Restaurant guide for Siena Province
Updated January 2019. This list is our personal recommendation for eating well in Siena Province and areas nearby. The restaurants where you should make reservations are noted with *. During the summer you should call at least one day in advance for dinner (cena) reservations (pre-notazione). Kitchen is typically open for lunch from 12:30 to about 2:00 pm, for dinner: 7:30 – 9:30 pm, and later on weekends. Increasingly more restaurants use The Fork and Yelp booking sites.
In restaurants, pizza is served at dinner only. During the day, buy pizza by the slice from the snack-bars in towns. House wine is always good. If you’re a couple, ask for mezzo litro di rosso = half a litre of red in a carafe, works out to 4 servings. But most restaurants only have bottled wines. Craft beer is available and is also made by small local breweries. No smoking inside, but at outside tables, please ask your waiter if okay to fumare, then ask for the porta cenere = the ashtray. Few smaller eateries still don’t take credit cards so bring enough cash, just in case. Buon appetito!
Few words in Italian to help you book a table:
Vorrei prenotare per la cena domani sera, due persone, il nome è Smith = I would like to make a reservation for dinner tomorrow evening, 2 people, name is Smith.
Vorrei prenotare per il pranzo oggi, quatro persone, il nome è Jones = I would like to make a reservation for lunch today, 4 people, name is Jones.
Preferisco una tavola fuori = I prefer a table outside, dentro = inside
$ = moderate, $$ = mid-range, $$$ = costly
Acquaviva di Montepulciano
Ristorante l’Angolo, serves classic Tuscan cuisine in a pleasant restaurant with good service. Go for lunch while touring the Vino Nobile vineyards. They now have 2 sides to this place, the established restaurant and at the adjacent refurbished room is a modern fusion style new restaurant. Have a look at the different menus, share an antipasto plate, and taste the home made long pasta called “pici”. The bottle of high quality/low price red wine from a local canteen was served with passion for hospitality by the owner. Closed Mondays. Via Via Galileo Galilei 18, 53045 Acquaviva di Montepulciano, behind the main church, 3 blocks from the main street, center of town (our last visit was years ago, but I hear it’s still excellent). (+39) 0578-767-216. ($$)*
Amiata mountain, village of Pescina
Ristorante Silene, fine dining at Mt Amiata, well worth a detour to this famous restaurant and country Inn. Refined cooking and local specialties (truffles, mushrooms, game), also vegetarian selection. Enjoy delicious hand-made pasta and the baked chocolate desert. Extensive wine list, professional staff, well furnished dining room. Closed Mondays & during November. At cross-roads, center of village, short drive from Seggiano. 0564-950-805. ($$)*
Locanda Amordivino, dine at the best restaurant in town, very nicely done large outdoor area in the back where you can see the chef grill steaks at a huge BBQ. Excellent pasta as well, also good starters, so we eat well here. Last visit in June 2018. Closed Tuesdays. Corso Matteotti, 126/128, 53041 Asciano, at the end of main street. Tel: 0577-165 660. ($$)
il Loggiato is our current favorite in the spa town of Bagno Vignoni. This place is more of a wine-bar and a tavern, than a restaurant, so you don’t have to follow any rules of formal dining. In summer the best tables are outside shaded by big umbrellas, while in the winter the inside bar and dining area are downstairs. There you’ll find 2 dining rooms with rustic brick walls and cozy atmosphere. Very informal menu of bruschettas, cheese plates and other light meals and snacks, but also soups and meat dishes at reasonable prices. Newly opened next to the famous open pool, and just below the bookstore drawing in a younger crowd. Attentive service by the owners, one is a sommelier and the other is a proper cook. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Thursdays. Tel 0577-888-973. www.illoggiato.com ($$)
Other Restaurants in Bagno Vignoni
Osteria La Parata, Osteria del Leone, and La Terrazza have all been there for many years and are well known restaurants. Usually you can get a table even during the summer. But on holiday weekends they get very busy and both service and food quality suffer. We’ve had many good meals and many bad ones too. This is a tourist hot-spot where the food scene is constantly changing and also the staff and management have high turnover. There are also 3 cafes along the main walk serving snacks and light meals, so you have more choice.
