Where the locals eat in Assisi: the best restaurants
Assisi isn’t just known for its jaw-dropping Basilica of St. Francis, or its ancient fortress. This beautiful hilly town is also home to some delicious Umbrian restaurants that are sure to get your taste buds tingling. Whether you’re on the hunt for some traditional or gourmet food, here are the best restaurants in Assisi to taste those Umbrian flavours.
Trattoria PallottaVicolo della Volta Pinta
Wednesday – Monday from 12.15pm – 2.30pm / 7.15pm – 11pm
If you’re searching for local, traditional and delicious cuisine in Assisi, this family-run restaurant in front of Piazza del Comune is a must. The setting is simple yet elegant and the food is extraordinary, as is the wine selection. Even though I always glance at the menu, it’s inevitable that I end up ordering the same two dishes over and over again. You know that feeling when you’re having dinner in one of those familiar places and you’re craving THAT dish? That’s how I feel every time I set foot in Trattoria Pallotta. So what are these delicious dishes? My all-time favorite first course is the cappellacci al pecorino di fossa e miele di acacia (cappellacci with cheese and honey). As a second course, I always go for the rosemary beef tagliata that my mom also orders. But I’ve also tried other dishes, I actually always end up having a bite of everyone’s dish (you don’t want to be sitting next to me at this restaurant). The strangozzi al tartufo (pasta with truffles), is a classic Umbrian dish that seriously deserves a try. Another outstanding one for those that like duck is the pappardelle al ragout di anatra e mirtilli (pasta with duck ragout and cranberry sauce). And the best for last, the piccione alla ghiotta con crostone (pigeon). Everything at Trattoria Pallotta is delicious, truly. And the cozy and familiar atmosphere is just the cherry on top of the cake after a long day walking around Assisi and the Umbrian countryside. If you have a sweet tooth, the chocolate soufflé with oranges is delightful, and of course, a glass of sweet wine is a must to finish off your meal! Don’t forget to make a reservation.
Osteria del MulinoVia del Ponte dei Galli
Tuesday – Wednesday 9am – 4pm / Thursday – Sunday 9am – 10pm
Want to completely immerse yourself in nature, relax and enjoy some traditional Umbrian dishes? Search no more! Osteria del Mulino is one of the most charming places in Assisi, set in the beautiful “Bosco di San Francesco” right below the Basilica of St. Francis. My favorite time to come here is for lunch, where during the good season you can sit outside, surrounded by green hills and vineyards. During the winter, they light their outdoor fireplace and it just doesn’t get any cozier than this. If you’re not up for dining outside, their indoor area will surely do, too! With bricked arches and wooden tables, the countryside atmosphere is very much alive. But let’s get down to business…what to order? If you’re a meat lover, their tagliata di manzo is probably my favorite one in Assisi. Make sure to get your tagliata rare (medium-rare at the most) so you can truly taste the quality of the meat. To accompany, their roasted potatoes are yummy and crunchy! If you’re up for a pasta dish the ravioli with truffles are delightful, not to mention the rigatoni with white ragout! For the wines, I’d go for the house red! Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, this casual and cozy restaurant is surely a great find. Definitely make reservations!
Antica Norcineria UmbraVia Borgo Aretino, 5
Thursday – Tuesday 9.30am – 10pm
In the historic center of Assisi in the beautiful tree-lined Via Borgo Aretino you’ll find this delicious restaurant, cured meat and take away store. The owner is the lovely Peppe, an Apulian who moved to Umbria many years ago. If you’re in a hurry and need a take-away panino, stop by this place! They have an amazing selection of cured meats and cheese (in fact, it’s also a great place for an aperitivo with their wonderful happy hour boards). And if you’re on the hunt for a cozy restaurant for a proper sit-down meal, Antica Norcineria Umbra is also the perfect place. I always start off with a selection of cured meats and cheese that Peppe recommends (I recently tried a boar salame which probably makes my top salame list)! Another delicious dish to try is their “uovo al tartufo” or something resembling scrambled eggs with truffle shavings – to die for! Meat-eaters will be happy to know that their meat is sensational, try their tagliata with fresh vegetables and potatoes on the side. If you’re on the hunt for some pasta dishes, the Norcina pasta and the tagliatelle with truffles are must-orders. And for the wine, they have Umbrian wines from Lungarotti to Arnaldo Caprai and Antonelli, to name a few.
