10 Things to eat in Pisa and where

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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A healthy, good cuisine that reflects the true Tuscan tradition. For years, in fact, customs and recipes have been perpetuated that are still loved today by its inhabitants, and not. Many of the typical dishes have had origin from the peasant tradition, a poor cuisine prepared with simple ingredients and which come mainly from the vegetable gardens and the countryside. An example is the bordatino, soup with beans and cabbage, the pasta and chickpeas, and the castagnaccio, prepared with chestnuts. Among the meat-based dishes we find the typical cut of Pisan mucus and tripe, while the most important fish-based is grilled cod or stewed stockfish. A unique city, where warmth and conviviality are the masters.

Here are the 10 things to eat in Pisa and where!


  1. Pisan-style bordatino
  2. Pasta and chickpeas
  3. Pallette
  4. Pisan-style tripe
  5. Sliced ​​with Pisan cow
  6. Pisan stockfish
  7. Cod with leeks
  8. Cantuccini with Vin Santo
  9. chestnut cake
  10. Cake co 'bischeri
  11. Where to eat in Pisa: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Bordatino alla Pisana

one of the more typical examples of poor cuisine, made with few ingredients, including dry or fresh beans, black cabbage and yellow flour, in some cases also with the addition of rind, lard or ham. It can also be flavored with aromatic herbs such as catmint or thyme. It is a typically winter dish but also enjoyed in other seasons.

The word bordatino may derive from the fact that the soup, given its simple preparation, was mostly prepared on board ships and fishing vessels with the catch of the day; in the countryside, however, it was prepared with vegetables from the garden and lard. The Tuscan bordatino was then prepared on the basis of the products available in the various localities of the region, creating different variations. However, the Pisan recipe par excellence seems to be the vegetarian version of the soup, also similar to the farinata with cabbage, mostly prepared in the Tuscan hinterland.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 12,00
  • Main ingredients: beans, black cabbage, lard, rind, yellow flour

2 - Pasta and chickpeas

A typical first course of the Pisan tradition, also prepared with a few simple ingredients: short pasta and whole chickpeas. Among its variations there is the chickpea puree with chard or shrimp. The origin of the pasta and chickpea soup is clearly peasant, given that legumes were a very substantial iron-based food capable of replacing meat, which few could afford to eat.

Over the years, this dish is become more and more sought after and widespread in all Italian restaurants, thanks to the unique taste of pasty legumes together with rosemary and pork rigatino (a kind of Tuscan pancetta), excellent to combine with a good glass of wine.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: short pasta, chickpeas, rosemary, pork rigatino

3 - Pallette

A sort of polenta, a semi-liquid cream based on ground maize flour. It is then served in layers with beef and pork ragout, rabbit giblets and mushroom sauce, such as morecci or pioppini. In some versions, leeks are also used. The dish is completed with a little grated Parmesan cheese.

A dish that is usually prepared from September onwards.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: 10,00
  • Main ingredients: beef and pork, mushroom sauce, rabbit giblets

4 - Pisan-style tripe

Un traditional popular dish, very substantial and protein. A dish based on veal tripe with tomato.

The tripe in question derives from one of the three stomachs of the beef, the sack and the hundred skins, while the lampredotto is typical of Florentine cuisine. Absolutely to taste!

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 12,00
  • Main ingredients: tripe, onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, aromatic herbs

5 - Sliced ​​with Pisan cow

The Pisan cow is the result of a cross between the local Podolica cow, the Chianina and the Alpine brown. Its meat is particularly tender and with a strong flavor. The cut of beef was born in the 80s from an idea of ​​the chef Sergio Lorenzi, owner of the restaurant "Sergio" in Pisa, a sort of re-interpretation of the Florentine steak.

The Pisan cow meat is one quality of meat raised for five centuries in the area near the Natural Park of Migliarno Massaciuccoli and San Rossore.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 15,00
  • Main ingredients: Pisan cow meat, courgettes, peppers, parsley

6 - Stockfish Pisan style

Another of the dishes belonging to the poor Tuscan cuisine. Today, however, it is considered a sought-after dish and enjoyed even by the most delicious palates.

The Pisan recipe calls for the stockfish to come stewed with chopped potatoes, more or less spicy, depending on your taste.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 18,00
  • Main ingredients: stockfish, potatoes, tomatoes, chilli

7 - Cod with leeks

The cod was consumed mainly in the Tuscan hinterland; fresh fish was difficult to find due to poor transportation and unsuitable storage methods. The salty cod was preserved in an optimal way, if many could afford it and was usually eaten on Fridays.

