It is a pleasure to visit the town - which, by the way, was the birthplace of the brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, famous film directors and screenwriters - getting lost in the narrow streets and admiring the Cathedral, the Fortress of Frederick II, the palaces and churches. Satisfied the spirit, it is the palate’s turn. At the table, the great protagonist is white truffle, in good company with great wines, excellent evo oil and fine meat. Here are the 9 best addresses chosen by Gambero Rosso.
Where to eat in San Miniato
Antico Ristoro Le Colombaie
Trattoria. An intriguing space in a former farmhouse defined by a pleasant, disentangled atmosphere; in fine weather you can sit outside. In his restaurant at the foot of the village, Daniele Fagiolini serves dishes that emphasise typical local products, starting with the prized white truffle. Great attention is therefore paid to season as well as to the traditional recipes, which faithfully interpret the territory. To complete the offer, a wine list that favours salpine regions and bubbles.
Antico Ristoro Le Colombaie – località Catena via G. Montanelli, 22 – 0571 484220 – lecolombaiesanminiato.it
Fiorile Cucina e Vini
Wine Bar. In the ancient heart of the town, not far from the Frederick II fortress, an address to keep in mind for an aperitif or a full meal. The wine selection, qualified by non-trivial choices and little-known labels, is managed by Daniele Palavisini, a sommelier worthy of note. As for the culinary proposal, if you just want to nibble on something there are the “toppini”, small samples that change daily, otherwise there is an craving menu ranging from starters to desserts.
Fiorile Cucina e Vini – via Ser Ridolfo, 8 – 0571 419195 – fiorilesanminiato.it
Restaurant. A restaurant with mainly vegan and vegetarian cuisine (but with extra islands on the menu), strongly desired by Fabrizio Marino, chef and owner. There are two tasting courses, or choices on the menu, and dishes that are inviting to the eye and to the palate that change quite often, defined by the skilful use of chosen ingredients. Excellent choice of cheeses, also offered melted, pleasant desserts and small pastries. Wine list not vast but of quality. Relaxed and tasteful ambience, in which one enjoys staying.
Maggese – via IV Novembre, 29 – 0571 1723546 - ristorantemaggese.it
OLIVUM L’Osteria di Armando
Restaurant. A handful of kilometres from the centre of San Miniato, since 2020 there has been the "reign" of Armando Bregaj, a young and talented chef of Albanian origin with some important experience behind him. His is a modern, very personal cuisine, based on a continuous search for raw materials, not only of the territory, and which is constantly being renewed. At this time, in addition to the sea and land tasting menus, there is one dedicated to white truffles. Important wine list, for enthusiasts, with a selection of Champagnes truly worthy of note.
OLIVUM L’Osteria di Armando – località Ponte a Elsa via Poggio a Pino, 10 – 338 7142751 – olivumosteria.it
Pan di Strada
Paninoteca. Nice and well-kept environment, with tables also outside, it boasts a choice of gourmet sandwiches one better than the other. The various types of bread are artisanal, for the fillings only selected ingredients, mostly from the local area. The options are many, according to season and fancy, including some vegan ones, among which there is no shortage of burgers, e.g. 'il Toscano' with Chianina burger, crispy Tuscan rigatino, Tuscan pecorino cream, lettuce, porcini mushrooms, accompanied by crisper potatoes. To drink, craft beers and a few good labels.
Pan di Strada – frazione San Miniato Basso via Tosco Romagnola Est, 701 – 370 3623135 – Facebook
Restaurant. Paolo Fiaschi's creature is travelling at full speed: a solid project and real security for customers. Here, in the beautiful restaurant in the countryside that is celebrating its 15th anniversary, meat and fish on the menu, plus two tasting menus. Among the dishes - albeit seasonally changing - the liver mousse with pan brioche and red wine radicchio, the egg paccheri with duck ragout confit tomatoes and friggitelli, the beef cima with rosemary and escarole crumble, the almond cannolo with mascarpone cream and cocoa and coffee sauce. Amusing wine list.
Papaveriepapere – via Dalmazia, 159/D – 0571 409422 – papaveriepaolo.com
Restaurant. Gilberto Rossi, a media-savvy and eclectic chef, is at the helm of this well-known restaurant that has recently moved to a very central location. The ambience is beautiful and bright, with modern and sophisticated furnishings and a view of the Duomo and the city's main monuments. The cuisine has as its strong point a careful choice of raw materials, exclusively market and seasonal, enhanced by skilful combinations and balance of flavours. In this period, there is the availability of excellent dishes related to the noble white truffle. Wines to match.
Pepenero – piazza del Duomo, 4 – 0571 520282 – pepenerocucina.it
Shop and Kitchen. The Falaschi butcher's shop has been in business for almost a century, from generation to generation. Today, in addition to the shop - where you can buy choice cuts of meat (in particular from Suino Grigio and Chianina pigs), cold cuts, sausages and various delicacies - you can stop in the space behind the shop to enjoy a range of tasty and genuine dishes, from crostino with meat sauce to cold cuts, from tagliatelle with tomato and Suino Grigio cheek to ossobuco and the sumptuous Fiorentina steak. Choice of labels centred on the proposal.
Retrobottega – via A. Conti, 18 – 0571 43190 – sergiofalaschi.com
Trattoria. There is a convivial and lively atmosphere in this pretty address in the centre, with rustic style, essential equipment, marble tables and wooden chairs. One comes here for the pleasure of staying well and eating equally well, moreover at very honest prices. Mushroom and truffle dishes are the most popular. Examples? Truffle eggs with mashed potatoes, tagliolini with butter and truffle, polenta pudding with taleggio cheese and truffle, but also wild boar stew and peposo. Accompanying everything is an adequate selection of wines.
L’Upupa – via A. Conti, 15 – 338 6815994 – ristorantelupupa.it