Chianti is one of the most beautiful and famous areas of Tuscany, between the cities of Siena and Florence and framed by gentle hills that make it unique. A territory famous for its quality wine but also for its excellent food. An integral part of a holiday in these parts is therefore not only the landscape and the suggestive succession of vineyards, but also those ingredients that have contributed to making the local culinary traditions so renowned and delicious.
There are many restaurants in which to stop in Chianti to taste the most typical Tuscan specialties. Below we discover the best ones.
Via XX Luglio, 11, Panzano in Chianti
Dario Cecchini is the most famous butcher in Chianti. Dario is also defined by some as the poet butcher, and it is no coincidence that if you are lucky you can attend one of the recitations from memory of some of the most beautiful lines of the Divine Comedy. Cecchini restaurant does not only mean butcher, but Tuscan meat in all its most beautiful forms: the Cecchini Panini Truck, the pickup truck with on-board grill. To find it, just follow the aroma of the hamburger and the butcher’s steak cooked on the grill. Then we find the “Officina della Bistecca”, with a slightly more refined look and offering both a meat menu and a vegetarian menu; the right place to savor a gastronomic experience where the steak is the real protagonist. And finally “Solociccia”, a name that recalls the Tuscan country tradition where the meat is called the ‘ciccia’. Here, right above the butcher’s, you can eat sitting around long convivial tables, the menu is fixed, all based on different courses of meat cooked in the large open brazier that dominates the room. In addition to various types of meat offered according to different cooking styles, other products can also be purchased at the Cecchini butcher’s shop. One of the most famous is the “Profumo del Chianti”, a mix of salt and aromatic herbs dried in the sun, an excellent condiment, especially for flavoring meat. The Dario Cecchini restaurant is, therefore, a paradise for those who love cooked meat in all its forms.
Oltre Il Giardino
Piazza Gastone Bucciarelli, 42 – Panzano in Chianti
Located in the Chianti hills, it is the ideal place for all those who love and wish to enjoy excellent traditional Tuscan cuisine. The family-run restaurant guarantees the preparation of dishes respecting the ancient flavors. The à la carte menu of the Oltre il Giardino restaurant varies according to the seasons, so as to offer dishes prepared only with fresh products, personally selected by the staff, thus guaranteeing the genuineness and excellent quality of the raw materials. In addition, all the ingredients used for the preparation of the dishes are local. The restaurant has a magnificent panoramic terrace; enchanting place with a beautiful wisteria pergola, under which you can taste the best dishes of traditional Tuscan cuisine accompanied by excellent wines. The owner Marta and her family pass on the recipes for which they have become famous. Among the specialties of the restaurant we have: ribollita, crostino with tomato, crostini with lard, tortelli with butter, sage and cheese, “peposo” (beef stewed in wine and peppercorns), wild boar with a side of artichokes, scottiglia, Florentine t-bone steak, Tagliatelle with pigeon or meat sauce, pappardelle with wild boar. According to tradition, the first courses are prepared exclusively with fresh homemade pasta. Over a glass of excellent wine, Marta tells anecdotes about the most particular characters among her customers, ranging from the English baronet to the farmer or the simple people of the village.
Osteria di Brolio
Località Madonna a Brolio – Gaiole in Chianti
The Osteria is the place where the flavors, aromas, landscapes and thrills of Tuscany come together. The menu perfectly embodies the spirit of the season and high quality raw materials; the result is a cuisine of great balance, where creativity is light and well balanced, while tradition is deeply respected. All to be enjoyed during the summer in a beautiful terrace surrounded by greenery. In the restaurant menu we find: FRISELLA BREAD, SHRIMP CEVICHE, TOMATO, MOZZARELLA; BEEF TARTARE, EGG, MUSTARD SAUCE, PECORINO CRUMBLE, GREEN SALAD; ROASTED PORK SAUSAGES, TUSCANY BEANS, SAGE, TOMATO; HOUSE-MADE TORTELLI FILLED WITH POTATOES, SAUTÈED MUSSELS, CRISPY RICE; HOUSE-MADE PAPPARDELLE, PORCINI MUSHROOMS, PECORINO SAUCE; ROASTED PIGEON, SCHIACCIATA WITH GRAPE, ONION; BRAISED VEAL CHEEK, SEASONAL MUSHROOMS, SWISS CHARD; ROASTED PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN SEEDS, ONION JUS, BLACK TRUFFLe. and for dessert: MASCARPONE CHEESE MOUSSE, HOUSE MADE LADY FINGERS, COFFEE SAUCE; LEMON CREAM PIE, CARAMELIZED PINENUTS AND ALMOND; CARNAROLI RICE MOUSSE, VANILLA, SAFFRON ICE CREAM. The wine list is linked to the property, which produces its own wine. In summer, it is possible to sit outdoors, in the shade of the trees that frame the outdoor tables and, once lunch is over, visit the Castle of Brolio to admire the wonderful panorama from the medieval walls.
