So, you’re in Turin and you’re looking for somewhere good to eat?
Here’s a list of all my favourite spots (plus places I’d recommend when someone is looking to eat somewhere in a particular neighbourhood), organised by the type of food on offer, and next to each venue name you’ll find the zona it’s located in within the city. It’s by no means exhaustive – I’ve been living here for a year and a half and there’s still plenty more to discover – but I’ll be continuously updating this article as I discover new and noteworthy places.
If you want to find out more about eating, drinking and exploring in Turin, I’ve also written these pieces:
“Turin: City of Specialty” – culinary city guide for Life & Thyme
“24 hours in Turin” – delicious. magazine
“Top restaurants in Turin’s historical center” – The Grand Wine Tour
“The 10 best modern cocktail bars in Turin” – The Grand Wine Tour
“Turin restaurants open on Sundays/Mondays”
Le Vitel Etonné (Centro)
Just off Via Po, try for a table here in the basement wine cellar, surrounded by Barolo and brick walls. It’s mostly straightforward, traditional Piedmontese dishes – choose the velvety braised pork cheek if it’s on offer. Pictured above is their tajarin pasta with artichokes (left) and cardo gobbo (cardoon, or thistle) (right) with cheese sauce.
Gofreria Piemontèisa (Centro)
For around €4, here you can enjoy a giant savoury waffle called a gofre (pictured below right), which the owner tells me is an ancient street food from the Piedmontese mountains, dating back to the 16th Century. It’s just off Via Garibaldi – ideal for a quick lunch without doling out too much for a lacklustre piece of focaccia on the main shopping street itself. Try the San Sicario with gorgonzola and prosciutto cotto on a multigrain waffle.
Osteria Le Putrelle (San Salvario)
A cosy little spot at the tail end of San Salvario, just off the main road that leads to Porta Nuova station. Stick to their Piedmontese dishes rather than the more contemporary options – think a seasonal vegetable sformato con fonduta (steamed savoury flan with cheese sauce), wild boar ragù with pappardelle and chocolate and crushed amaretti bonet (pictured below left).
Il Bacaro (Quadrilatero Romano)
A little Venetian place that makes its own cakes and has the sweetest, fairy-lit courtyard seating in Piazza della Consolata. Not the most incredible Italian dishes I’ve had in Turin, but it’s well-priced and a good option for sitting outdoors in hot weather.
Taglio (Quadrilatero Romano)
Delicious pizza by the slice in a tiny shop with outdoor seating, using slow-fermented, sourdough pizza bases and artisanal Italian ingredients for toppings, including proper buffalo milk mozzarella made less than an hour from Turin. A really good option for a quick, cheap bite in the area.
Scannabue (San Salvario)
This one’s very well known around town, with slightly high prices, offering creative Piedmontese and Italian dishes from further afield in an elegant dining room. Try their takes on offal – they do a butter-soft veal tongue with salsa verde.
Osteria Antiche Sere (Cenisia)
This one’s a little far from the centre of town, but it’s worth the trip, and very accessible by metro – Turin only has only metro line anyway, which you can catch from the XVIII December stop (right at Porta Susa train station) to the Rivoli stop, and from there its less than 10 minutes to reach the restaurant on foot. Cenisia is a residential area, and inside here really feels like stepping inside someone’s home – cosy but modern, with walls adorned with vintage photos and old paintings, and three different dining rooms centred around the main bar. The menu is mainly Piedmontese classics – I wasn’t so excited about a slightly dry agnolotti pasta, but the wine list offers a solid selection of local offerings, the antipasti misti is ideal for sharing and has five different traditional local starters – including vitello tonnato, roasted red peppers with bagna cauda sauce, soft toma cheese with bagnet vert sauce – and I’d go back again just for budino di torrone e miele (nougat and honey pudding).
Focaccia Sant’agostino (Quadrilatero Romano)
Down another side street of Via Garibaldi, this is the only trustworthy focaccia spot in that area I’ve found so far. They use an organic flour for the bases, with a set list of focacce and pizze that rotate throughout the day, all sold by the slice to eat there or take away. Tip: the round Margherita is better than the square one, which is a bit dry.
