TuscanHouse favorite restaurants in Siena Province

This list is our personal recommendation for eating well. The restaurants where you should make a reservation are noted with *. 

During the summer call at least one day in advance for dinner (cena) reservations (pre-notazione). Without a reservation, you may get a table for dinner if you arrive after 9:00 PM, restaurants only have one reserved seating. If you go by the restaurant just before it opens for lunch (pranzo), you can usually reserve a table. The kitchen is typically open for lunch: 12:30 - 2:00 PM, for dinner: 7:30 - 9:30 PM, later on weekends.  

In restaurants, pizza is served at dinner only. During the day, buy pizza by the slice from the snack-bars in most 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. In finer restaurants only bottled wines.  No smoking inside, but usually okay at outside tables, ask for a porta cenere = ashtray. Some restaurants still don't take credit cards so bring enough cash.    Buon appetito!

Here's some help in making a reservation:
"Vorrei prenotare per cena domani sera, due persone, il nome: Smith.
= I would like to make a reservation for dinner tomorrow evening, two people, name: Smith.
"Vorrei prenotare per pranzo oggi, quatro persone, il nome: Jones."
= I would like to make a reservation for lunch today, four people, name: Jones.
"Preferisco fuori" = I prefer outside, "dentro" = inside

  $ = inexpensive, $$ = medium, $$$ = expensive

 Acquaviva di Montepulciano:
Ristorante l'Angolo, classic Tuscan cuisine. Go for lunch while touring the Vino Nobile vineyards. Closed Mondays. Via Galileo Galilei 20, behind the main church, 3 blocks from the main street, center of town (our last visit Sept 04 and still excellent). 0578-767-216. ($$)*

Amiata mountain, village of Pescina:
Ristorante Silene, fine dining at Mt Am
iata, 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. ($$)*

Rosticceria La Brace, dine in or take out the best home style cooking in the area. Daily specials for lunch and dinner, good service and affordable. Last visit in June 2012. Closed Tuesdays. Via Mameli 9, around the corner from the main piazza with town hall and bakery. Tel: 0577-718-056. ($)

Bagno Vignoni:
il Loggiato is our current favorite here, it's more of a tavern than a restaurant, tables outside and inside downstairs 2 dining rooms with rustic brick walls and cozy atmosphere, very informal menu of brushettas, cheese plates and other light meals and snacks, but also soups and meat dishes at reasonable prices. Newly opened just below the bookstore, attentive service. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Thursdays. Tel 0577-888-973
. ($$)

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 a few 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. The Bar il Barrino often has live music in the evenings and good cocktails.

Bettolle, 1 km from the Val di Chiana A1 exit:
Betulia, classic Tuscan cooking, standard pastas and grilled meats. Closed Saturdays. Established small restaurant with constantly good meals. Via Vittorio Veneto 21, just inside the town from intersection to Sinalunga. Tel: 0577-624-131.($)

I Poggioli has ended with the retirement of Guido and Gaby, but now in their place is La Locanda di Massimo. It's gotten mixed reviews since opening in March 2014 and we'll report back after our first opportunity to dine there. Spacious dining room and large covered outdoor area. Via Tassi 6. Hidden in the new town area, one block in front of the train station, small street with Charlie's Pub in the corner. Tel: 0577-1656625
. La Locanda di Massimo ($$)

La Via di Mezzo, good place for lunch and dinner in center of old town, very good local seasonal fare including home-made pasta, daily specials, big salads. Inside lots of room for even big groups, outside a few tables. Closed Tuesdays. Last visit in July 2012. Friendly service and English spoken. Via Soccini 53. On the main street, center of old town. Tel: 0577-806-320.($$)

Camarlegno, good trattoria on the central piazza of the village. Serves standard Tuscan menu at reasonable prices. tables on the piazza and dining room upstairs, walk past the bar to get there. The roof-top of the tower has a special open dining area seating up to 12 people, special booking for groups. Last visit June 2014. Closed Tuesdays. 0577-665-373. ($$)

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. ($) schedule of services w/ Gregorian Chant

Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Sant'Antimo monastery:
Locanda Sant'Antimo, good home style cooking. Closed Wednesdays. The other trattoria near Sant'Antimo, with large outdoor terrace. 0577-835-546. ($)

Castiglion d'Orcia, 8km up from town, well worth the scenic drive!
Ristorante I Lecci is currently (June 2014) still the best value (quality/price) restaurant in the Orcia Valley and Amiata areas of southern Tuscany. You reach sublime heights of culinary nirvana with their home-made pasta, pappardelle and maltagliati; superbly thin fresh melt-in-your-mouth pasta with delicious sauce of truffle-walnut cream or porcini mushrooms, to-die-for! Also other pasta types, including tortelli can be had with the best ragu. In warm weather we had 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 (sharing is okay). Your charming host, Andrea, takes good care of you while the lady in the kitchen creates culinary miracles.

From Pienza and 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. ($$)

Celle sul Rigo:
il Poggio has two restaurants, one serves excellent Tuscan cuisine ($$), the other restaurant serves pizzas and hamburgers! ($) Open every day. On hilltop next to town. 0578-53748.

Celle sul Rigo:
Trattoria La Pace, good home-style cooking (mamma in the kitchen), enjoy excellent hand-made pici at this friendly family restaurant. Open every day during summer, closed Thursdays rest of the year. Covered terrace in summer is very pleasant, last visit June 2008. In the center of old town, Via Teatro 5. 0578-53716. ($)

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 had a memorable lunch here on 18 June 2014. 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.  Loc. Le Piagge, 33/ACamucia di Cortona (AR), tel: 0575-62996. GPS 43.272727, 11.972061.