Betulia, classic Tuscan cooking, standard antipasti, pastas and grilled meats. Established small restaurant with constantly good meals. For almost 50 years , the Betulia Restaurant has been sensitive to changes in lifestyles, always maintaining the best characteristics of the restaurant: hospitality, service and good food. Today its cuisine reflects the territory with traditional dishes with genuine and seasonal ingredients. It is indeed the seasonality that dictates the menus whether they are tasting or à la carte according to the needs of our customers. Our location between the province of Siena and Arezzo allow us to choose from a well-stocked wine list; classic or innovative combinations, personally supervised by Chef Nicola Masiello, Sommelier Emeritus. Located just 1 km from the Val di Chiana A1 exit. Closed Saturdays. Address is: Via Vittorio Veneto 21, just inside the town from intersection to Sinalunga. Tel: +39 0577-624-131.($)
Camarlegno, is a very good trattoria on the central piazza of the village. Serves the local menu at reasonable prices, see all the specials for this summer. Many tables on the piazza and more in a charming dining room upstairs, walk past the bar and the B&B reception desk to get there. The roof-top of the tower has a spectacular open dining area seating 4 to 12 people, (if you can climb up the steps!) special booking for groups. Last visited May 2018. Closed Mondays. 0577-665-373. ($$)
Trattoria della Filiera, is a new eatery in town, located under the large parking area facing Montisi in a light and bright building with an entire wall of arches filled with windows. The charming Daniella runs the dining room while her brother is the chef, cooking traditional items such as the excellent lasagne I had, and also familiar treats for tourists, like hamburgers. This is a great place for groups, because there’s a lot of space indoors, plus 2 long picnic tables with umbrellas outside. It may not be fancy, but a very welcoming and relaxed place to have a good meal. Last visit July 2018. Via Del Lecceto, Castelmuzio, Italy. 0577-665-153 ($)
Castelnuovo dell’Abate, Sant’Antimo monastery
Osteria del Bassomondo, excellent local food, best home made pastas, try the tagliatelle with mushroom sauce. Closed Mondays. Best place for lunch when visiting the monastery. 0577-835-619. ($) www.antimo.it schedule of services w/ Gregorian Chant
Locanda Sant’Antimo, good home style cooking. Closed Wednesdays. The other trattoria near Sant’Antimo, with large outdoor terrace. 0577-835-546. ($)
8 km up from town, well worth the scenic drive, you arrive at Ristorante I Lecci. Currently (May 2018) the best value (quality/price) restaurant in the Orcia Valley and Amiata areas of southern Tuscany. You reach sublime heights of culinary nirvana with Chef Rita’s fresh melt-in-your-mouth pasta with delicious sauce of truffle-walnut cream or porcini mushrooms, to-die-for! My choice pasta are the little gnocchetti verdi al gorgonzola. In warm weather we have leisurely lunches under shade on the wide panoramic terrace with platters of antipasti, and in the late fall dinners by the fireplace inside the well furnished large restaurant. Game is also on the menu, and their tender steaks of Chianina beef are cooked over hot coals, but leave some room for dessert too. Your charming host, Andrea, takes good care of you while mother Rita is an amazing chef. The prices are lower than one would expect and the atmosphere is most welcoming.
How to find Ristorante il Lecci
From Pienza in the Orcia valley take the route SS2, the Via Cassia, just south of Bango Vignoni, drive up to Castiglion d’Orcia and keeping to the main road, drive past town and continue another 4 km along route SS323, at fork turn left toward Vivo d’Orcia (route SP18). Take this road driving thru the forest and in 4 km you see on your right a 2-story roadhouse with a large parking area. Tel: 0577-887-287, reservations not needed during the week. address: Localita Lecci – Vivo D’Orcia, 53023 Castiglione D’Orcia, Italy. Tel: 0577-887-287, reservations not needed during the week. ($$)
Celle sul Rigo
il Poggio is a farm-stay and horse-riding destination with an excellent large restaurant, with well spaced tables and covered outside seating too. Charming staff serve delicious local food and the classics, so it’s sure to please. Last visit August 2017. Open every day, look for the signs, on a hilltop next to town ($$). 0578-53748.
