Gubbio has a lot of good restaurants with delicious meals, in almost all price ranges. Rather than writing one review for each I add my three favourites in one review.
By now this is one of my favourite restaurants in Gubbio. It is not as classy as Taverna del Lupo but down to earth AND the meals are very delicious. The restaurant is located in the cellar of an old oil mill (at least that is what the name frantoio suggests) and has seating for approximately 200 people, although this is not really obvious. But this does not mean that tables are available anytime: reservations are highly recommended. I once came at 21:00 on a Sunday and it was impossible for me to get a table. The waiters are very friendly and will make excellent recommendations if one is unsure of what to eat. And they serve the best pizza in town. In case of good weather there is also seating outside.
On my first visit I had carpaccio, followed by pasta tagliatelle with wild green asparagus and pannacotta with raspberries as desert (approx. 22 Euro altogether) and on my second time I tried their delicious tagliata (beef, roasted as whole piece and then cut into small pieces, main photo) served with rucola (rocket). The latter was indeed very good, the best tagliata I had in Italia so far.
They are open during lunch time and seem to have adapted to non-Italian eating hours; the sign tells that they serve pizza from noon on (No Italian would eat at noon). In the evening they open at (I think) 19:00, but since this is not yet Italian-dinner time, it is easier to get a table then. Closed on Mondays.
separate review about Antico Frantoio on my Gubbio page.
Location of Antico Frantoio on Google Maps.
Another excellent dining option in the old town centre without having to pay an arm and a leg is “Alla Balestra”, in Via della Repubblica, just where the Corso (Corso Garibaldi) leads off to the east. They have excellent pizza and many other good dishes. I eat here very often in the meantime, also because Federica's guests get discount (ask for Mario, the friendly owner). Their dishes are all listed on the website below, albeit without prices. But we paid approx. 5,50 Euro for our pizze (mine was a Napoletana). My other dishes were Penne alla Balestra (a type of arrabiata), Crocchette e olive ascolane, delicious pannacotta and a very delicious lemon sorbet.
separate review about Alla Balestra on my Gubbio page.
Location of Alla Balestra on Google Maps.
Taverna del Lupo:
Taverna del Lupo is said to be Gubbio’s prime option for dining and this might be true. It is located in a very atmospheric cellar-like room, where the individual seating areas are separated from each other by cupboards or walls. The ambience is very elegant. They offer a few selections per course only, a sign that all might be freshly prepared.
I had gnocchi as starter and primo (photo 1), which were delicious and only in tomato sauce with basil. As main course I opted for the beef (rare is the one and only way I like beef) with salad and aceto balsamico with chopped onion and garlic. It tasted excellent, soft and really rare. As desert I found the selection at the trolley very inviting but did choose a wild berry mini cake only, which was soft and light enough to fit in and made me feel not too full.
separate review 1 about Taverna del Lupo on my Gubbio page, separate review 2 about Taverna del Lupo on my Gubbio page.
Location of Taverna del Lupo on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., June 2008 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.), major updates April 2012.
The restaurant at Il Poggio dei Pettirossi was my dinner option while I stayed in the Bevagna region for almost one week in April 2008. But because the owners had just arrived for the season and I was often the only guest, they didn’t open their restaurant during the week, so my only dinner option was Thursday and Friday. And since I had booked Redibis on the Thursday, only my last evening, Friday, was left to try their dishes. On the other hand, I had breakfast every morning, so I could already get a good idea of how excellent they might be with dinners.
When I describe my dinner, it might sound very boring as I had this tiny green asparagus again, but what should I do: I can’t get this at home! So I selected the omelette with tiny green asparagus and herbs (photo 3) which was delicious. As second plate I had spaghetti but also with tiny green asparagus and tomato sauce (photo 2) and as main dish I could not help but have beef with aceto balsamico (at least a bit of a variety to my “usual” beef in Sagrantino). It was excellent and had the right amount of this thick very aceto balsamico which seems to be available in Italy only. I skipped desert, otherwise I could have rolled back to my room… All in all together with water and a glass of Sagrantino I paid 40 Euro, which is quite reasonable!
