The Best Restaurants in Montepulciano

A hilltop town, the views from Montepulciano are best enjoyed at one of the towns many terrace bars
A hilltop town, the views from Montepulciano are best enjoyed at one of the town's many terrace bars | © allOver images / Alamy Stock Photo
Matt Charlton

Montepulciano may be better known for its wine than its food, but there’s plenty of first-rate fare to be had in this picturesque hilltop commune. Simple Tuscan ingredients are transformed into nonna-approved ragus, rustic platters of antipasti and indulgent desserts, with dining options littered across the town.

As if Tuscany wasn’t pretty enough, Montepulciano somehow manages to take things up a notch. The hilltop town is surrounded by vineyards producing the ubiquitous vino nobile red wine for which this area is renowned. In the pretty centre, Renaissance architecture and art combine with amazing views, romantic nooks and crannies and atmospheric restaurants for an unforgettable stay.

1. Caffe Poliziano

Cafe, Bar, Italian

Italy cafe - Interior of Caffe Poliziano, said to be the most beautiful cafe in Tuscany; Montepulciano, Tuscany Italy Europe
© Kumar Sriskandan / Alamy Stock Photo

Glossy wood-panelled walls, heavy drapes and terracotta hues take you back to another era in this welcoming cafe and restaurant. First opened in 1868, the establishment has only one foot in the past, with typical local specialties and authentic produce cooked with love and a modern flair. Whether in the cosy cafe or on the beautiful panoramic terrace, order an aperitivo (or some pastries) and drink in the view.

2. Enoteca La Dolce Vita

Restaurant, Wine Seller, Italian, Mediterranean, Wine

A wine shop with a kitchen? Sign us up. La Dolce Vita was opened in 2005 and is located inside a historic building that dates back to the 13th century. In very romantic (and boozy) surroundings, they serve easy plates faithful to local cuisine but always with a twist of innovation. The menu changes daily, but if they have gnocchi – order it. Trust us.

4. La Grotta

Restaurant, Italian

La Grotta Entrance
© Mint Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

You couldn’t really ask for a more stunning location right in front of the Temple of Saint Biagio – one of the greatest examples of Renaissance architecture in Tuscany. Finding a balance between traditional and modern, the Tuscan art of eating well is taken very seriously at La Grotta. Quality ingredients and simple cooking lead to mouthwatering dishes such as rack of lamb in a crust of bread and herbs, or ricotta gnocchi with vegetables from the garden.

5. Le Logge del Vignola

Restaurant, Italian

Dust off your credit card and surrender to this experience in the heart of Montepulciano’s old town. In one of two candlelit rooms, guests can savour Tuscan classics served with a touch of the chef’s idiosyncratic flair. The adventurous should opt for the surprise three-course meal. If not, choose a la carte: Tuscan vegetable tempura fried in extra virgin olive oil; pici pasta with black garlic and pecorino fondue; mustard-glazed lamb; or grilled Florentine steak.

6. Osteria del Conte

Restaurant, Mediterranean, European, Soup

Don’t be put off by this restaurant’s touristy location on one of the town centre’s main streets, near the Sanctuary of San Biagio and Montepulciano’s Fortress. The food is delicious and authentic whilst the knowledgeable, attentive is first-rate. All recipes are based on fresh, local ingredients and the menu varies according to the season. This usually translates as Tuscan delicacies like Montepulciano truffles, regional mushrooms and homemade pecorino cheese, always paired with robust local wines.

7. Osteria Acquacheta

Restaurant, Italian

Steak at Osteria Acquacheta in Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
© Joshua Windsor / Alamy Stock Photo

There’s a real community feel to this osteria, with its shared tables, healthy portions and staff that treat you like long-lost family. Appreciated among locals for its genuine and informal atmosphere, this place specialises in bistecca alla fiorentina (chargrilled T-bone steak). If you choose to sit inside, you’ll be surrounded by whitewashed stone walls and bare-brick arches, with close-knit staff bustling around you.

8. Trattoria Cagnano

Restaurant, Italian

This buzzy restaurant has a pretty even mix of locals and tourists, who come for its great food, fast and knowledgeable service and family-friendly atmosphere. The chefs produce everything they can at home, with a distinctly local philosophy, which means everything from the pasta to the bread, jams, biscuits and even some liqueurs are homemade. The pizzas are particularly delicious here, baked in a wood-burning oven and topped with local produce.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Courtney Stanley.

Looking for more recommendations? Make a weekend of it and book a stay at one of the best hotels in Montepulciano – you can do it right here on Culture Trip. If you’re interested in the best things to do while in town, you can choose between exploring winding streets, setting off on easy hikes and so much more. Before you leave, take some time to sample some of the best Tuscan wines at one of the best bars in Montepulciano.

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