Trattoria La Pace, good home-style cooking (mamma in the kitchen), enjoy excellent hand-made “pici” at this friendly family restaurant. Besides the pici and the meats cooked “ai buglione”, the menu also offers specialties like tagliolini all’ortica (= ribbon pasta with nettle sauce), spinach and ricotta ravioli and pasta with wild boar ragu. Everything is home made from traditional recipes of grandma Amelia. is Lucia the cook, with Moreno, the husband, serving the food. Open every day during summer, closed Thursdays rest of the year. Covered terrace in summer is very pleasant, last visit May 2015. In the center of old town, Via Teatro 5. ($) 0578-53716, cell: 339 858 7794
Osteria Vecchia di Nilo has moved away from the narrow alley to a much better location at the end of the main Piazza Garibaldi #33. Osteria Vecchia is now simply known as “da Nilo” (at Nilo’s), after the owner himself. This is still the same beloved local favorite. Menu has fresh seasonal and regional dishes, superb homemade pastas, delicious food and great value for money. We last had lunch there in June 2016, the ravioli and the lamb chops just delicious, and the pici aglione had the more intense garlic flavor that I crave for! Closed Tuesdays in low season only. Seating outside on the terrace to the right of the main entry (best place for views over the piazza), and more tables al fresco around at the back of the restaurant. Inside is a classy dining room. Highly recommended restaurant, can get very busy so reservation is a must especially for the terrace in the summer evenings. Tel: 0578-239-040 www.iltigliodipiazza.it/ristorante-da-nilo.aspx ($$)*
Osteria del Merlo, is a superb restaurant and serious competition to the above Osteria da Nilo. It opened just 2 years ago, and has already carved out a reputation amongst the Italian foodies. Located at the south-east corner of Piazza Garibaldi, just dozen steps to the left from Nilo’s and around the corner from the cafe, you see a large stone tower with covered outdoor seating at the front deck, and inside you take a few steps down to a spacious high vaulted dining room at the base of the tower. A/c inside was welcome for our first lunch there in the hot days of August 2015. Professional waiters offer smooth service and excellent wine list (also by the glass), but the star here is the Chef Elisa in the kitchen! She beautifully prepared seasonal foods with sublime flavors, everything we had was delicious. Can’t wait to go back! Closed Mondays. Via Sobborgo, 1, Cetona. Tel: 0578-238-299, www.osteriadelmerlo.it ($$)
Mondo X, Ristorante La Frateria, at Convento di St. Francesco, supreme culinary feast in one of the most elegant and historical settings, pris fix tasting menus and a’ la carte, near 100 euro per person. Best for intimate fine dining. Closed Tuesdays. Beautiful setting in historical convent, outside terrace too. Located just north of Cetona. 0578-238-261. ($$$)*
Cortona – Camucia
when your travels take you to Cortona, in the valley below is Canta Napoli, a superb seafood restaurant just north of the town of Camucia. Gary and I have come here for many memorable lunches. It’s rare to have excellent seafood this far inland, so this restaurant owned by 2 Neapolitan brothers should get every seafood lover’s attention. The shellfish was superb, featured firstly on the antipasto platter that we shared as a starter. It had fresh cold octopus salad and several types of cured fish and as soon we finished it, out came the surprise 2nd part; a bowl of steaming clams and mussels! The pasta course was predetermined since we are dedicated to spaghetti alle vongole, and sure enough, sweet and delicious clams piled high on top of hot pasta was a treat to all senses. We even had the main course which was perhaps a bit too much food at lunch, but could not resist tasting their grilled and lightly fried mixed seafood platters, to further explore the menu. House white wine was perfect and inexpensive, and the whole meal with mineral water and coffees came to about 45 euros a head. Really good value for such high quality food. Service was friendly and efficient, menu has English translation, the setting was most pleasant in one of their two well furnished dining rooms. There’s parking up front and down the side street. Located at a roadside hamlet just north of Camucia see signs on the main road, the SS 71. www.cantanapoli.net Loc. Le Piagge, 33/A – Camucia di Cortona (AR), tel: 0575-62996. GPS 43.272727, 11.972061.
