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Eating & Drinking

  • Many dishes reflect Pisa’s maritime heritage, with baby eels on the menu. These are often served as ciechi alla Pisani (in garlic and tomatoes). Seafood dishes include baccalà alla Pisana (dried salted cod) which can be fried or served in a sweet and sour sauce. As well as providing eels, the coastal fish farms also deliver mussels and clams. Unsalted Tuscan bread, made without salt is a staple, and the base of many canapés, or nibbled with prized Monte Pisano olive oil. Protected produce from Pisa and its surrounding territory includes Pecorino cheese, Parco di Migliarino lamb, Pisan beef, San Miniato truffles, pine nuts, mushrooms, and Pisanello tomatoes. Game is also on the menu, along with typical Tuscan meats, such as wild boar and rabbit dishes. Sullo scio, a typical rustic soup, is made with garlic, tomatoes, chickpeas and rosemary. Desserts may come with a rice and chocolate filling or make use of the local honey from the coastal park of San Rossore Massacciucoli.

  • Ristorante La Scaletta

    This upmarket fish restaurant is not far from the Leaning Tower and, conveniently, has its own car park. Although pricey, this is the place for seafood-lovers in search of a mix of creative and traditional cuisine. Expect sushi-like raw starters or a shellfish platter, with oysters or shrimps and scallops. Main courses include stuffed octopus in a shrimp sauce, Elba lobster risotto or turbot with caponata sauce.

    Address: Via Pietrasantina 107, Pisa
    Web: www.ristoratelascalettapisa.com

  • Antica Trattoria da Bruno

    Although this upmarket trattoria is only 300 metres from the Leaning Tower, it’s still far from a tourist trap, though does get crowded in summer. This atmospheric, long-standing inn serves typical Tuscan dishes, from a filling ribollita soup and pappardelle al coniglio (pasta with rabbit) to Pisan fish soup. You can also choose the “light” menu for a quick, inexpensive lunch. That said, the impressive wine list could lead you into temptation.

    Address: Via Luigi Bianchi 12, Porta a Lucca, Pisa
    Web: www.anticatrattoriadabruno.it

  • Osteria Bernardo

    This mid-priced gourmet bistro is set on a charming square, well away from the crowds around the Leaning Tower. The cooking style is creative but based on Tuscan ingredients so more a nod to contemporary taste than full fusion cooking. It’s a small but well-thought out menu with far less emphasis on pasta than elsewhere. Even if they do serve pasta, such as tagliatelle with funghi porcini (ceps) in autumn, more typical is risotto with Stilton cheese, beef in beer sauce or pistachio-crusted lamb.

    Address: Piazza San Paolo all'Orto 1, Pisa

  • Osteria dei Cavalieri

    Just south of Piazza dei Cavallieri, this authentic, friendly inn is unpretentious and reliable. What’s more, it’s no-frills dining in an authentic early 13th-century tower-house. The inn serves hearty local dishes such as clam soup, baked fish, tagliatelle with rabbit, pecorino-stuffed ravioli, Tuscan tripe, T-bone steak, cheese pie or beef with beans. There are also plenty of vegetarian options. Prices depend what you choose but it ranges from very good value to mid-price.

    Address: Via San Frediano 16, Pisa
    Web: www.osteriacavalieri.pisa.it

  • Gusto al 129

    This popular pizzeria delivers everything from the classics, such as Pizza Margherita or Quattro Stagioni to the most weird and wonderful combinations. Spins on classic creations include a gorgonzola and ham version, or versions with three types of tomato pizza or ricotta, or tuna and lemon, or pizza with pistachio pesto. Stranger toppings still are cream, orange, and chocolate, as found in the Nutella and cream pizza or the Nutella and pistachio variant. There’s no need to take the weirdest pizza but the chef does have a decent palate.

    Address: Via Santa Bibbiana 10, Pisa
    Web: www.gustoal129.it

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