Siena is a wonderful medieval town in the heart of Tuscany full of wonders to discover. Welcoming and rich in history, it is the ideal place to spend days dedicated to good typical food in the many local taverns and trattorias. From the famous appetizers with croutons and cured meats, first courses made with fresh pasta and soups, up to the second courses of fine meat and desserts famous throughout Italy, you will feel your taste buds dance with ancient flavors dating back to the peasant tradition.
Poor dishes prepared with simple and genuine ingredients, some also revisited in a modern way, which you can enjoy in every corner of the city and, above all, suitable for all budgets. Here are the 10 things to eat in Siena and where .

1 – Chicken liver
crostini Photo by alchen_x. A tasty appetizer also used as an accompaniment to an aperitif . There are numerous variations throughout Tuscany even if, the essential elements to prepare them are certainly the crispy unsalted bread, the basis for the second ingredient, and a delicious cream with a strong flavor.
A dish of peasant origin , a poor and simple dish made on the “not having to throw anything away”, with the scraps of the chicken that was consumed by less wealthy families, precisely. In addition, the leftover bread from the day before was added, while remaining in the philosophy of not having to waste anything. The croutons are then flavored with butter, saffron and other flavors.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost : €6.00
  • Main ingredients : chicken livers, stale Tuscan bread, anchovies, capers, butter

2 – Pappardelle alla hare
The word “pappardelle” derives from the verb pappare, that is, to eat. A pasta with 2 cm wide strips, enjoyed throughout Tuscany. Pappardelle with hare sauce are just a typical specialty of Siena , a typically autumn and winter dish, whose preparation and cooking are rather long and not very simple.
Hare meat is also part of the so-called “black meats”, which contain many calories and proteins , even if still defined as lean meat.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €10.00
  • Main ingredients : egg pappardelle, tomato sauce, minced hare, red wine

3 – Pici
Photo by Luca Nebuloni. Pici (or pinci) are a first course of Sienese cuisine, large spaghetti made from soft wheat flour and not with durum wheat semolina. They can be prepared by hand with an irregular and coarse appearance, or by machine, with a diameter of 3-4 mm.
It is another dish belonging to the peasant tradition as it is made with a few simple ingredients, water and flour; in the past they were satisfied with a condiment based on oil and onion. Today, however, they are tasted with cheese and pepper, ragu di nana (duck), with sausage and mushroom sauce, sausage, potatoes and beans, but also with bread crumbs, garlic sauce with tomato, carrots, celery, onion and garlic.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €8.00
  • Main ingredients : water, flour, salt

4 – Ribollita
Photo of Ta4e Negodue. A peasant soup famous throughout Tuscany , an icon of his cuisine. Its preparation takes three days: the first day a vegetable soup is cooked and eaten normally, the second day all that is left over from the dish is added, such as pieces of bread, toast and garlic bread for example, and then cooked again. with thin slices of onion. On the third day, everything is boiled once more.
Obviously, there are several variations with local ingredients different from area to area. The most used ingredient is black cabbage, which can also be replaced by simple cabbage or savoy cabbage.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €8.00
  • Main ingredients : cabbage, chard, black cabbage, potatoes, stale bread

5 – Senese Bruschetta
A very simple but super delicious bruschetta prepared with Tuscan garlic bread, fresh tomato, basil, aromatic herbs and olive oil. A really tasty appetizer to be enjoyed strictly hot . Slices of Tuscan bread
are toasted , rubbed with garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper; they are then passed over the heat source for about two minutes and then completely immersed in extra virgin olive oil.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost : €6.00
  • Main ingredients : Tuscan bread, extra virgin olive oil, tomato, garlic

6 – Arista di Cinta Senese
A typical specialty of the Sienese hills and of the Tuscan gastronomy tradition. A pork dish served sliced ​​with sage, rosemary and garlic sautéed together. The Cinta Senese has a more succulent taste than other pork, this is because the animals are raised in the wild or semi-wild on the Tuscan hills. For this reason, it has been given the denomination of Cinta Senese DOP.
Its name derives from the Latin “arista”, a point or pointed weapon, probably relating to the bone of the cut of meat in question. The pig, on the other hand, takes its name from the white band on the back, also depicted in the Allegory of Good Government in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €8.00
  • Main ingredients : Cinta Senese pork loin, rosemary, sage, oil, white wine

7 – Sliced ​​beef
A second course served on a bed of rocket and baked potatoes. According to tradition, it is served rare, but you can also request more cooked. A very tender steak with a delicate flavor.
Only coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil are used in order to best enhance the taste of meat on the bone. The meat must be wrapped in a layer of sizzling fat that makes it crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €14.00
  • Main ingredients : rib-eye steak on the bone, salt, coarse, ground pepper, rocket

8 – Panforte
Photo by GodeNehler. Also called Panpepato, it is prepared with almond paste, nutmeg, marzipan and cedar. A confectionary excellence famous all over the world . Once it was made with a sweet focaccia of wheat flour and honey, melatello or honeyed bread, with grapes and figs. Later, given the sour taste of fermented fruit, it was enriched with spices, expensive ingredients that made this dish a dessert to be consumed only on solemn occasions and holidays.
It was prepared in the shops of the apothecaries, in the convents and in the ancient pharmacies where the spices were found and where the food could be best preserved. Production began in September until the end of the year, to be ready for Christmas. Its history dates back to medieval times, born as a gift brought by the servants and settlers to the nuns of the Abbey of Montecelso.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : €4.00
  • Main ingredients : 00 flour, honey, almonds, candied fruit