Porto di Savona (Centro)
One of the oldest old school dining institutions in Turin, Porto di Savona opened in 1863. The space is traditional but simple, with dishes to match – one that’s often on offer during the colder months is the incredibly rich tajarin pasta with castelmagno cheese sauce (pictured above right), which is usually otherwise served atop potato gnocchi. The dining room is spacious – with a second floor upstairs – and good for accommodating larger groups that might not be able to find a spot in the smaller restaurants around town. Being located right on the stately Piazza Vittorio Veneto means it’s more expensive than other places in Turin of a similar quality, but it’s a good choice for visitors keen to try traditional Piedmontese dishes in the centre of the city, and anyone wanting to have an outdoor aperitivo before sitting down for dinner – the piazza is always filled with people going for a cocktail during the week, and is packed during when the weather is warm.
This is a restaurant I really want to come back to. An all-natural wine list, light-filled interiors with a huge marble bar overlooking the kitchen, and a modern Italian (and a bit French), seafood-heavy menu split across cicchetti (Venetian tapas, usually taken with evening drinks) and more substantial dishes. But be warned, the dishes are small and relatively expensive by Turin standards – so, with a three-course meal off the cards, a friend and I shared a very light potato gnocchi with bisque sauce, asparagus and raw squid, and a rich tagliolini with Jerusalem artichoke cream and sea urchin (both pictured below). Apparently the owner used to work at Paris’ renowned Septime, and it shows, making way for a modern bistro that this sometimes stuck-in-tradition city needs many more of.
It looks a little divey from the outside, but this simple shopfront does seriously good polenta – which is served up, piping hot, from a soft serve machine (yes!). Choose from either bramata or taragna styles – the first is made from only cornmeal with water and salt, the second from a mixture of cornmeal and buckwheat meal, which is typical in the Valtellina area (a valley in north Italy that borders with Switzerland) – finished with with your choice of topping, like a rich, tomato-ey venison ragù, creamy porcini mushrooms, or a gorgonzola sauce. The portions are huge and inexpensive, around €5 for one serving, served in a takeaway container to carry on home.
Tre Galli (Quadrilatero Romano)
Tre Galline (Quadrilatero Romano)
L’Acino (Quadrilatero Romano)
Ristorante Consorzio (Quadrilatero Romano)
Da Cianci Piola Caffè (Quadrilatero Romano)
È Cucina (Centro)
Banco Vini e Alimenti (Centro) – see their fried friggitelli (sweet peppers) above
I wrote about all these here
Note that in Italian a ‘bar’ is what we call a ‘café’ in English – where you’d go to get coffee and pastry in the morning or a quick bite for lunch (panini or sometimes simple pasta dishes) – but in Italy they also always serve booze, often well into the evening alongside aperitivo hour. This makes it kind of tough to classify a venue – should I put it under ‘cafés’ or ‘aperitivo/drinks’? What a dilemma. Here, I’ve listed them according to how/why I’d usually visit – either in the morning for coffee and pastry or a cheap, fast lunch, or in the evening for drinks.
Bar Donati Giuseppe (Quadrilatero Romano)
This café feels a bit divey and the milk in the cappuccini is always a little burnt, but I go back so often because it’s run by the friendliest, chattiest ever pair of brothers and they make damn good panini on buttered, crusty bread rolls with filled with the likes of grilled eggplant, mozzarella and tomato; veal milanese (a fancy Italian schnitty) and blanched spinach. Plus, they’ll add extra mayo for you.
Ingrosso Minuto (Quadrilatero Romano)
Their pastries are mostly homemade with a better, wider selection than the typically industrial, frozen cornetti you’ll find at your average Italian bar. And they have often-scarce-in-Italy wifi!
Il Gusto Giusto (Quadrilatero Romano)
Run by a Sicilian family, they stock the full range of Sicilian sweets – mini and big sheep’s milk ricotta cannoli, cassata, granita when it’s hot – and do a solid, cheap penne alla norma (pasta with a tomato-eggplant sauce and salted ricotta) pretty much every day.
Caffè al Bicerin (Quadrilatero Romano)
The tiniest ever wood-panelled café is all sorts of charm and a must-visit torinese institution, where they light candles on silver holders at each table even in the morning and folks line up around the block in Piazza della Consolata for the chance to sip at their namesake Bicerin, a genius mixture of espresso, hot chocolate and cold cream. They also do a toasted chocolate sandwich (you read that correctly). I’ve written more about this one here and here.
