Tuscany is home to a rich culinary culture based on fresh produce, hearty meats and delicious wines. With so many ingredients to choose from, chefs in this region are inspired to produce dishes that are a fusion of tradition with updated innovation. From farm-to-table establishments to modern places in urban spaces, the following is our guide to the top 10 restaurants in Tuscany.
The stylish, one Michelin starred, Il Faconiere, is a typically Tuscan fine dining restaurant. Located in an old lemon house that forms part of a bigger 17th century villa, it feels both charmingly rustic and very sophisticated, with a modern glass and wrought iron terrace looking over the surrounding countryside. It’s one of the best places to sample the cuisine of the region, and the seasonal tasting menu is the best way to sample as much as you can.
Currently owned by Giorgio Pinchiorri and Annie Feolde, the three star Michelin restaurant, Enoteca Pinchiorri, was named the 32nd best restaurant in the world by British Restaurant magazine. Found in Florence, the establishment serves dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, paired with tasty Tuscan wines. For a special treat, order the six course menu; though the costs are high, the quality of the food is well worth the price.
Inside Lucca’s Contemporary Art Museum, you’ll find creativity of a different kind at L’Imbuto. Offering tasting menus for three prices (40, 60 and 90 euros), Chef Cristiano Tomei seeks to provide customers with a new dining experience using traditional Tuscan ingredients.
Tucked in the small Valdarno Iborgo, Il Canto del Maggio provides diners with classic farm-to-table service. Owner Mauro and his daughter opened up the hotel at Canto Del Maggio, as well as the restaurant, preparing dishes made from ingredients found in Mauro’s garden (clients can even ask him to give a tour). Prices are reasonable, wines are local and the view is priceless.
Piccolo Principe is an unassuming restaurant located on the fifth floor of the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte, on the coast by Lucca. The venue has two Michelins stars and is one of the best in the region. Executive Chef Giuseppe Mancino attributes the restaurant’s success to his goal of serving food that exemplifies the crossroads of tradition and innovation. Enjoy scallops with turnip, caviar and yogurt, local lamb with chicory, peppers and coffee, or fresh pastas and risottos.
In the heart of Maremma, Caino, serves delicious two-star Michelin cuisine. What began as a wine retail business transformed into a contemporary restaurant that seats only nine tables, allowing Chef Valeria to fully focus on the food. Traditional Tuscan dishes are deconstructed and re-assemble in a completely new way, giving new life to old flavors. Dishes include interesting combinations such as roasted veal tongue sandwich with blueberry flavored onion, saffron potatoes and capers, or hare with pumpkin cream and foie gras.
Hidden in the small town of Montemerano, Trattoria Verdiana is a family run restaurant that is noted for serving fresh game and local vegetables. Managed by Sergio and Annarita, the restaurant serves rustic meals that are as memorable as they are authentic. Customers recommend the focaccia bread and the Chef’s specials.
Osteria La Piana is a casual restaurant with walls covered with pictures of the city’s famous annual horse race. While the menu offers a number of local specialties, such as Tuscan wine and large steaks, customers rave about the pici con cinghiale, pasta with wild boar sauce.
The philosophy behind IO Osteria Personale was owner Matteo Fantini’s desire to breakdown stereotypes about Italian cuisine. Forget everything you thought you knew about Tuscan staples, pasta or seafood, and expect creative combinations such quinoa risotto with figs, coffee and blue cheese.
La Taverna di San Giuseppe offers diners an informal dining experience in a restaurant that was once an Etruscan wine cellar and a medieval chapel. The intimate space is the perfect place for an antipasti, and the locals come here for the homemade pastas, the chianina steak and the cinghiale (wild boar). It can get crowded, so make a reservation beforehand.