Osteria Etrusca. With all this good food around, sometimes only one thing can make a restaurant stand out. Now I’m talking about hospitality. Our recent meal (August 2017) in Chiusi was in the center of the old town, at Osteria Etrusca. Hospitality here is like magic; the charm, warmth and kindness of the owners, father and daughter, is beyond comparison. They both speak English. We sat at a covered outside table watching the street scene at the end of the day, and agreed that this is why we love Italy! The food is classic local fare, our group of 6 ordered pizzas, pastas, steak and salads … all delicious and very affordably priced. Here you’re not just a tourist. Closed Mondays. Via Porsenna, 53043 Chiusi , tel: 0578-222-243
Osteria La Solita Zuppa, creative take on Tuscan cooking, good food but small portions. Closed Tuesdays. Friendly service, cozy restaurant. Via Porcenna 21, in middle of the old town with the famous Etruscan museum. Tel: 0578-21-006. ($$)* www.lasolitazuppa.it
The best value in 2017 is at Ristorante La Terrazza Chiusure (on Facebook) same as Osteria Pizzeria Delle Piazze (on Tripadvisor), serving classic home cooked meals on the north side of the village in Chiusure, with big portions of inexpensive tasty food. Bring everyone with you, this is a great place for kids, too! 4 people can eat for 50 euros total, and the pizza is superb. I often ‘splurge’ and order the Antipasto Goloso and the Pizza Pazza. The mixed grill of pork is also good, as are the pastas for those who are tired of pizza already. The charming ladies, Giovanna and Adriana, will look after you! I want to give you a tip, hold onto your fork and knife, you don’t get new ones for every dish at these prices! Order wine by the half liter or the full liter carafe and try the new artisan beers …. pizza is still tastes best with a beer. The covered terrace has panoramic views over Siena Province and you see the huge Monte Oliveto Abbey illuminated down the valley in the evenings. During the summer you need to call (+39) 0577 707103 for reservations on the splendid terrace. Plenty of easy parking along the road. By the way, I live in this village. Via delle Piazze, 3, Chiusure , 53041 Asciano SI ($)* .
Locanda il Paradiso (on Facebook, Google) has been here in Chiusure for decades (10 km to Asciano and Buonconvento). It’s located on the edge of the village and offers a simple menu of summertime food with cold starters, hot soups and pastas at fair prices. Nothing is over 8 euros . Locanda il Paradiso has a wide covered terrace up front and a great view down to the Monte Oliveto abbey. This humble local cafe has become a favorite place of bicycle groups and motorbike tours, so be sure to call ahead to make a reservation during the summer. Tel: 0577 707016 . Via Porta Senese, 25, Chiusure, 53041 Asciano SI ($)*
Colle Val d’Elsa
Ristorante Arnolfo, the very best cuisine in Siena Province, with Michelin stars well earner by the Trovato brothers, Chef and Maitre d’. For the fabulous tasting menus of 6 or more small courses, expect to pay over 100 euros per person, and you can also order a’ la carte. Excellent wine list. Stop here when driving to San Gimignano or Volterra. Food is elevated to a fine art, service is professional, dining room is comfortable and smart casual dressing would be appropriate. Closed every Tuesday and Wednesday. Via XX Settembre 50, center of the upper old town. 0577-920-549 www.arnolfo.com/ ($$$)*
Ristorante Dopolavoro re-opened at La Foce a few years ago, and now it’s a spacious open barn-like restaurant and a recommended stop while touring the Val d’Orcia region. Come here for delicious food in a relaxing outdoor or indoor setting, with friendly service and English spoken. They are open all day and the location is next to the famous Origo villa and gardens, making this the perfect place for lunch before taking the guided garden tour at La Foce on the weekends and Wednesday afternoons; the tours start at 3, 4, 5 and 6 pm.