The location of this restaurant cannot be beaten! Photo 4 shows how the view would be, but in April it was already dark by the time I had dinner. Photo 5 was taken on the premises – isn’t this a prime view?? The little village in the middle is Bevanga.
I should mention that Il Poggio die Pettirossi has only 4-5 selections per course, but this is an excellent sign and means that they prepare everything very fresh.
And they play lovely music – a mixture of Latin, Brazilian and Italian. The owners have another property in Brazil where they live during European winter. So they speak Spanish and Brazilian as well :-)
English spoken, English menu available (even if the website is in Italian only at the moment).
I have stayed and ate here a second time, during my half century celebration with friends. It was good again and you can also read what Sarah wrote about our dinner mid May 2010.
From Bevagna, from road SR316, just after having crossed the tiny river, turn right into the tiny road which leads uphill to chiesa Madonna della Grazie (which is signposted). At the church, turn right and then right again to Il Poggio dei Pettirossi.
Location of Il Poggio dei Pettirossi on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., June 2008 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
Italy’s agriturismi are famous for very delicious home cooking. And if the location is just right this all combines to a very much enchanting stay. Locanda Rosati is such an agriturismo.
I stayed there for 2 nights during my Umbria tour in April 2008. I did not book dinner on my first night because I was too tired from the journey and the road traffic. But I regretted this on the second night, when I did book my dinner there: all dishes we were served with were simply amazing! Paolo, brother of the owner Giampiero Rosati, is the chef and he creates very much delicious meals!! But it is not only the meals that make this all so special, but also the location itself. The old farmhouse has been converted to a real guest-house (= house for the guests), where the ground floor rooms are living room, reading room or dining area. We guests were all seated at a long table and Paolo brought the dishes. Oh delight!! We had a very delicious salad as a starter (photo 1): green salad, stuffed eggs and olives and the plates were quickly empty. As a main course we got tiny pieces of chicken meat, covered with a tomato sauce full with herbs and a selection of vegetables and potatoes (photo 2). And after we have finished our meal Giampiero brought some wine and limoncello on the table. The wine was made from his grapes and tasted delicious (Orvieto is famous for white wine) and the limoncello was from a friend near Amalfi coast. Do I need to mention that we all went to our rooms very late and very merry?
The meal was accounted with 32 Euro, which was not that much, given the fact that no one counted the wine we drank.
Giampiero (the owner, not our VT boss) told me that it is also possible for non-guests to have dinner here. Call in advance and make a reservation. There is no menu to select from, but only the dishes of the day. But given my own experience as well as Mike & Sue’s, who stayed here longer and already twice, it is excellent, no matter what is served!
English spoken. But as there is no menu at all, there is no English menu :-)
Pass Orvieto southward and turn left in the hamlet of Gabeletto, follow SS71. It winds uphill in several curves and as soon as it is straight for a while, the agriturismo is on the right hand side. Signs outside.
Location of Locanda Rosati on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., June 2008 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
I discovered this marvellous restaurant in a book I had with me on my first trip to Umbria back in 2008. It was the book Gebrauchsanweisung Umbrien of this special “operating instruction” book series of German Piper Publishing. In one chapter she wrote about the Slow Food movement and mentions that Filippo Artioli , the young chef of Redibis in Bevagna, collects all he wants to use for the evening’ dishes in the surrounding meadows and forests.
I was thrilled to see that Bevagna is not far away from where I wanted to base myself during the second half of my 2008 trip and as soon as I arrived I tried to find Redibis. This wasn’t easy, because it is tucked away in a side street, but near Hotel L’Orto degli Angeli which I realised when I arrived.
