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When it comes to finding the best Italian cuisine, you should look no further than the restaurants in Tuscany.
Emilia-Romagna, known to be one of the best food destinations in the world, was high on our bucket list of places to visit in Italy for food, but we weren’t satisfied that it would be blockbuster enough for the kids’ growing bucket list.
We decided on the Tuscan region so we could see Florence and other small legendary towns in and exciting places to visit Tuscany!
Tuscany is famous for its steak (Bistecca alla Fiorentina), cheeses, and of course, wine. If you’re thinking of visiting Tuscany and want to know what the best restaurants in the region are, then keep reading to find out!
- The Best Restaurants in Tuscany, Italy
- 1. Cafe Cibreo, Florence
- 2. Nerbone at the Mercato Centrale, Florence
- 3. La Pieve di Pomaia
- 4. Il Romito Hotel and Restaurant, Quercianella
- 5. La Carabaccia Trattoria, Florence
- 6. La Taverna di San Giuseppe, Siena
- 7. Restaurante Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole
- 8. Il Falconiere, Cortona
- 9. Forte dei Marmi, Lorenzo
- 10. Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence
- 11. Santa Elisabetta Restaurant, Florence
- 12. da Romano, Viareggio
- 13. Trattoria Bel Mi' Colle, Colle di val d'Elsa
- 14. In Pasta – Cibo e Convivio, Lucca
- 15. Ristorante La Casina Pizzeria, La Pineta
- Food Tours in Tuscany
- Final Thoughts on Restaurants in Tuscany
- More Italian Travel Tips
- Pin to Save on Pinterest
The Best Restaurants in Tuscany, Italy
From family-owned and simple restaurants to luxury fine dining, you’ll find a restaurant on this list for every taste bud and budget.
1. Cafe Cibreo, Florence
When I first visited Florence with my husband in the year 2000, we went to ristorante Cibreo, and I remember it to be one of the most memorable meals of my life.
So of course, years later, I took my daughter, but opted to go to Cafe Cibreo across the street instead to save some euros.
It did not let us down with more incredible Tuscan food to remember.
The kids had pasta with red sauce and my sister and I had a tray of hors d’oeuvres, called vassoio di antipasti, which is a fresh vegetable-based meal. Perfect complement to a hot July day in Florence.
2. Nerbone at the Mercato Centrale, Florence
Ever wondered what a cow’s stomach tastes like? Well at the Nerbone you can try.
Lampredotto, as it’s known in Italian, is best paired with Trippa alla Fiorentina, in other words, tripe Florentine style.
For the not-so-adventurous you can have some beef cheeks or Bollito (boiled beef). The Bolitto was sold out for us, so if you’re tempted be sure to get there early.
Doors close at 2pm. You must ask for the green sauce – it is unbelievably good and is an excellent condiment for all dishes.
3. La Pieve di Pomaia
La Pieve di Pomaia was a 5-minute drive from our Agriturismo La Lespa. This is basically the only restaurant nearby, and it’s actually a good one.
The best thing to order here is pizza; they have 20-30 different types of pizzas, enticing you to re-visit each night and switch up your pizza flavours.
We ate there almost every night.
We couldn’t resist having the house specialty called, Le Pieve, a meat pizza topped with regional salami such as speck (a cured ham), soppressata, (a dry pork sausage), and pepperoni.
This place is great for children; they can run around the grounds, not to mention the great sunsets.
4. Il Romito Hotel and Restaurant, Quercianella
Our farmstay host told us Livorno (next town after Pomaia) was his favourite local beach to visit.
He said very vaguely, “Enter ‘Quercianella’ into your GPS and when you arrive, you’ll see a castle, then park somewhere and walk down to the sea.
At the bottom of the path we were happily surprised by a very wild and natural beach. It was very secluded and full of red pebbles. There were also lots of birds that we couldn’t identify – just paradise.
After a few hours, we headed towards the car and decided to lunch at Il Romito Hotel and Restaurant.
The restaurant was huge and the view of the sea and mountains was breathtaking.
My sister and I had the Spaghetti Vongole, her son had Milanese, and my daughter had the ragu. The dishes were all very good and the scenery was unmatched.
The owner and staff made us feel comfortable and allowed us to linger for hours and just enjoy the environment.
If you are in the area of Livorno, make sure you stop here; you won’t be disappointed.
5. La Carabaccia Trattoria, Florence
La Carabaccia Trattoria is a great small restaurant that offers only three plates and one appetizer daily. The menu is handwritten on a chalkboard outside.
They specializes in seafood, and to that extent, serve exclusively the catch of the day.
They love to accommodate children and offered a simple pasta with red sauce, which was not written on the board. Simply ask them and they are happy to fire it up.
It was a good respite after a long day of sightseeing.
6. La Taverna di San Giuseppe, Siena
I found La Taverna di San Giuseppe in Rick Steve’s Italy Guide. He was right on the money for recommending this taverna.
It was a little more “fancy-pants” than the other restaurants I previously mentioned, but OH so good!
My daughter ordered tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms; my nephew had Tagliatelle of beef; and my sister had pasta with truffle, which was in season.
I had the chocolate pasta, which is not uncommon in Tuscany. Cocoa powder is mixed in when preparing a traditional flour and egg recipe for pasta, which gives it the color we associate with chocolate, and a hint of the bitterness one tastes when they have dark chocolate (it’s not sweet).
It is often served with a ragu sauce; mine was paired with wild boar.
Given that there was a boar displayed in the front of the restaurant, I figured it would be good.
We were also served a complimentary welcome soup of green pea, potato and olive oil. At the end, we thought we should be like the Europeans and order a cheese plate for dessert.