Last time we had a group of 6 for lunch here in June of 2017. We opted for a lighter meal and shared several plates of different cold cuts, cheeses and salads. Their menu offers the usual Tuscan fare with many good starters and pastas, while the mains include stews, kebabs, BBQ ribs and steaks. Here’s a nice surprise, they also offer a juicy hamburger and fries, with mayo and ketchup!! This hamburger is what we’d expect in the English speaking world, with a beef patty inside a bun plus extras like bacon & cheese. You should keep this in mind, as many restaurants have a “hamburger” on the menu, but it’s only a plain ground up steak, no bun or anything else, and barely cooked, more like a steak tartar. Get your real burger here, Dopolavoro has got it right! Strada della Vittoria, 90, La Foce (SI) – Tel: 0578-754-025 www.dopolavorolafoce.it
Valserena is a local trattoria halfway between Siena and Buonconvento at Lucignano d’Arbia. Valserena is a neighborhood restaurant with a basic traditional menu, but it’s definitely the best simple eatery in this valley and visited by the locals for their grilled meats. Great atmosphere, loud conversations, and everybody seems to know everybody. Come here for a good evening with absolutely authentic and really inexpensive food, drinkable house wine, and very friendly, relaxed atmosphere. We have feasted on their delicious spare ribs and gnocchi with pesto. Pizza is also cooked in the evenings. Don’t miss this experience! Open for lunch and dinner, closed on Wednesdays. The restaurant is perched on a hill west of the Via Cassia, about 9 km north from Buonconvento, and 1 km south of Lucignano d’Arbia. Via Cassia Sud, 2858, 53014, Monteroni d’Arbia. Tel: 0577-374-545. www.lavalserena.com
Lucignano, in Val di Chiana (Ar)
Ristorante il Goccino, is known for excellent cooking, it’s creative and fun, one of the best in the region. Set inside the town walls, this is an eatery of high quality, both in food and service. The menu created by Chef Susanna is loaded with seasonal food, including, a surprisingly large selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes! I love the marvelous mixed antipasto platter of tasty treats. From the street the restaurant looks small, but expands side, and in fine weather, ask to be seated out the back on the veranda, as the view across the Tuscan countryside is wonderful. On main street of old town at: Via Matteotti, 90, 52046 Lucignano. 0575.836707 ($$)*
Taverna del Grappolo Blu, our last visit back in 2008 was a pleasure, and I hear that it’s still serving rich and tasty home made pastas on pretty plates, excellent guinea foul, half-bottles of house red at great value. Warm and cozy interior in rustic building, friendly service, English spoken. Located right off the main street (Via Mazzini) near town-hall piazza, a few steps down the side alley Scala di Moglio, look for the signs. Open every day. 0577-847-150 ($$)*
Boccon di Vino and Taverna dei Barbi are 2 well known restaurants, but we stay away, so please let me know if you go and how it was!
Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey
Ristorante San Valentino is part of the Piccolo Hotel San Valentino just 2 miles from the Abbey towards Buonconvento. From the road you drive up and around the back for parking. There’s a covered terrace that’s good for lunch, and inside a large dining room but step thru to the wide open garden patio for dining outside in the warm season. The cook’s name is Gigliola and she’s a pro in preparing the classic Tuscan menu with a very nice touch. In the summer you should try her panzanella and burrata ravioli, with good local wines and of course always ask about the specials! It’s very romantic there on the patio and garden at sunset! Address: SP451, 53041 San Valentino, Asciano SI, Italy, (+39) 0577 707153 ($$)
Ristorante La Torre at the Abbey serves good food outside on the large covered terrace, but is often busy with tour groups. Closed Tuesdays. Enjoy lunch on the terrace when visiting the famous abbey. 0577-707-022. ($$)*
Up 1 km from the abbey in Chiusure is an excellent pizzeria Ristorante La Terrazza serving classic meals on the north side of the village with panoramic views. The Osteria il Paradiso inside the village offers a classic simple menu of summertime food of cold starters, hot soups and pastas at fair prices. Paradiso also has a wide covered terrace up front and a great view to the abbey.
Ristorante Pizzeria il Botteghino is an established road-house restaurant and pizzeria in Tuscany on the way from Torrita to Pienza, near the town of Montefollonico. Their good and simple cooking is very popular with the locals and delivery truck drivers.