As usual in Italy, the earliest time to book a table is 8 p.m. I arrived early and was seated in the nice and cosy reception room (photo 2). The waiter brought me a glass of prosecco and the menu in English and explained me the possibilities: vegetable or meat menu or a la carte. Like it is the case with excellent restaurants they “only” have a maximum of 5 selections per course, which means that everything is freshly made. After I had selected my choices, I was lead into the restaurant only to stand there with open mouth. It is one thing to read about this restaurant “being located in a wing of the old Roman theatre built by Emperor Trajanus in 1st century AD”, but to see it with my own eyes was most amazing! My main photo does not do justice but maybe it gives a rough idea. The room is following the half-round shape of the former colonnades and is very sparsely decorated. Only simple tables and chairs, a wine tray and a table with flowers are lined up along the walls. The kitchen is separated from the dining area only by a huge opening in the wall, so that one can watch the cooks at work. Good news for smokers: although there is a smoking ban in Italy as well, the huge fireplace has a small bench and smokers are allowed to perform their habit in there.
And now the dishes… Oh my, I still could easily fall into ecstasies when I look at the photos and remember these…. Saffron was recultivated near Perugia as part of the Slow Food movement, so I decided for a saffron dish as a starter (photo 3): it was called eggnog with green asparagus and saffron. Although it was not liquid it melted on the tongue and I could taste almost every single ingredient. For the very first time I tasted how saffron should taste (so the “saffron” I had before back at home must have been some weird blend) and since then I also refused to follow the white asparagus hype in the area where I live. This tiny soft and tasty green asparagus just cannot be beaten! Next came my gnocchi, very freshly made and soo delicious and soft in their tomato and garlic sauce (photo 4). My main dish (photo 5) was beef in this glorious Sagrantino (the famous local red wine) with red onions of Cannara (another species rescued by Slow Food; Cannara is a small village north of Bevagna). Sagrantino sauce is popular to accompany meat in Umbria, but I found that the taste depends very much on how thick and heavy they prepare it. The thicker it was, the less good it tastes in my opinion. This one was very light (despite the dark colour), so my stomach didn’t have any problems afterward. Oh, and this little cream coloured something hidden behind the dill leaf is a tiny cake made of spelt. In between the dishes we all got little surprises from the kitchen.
I didn’t finish with desert but simply with caffé.
In the meantime I was here several times and it was always as good as described above. The dishes change with the season. In autumn for example we had ravioli with a nut filling in gorgonzola sauce. I have also celebrated my half century birthday with friends here. Read Sarah’s review to get an idea about our dishes that day. They were extremely helpful with selecting the menu and when we all arrived, we were seated in the garden for aperitif and a small selection from the kitchen. Then we were led to our table and a marvellous culinary experience followed. I also loved their idea of desert. It was a huge cake-like millefoglie (puff pastry layers with cream inside), with a happy birthday signature and roses from the garden.
Please make sure to read Redibis’ website. It was made with devotion not only for the restaurant, but also for the location, the history and the people of Redibis. My waiter gave me a leaflet with the story of the restaurant and it also told a little story of Stichus, a Roman actor of the past days, who gave a performance in this theatre. It was very moving to read this – I could almost hear applause and laughing while I was sitting in this former theatre colonnade. You can find this story also on the website (location -> Stichus).
All in all I paid 50 € for my meal in 2008, including a glass of Sagrantino wine, the caffè and tip. Later when I had desert, the bill came to approx. 60 Euro. But then I like to eat the full Italian menu when I come here. It will be of course less expensive when one has only one dish plus drinks.
English spoken, English menu available, all credit cards accepted.
Coming from Foligno (SR316), follow the signs to Cannara once you have reached Bevagna. Park the car at the parking outside the town gate (Porta Cannara). Walk through the gate and turn left at the end of the road.
Location of Redibis on Google Maps.
Location of Parking outside of Porta Cannara on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., June 2008 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.), updates April 2012.
Update, October 24, 2010:
It seems that Il Cantico restaurant has closed on the premises of Abbazia San Pietro in Valle. According to the abbazia website, there is a restaurant though, called Hora Media (the photo of its inside was taken in former Il Cantico). But given the excellent service of the abbazia as hotel and the breakfast I had, I am sure the new restaurant is similar in quality dishes.