Il Pievano restaurant
Via Spaltenna, 13 – Località Pieve di Spaltenna
At Il Pievano Restaurant you will discover how tradition and respect for the products of each season can be combined with creativity and originality, on a food and wine journey with chef Stelios Sakalis that alone is worth a trip to Chianti. In game you will recognize the scents of the woods. In the selection of wines the decisive character of the vines. Here you will find the authentic flavors of Chianti. On the menu, which offers interesting reinterpretations of traditional specialties in a modern and creative way, we find the following dishes: vegetable tomato soup, puffed rice, feta cheese, ‘Kalamata’ olive; Carnaroli rice “Acquerello”, spinach from the garden, lemon, katiki, dill; homemade Greek yogurt mousse, cucumber sorbet, black garlic, dill and mint; Tuscan potato salad, fermented lemon, Calvisius calvial, Mediterranean cod mousse; capocollo of Cinta Senese “Antica Mecelleria Chini” selection with seven days of cooking, dark potatoes, orange jus de porc and spices; pigeon cooked on olive coals, pigeon anchovies, patzarosalata, petimezi. And to conclude: Toscano Noalya milk chocolate mousse, bitter almonds. An extensive list of local and non-local wines accompanying the dishes.
Osteria Il Papavero
Località Barbischio 15 – Gaiole in Chianti
Among the Chianti hills, the Osteria Il Papavero restaurant animates the square of the ancient village of Barbischio, located on a hill overlooking the town of Gaiole in Chianti. The charming stone restaurant, formerly a village shop, today maintains its warmth and convivial atmosphere thanks to the interiors’ rustic style and the dishes’ traditional flavors. The rough stone of the walls is the background to the particular and colorful works of the painter Franco Innocenti. The pleasures of food, intertwined with the charm of art, in the splendid Chianti landscape leave the guest with the memory of an unforgettable experience. High quality ingredients (from the surrounding area) cooked with passion and skill. Here are some dishes proposed by the restaurant: raw rolls with honey, figs and pecorino cheese; Bresaola carpaccio; Chianti’s tuna; pappardelle with wild boar; Tortelli dell’Osteria with butter and sage or taleggio cheese and walnuts; risotto; grilled fillet of meat; Florentine steak. And for dessert we have: Tulip with Chantilly cream and berries; lemon tart with dark chocolate flakes. Also at the Osteria il Papavero you can enjoy homemade pasta. For wine pairings, let yourself be advised by Claudio, sommelier and connoisseur of the most curious local companies, attentive to traditions but also to taste and innovation.
Ristoro di Ama
Località Ama – Gaiole in Chianti
On the main floor of the eighteenth-century Villa Pianigiani, we find the conviviality of the Ristoro di Ama. Marco Pallanti, an oenologist at Castello di Ama since 1982, aims to create wines that can be drunk, without ever losing sight of the pleasure of being at the table. Il Ristoro aims to combine tastings of great wines with a traditional menu to be discovered in a dream setting. A completely traditional menu where panzanella, pappa al pomodoro, potato ravioli with white ragù and Chianina meat stand out. The labels of the wines all of own production. In summer, lunch on the ancient terrace overlooking the hills streaked with vineyards, in winter in the rooms of the castle where the atmosphere is that of a family lunch based on recipes with ancient flavors. A basic menu with cold dishes is proposed: liver pate, lampredotto, cured meats and cheeses exclusively from Tuscany. For example: lampredotto and finocchiona from Valdarno, buffalo from Maremma and its derivatives, such as the delicious ricotta and the delicious burrata, mortadella from Prato di Mannori and meat from the Chini di Gaiole butcher’s shop. In addition to the cold menu, there are always two dishes of the day: asparagus puree with buffalo yogurt from Maremma; wild boar in dolceforte with potatoes; pork loin accompanied by artichokes; bean puree with spelled or the classic pappardelle with wild boar.