- Why we like il Botteghino. This is one of our favorite Tuscan “truck-stops”. We have lunch and dinner here regularly throughout the summer and the quality of food is constantly superb. Daniele and his family run a great restaurant, and besides, he speaks very good English. Large covered outdoor area with lots of tables on the terrace. Closed on Tuesdays. Last visit August 2018.
- The Menu at the Ristorante Pizzeria. For starters, try the marinated anchovy fillets and the warm crostini, they can easily be shared. For the pasta course I often have the surprisingly light and small gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, heavenly! They make a fabulous Spaghetti Carbonara, go for it! This large restaurant is the best place in the area for grilled juicy pork ribs and sausages. They also serve pizza in the evenings and it looked good as the waiter carried a few to another table, but we haven’t tasted it yet.
- How to find il Botteghino. Located along the SP15 at a fork in the road. Address: 25, Loc. Osteria Delle Noci – 53049 Torrita di Siena (SI). +39 0577-668-031. ($)*
La Chiusa is another famous restaurant we like to stay away from. Go instead to La Grotta or Locanda dell’Amorosa or Mondo X La Frateria for good fine dining in this region.
This is a special place among the many good places to eat in Montepulciano.
- Why we like this eatery so much. Prices at Acquacheta are low for such tasty food, like 6 euros for a plate of fresh pasta al ragu (in 2018). Standard menu and the daily menu are both worth looking thru. Lots of choices but the reason many come here is the big thick steak the owner chops off and brings to show for your approval. Your steak will be cooking on the wood burning BBQ you see ablaze way back in the kitchen. This is a long and narrow space that packs in tables and chairs. Therefore you sometimes need to share the long communal table with other foodies. But it’s fun for us to rub shoulders and get to know fellow foodies while eating the most authentic local food.
- Menu at Osteria Acquacheta. Pici and several other pastas and soup are made with pure homespun goodness, all local stuff. The big Fiorentina steak dominates the long list of mains. Thia steak is a meat-lover’s dream come true but it’s huge, so share it with 2 or more people. Grilled pigeon, rabbit, pork, sausages … deer, duck, salt-cod, truffles, baked cheese … and the excellent choice of many greens and vegetables. Giulio, the owner is a famously grumpy-looking guy, but has a sense of humor and speaks English. Some customers don’t get it, so reviews can be mixed. But take my word for it, Acquacheta is an excellent place for a hearty and delicious meal that doesn’t break the budget.
- Wine at the Osteria Acquacheta. The owner of Acquacheta offers very decent local red and white wines, but also encourage you to bring your own special bottle. You will pay only 1.5 euros per person for corkage. They serve wine in simple short glasses, you wont find any high stem goblets here. The same glass is actually used for both water and wine.
- How to Find this Osteria in Montepulciano. Osteria Acquacheta is closed on Tuesdays and 3 months in winter. Our last visit was in August 2018. Walk down just a few minutes from Piazza Grande, past Teatro Poliziano. Address: Via del Teatro, 22 – 53045 Montepulciano (SI), Tel:+39 0578 717086, Fax:+39 0578 717086, call or fax, no bookihttps://tuscanhouse.com/restaurant-guide-for-siena-province/ngs by email. Walk-in without booking at the start of service, at 12:30 for lunch, and 7:30 pm for dinner.
is a gem, you should definitely come here for fine dining in Montepulciano.
- Why we like this Restaurant. This is the most pleasant restaurant with excellent cooking and courteous professional service. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the splendid Vino Nobile wines with your lunch or dinner. Seasonal ingredients feature truffles, porcini mushrooms, and game. We like them for their delicate hand made pasta and the chef who cooks the best rack of lamb for the main course. Delicious deserts, too.
- The Menu at La Grotta. Some people think this is too posh or costly, but we find it very comfortable and perhaps only little higher than prices at your usually trattoria. And the quality of food at La Grotta is superb making this an excellent choice for a special meal. I recommend the 6 course tasting menu at only 53 euros, with 2 people minimum order.
- The Dining Room and Terrace. The 2 vaulted dining rooms are spacious and tables are placed far apart to allow for easy movement and privacy. They also have outside dining in a lovely garden setting, recently expanded. This can be a wonderfully romantic place in the evenings with candle light.