Il Cantico was the only option to eat during my stay at Abbazia San Pietro in Valle. Yes, of course, I could have gone to Ferentillo to look for other options – but then again why should I? The restaurant had a good reputation in my books and I was delighted to find it also mentioned in my “Gebrauchsanweisung Umbria” (a book written by British Patricia Clough and published by Piper Publisher, something like “manual for Umbria” – see general section). So I took a shower and dressed up (I didn’t even dare to enter the restaurant in my usual boggy clothes, haha).
When I entered through the door, I was also delighted to hear Brazilian music and the waitress (wife of the chef) was from Brazil, as it turned out later. Which was good, at least I could properly communicate with her (my Italian isn’t good but Spanish worked fine). Already outside when I looked at the menu, I decided that I will indulge in finest Umbrian dishes, not at all look at the prices or at the amount of dishes.
Il Cantico had several different choices: fish menu, “earth” menu (meat), vegetarian, and “taste of the barn” (with local farm products), in addition to a menu for couples and for groups and of course the a la carte one. Each menu had antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci, and for each of the courses “only” 5 options. But this means that all is definitely freshly made!!
Favorite Dish: The waitress realised that I had problems to choose and offered me to select whatever I want from the menus, so that I wouldn’t have to stick to only one. Good!!
As antipasto I choose the aromatic herb pie with pecorino sauce (photo 1), which was a delight! Soft and melting on the tongue. I even could identify each of the herbs by the taste. My primo was Tortiglioni with wild asparagus and mushrooms (photo 2) and my secondo “little bag of porcini mushrooms an Umbria cheese” (photo 3), which was similar like a spring roll, but galaxies away from these in terms of taste. Each dish was a piece of art, decorated with a tip of rosemary branch, the tiny violet blossoms included. And as if all my choices would not have been enough, in between the dishes we go some little this and that’s to shorten our waiting time for the next part. One was a lime sorbet, very much chilling and fresh (but only after I ate it I realised that I missed to take a photo) and the other one was a kind of desert – pannacotta and on top an espresso “gel” (photo 5). Oh, as desert I had lime and pistachio mousse (photo 4). As I didn’t need to drive anymore that evening I decided to try one of the famous Montefalco wines - oh well, as if never ever before wine had met my sensors : -)
All in all my bill was 59 € (10 € each of the starters and desert and 15 € the main dish), which, given the delicious dishes, I consider very much appropriate.
Il Cantico is closed on Mondays.
English spoken and English menu available.
Wonderful rustic spot in the tiny village of Collepino in the Parco Naturale Regionale above Assisi. Nothing fancy, trendy or faddish - this place has been here years and intends to stay that way. Fabulous views across the valley, but dark wood, low natural light also makes this a wonderfully snug winter spot as well.
Favorite Dish: Traditional pasan food - hearty pastas, game etc, crusty bread, good local wine all makes this a great local experience.
The name of the restaurant is what I often miss to catch, can't help myself but to me the ambient and the food is more important than the name. Anyhow, this very fine restaurant is situated right on the main square of Perugia and we realy enjoyed in both food and the atmosphere around us. Just to mentioned, the service was almost perfect.
Favorite Dish: I never complain if the price is more expensive than average, to me it is much important weather the food was good or not. We had excellent grilled steaks with vegetables and a bottle of Unbria's red wine of very good quality.
What I love about Italy is you can be in one of the most touristy towns, in the heart of the city, and find a place like this. It is authentic, family run, freindly, and affordable.
We had a Pizza, Strongozzi pasta and caprese di buffalo and all were great. The best part of the meal however was the service. This was before we knew much Italian, and the hostess offered to hold our younger one and danced with her while we ate.
They also had a small swing for children as the daughter (or grandaughter?) is young and spends her time here.. she was napping in the crib near the entrance when we were there. A family friendly environment.
Not a real romantic/charming place, but for solid food and good service, you can't beat it. They also have an open grill/kitchen where you can see food being prepared. Always entertaining.