7. Restaurante Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole
Located in the Il Pellicano Hotel in Porto Ercole, this elegant Michelin star restaurant captivates its diners with its extensive menu prepared by Chef Michelino Gioia.
The restaurant is known for its seafood and game dishes, from pigeon to lobster.
The menu, featuring Tuscan classics, is always evolving and changing, in accordance to what’s in season, since they use only the best of Italy’s local produce.
Pairing the food menu is an extensive wine list, featuring some of the best local wines from nearby vineyards. Be sure to taste the Tuscan classic red wine, Chianti, with your meal.
8. Il Falconiere, Cortona
Nestled in a picturesque 17th century villa with a terrace overlooking the olives and Tuscan countryside, is Il Falconiere.
The setting is simply gorgeous, with beautiful panoramic vistas, but the menu is complimentary to the setting.
The love for the Tuscan landscape and ancient traditions seeps into the food, which has earned the hotel/restaurant a Michelin Star.
The menu is seasonal, featuring fresh local produce and combining flavor pallets appropriate for the season.
9. Forte dei Marmi, Lorenzo
Another fine dining restaurant in Tuscany with enthusiasm for serving fresh produce is Forte dei Marmi in Lorenzo.
It began with the Viani family back in 1882-1936, when Lorenzo’s great-uncle, Lorenzo Viani, a famous expressionist painter and writer, introduced Europe’s upper class society to the Apuan Alps.
Today’s Lorenzo shares the same vision and enthusiasm that his great uncle did, only with food over art.
You can expect dishes packed with flavor, from raw seafood delicacies to vegetable flan to Bavette on fish.
This is a restaurant that’s all about the flavor, so expect small portions that will excite your taste buds.
10. Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence
Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence is a culinary gem that offers exceptional cuisine and has three Michelin stars.
The restaurant is renowned for its classic Italian dishes executed to perfection.
The wine list is impressive, featuring a wide selection of exquisite wines.
While the prices may be high, the quality of the food, service, and ambiance more than justifies the cost.
Enoteca Pinchiorri is an establishment worth visiting for those seeking a special dining experience.
11. Santa Elisabetta Restaurant, Florence
If you find yourself in Florence, Santa Elisabetta Restaurant should be on your list of places to eat.
Another one of the top Michelin-Starred restaurants in Tuscany, with its coveted two Michelin stars, it sits in a prime location in the historical center of Florence, promising a remarkable gastronomic experience with unrivaled views.
The cuisine at Santa Elisabetta is characterized by its minimalist and pure approach, showcasing the best of Italian flavors and fresh local ingredients.
Led by chef Rocco De Santis, the restaurant offers imaginative Mediterranean dishes that will captivate your taste buds.
From gluten-free options to contemporary European fare, there is something to satisfy every palate.
12. da Romano, Viareggio
If you’re looking for a dining experience that combines traditional Tuscan cuisine, quality, and innovation, look no further than Ristorante da Romano in Viareggio.
With its one Michelin star and a rich history dating back to 1966, this culinary institution is a must-visit for foodies.
The restaurant prides itself on using top-quality ingredients to create dishes that are both refined and full of flavor.
From their eight-course tasting menu to their à la carte options, da Romano offers a delightful culinary journey through Italian cuisine.
13. Trattoria Bel Mi’ Colle, Colle di val d’Elsa
Those passing through Colle di Val d’Elsa should visit the family-run trattoria, Trattoria Bel Mi’ Colle.
This trattoria offers traditional Tuscan dishes that will leave you satisfied and craving for more.
Trattoria Bel Mi’ Colle has established itself as a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
From delicious antipasti to mouthwatering pasta dishes, their menu showcases the best of Italian flavors.
14. In Pasta – Cibo e Convivio, Lucca
Located in Lucca, In Pasta – Cibo e Convivio is an ideal choice for those looking for a casual dining experience.
This unique eatery offers handmade pasta and has garnered a reputation for its delicious food as well as offering great vegetarian options.
The restaurant’s menu features a variety of fresh pasta dishes, salads, cheeses, and desserts, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
15. Ristorante La Casina Pizzeria, La Pineta
If you’re looking for a delightful Tuscan restaurant in La Pineta, Ristorante La Casina Pizzeria is a must-visit.
With its charming location in the beautiful pineta of Viareggio, this restaurant offers a menu that showcases the best of Italian cuisine.
Whether you’re craving a classic mozzarella pizza, grilled prawns, or more exotic Tuscan dishes, La Casina has something to satisfy every palate.
From the moment you step in, you’ll be greeted with friendly service and a cozy ambiance.
Food Tours in Tuscany
Why not relax on a food tour in Tuscany? Allow a guide to lead you to the best restaurants to sample delicious Tuscan food and wine. You’ll learn a lot about Tuscan culture and history along the way. Here are some food tours we’ve handpicked for you, including from our favorite food tour company, Devor Tours.
- Oltrarno at Sunset: Florence Food & Wine Tour (we did this tour and loved it. Here is our review of the tour. Expect lots of chianti and florentine steak!)
- The Chianti Experience: Small Group Half-Day Wine Tour from Florence
- Tastes & Traditions of Florence: Food Tour with Sant’Ambrogio Market Visit
- Tuscany Wine & Food Tour with Guide Taste the true essence of the Tuscan wine region on a small-group tour from Florence, as you visit 3 authentic wineries and savor a typical Tuscan lunch.
Final Thoughts on Restaurants in Tuscany
Tuscany is a path well-beaten, but this region still has treasures that need to be found; and like us, if you’re hungry enough, you’ll find them.
We hope this guide helped you plan a restaurant in Tuscany to visit and gave you some inspiration about where to eat.
More Italian Travel Tips
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Do you have any favorite restaurants in Tuscany? Let us know in the comments.