Often called the “green heart” of Italy, Umbria is a rolling patchwork of olive groves, vineyards and valleys. Cuisine in this region is often hearty and simple, relying on local and fresh ingredients. Here are the top 10 restaurant in the region’s capital, Perugia.
Before it was home to 450 wines and a dining room, L’officina was a workshop for repairing scales and balances in the late 1890s. Keeping with its history, the restaurant’s interior is now decorated with beautiful exposed wooden roof beams and visible metal pipework. The menu itself is also a masterpiece, with dishes like tripe with lemon marmalade and crispy bacon or tortelli pasta with cuttlefish, creamed cod, tomatoes and clams. “Thanks to the menu of the month, you are also able to try the best dishes paired with good wine,” says Andrea Stafisso, a Perugia native. L’officina also hosts cultural events, such as art exhibitions, poetry readings and culinary demonstrations, and has a list of upcoming events on their website.
Borgo xx Giugno, 56 Perugia, Italy; +39 075 56 21 699
If you’re looking for the perfect place to taste typical Umbrian cuisine with a modern twist, Il Ristorante del Sole is the spot for you. Take the cable car up to the old city and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the valley below. In addition to a lengthy seafood list, you can choose from a number of creative interpretations of traditional dishes, such as Gorgonzola stuffed potatoes with bacon or the scallops with leeks and pecorino cheese.
Via Delle Rupe 1, Perugia, Italy; +39 075 573 5031
High up on the list of the best restaurants in Perugia, La Taverna consistently wins the praise of foodies, tourists and locals. While the dishes are based in Umbrian tradition, they are also masterful reinterpretations of those classics. Chef Claudio Brugalossi offers guests an extensive menu, with traditional dishes like pappardelle with an Umbrian meat sauce, Gragnano spaghetti with clams, rack of lamb with herbs, and delicious pork sausages. Be sure to finish the meal off with one of their homemade desserts.
Via Streghe 8, Perugia, Italy; +39 075 572 4128
Traditional Umbrian dishes with simple, fresh ingredients are what make La Stella shine. Frequented by Perugia locals, this spot provides guests with a lively atmosphere and a nice selection of seasonal dishes – such as stringhetti pasta with a homemade ragu sauce or linguine with a roasted rabbit sauce. La Stella also uses natural and organic ingredients, and prides themselves on their homemade breads and their locally sourced food, which they obtain from nearby farms. Don’t forget to the end the night with one of their delicious desserts, like the panna cotta with stewed persimmons and crunchy hazelnuts.
Via dei Narcisi 47, Perugia, Italy; +39 075 692 0002
A popular butchery with sandwiches, fried food and pizza near the Stadio Renato Curi, Antica Salumeria is the brainchild of Federico Biscarini and Roberto Cronicchia. Inspired by a family tradition of cooking quality traditional Umbrian dishes, the pair decided to put a modern twist on familiar plates and offer them at reasonable prices. Dishes change daily and everything is prepared and cooked fresh in front of the customers in minutes. Customers also have the option to purchase local products such as wines and cheeses here.
Via Firenze, 26, Horseshoe, Perugia, Italy; 39 075 500 8470
This Perugia institution has been serving deliciously brewed coffee and delicate chocolates and cakes since 1860. Its frescoed, elegant interior is the perfect setting to enjoy a post-dinner dessert to round out a meal. Whether it’s confectionaries, pastries, chocolates, cakes, or even a gelato from their ice cream shop, Sandri is sure to impress you with its traditional Umbrian sweets.
Corso Vannucci 32, Perugia, Italy; +39 075 572 4112