera, Italy +39 083 533 4891
The motto at the recently opened Cenacolo degli Artisti is ‘food, art and culture’, and for diners who like to combine delicious food, art, music and design there’s no better place to eat in Matera. Chef Vito Sansanelli takes his cue from locally sourced products and combines with his contemporary outlook, artfully plating elegant dishes like lamb with caramelized pears and honey or tagliolini with venison ragu; while local pianist Stefania Mobilio and Rome-based poet and writer Alessandra Battaglia are amongst the talents who have recently performed at Cenacolo degli Artisti.
Cenacolo degli Artisti, Via D’Addozio 14, Matera, Italy +39 347 819 3930
A classy dining spot located on Matera’s Piazza Cesare Firrao, Ristorante Alle Fornaci focuses on simple, yet refined, local and national culinary specialties served in a decidedly elegant space. Guests will find plenty of pizzas, pasta and meat-based dishes on Ristorante Alle Fornaci’s eclectic menu, but the real specialty is its locally sourced seafood dishes, think risotto with red prawns from nearby Gallipoli, zucchini and saffron or potato-crusted filet of turbot served with creamed chard and crispy peppers.
Ristorante Alle Fornaci, Piazza Cesare Firrao 7, Matera, Italy +39 083 533 5037