9 – Ricciarelli
Delicious sweets similar to marzipan, unlike the mere addition of candied orange peel. The name apparently derives from its typically aricciata shape. The most classic are white , but you can also find those covered with chocolate, not typically Sienese.
They began to produce in the distant Middle Ages, inside the farmhouses in the hills and in the houses of the historic districts of the city, on the occasion of the Christmas period. Today, however, ricciarelli can be enjoyed throughout the year , even if, however, they must not be missing from the tables of special Tuscan events. A dessert also enjoyed throughout the rest of Italy.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : €4.00
  • Main ingredients : granulated sugar. egg whites, sweet and bitter almonds, orange peel zest

10 – Copate di Siena

Typical Christmas cake with a round shape, with a dough similar to that of nougat, but with a thin thickness, enriched with chopped dried fruit enclosed between two sheets of hosts. The origin of the name is rather uncertain, but it could derive from the Latin “copatus”, coupled, to indicate the dough enclosed between the two hosts; another theory states that it derives from the Arabic “qubbaita”, that is, sweet almond. Initially, they were called “nebulae”.
Their recipe seems to have been handed down thanks to a monk from the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, which over moderate heat mix sugar, honey, walnuts and almonds toasted and ground together. She made the mixture cool and I spread it between two wafers; in 1700 cocoa was also added and, subsequently, also the egg yolks whipped until stiff.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : € 7.00 per kg approximately
  • Main ingredients : sugar, egg white, almonds, honey, starch wafers

Where to eat in Siena: cheap restaurants, typical bars and street food
Siena is a wonderful city where you can find inimitable historical beauties . The area around the Duomo and Piazza del Campo is full of mostly tourist restaurants. Near the Porta San Marco towards the center itself, there are characteristic streets that lead to the Universita area, also scattered with several less touristy restaurants.
Throughout the historic center and surroundings you will find many taverns, trattorias and restaurants where you can taste the typical dishes of the tradition, with prices suitable for all budgets, including street food and small cozy cafes where you can enjoy a good aperitif in the company of a good sandwich or a delicious platter of Tuscan cold cuts.

SEE ALSO : Where to eat in Siena on a budget

1 – Gli Orti di San Domenico

  • Description : traditional Tuscan cuisine, mainly meat and fish with an excellent selection of wine in a refined and elegant setting
  • Specialty : cut of beef
  • Average price : from € 20.00 per person
  • Address : Viale Curtatone, 13 – Get directions / tel: 0577 288234

2 – Milkone’s kiosko

  • Description : excellent Sienese street food on four wheels with typical specialties of the city, some revisited in a modern and street key
  • Specialty : Sienese kebab
  • Average price : from € 8.00 per person
  • Address : Str. Massetana Romana – Get directions / tel: 393 9483162

3 – The Taverna di San Giuseppe

  • Description : starred restaurant where you can taste traditional Tuscan dishes prepared with creativity and innovation, such as fresh handmade pasta and first choice meat
  • Specialty : green gnocchi with mint and tarragon
  • Average price : from € 50.00 per person
  • Address : Via Giovanni Dupre, 132 – Get directions / tel: 0577 42286

4 – Osteria La Piana

  • Description : since 1955 it has been preparing traditional quality dishes with always fresh raw materials, from meat to fish, up to typical desserts
  • Specialty : pici with cheese and pepper
  • Average price : from € 20.00 per person
  • Address : Via Camollia, 122 – Get directions / tel: 0577 270737

5 – The Vinaio di Bobbe and Davide

  • Description : a must of Sienese gastronomy with an excellent selection of cold cuts and sandwiches, with excellent typical proposals for the week, both meat and fish.
  • Specialty : sandwich with PDO Tuscan ham
  • Average price : from € 12.00 per person
  • Address : Via Camollia, 167 – Get directions / tel: 0577 49615

6 – The Bargello

  • Description : a little bar and a little tavern that will leave you pleasantly surprised. The average cost per person is very low, compared to the excellent quality of the various courses.
  • House specialty : pici al ragu
  • Average price per person : € 10.00
  • Address : Via di citta, 55 – Get directions / Tel. 0577 045649

7 – Osteria da Trombicche

  • Description : a historic place in Siena, which has been able to maintain high quality and low prices. The atmosphere is cheerful and informal, which is why the tavern is a staple for the Sienese and a place with a folkloristic charm that attracts tourists.
  • House specialty : platter of cured meats and pecorino cheese, ribollita soup, onion soup, tomato soup.
  • Average price per person : € 15.00
  • Address : Via delle Terme, 66 – Get directions / Tel. 0577 288089

8 – The Little Ciaccineria

  • Description : With only € 6.00 it is possible to win 3 pieces of “ciaccino”, a term that indicates the Sienese stuffed focaccia. In this place locally sourced raw materials are used to prepare pizzas and ciaccini, in fact.
  • House specialty : ciaccino with Tuscan salami
  • Average price per person : € 7.00
  • Address : Via San Pietro, 52 – Get directions / Tel. 0577 151 3263

9 – Whistles for Flasks

  • Description : cordial and rustic environment, which makes the atmosphere quiet and relaxed. The main dishes of the tavern are the main courses of meat, to be accompanied with a good wine chosen from the well-stocked cellar.
  • House specialty : Sienese tripe
  • Average price per person : € 18.00
  • Address : Via San Marco, 43 – Get directions / Tel. 0577 280971

10 – Gino Cacino di Angelo

  • Description : shop that every Sienese knows and has visited at least once. The combination of food and wine is the master, specifically we are talking about sandwiches, cheeses, meat and vegetables, paired with a glass of Tuscan wine.
  • House specialty : sandwich with pork elixir (secret recipe with pork lard and spices), anchovies in pesto with Sienese tarragon
  • Average price per person : € 12.00
  • Address : Piazza del Mercato, 31 – Get directions / Tel. 0577 223076
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