Tuscany is pretty much a dream destination. With one of the freshest and authentic dishes, Tuscany cuisine is popular all over the world. Typically, the Florentine people never start a meal from the main course but always have a starter first. The Tuscany landscape produce and extra virgin olive oil, so enjoy it in all the dishes!
We’ve prepared a list for you with some of the most tempting foodie experiences you can have – and when you’re staying in one of our villas in Tuscany you know you’ll be getting the very best of the region’s accommodation when you embark on your journey to the best foodie experiences in Tuscany!
Traditional Tuscan food harmonizes two inseparable principles – simplicity and quality. Tuscan cuisine is based on the so-called “cucina povera,” the peasant traditions that arose out of necessity during hard times.
In Tuscany you will find the best meat and fresh ingredients for every dish. Tuscans are known for eating seasonally, so don’t worry, your meal is always fresh prepared with local ingredients. In fact, one of the specialties below is only available for a few weeks every year! Enjoy!
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
One of the traditional food in Tuscany, as the name says, is Bistecca alla Fiorentina or Florentine T-bone steak. This has a “T” shaped bone with the fillet on one side and the sirloin on the other. It has to be aged at least a few days (for some up to 20!) and when it is time to cook it the meat has to be at room temperature. If you want to try this, you should check out our list with best restaurants in Tuscany!
If you are vegan or vegetarian this food is for you! You should try the traditional Tuscany salad name Panzanella (bread salad). This is a cold bread salad with ingredients like bread, tomatoes, basil, red onions, olive oil and salt. His name probably derives from the word, pan, which is short for pane or bread, and zanella, an old italian name for a bowl.
Pappa al Pomodoro
Another vegan friendly food is Pappa al Pomodoro soup. This is made with Tuscan bread, garlic, tomatoes and basil. This is usually made with leftover bread, and can be served hot, room temperature, or chilled.
If you are in vacation and you want to try something sweet, do not miss Castagnaccio. This is a traditional Tuscan dessert made with Chestnut flour, raisins, and pine nuts, seasoned with a bit of salt, olive oil, rosemary. The ingredients are baked and made a dense cake which can be enjoyed both warm and cold and is best to consumed with a Tuscan wine!
This dish is usually enjoyed in the wintertime. “Ribollita” literally means “reboiled” and was traditionally made by reboiling leftover minestrone. The main ingredients are black cabbage, beans and bread.
Trippa & Lampredotto
You can’t say you’ve been to Florence if you don’t stop by one of its famous “chioschi” or street food stands where you can buy and taste Florence’s street food. Trippa and Lampredotto are good examples of the “cucina povera” tradition in Tuscan cuisine.
Simply put, they are organ meat or offal. Lampredotto in particular is a Florentine street food specialty!
What to drink?
Well, wine of course! Tuscany is one of the world’s best destinations for wine-lovers: reds, whites and dessert wines from Sassicaia to Chianti. The Tuscan vineyards alone are breathtaking, too. In Tuscany is you can’t go wrong sampling one of its phenomenal wines. If you don’t know what to choose try vino della casa, house wine, as it will likely be a delicious Tuscan table wine.
Montalcino and Montepulciano are two classic red wines, the former split between the full-bodied Brunello di Montalcino and the lighter, younger Rossi di Montalcino. Montepulciano, another long-respected red wine, is slightly less complex (and less expensive!) than the Brunello.
Another Tuscan wine you’re sure to have heard of is the Chianti – a versatile wine produced throughout central Tuscany. Pair your meal with a glass of Chianti and enjoy the flavors and traditions of Tuscany in every plate!
Where to eat and drink in Tuscany
As a Tuscany tourist you surely want to experience the region’s delicious specialties at the most affordable restaurants. Eating out in this lovely region is not as expensive as you might think if you choose wisely, especially the wine. For example, the home made wine, which is the most drinkable and the most delicious, will push your bill with only a few euros. With only 15 Euros, you can taste a pasta dish or a main course, plus either an antipasto or a dessert. There are also restaurants where you can get a full meal, at the same price.
LOCANDA APUANA, situated above the sea level is a very interesting recommendation whenever you want to enjoy a satisfying meal and a wonderful view. What should you try? Layers of fat from the pig’s back are laid in marble troughs and cured in a mix of salt, herbs and spices: sliced wafer-thin, the result is a milky-white, aromatic and surprisingly sensual palate teaser. Their own lardo is served with juniper-infused fig jam or with a biting watermelon mostarda pickle (€6), wrapped around stuffed rabbit loin for a savory, salty hit (€9) and used to give depth to roast potatoes. If you don’t fancy eating raw fat (although round here, they extoll its health-giving properties), try the tordelli, half-moon-shaped ravioli filled with a mixture of meat, spinach and ricotta (€7).
BAR DELL’ORSO, despite not having a very inspiring design is located in one of Tuscany’s prettiest hilltop villages, being a useful stop between Florence and Siena. Are you in for a roaring trade in panini e merende, or sandwiches and snacks? Well, this is the place to be. There is also a menu of hot dishes, but many people come here for the platters laden with cheeses and salumi. All these are sold by weight, but a generous mixed platter for two including marinated artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes comes in at about €20. The local Chianti Colli Senesi at €7 a liter is a perfect accompaniment. Avoid weekends: the place is always packed.
TRATTORIA BONINI is a modest place where, on weekdays, €12 will buy you a two-course pranzo di lavoro, or working lunch, that includes wine, water and a plate of fresh fruit to finish. On Thursdays there is bollito misto (mixed boiled meats) served with piquant salsa verde and on Fridays baccalà (salt cod). The delicious bread, fresh from the family bakery, is an added bonus. At weekends, steaks, roast meats and festive pollo fritto (fried chicken) push the prices up to a still affordable €25/€30 a head.
OSTERIA LA PORTA
If you are a wine lover, you should try the most iconic Tuscan trattoria: La Porta. With a cellar of over 250 Tuscan wines, this restaurant is the place where you’ll taste a good local food like pici in duck sauce.
A beautiful restaurant located near the beach is the perfect place where you could have your dinner with your family. If you are in vacation in Tuscany, we recommend you this restaurant where you will find great wines and good food.
OSTERIA CASSIA VETUS, LORO CIUFFENNA
In their menu you will find food produced with local ingredients and careful preparation like the chicken with lemon and almond and saffron ((€12). If you choose this restaurant don’t forget to try their ice cream. Whether you want a full meal, an ice cream or a cup of chocolate, this is a delightful place. If you looking for a great little place with local food, this is your restaurant. And it is very family friendly.!
Starting from June and ending in September, the evenings are dedicated to food and local crafts. This is the best time when you can find seasonal products like: steak made on the grill, which is going to be one of your favorite memories to share after experiencing the unique tastes and recipes available at the local restaurants.
Have you tried the food of Tuscany? Would you add anything to our list? Tuscany is a foodie’s dream but you don’t have to be a foodie to thoroughly enjoy these Tuscan treats!
If you’re thinking to get out into that beautiful Tuscan countryside and taste the traditional food, you’ll need the perfect accommodation too! Just read about our recommendation if you’re looking for a place to stay in Tuscany! We will help you to find the perfect villa, no matter what you’re looking for!