In this Tuscan version, cod usually comes cooked on the grill and accompanied by leeks.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 18,00
  • Main ingredients: cod, leeks, peeled tomatoes

8 - Cantuccini with Vin Santo

Vin santo is traditionally produced in Tuscany, it is a dessert wine derived from Trebbiano or Malvasia grapes. There are various theories on the origin of the name. It is said of a Franciscan friar who in 1348 treated the victims of the plague with a wine with miraculous properties, precisely "holy". Another theory tells that, during the council of Florence in 1439, the Greek metropolitan Giovanni Bessarione, intent on drinking wine, said: "This is the wine of Xantos!", Suggesting that the drink had miraculous properties. However, the most accredited origin is that of the wine used during the mass.

The Tuscan cantucci are i dry biscuits perfect companions of Vin Santo; the dough is prepared with flour, sugar, eggs, almonds and pine nuts. Their elongated shape is given by the diagonal cut of the loaf after cooking. The name derives from "canto", or corner, or "cantellus" which means slice of bread.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: 6,00
  • Main ingredients: wine, flour, sugar, eggs, almonds, pine nuts

9 - Castagnaccio

A chestnut flour cake typical of the Pisa area, prepared with raisins, walnuts, pine nuts and coarsely chopped rosemary. Despite having several variations in many other regions of Italy, castagnaccio has increasingly become a typical Tuscan dessert.

A sweet born like dish for the poor farmers who easily found chestnuts in the countryside. Already in the 500th century, the castagnaccio was already well known; an Augustinian father, in fact, mentions him in one of his writings. The inventor of the castagnaccio seems to have been the Tuscan Pilade da Lucca, quoted in the "Commentary on the most notable and monstrous things in Italy and other places", written by Ortensio Orlano and published in 1553 in Venice. The addition of raisins, pine nuts and rosemary began in the 800th century and his recipe was exported throughout Italy.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: € 5,00
  • Main ingredients: chestnut flour, raisins, pine nuts, vinsanto

10 - Cake co 'bischeri

A tart prepared throughout Tuscany and, in particular, in Pisa, where it comes from stuffed with rice and chocolate and enriched with candied fruit, pine nuts and dried fruit, according to taste.

In Tuscany the word bischero means "silly", "not very smart", but, in this case, the name of this cake seems to derive from the shortcrust pastry spouts that are made on the surface of the cake.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: € 5,00
  • Main ingredients: flour, dark chocolate, pine nuts, raisins

Where to eat in Pisa: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

The most touristic restaurants in Pisa are located in the Campo dei Miracoli area, usually more expensive for the suggestive view. The other areas where you can find good typical restaurants are Piazza Dante Alighieri, Piazza del Mercato and Piazza delle Vettovaglie, in the latter area there are numerous bistros, bars for aperitifs and bars for all price ranges.

Also recommended are the areas of Borgo Stretto and Largo, up to Bagni di Nerone with typical bars and bistros, also suitable for the youngest. the other most famous areas where you can also eat are Corso Italia (shopping street) maybe with more informal places and street food, Via dei Mille and Piazza dei Cavalieri. For a more international cuisine, Piazza della Pera (or Chiara Gambacorti) is more suitable with ethnic restaurants and clubs open until late at night. Finally, in Via San Martino, you can find more classic restaurants that have also made the history of Pisan cuisine.

1 - Antica Trattoria da Bruno

  • Description: regional Tuscan cuisine with the best Pisan homemade dishes from both land and sea
  • specialty: cod with leeks / stockfish with potatoes
  • Average price: from € 25,00 per person
  • Address: Via Luigi Bianchi, 12 - Get directions / tel: 050 560818

2 - The Ostellino

  • Description: small informal floor with street food produced with 0 km ingredients and seasonal products
  • specialty: platter with typical cold cuts and cheeses
  • Average price: from € 10,00 per person
  • Address: Piazza Felice Cavallotti, 1 - Get directions / tel: 331 9431843

3 - Osteria dei Cavalieri

  • Description: starred restaurant where tradition blends with innovation, with typical Pisan dishes revisited in a gourmet key in a welcoming place
  • specialty: tripe and sliced ​​beef
  • Average price: from € 35,00 per person
  • Address: Via S. Frediano, 16 - Get directions / tel: 050 580858

4 - Galileo Restaurant

  • Description: typical and traditional cuisine based on long cooking and typical local products in an elegant and distinguished atmosphere
  • specialty: tortelli with Tuscan ragu and fresh handmade pasta
  • Average price: from € 15,00 per person
  • Address: Via S. Martino, 6 - Get directions / tel: 050 28287

5 - Jhonny Paranza Pisa - In the manner of Grace

  • Description: top quality products for exceptional fried food, fish-based second courses such as steak tuna, but also first courses such as spaghetti allo scoglio.
  • specialty: mixed fried fish
  • Average price: from € 10,00 per person
  • Address: Vicolo del Poschi, 7 - Get directions / tel: 320 7717153

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