Famous for its Palio, and endless plates of Pici, Siena is a town perfect for any Italian food lover to get their fork on. Siena’s great choice of restaurants can make it difficult for the traveler to know where to eat authentic Tuscan cuisine.
So many restaurants in Siena, Italy, how do you choose the right one?
With so many fantastic establishments to choose from it can be hard to just settle on a few good spots to quench your thirst for some authentic Tuscan cuisine. One of the easiest ways to ensure you are getting top quality ingredients and dishes that stay true to Tuscany’s roots is to dine at a certified Slow Food restaurant in Siena, Italy.
Slow-Food? What is that and what restaurants in Siena, Italy have made the cut?
Seeking out to preserve and celebrate the local ingredients and traditional plates of Siena’s past, dining at one of Siena’s Slow Food Restaurants is a sure-fire way to experience true Sienese cuisine. In the city of Siena, Italy only two restaurants that have made the cut to be listed in the prestigious Slow Food Guide:
1. OSTERIA Babazuf
Not only an interesting name but this restaurant also has a fantastic menu of traditional dishes. One notable appetizer is the “Crostini con Milza”. This a crunchy delicious bread covered in a meat pate made from spleen and is spot for the taste buds of the adventurous foodie at heart. Are you looking for a blast from the past?! Then do not miss out on dessert. Babazuf’s medieval cake “Torta alla balconata” is a favourite dish of the locals and a unique dessert that you won’t find at many other restaurants in Siena, Italy.
Conveniently located near the famous to Piazza del Campo, the magnificent central square of Siena, it is a great place to refuel after enjoying a morning walking tour of Siena’s historic centre. For opening times check their website.
2. La Sosta al Violante
This restaurant is another historic centre gem. It is the perfect place to dine for those wanting to experience the coziness of a typical stone-walled Tuscan “Osteria”. The service is simple and not stuffy. Instead they put a lot of thought into the dishes they make.
A must try is the “Pici”, this is the quintessential pasta dish from this area of Tuscany, often married with a hearty ragù of Capocollo . This dish is a must try on any pasta lover’s foodie bucket-list. Meat lovers can dig into slow cooked “Brasato” of veal braised with Chianti. This goes down well with a nice glass of Rosso di Montalcino.
Where you can find more Slow-Food Restaurants in Siena, Italy
Siena isn’t just a city! You can continue your foodie journey throughout the province of Siena, Italy with the help of a car. Some nearby towns and slow food restaurants that are worth a stop on the road are:
La Botte Piena
In Montefollonico, a tiny village about 30 miles southeast of Siena you will find La Botte Piena (In Italian this literally means a “Full wine barrel”). It is one of the most authentic Osterie in all of Tuscany! La Botte Piena offers very traditional dishes from the famous appetizer of “Fegatini di Pollo” (chicken livers) to the “Stracotto di cinta senese” (A slow cooked dish that takes an entire day to make and is definitely worth the wait!). To round out your meal, be sure to try the killer combination of handmade biscotti and the delicious Vin Santo. Don’t forget to go all out and dip that biscotto in the vino for an extra indulgent dessert!
Da Roberto, is a locally owned taverna in Montisi, a small town located near Montalcino. Chef Roberto creates dishes in full respect of the land and personally selects the local ingredients that he uses in this kitchen. Roberto’s passion for slow-food, local cuisine goes beyond just upholding tradition. He can tell you all about the dish, the ingredients, and the farmer. This is a truly appreciated approach that is at the core of the sustainable slow food movement. If you make it to this restaurant I recommend trying some authentic Tuscan “Cucina Povera” (poor man’s food) with a bowl of the “minestra of farro e fagioli” (Spelt and bean soup). If you are sold on dining at Roberto’s then be sure to make a reservation as spots are limited and you might catch Roberto out of the restaurant meeting with one of his local farmer friends!
So, there you have it! These are where you can find Slow-Food restaurants in Siena, Italy. Have you personally dined at any of any of these restaurants? If so, what was your favourite Tuscan dish? We would love to know!
If you are a Slow-Food lover and want to experience dining at Italy’s Top Slow-Food Restaurant for Traditional Cooking then check out any one of these itineraries: Italy Undiscovered or Italy’s Epicurean Journey. We would love to have you join us on your next trip to the Bel Paese.