The Best Restaurants in the Umbrian town of Montefalco, Italy

Enoteca lAlchimista is up there with the very best restaurants in Montefalco
Enoteca l'Alchimista is up there with the very best restaurants in Montefalco | © REDA &CO srl / Alamy
Culture Trip Travel Team

Feast in 19th-century olive oil mills run by famous chefs or a 500-year-old farmhouse in this hush-hush hilltop town that’s fast becoming a top foodie destination in Italy.

In the underrated region of Umbria, Montefalco is a must-see for anyone with a passion for the gourmet. Wine has been made here since the 16th century – when monks fermented it for sacramental purposes – yet only now is its sagrantino wine becoming fashionable, drawing in a crowd of clued-up travellers who stay on for Michelin-starred fine dining, rustic trattorias and countless wine bars and tasting rooms.

1. Locanda del Teatro

Restaurant, Italian

Lauded as one of the best restaurants in Umbria, let alone Montefalco, this fine-dining ristorante has a generous outdoor terrace for balmy nights, where you can taste the best of the region: chicken-liver terrine with pear and sagrantino wine, say, or tuna tartare with caramelised lemon and ginger. Everything is dainty and presented with flair: a shaving of truffle here, a swirl of balsamic glaze there. Inside is a modern, cavernous space with sculpted plastic chairs and wines on display.

2. Alla Via di Mezzo

Restaurant, Italian

Time-worn stable doors, chunky stone archways, ceiling beams like tree trunks. The sense of history is palpable at this 19th-century olive oil mill, a five-minute walk from the town centre. Owner and TV personality Giorgio Barchiesi grows the veggies you’ll eat here in his own garden, serving up a great value, rustic fixed-price menu starting with buffet-style appetisers ladled from terracotta pots. Everything is cooked in the local extra-virgin olive oil, naturally.

3. Enoteca L’Alchimista

Restaurant, Italian

Enoteca LAlchimista
© Paolo Paradiso / Alamy

Built like a wine cellar, with echoing stone-clad nooks and row upon row of burgundy-coloured bottles lining the walls, this glam, upmarket restaurant is worth the trip to Montefalco, even if you’re not staying in town. There’s a trio of tasting menu options and wine-expert hosts to help you pair the food with the best of Umbria’s tipples. Everything is highly local and seasonal. Chef Patrizia Moretti scopes out the very best artichokes, truffles, beef, asparagus, courgette flowers and chestnuts to create dishes that look like works of art.

4. Il Coccorone

Restaurant, Italian

Open for nearly four decades, this venerable institution ticks all the boxes for a slap-up Umbrian dinner: homemade pasta, truffles, beef, fat pappardelle and wild mushrooms, served in an unfussy, home-cooked style with the odd sprig of rosemary or mint. The leafy patio is the loveliest spot to sit in, though on rainy days the dusky-pink, wood-beamed dining room has lovely frescoes of the Italian countryside to gaze at. If you’re a steak fan, this is the pick of Montefalco’s fine-dining options.

5. Re Tartù

Restaurant, Italian

Translating to King Truffle – the reigning fungi in these parts, in season from May to August – this chic cream-and-white bistro offers views of undulating green countryside from its windows. They’ll put you in the mood for its hearty bowls of creamy trofie pasta, covered in grated black truffle, or beef stew with porcini mushrooms – both set off beautifully by a bottle of Umbrian red. The menu is heavy on pungent truffles, so it’s best for committed fans, rather than reluctant tasters.

6. Olevm

Restaurant, Italian

A slightly under-the-radar option for a swish dinner, Olevm is set in a charming period building full of antiques and wine bottles, with rooms painted apple green or custard cream. Spy curios such as a suit of armour at the top of the skinny staircase as you find your table. In the height of summer, there’s nothing prettier than its patio, decked out with olive trees, pink geraniums and a vintage bike. The food here is traditional: think lasagne, gnocchi and chocolate souffle – everything top quality and bursting with flavour.

7. Bonta'

Hotel Restaurant, Italian

One of Montefalco’s swankiest hotels, Palazzo Bontadosi has palatial, frescoed rooms as well as this upmarket restaurant. Set in a cardinal’s house dating back to the 1400s, the intimate dining room has curved, arching walls that could surely talk, as well as long tapered candles and striking contemporary art on the walls. You’ll dig into delicate tuna tartare and tagliolini with pecorino, mint and zucchini. Arrive early for luxurious aperitivi on the cushioned, cream sofas on the pavement outside.

8. Ristorante dell Agriturismo Camiano Piccolo

Restaurant, Italian

A five-minute drive outside of Montefalco, this destination farm restaurant and hotel is wrapped in olive groves and vineyards, with lush gardens that burst with flowers each summer. The tree-lined terrace beside the 500-year-old farmhouse is a glorious spot for lunch, sharing generous plates of antipasti, veal in sagrantino wine and superlative tiramisu and panna cotta. Just try not to go overboard on the local wines: you’ll end up wanting to book a room, too.

See our guide to the best hotels in Umbria or head to Perugia where there’s top-rated restaurants and hotels, now bookable via Culture Trip. To continue your Italian sojourn, see what there is to do in Florence or explore the range of attractions in Assisi.

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