Italy has become a culinary hotspot over the last couple of years, especially since Michelin awarded three stars to two Italian chefs – Francesco Mazzei at Bistrot Bruno Loubet in Paris and Massimo Bottura from Osteria Francescana in Modena. The latter restaurant was also given its third star in 2015. Here are our picks of the best restaurants to visit this Christmas. Discover new dishes, taste local wines and enjoy the unique atmosphere these restaurants offer.
1. La Barrique
A feast for your eyes and palate with an exclusive tasting menu! Located right next to Palazzo Ducale in the historic centre of Milan, La Barrique is one of the most exciting new openings we have seen recently. Chef Giuseppe De Luca’s menu offers seasonal ingredients that are locally sourced and cooked to perfection. Dishes like ‘Porcini Soup’ or ‘Truffle Salsa’ will leave you wanting more.
2. Cantinetta Della Visnasca
This traditional Venetian wine bar boasts a creative set-up and modern presentation of classic dishes made simply but beautifully. You won’t find any pretension here. Expect delicious cuisine based on fresh fish, homemade pasta and local ingredients. It’s perfect for those looking to try something different. They serve lunch for €24 per person.
3. Le Chic Boutique
Just opened by top French chef Alain Passard, this intimate restaurant is located inside the Hotel Belvedere Palace in Venice. Its decor is inspired by his favourite places such as Shanghai, New York and Japan. He serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes using only the finest produce. His menu changes seasonally so don’t miss out!
4. The Spuntino Club
If you have been following us on social media then you’ll know about this amazing project in downtown Rome! Focusing on food served and presented in small portions, it’s no wonder this place has been named ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ twice! Book ahead if possible.
5. Zuma Beach Club & Grill
If you’re looking to be pampered and relaxed while still having fun, look no further than this beach club which overlooks Los Angeles. Dine overlooking the ocean while sipping on cocktails and listening to live music. There’s nothing better than watching boats go past while enjoying your meal!
Las Vegas may have all of the glitz but there’s no denying that you can get the same sophisticated and elegant vibe in San Francisco without all the lights and traffic. Casanova takes dining to another level within walking distance of Union Square. Specializing in Italian grills, their beef and chicken dishes are cooked to order. Don’t forget to try the white chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Make sure you book ahead!
7. Giorgio Locatelli’s Tosca Cafe
Now based in London, this stylish cafe specializes in serving artisanal coffee and simple yet flavourful meals. Their breakfast offerings include “Gigante” or giant pancakes loaded with toppings. Lunch specials feature salads, soups and sandwiches whilst dinner ranges from wood oven pizza to slow-roasted lamb shoulder.
8. Pizzeria Delfina
Another pizzeria opening in London is this much-loved eatery from Rome-born restaurateur Stefano Esposito. With locations across the capital, customers line up for Delfina’s thin-crust pies, gorgonzola and fig salad and alcoholic granitas. By day they offer the famous antipasti del mare (seafood antipasti), at night it’s steak. Either way expect high-quality, tasty fare.
9. Osteria Francescana .
Renowned chef Massimo Bottura took home the title of the best Italian restaurant in the world two years running. In 2015 he opened Osteria Francesca in Modena, Italy. For the first time since being awarded the title, Bottura challenged himself by cooking without any rules, guidelines or recipes. Only four chefs were handpicked to participate and eight months later Osteria Francescanna was born. Wowing critics, friends and family, the restaurant continues to earn accolades for its unique take on Italian cuisine.
10. The NoMad Hotel
One of Manhattan’s newest hotspots, The No Mad is a fusion luxury hotel, bar and restaurant. Set over five floors, guests will enjoy an apartment-like experience, where standard rooms are just one part of a larger room. Private residences come complete with living spaces including kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and terraces. A resident DJ sets up camp each evening until 4 AM, playing everything ranging from hip-hop to jazz and house. This is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Italy.
The Bottom Line.
There are hundreds of other great places to eat if these 10 spots don’t quite cut it. So whether you want to feast on superfood bites like acai bowls or indulgent eats like lobster mac & cheese, check out our ultimate listing of the best restaurants in Italy right now. Don’t forget also to check out online casino games.