- How to find La Grotta. Be sure to make a reservation for the outside tables. Easy parking in front. Last visit in May 2017. Closed on Wednesdays. Next to the San Biagio church that was designed by Sangallo, below the town on the west side. Tel: (+39) 0578 757 479 or 0578 757 607. email: firstname.lastname@example.org ($$$)*
Osteria La Porta, excellent restaurant and wine bar, recently re-done, popular with Italians who come to enjoy the fresh and creative interpretation of local specials, and the spellbinding hilltop village. Ask for a table on the terrace with panoramic views. Last visit in July 2018. Closed on Thursdays. Small restaurant, best to make a reservations. English spoken by Daria, the wonderful owner. Located at the town gate. 0578-755-163. www.osterialaporta.it/osteria.en.php ($$)*
Ristorante il Pozzo, has been a good local restaurant over the years, but changes hands often and is open during the warm months only. If you are renting a villa in the area, look this up first, but if closed, you can walk to the pizzeria down the road for a simple meal.
La Bottega delle Nane, excellent cooking and we like it. Some of the best food in the area, lots of daily and seasonal specials. Two problems are (1) no written menu for the daily specials – they tell you what’s available, the waiter speaks some English. (2) No house wines by the glass, only full bottles – but the local Monte Cetona area wines are not expensive. Closed Thursdays. Via Provinciale 187, town center. Tel: 0578-244-295. ($$)*
Ristorante – Pizzeria La Vigna, good local cooking, outdoor seating in the back. Run by a charming elderly couple, a traditional place where you’ll eat very well. Fresh fish Thursdays and Fridays. Closed Wednesdays. Via Provinciale 163, center of town. Tel: 0578-244-007. ($)
Latte di Luna, excellent local cooking, our favorite place to eat the best homemade pici (= hand-rolled spaghetti, have it with ragu or aglione, the garlic sauce) and superb steaks (filetto), some days also rabbit and duck, best known for their maialino = roasted suckling pig, this is the house specialty. Friendly service by owners Roberto and Enrica, she’s now cooking with her mother in the kitchen. Closed Tuesdays and usually the month of July (this year they go up to the Alps for cooler weather!). Very, very nice outside dining in front, but you need to reserve table well in advance. They take a summer holiday and close for the month of July. Last visit August 2018. Via San Carlo 2, east end of main street, just inside the gate. 0578-748-606. ($)*
Ristorante dal Falco, for a good Tuscan meal, you should try this established local restaurant, we always eat well here. On our last visit in October 2013 we had good homemade pasta, grilled lamb chops, and delicious desserts. Outdoor tables in the front courtyard. This classic local restaurant does not rate highly in Pienza, but it’s because they have not changed their traditional ways just to appeal to the modern tourist trade. Service is quick and friendly, English spoken. If you are tired of the limited fare at the many wine-bars in Pienza, come here for a proper meal. Closed Thursdays. Piazza Dante Alighieri 7, on main road next to the park, just outside of the old town. Tel: 0578-748-551. ($)*
San Casciano dei Bagni
Ristorante Daniela, excellent Tuscan cuisine restaurant-style. Highly recommended by our clients. Closed Wednesdays. Piazza Matteotti 7, center of town. 0578-58041. ($$)*
San Quirico d’ Orcia
Trattoria Osenna, our favorite restaurant here, with a wonderful setting for outside dining back in the courtyard under the enormous wisteria sheltering the terrace tables. Lot’s to choose on the menu. The ravioli is some of the best I’ve ever had. Their steaks (tagliata) are aged tender so you can almost cut with a fork, and delicious. Closed Wednesdays. Last visit May 2017. Via Dante Alighieri 42, center of town. Tel: 0577-897-541. www.trattoriaosenna.com/ ($$)
Osteria del Cardinale took this spot on the main street few years ago from il Tinaio. This is an excellent restaurant serving high quality Tuscan food, care is taken in presentation, food is both delicious to taste and attractive on the plate. There’s a high-vaulted dining room downstairs but we have always sat at the street-side tables. No inexpensive house wines here, only “fine” wines so the cost of the meal does go up compared to our usual trattoria dinners. ($$$) Via Dante Alighieri n.35/A Tel. 0577-899-945 www.osteriadelcardinale.it