Osteria Piazzetta dell’ErbaVia S Gabriele dell Addolorata, 15/b
Tuesday – Sunday from 12.30pm – 2.30pm / 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Over the years, it seems like yummy restaurants are popping out like grasshoppers in Assisi! Of course everyone wants to try a local traditional trattoria or taste the famous pizza al testo, but who isn’t up for some gourmet cuisine? I know I am! Osteria Piazzetta dell’Erba is charming with a lovely outdoor dining area that sits on a small piazza just 100 meters from Piazza del Comune. Tables covered in printed patterns, colourful tableware and green plants set the tone. And for those that prefer dining indoor, a cozy dining room with vaulted ceilings awaits you. But it’s not just the shabby-chic setting that will catch your eye, that will just lure you into reading the menu. The food is definitely something to look forward to. We started out our dining experience with a shared plate of zucchini flowers filled with anchovies and mozzarella in a zucchini sauce, amazing. They were a special of the day. I continued with a spectacular red shrimp tartare, stracciatella, passion fruit and carasau bread which was phenomenal. And to finish off, a cockerel filled with lard and truffles with a potato cream)which just left me craving for more! Also the wine selection is great, with Italian wines from different regions on the list. If you’re unsure, the sommelier will surely help you make the best pairing with your meal.
EAT OUT Osteria GourmetVia Eremo delle Carceri, 1A
Monday – Sunday from 7.30pm – 10.30pm
In the five-star Nun Relais and Spa Museum, there aren’t just luxurious rooms and a relaxing spa to take advantage of. There’s also the famous EAT OUT Osteria Gourmet restaurant, a place where all your senses will be pleasantly awakened. If you’re a wine enthusiast, nothing will stop you from admiring the restaurant’s amazing wine collection on display at the entrance. Nothing except for the view of Assisi’s fortress illuminated by the colors of the sunset! For me, dining in the terrace was simply a must. ! If you arrive at 8pm during summer, you’ll have the luxury of sipping a glass of wine while witnessing the sky turn into shades of yellow, orange, pink and blue. For those that want to dine indoors, the atmosphere is cozy and elegant, and the jaw-dropping view of Assisi is right there for you to admire from the restaurant’s large windows. But it’s not just the incredible views that will take you back to this restaurant, EAT OUT Osteria Gourmet serves excellent Italian and regional dishes with a contemporary twist. We started out with the zucchini tempura and its flowers with yogurt flavoured with wild herbs and Francesco Rossi’s selection of goat cheese. To continue, we ordered a seafood special of the day, and I had the sublime tortello stuffed with ricotta cheese and fiordilatte, zucchini cream and herring roe (a must)! To accompany it all, a great Chardonnay of Castello della Sala. And if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be excited to read the desserts menu!Don’t forget to make a reservation.
Il VicolettoVicolo dei Macelli Vecchi, 1
Monday – Sunday 12pm – 2pm, 7pm – 10pm
If you’re searching for a trendy place in Assisi, this is the one to go to. Il Vicoletto is known for its gourmet cuisine and twist on Umbrian dishes. Il Vicoletto – translated “the small alley”, is located in the historic center on a small side street. The setting is absolutely lovely – think dimmed lights, background music, arched brick ceilings and beautifully set tables. There’s even a few tables on the street level during the good season. If it’s a romantic dinner you’r going for, this is a good one to put on your list. The food is quite good too, with a menu that changes seasonally. The must-orders? Their amazing octopus with burrata. But the queen of the menu is their pasta dish: tagliolini al carbone in carbonara con uovo di quaglia e tartufo. Sublime! The desserts are interesting, with variations on some traditional desserts, like the tiramisu with pistachio! Wine connoisseurs will delight over their wine selections.