Via di Citille, 4 – Greve in Chianti
If you want to eat among the vineyards, Terreno 5 minutes from Greve is the place for you. In spring, summer and autumn you can enjoy tasty and elegant dishes in the cozy dining room or on the spacious terrace. The Terreno farm was bought by the Swedish Ruhne family some thirty years ago. Her daughter Sofia had the idea of opening a restaurant that in her mind was to be an ideal bridge between the Tuscan and Swedish traditions. The flavors are genuine and the dishes are paired with the Terreno wines with playful creativity. From time to time there is no shortage of more original dishes linked to the Scandinavian food culture. The dishes are marked by an incredible lightness, another characteristic of Scandinavian cuisine. The ingredients are locally produced and exclusively Tuscan. Then there are the vegetables harvested on the farm cooked in a masterly way. Culinary choices also attentive to well-being without sacrificing taste. The rest is done by the magic of the place: a beautiful terrace overlooking the Chianti hills. Terrain is also a large farm, fully organic since 2014, extending over a total area of 150 hectares, 20 of which are dedicated to vineyards and 10 to olive groves, with the remainder consisting mainly of woods. The vineyards are planted with the classic local vines, obviously including the Sangiovese grape.
Via Citille, 43 – Greti – Greve in Chianti
We are in Greve in Chianti, in the lands of the Santa Margherita Wine Group. An area of which the Marzotto family wants to fully exploit the potential, thinking of an oenological receptivity project that welcomes the wine tourist with a cellar equipped for visits and tastings, the shop, the bistro and now also the gastronomic restaurant that takes from the structure the name: Vitique. The elegance of a minimal architectural style based on light and dark, diffused lights, which frame a discreet welcome, immediately strikes you. The kitchen was entrusted to Antonio Guerra, a very young chef with important training experiences. The restaurant is a meeting place in the heart of Chianti Classico, a journey of exploration into the world of wine and contemporary Italian cuisine. Simplicity, authenticity and a vocation for all that is good. The gastronomic proposal explores the flavors of the Tuscan tradition, reinterpreting them in a modern key, enriching them with inspirations and shades of a more national character. The restaurant menu also offers three tasting itineraries, while the bistro is open only for lunch and invites to a simpler and less demanding experience. Here are some dishes on offer: risotto, smoked goat cheese, cooked must and chicory; pigeon and spring onion; pear, peanuts and salted caramel; porcini mushrooms and licorice; spaghetti, Nduja, lemon and cardamom.
Osteria Le Panzanelle
Località Lucarelli, 29 – Radda in Chianti
In Lucarelli, very close to Radda in Chianti, we find the Osteria Le Panzanelle. The interiors are tastefully furnished and the outdoor garden is ideal for lunches and dinners in the hottest periods of the year. The menu is simple, based on local dishes, but which changes according to the season; grilled Tuscan meat can be found all year round, while game is subject to availability. Pasta dishes made by hand, such as ravioli and pici all’agliona, celebrate tradition together with soups. Also try the fresh pasta, in particular ravioli and gnudi. Among the second courses, do not miss the “peposo” (beef stewed in wine and peppercorns), the steak and tripe and to conclude the classic almond biscuits with dessert wine or the traditional apple tarte. Other dishes on the menu include: t-bone steak; steak with rocked salad and balsamic vinegard; stewed pork ribs; stuffed zucchini; beef tartare; zucchini flowers with mozzarella; Tropea onions soup; traditional thick spaghetti with garlicky cheese souce; pasta rolls with mushrooms and zucchini; pappardelle with wild boar; spaghetti di Pesticcia (mushrooms, tomato and sausage). Also not to be missed is the selection of farm cheese with honey and marmelades and the traditional crostini and cold cuts. All accompanied by an extensive wine list of the area.