Ristorante il Garibaldi, (Il Garibaldi on Facebook) is one of our favorite road-house truck-stops and after a brief closure has re-opened with new management and remodeling. Still they carry on the excellent Friday & Saturday special fish and seafood menu! Closed on Sundays. Located at the Tamoil Petrol stop on SS2, Via Cassia. Tel. 0577-898-315 ($$) www.ilgaribaldisanquirico.it
Osteria Da Gagliano, good cooking in a classic small Osteria. Closed Tuesdays. Via Roma 5, a few steps from the main piazza in the old town. Best food in Sarteano. 0578-268-022. ($$)*
Saracino, good Tuscan home-style cooking from the rosticceria. Closed Mondays. Via di Fuori 47, on the main road through town. ($)
Osteria Le Logge, excellent Tuscan cuisine at elegant old-world restaurant, best tables on the ground floor, also outside seating. Delicious fresh pasta and desserts! Closed Sundays. Located just off the Campo on Via del Porrione 33. Beware of the small step down just inside the front door! … Reserve table 0577-48013. ($$$)*
Osteria il Grattacielo, little corner Osteria seats few people inside plus outside tables under the high arch of the covered alley. Has very good antipasto platters, salads and sandwiches. Order at the counter. Ask them to prepare a big sharing platter for your group, makes it very easy. Last visit July of 2017. Closed Sundays. Located at corner of Via Pontani (8) and archway from the main drag, turn in at the corner newspaper kiosk. 0577-289-326 ($)
Osteria Nonna Gina, best authentic home-style cooking in Siena. Closed Mondays. Rustic dining room and a few tables outside, friendly service. Located a short 5-minute walk up from the Duomo: Pian dei Mantellini 2. 0577-287-247 ($)*
Siena, north of the city
da Quinto, large modern restaurant with the best local cooking, House wine is served in big bottles, you pay only what you drink. Closed Tuesdays. About 7 km north of Siena along the old Via Cassia at the T-section to Fungaia, Riciano. 0577-593-387. ($)
Osteria Lornano, excellent Tuscan cooking, restaurant style. Very pleasant outdoor seating at the small piazza. Closed Mondays. To Lornano village, take Badesse exit just north of Siena, turn left and follow signs to Lornano. 0578-309-146. ($$)*
Locanda dell’Amorosa, one of the best dining in all of Italy, under brick arches of the converted stables. They can accommodate large groups. Delicious food, professional service, really enjoyed our last visit. Closed on Mondays and also for lunch on Tuesdays. Between Sinalunga and Torrita di Siena. www.amorosa.it 0577-677-211 ($$$)*
Ristorante Santorotto, good Tuscan cooking, modern air-conditioned restaurant at a hotel, favorite for business lunch. Reservations not needed. Closed Sundays. Next to Esso gas station, parking in front, Via Trento 173. ($$)
Pizzeria La Compagnia, their thin-crust Roman style pizza is the best in Tuscany! This is a big claim but honestly, pizza doesn’t get better than this! Excellent full menu with fresh pasta, starters, lots of steaks and vegetables, new menu this season. Friendly service and very good food, outdoor seating, and pizza served in the evenings. Closed Wednesday. Last visit in August 2018. Located on main street Via Romana 23, just south of the town center. 0577-834-265. www.lacompagnia.biz ($)*
Ristorante Conte Matto, one of our all-time favorites, they serve an excellent meal. Enjoy the mixed antipasto, delicious duck liver pate, handmade pastas, tasty lamb chops, and well-aged beef are followed up by mouthwatering desserts. Ask Davido to recommend local wines, he is your charming host and speaks good English. Well worth a detour, parking lot just below school, sunny terrace has panoramic views, attractive décor and a/c inside. South end of town. Closed Tuesdays. Last visit July 2018. www.contematto.it Tel: 0577-662-079. ($$$)*
Please send your comments to zak(at)tuscanhouse.com and tell me about your experience at these restaurants, so we can better provide current information to fellow travelers. Thank you and Buon appetito !