Basically every meal we had in Italy was fantastic. Tripadvisor and other review sites really make it quite simple to find quality. Given that, there were of course some standouts. Here are the top dining experiences we had across Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice and the Cinque Terre. Admittedly not my best photography, but it is hard to care about taking photos when presented with food like this.
1. Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori – Florence
No Pizza, no Bistecca, no ice. This sign is posted right out front, this is not a pizza joint, not a Florentine steak house, and they do not have soft drinks. There are about five tables and the place is run by a small family. Reservations are required or you basically have no hope. The location is also very convenient as it is right next to the Medici palace. Simple, very reasonably priced and fantastic.
2. Antica Ristorro di Cambi – Florence
Bistecca Florentine. This steak alone pushed me from normally ordering steaks prepared Medium to now exclusively ordering Medium Rare. This was conveniently located for us, there may be better Bistecca to be found, but cheap wine and a delicious steak is still a great experience. House wine comes by the jug.
3. Pizzeria da Michele – Naples
Made famous in the novel and movie Eat, Pray, Love (at least according to my wife) this place is on the map. Deservedly so. Gigantic pizza but so good you can easily eat a whole one yourself. Sauce, Mozzarella and a little basil is all any real pizza needs.
4. Il Gabriello – Rome
Pasta cooked to perfection. More al dente than I’d ever had before. I don’t think I’ve had pasta prepared this well since.
5. Ristorante Da Gigino – Sorrento
Wasn’t sure what to expect here, suspected it might be a bit of a tourist trap however the quality of the food was excellent. Stopped here for lunch while strolling the streets of Sorrento. The pasta was prepared perfectly and the seafood was fresh. More simply prepared dishes executed perfectly.
6. Vulnetia – Vernazza
The Cinque Terre region is famous for Pesto and seafood, specifically anchovies. While the two dishes pictured below can be found just about at any restaurant in the area, Vulnetia does them well.
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