Favorite Dish: Strongozzi ai Tartufo - first time
A restaurant in a country house hotel close to the E45 Rome-Floence road - not easy to find but well-worth the effort. Located in Casalina’s territory, a village in the municipality of Deruta, Antico Forziere is to be found half way between Perugia and Todi, in the heart of green Umbria. Its strategic position will allow you to easily and rapidly reach the most important and interesting towns of this region: Assis, Gubbio, Spello, Perugia.
We ate outdoors in the shade and were delighted by the taste and appearance of the dishes and the attention of the charming waitress. We were introduced to the chefs - Andrea and Stefano - see photo.
Favorite Dish: Every course was fantastic but we were particularly knocked-out by the selection of desserts that we shared - each was an exquisite work of art prepared from fresh ingredients.
While in Perugia, we ate at the fine restarurant across from our hotel. It is called Ristorante "La Villa" because it is part of the Villa that used to be here.
It's quaint, intimate, elegant yet warm and inviting.
The evening that we were there (during the middle of the week), there was only one waiter, and he was truly excellent.
He wore a tuxedo; fresh linens covered the tables; fresh flowers adorned the tables, soft music played in the background. Quite romantic.
Favorite Dish: The antipasto consisted of :
It was quite delicious.
We also loved the Pesto Pasta. Subtle flavors.
Desserts of fresh berries, chocolate, and liqueur
The food, the ambience, and the efficiency added up to a superior eating experience.
In the the backstreets of Assisi and under 13th century vaults, the Ristorante Medioevo resides. It boasts of "genuine Umbrian cooking enlivened with a hint of international cuisine."
The restaurant has lots of atmosphere...the walls are stone; the seats, like living room chairs. There are many artifacts to view on the walls and scattered about.
When we ate there, at first, the waitress seemed rather cold and "all business", but after awhile, she warmed up.
The food was excellent as was the wine and desserts. We were there for about two hours and fifteen minutes! One thing that is marvelous in Italy is that you are never rushed.
Favorite Dish: Allan had delicious lamb grilled with fresh asparagas.
We shared a wonderful fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes with virgin olive oil dish. In addition we were served Mista Salada (Mixed Salad) that was outstanding.
I had spaghetti with Gonzolo cheese and olive oil. It had fantastic texture and taste.
For dessert we had fresh strawberries with hot fudge sauce and a berry torte along with wonderful Cappuccino (which I'm sure the Italians frowned upon since they only drink it for breakfast!)
This was an unforgettable experience, in old Narni (NOT Narni Scala), on the road down to Rome. We arrived without a reservation when the restaurant opened at 7 pm and were offered a table in the stone grotto that was reserved for "9:30 or thereabouts - will you be done by then?" Only in Italy do they assume you might need more than 2 or 3 hours for a meal...
The owner/chef, Leonardo Passone, took us down for a guided tour of his winecellar. Gave us a lesson in Umbrian wine. With his help, we chose our bottle of Sangiovese for the evening. It was fantastic, perfectly balanced, not too much tannin. We'd have had another if we didn't have to drive on to Rome after the meal.
He then custom-cooked a meal for us that was extraordinary, simply outstanding, even though we had already had a lot of memorable meals in Italy.
He wouldn't let us go without a free after-dinner digestif -- limoncello liqueur.
We regretfully left at 10 pm. (The reservation folks still hadn't arrived.)
Worth a considerable detour to dine here.
Favorite Dish: Hard to choose... I'd say the homemade gnocchi. Texture and firmness were out of this world, like no gnocchi I'd ever had. Sauce (with truffles) was likewise indescribably delicious. My meat-eating companion kept stealing from my plate. "Just one more".
The desserts too were incredible. Rare to find a chef who can do both dinner and dessert really well.
Nice quiet hotel. The dinner in the hotel was very nice and so was the breakfast. Very nice, homey...more
This hotel was really neat and very fun to stay in. The staff was very accomodating and the rooms...more
What a wonderful view from the top of a beautiful hill overlooking Umbria. The rooms were spacious...more