Osteria Vecchia has moved away from the narrow alley to a much better location at the end of the main piazza, at #33. Osteria Vecchia is now known as Osteria da Nilo ("Nilo's Osteria"), 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 just had lunch there on 6th of June 2014, 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 ($$)*

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 2012. Professional waiters offer smooth service and excellent wine list (also by the glass), but the star here is the Chef 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,  ($$)

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. ($$$)*

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. ($$)*

Osteria il Pozzo, see review below
at: Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey

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 ($$$)*

La Foce:
Ristorante Dopolavoro has now re-opened, newly remodeled as a spacious open barn-like restaurant and highly recommended stop while touring the Val d'

Orcia region. Located near the famous villa and gardens, come here for lunch before taking the guided garden tour on Wednesday afternoon at La Foce (tours start at 3, 4, 5 and 6pm). We had lunch there last in July of 2013, fresh and tasty food in a relaxing covered outdoor setting, with friendly service and English spoken. Strada della Vittoria, 90, La Foce (SI) - Tel: 0578-754-025

Lucignano, in Val di Chiana (Ar):
Ristorante La Tavernetta,  good local cooking, specialty is mushrooms and truffles, with outdoor dining. Closed on Mondays. Via Roma 15, in center of town.  0575-836-568 ($)

Taverna del Grappolo Blu, our last visit was a pleasure, 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 it's possibly their fame that resulted in overpriced food and disappointed customers who expected much better for all the money they forked over.

Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey:
this summer 2014 we recommend going to the hill-town of Chiusure for a good meal, just 2km up from the Abbey, the Osteria il Pozzo is open this season from Tuesday to Sunday, both lunch and dinner. The chef Marilena is now retired, but her son Lapo is in charge and also a professional chef. He offers delicious starters plates of cold cuts, for pasta course enjoy the delicate homemade ravioli, and for the main go for the aged steak Fiorentina to share, or the tagliata = sliced steak, with rucola and parmigiana or al rosmarino. Good wines and all at a reasonable price, highly recommended. Your extraordinary waiter is Monica, she speaks some English. Located in center of the village. Afterwards, walk up to the top of the village, there is a small park with a terrace, and the most spectacular panorama over the region. Tel: 0577-707-148, cel: 331-249-0359
email: [email protected] ($)

Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey:
Ristorante La Torre at the Abbey has good food but is often busy with tour groups. Closed Tuesdays. Enjoy lunch on the terrace when visiting the famous abbey. 0577-707-022. ($$)* 

Al Botteghino, is an established road-house restaurant on the way from Torrita to Pienza, near the town of Montefollonico. Simple but excellent cooking, very popular with locals, one of our favorite Tuscan “truck-stops”. We had dinner there on 4th of June 2014 and it was superb. Try the anjovy starter and warm crostinis (can be shared), for pasta course the surprisingly small and light gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, heavenly! And this is the best place in the area for pork ribs and sausages, mouthwatering and grilled juicy delicious. They also serve pizza which looked very good. Large covered outdoor dining areas.
Closed on Tuesdays. Located on the main road at the intersection, address: Localita' Osteria delle Noci 25, 53049 Torrita di Siena. 0577-668-031. ($)

La Chiusa, another famous restaurant we find overpriced. Go instead to La Grotta or Locanda dell'Amorosa or Mondo X La Frateria for the best fine dining in this region.

Osteria Acquacheta, excellent value in touristy Montepulciano and the favorite place of the locals. Simple rustic place with good atmosphere, great selection of vegetables and daily specials. Service can be a bit rough!. Just down from Piazza Grande, past Teatro Poliziano. Via del Teatro 22. 0578-758-443. ($)*

La Grotta, highly recommended classic restaurant with refined cuisine and professional service, and it's the perfect place to enjoy the splendid Vino Nobile wines. Seasonal specialties include truffles, porcini mushrooms, game, fresh pasta. Outside dining too. Last visit in 2011. Closed on Wednesdays. Next to the San Biagio church, below the town on the west side. Tel: 0578-757-607. ($$$)*

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 May 2014. Closed on Thursdays. Small restaurant, best to make a reservations. English spoken by Daria, the owner. Located at the town gate. 0578-755-163. ($$)*

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, highly recommended. 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. Last visit in 2011. 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 (they take the kids to the beach!). Very nice outside dining in front, must reserve table well in advance. Last visit end of May 2014, we sat inside as it was still too cool to be outside for dinner. Via San Carlo 2, east end of main street, just inside the gate. 0578-748-606. ($)*

Ristorante del Falco, for a good Tuscan meal, you should try this established local restaurant, we always eat well here. On our last visit in October 2011 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 Fridays. 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, highly recommended restaurant, 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 June 2014. Via Dante Alighieri 42, center of town. Tel: 0577-897-541. ($$)

San Quirico d’ Orcia:
Osteria del Cardinale took this spot on the main street 2 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. 0577899945

San Quirico d’ Orcia:
Ristorante il Garibaldi, 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! Located at the Tamoil Petrol stop on SS2, Via Cassia. Tel. 0577-898-315

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 on 3rd of June 2014. 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. ($)

Siena, north of the city:
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.  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! Excellent full menu with fresh pasta, mains include both meats and seafood (Calamari Fritto especially good!) Friendly service and good food, outdoor seating, pizza in the evenings. Closed Wednesday. Last visit in June 2014. Located on main street Via Romana 23, just south of the town center. 0577-834-265. ($)*

Ristorante Conte Matto, one of our all-time favorites, they serve an excellent meal at good value. 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. 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 2014. Tel: 0577-662-079. ($$)*

Please send your comments to  zak(at) and tell me about your experience at these restaurants, so we can better provide current information to fellow travelers. Thank you and Buon appetito !