Food in Pisa

Best known for the Leaning Tower, Pisa is popularly visited for its architecture, wending streets and idyllic Italian lifestyle. Food lovers are in for a treat too, with a prominent café culture, gelatarias galore and family-run trattorias serving antipasti, pizza, pasta and much more. Fixed price menus are also popular on the Pisa dining scene, meaning lunches and dinners don’t have to be an expensive affair.

Cheap Italian

Pizzeria Trattoria Il Montino is a small eatery popular with locals and is famed for its cecina (chickpea) pizza. The family-run Pizzeria La Tana has a little rustic charm with its earthy wooden tables and exposed brick arches.

Panini_47976604Mangio Italiano is a popular stop for panini on the way to the Leaning Tower, offering a great selection of fillings. Il Crudo is another recommended lunch stop, serving more freshly made panini and other lunch favourites. Capatosta di Paolicchi Michele is ideal for lunch or a snack, where daily pasta and salad specials are on the menu.

S. Omobono is a trattoria that’s popular with locals and offers surprising value for money for some of the most traditional flavours to be found in Pisa, including brachetti alla renaiola (smoked fish and turnip pasta). Alle Antiche Navi, or ‘Ancient Ship’, is another well-liked budget restaurant, serving simple pastas and other foods for some of the cheapest prices in town.

Mid-range Italian

If you’re exploring the older part of town, make a pit stop at Enoteca Osteria Il Colonnino, which is often running a 10€ lunchtime menu or a 25€ evening menu. La Grotta is a typical earthy Pisan retreat of a restaurant housed in a cave-like interior. The seasonal menu is small, rustic and fresh.

Osteria 050 is a great find in a central Pisa location. Serving locally sourced and organic flavours, the restaurant is especially revered by the health conscious. Peperosa offers a fun combination of contemporary and traditional Italian flavours, served with local wines and craft beers. The unassuming-looking Lo Schioccianoci is another family-run eatery serving truly local cuisine.

High-end Italian

seafood risotto_76531156La Clessidra is homely in appearance and is seen by many as offering a true slice of authentic Italian dining. The set menus are good value and incorporate many locally produced ingredients. Despite its proximity to the more touristy areas of Pisa, Osteria Dei Cavalieri is another classy option and a bit of a Pisa institution. With options of ‘land’ dishes and ‘sea’ dishes, the set menus are perfect for those who love to taste a little of everything.

Hallet’s Restaurant in Hotel Relais dell’Orologio is a grand affair in a central Pisa location and sampling some antipasti in the courtyard during the early evening is a peaceful and refined experience.

Slightly further out from the centre of Pisa, Ristorante Squisitia serves Tuscan flavours in a modern restaurant filled with trendy white furniture and colourful lighting. Food on offer ranges from contemporary antipasti dishes to meat and seafood mains.

Sweet and baked treats

If you can’t resist a sweet treat, stop off at Salza. Despite its modern façade, it’s been around for more than a century, and is best for its handmade cakes and chocolates. Pasticceria Lilli is fashionable with locals and Italian tourists, serving all the cakes, pastries and ice creams you can imagine.

gelato_121875937(1)La Bottega del Gelato is top of the list for many local gelato lovers, serving a great array of gelato flavours for reasonable prices. Gelateria De’Coltelli is another popular gelato option, serving a number of fresh and fruity treats.

Coffee lovers flock to Sottobosco Libri, which is also an eclectic bookshop and eatery as well as a great stop for a caffeine fix and a board game, if you’re so inclined. House Café is a bright and airy cafeteria perfect for a tea or coffee.

International flavours

There is a surprising variety of good international cuisine in Pisa, from American to Asian.

A number of the city’s Indian restaurants have rave reviews, from the bright and jovial Namaste India Ristorante to Tanduri. Both serve all the international Indian favourites (some with an Italian twist!) and offer both quality food and homely service.

Greek kebab_112258868If you love Greek food, you will enjoy a visit to Ristorante Greco Itaca, serving Greek favourites from moussaka to baklava in ambient surroundings. If you’re a kebab fan, the halal Pak Kashmir eatery serves some of the best kebabs in Pisa.

Decent Chinese fare in Pisa is found in Xin Zhon Guo restaurant near Pisa station, while Japanese is at its best in Ristorante Asuka. The best sushi in town is at the classy Kobe sushi restaurant.

If you find yourself craving burgers, bagels, brownies or simply a slice of Americana, head over the 1950 American Diner – you’ll spot it from the retro pink car parked out front.