Our Top 10 Restaurants in Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany is commonly referred to as the region with more heart and soul than the rest of Italy when it comes to savouring a delicious meal. Much has been said about the culinary delights of Italian gastronomy, but the vast region of Tuscany has a fair variety of ingredients and herbs such as basil, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, wild boar from the country side and sea food from the west coast surrounding Livorno.
Simplicity is the heart of the Tuscan cuisine. Identical to the rest of the Italian art of cooking, no more than 4 to 6 ingredients are likely to be used in a single meal in which each one of the ingredients is organic and of supreme quality. This is the reason why our editors at Travel & Lust can´t wait to revisit the Tuscan region again and lust into food heaven once more!
The main point of reference in Tuscany begins in the city of Florence. If you truly want to feel Florentine, then you must do as they do and grab yourself a nice, hot and juicy lampredotto panino for lunch. Lampredotto food vans are available all around the city, the one next to the Sant ’Ambrogio market is considerably great. For both lovers of focaccia and porchetta sandwiches, you can grab a bite to eat at All´Antico Vinaio. One of the best breaks during our walking tour was gulping down a panino sandwich with mozzarella cheese and drinking a glass of local wine for under 9€. Ask for the popular finocchiana sandwich which is a combination of spicey sausage with eggplant in a salty bread with fennel seeds, the combination is insanely explosive! All'Antico Vinaio is frequented mostly by Italian locals and they have a second installment on the same street, each on front of each other.
Tuscany is well-known for hunting game: wild boars, hares, fallow deers and pheasants that are often used to prepare pappardelle dishes. A regional Tuscan pasta known as pici resembles thick, grainy-surfaced spaghetti, and is often rolled up by hand. White truffles are very popular in this region of Italy and appear in October and November. High-quality beef, used for the traditional Florentine steak, come from the Chianina cattle breed of the Chiana Valley.
Tuscany's cuisine requires patience and a hint of soul. Take notice that each region in Italy has its own culinary specialties and versions of a common Italian dish. Once you've tasted some of the regional dishes in Italy, you'll want to discover what makes them particularly good, or different, from what you've tasted before so that you can recreate that dish once you're back home.
We discovered a real and authentic gem in the region, at the port city of Livorno. The real reason for a foodie to visit Livorno, is for the fresh seafood based cuisine. We tried the famous fish stew cacciucco and raviolis with squid, saffron, and basil...absolutely delicious!
These are our 10 favourite places to eat traditional Tuscan food from our trip (not in ranking order):
L´Ostricaio stuzzicheria di mare viale Italia 100 - Livorno (amazing views of the sea)
Trattoria Al Pallaio chiuso il Lunedi Via Pio Alberto Del Corona 76 57125 - Livorno
Osteria La Piana - Siena (Rustic setting and authentic traditional cuisine)
La Taverna di San Giuseppe - Siena (Try the fresh pappardelle with ragu sauce)
Osteria da Rosolo - Lucca (amazing location almost 'hidden' by a square)
Antica Macelleria Cecchini - Panzano in Chianti, Florence, Italy (butchery tradition)
Buca di Sant'Antonio - Lucca (Typical Lucchese dishes such as vegetable soup)
Trattoria II Contadino - Florence (Went 2 times...or was it 3? Wine is on the house)
Trattoria da Giorgio - Florence (Eat like a local with the locals)
Antico Vinaio Via de 'Neri, 65 and Via dei Neri, 74 - Florence (Take away or sit)
Please note: Our pics below displays our favourite selection of dishes in Florence city. We have however tried and tasted all of the restaurants mentioned above, but we couldn't disturb our hunger to take snap shots of the dishes! :) Although Livorno is not high on everyone's list for places to visit in Tuscany, we highly recommend having a go at some of their restaurants. It is a food haven!