A small Neapolitan café a stone’s throw from one of the city’s two main train stations, Porta Susa, with much better coffee on offer than the chains inside the station. Pick up a miniature babà al rhum alongside your caffe – they’ll pour extra rum on top, too, just like in Naples. It’s pictured above.
Perino Vesco (Centro)
This is less of a café, more of a bakery with a seating area, but god dammit it is so good that I end up here nearly every weekend – sometimes I come twice! – whether to pick up a loaf of properly made sourdough bread (not so easy to find here), moreish focaccia and pizza by-the-slice (I’m very into those with potato, black olive and scamorza cheese, and the tomato sauce, eggplant and grated salted ricotta toppings), hot cross buns (weirdly, they have them pre-made and packaged all year round) or to have an early brekkie in the rear café-ish area, where the flaky apple strudels are a welcome change from other spots’ industrial, reheated brioches.
Pasticceria Amici Miei (Centro/Cit Turin)
Specialising in Neapolitan and Sicilian pastries, like rum-soaked babà and ricotta-filled cannoli, as well as Piedmontese specialties, like miniature funghi – mushroom-shaped choux pastries filled with chocolate cream. And if you weren’t already bolting over there, they also fill the housemade brioche (an Italian take on the croissant) to order, piped with your choice of Nutella, marmellata or crema.
Caffè Mulassano (Centro)
Step inside this intricately decorated Fabergé egg of a bar to feel like you’ve gone back in time a couple of centuries. It’s located in a downtown shopping arcade that can get quite noisy, and you might have to wait for a table as the space is so small. They have a house brand of sweet vermouth, which goes down nicely in their signature aperitivo cocktail alongside delicate crustless sandwiches.
Laid back wine bar with a good selection of natural wines, in an otherwise pretty quiet area.
Smile Tree (Quadrilatero Romano)
A creative, experimental cocktail bar (there will most likely be liquid nitrogen involved) with a lengthy drinks list in a quiet, pretty piazza that offers a vegan aperitivo brought to the table. I also wrote about this one here.
Farmacia del Cambio (Centro)
This one could also definitely go under ‘cafes’ – very good coffee and probably the best pastries I’ve tried in Turin. Working from the same kitchen that services one of Turin’s most posh restaurants in the adjoining building, Ristorante del Cambio, be warned that it’s quite pricey – one drink including aperitivo snacks will set you back around €15. While the stuzzichini are small they’re also delicious and good quality – think mini burgers and wasabi roasted peas. Perfect if you want to partake in aperitivo hour without filling up before dinner, unlike other destination aperitivo spots that cater to students looking to fill up for cheap. It’s housed in a pretty converted 19th Century pharmacy, with outdoor seating complete with mist sprayers in summer and mushroom heaters come winter. I’ll often take visitors here
to make them think I’m fancy as it sits on a pretty piazza. Some shots of this one are pictured above.
Just off Via Po close to the river, the spacious, modern cocktail bar is always quiet and good if you want to catch up with someone properly and actually be able to hear them. It’s a regular spot for a language exchange I do with an Italian friend – we know we’ll have space and be able to chat. There’s a short but solid cocktail list – I’m partial to the Bramble. Also good if you’re after somewhere spacious with wifi to work during the day (not an easy style of venue to find in the city centre).
DDR (San Salvario)
Isola (San Salvario)
Dash Kitchen (San Salvario)
Affini (San Salvario) – their cocktails and interiors are pictured above
La Drogheria (Centro)
Centràl Cocktail Bar (Centro)
Bar Cavour (Centro)
The Mad Dog Social Club (Centro)
I wrote about all these here.
Fish & Seafood
Pescheria Gallina (Quadrilatero Romano)
Even though the first meal I had here was quite disappointing, I’ve been back a few times because I love their concept – a fishmonger that focuses on seasonal fish and seafood caught using sustainable methods, with a lively bar and outdoor seating area, plus simple dishes that rotate daily according to the catch of the day. Since that first meal of a gluggy fish pie, I’ve had a generous servings of grilled albacore tuna with roast tomatoes and paccheri pasta with saffron oil, octopus and calamari. Redeemed! All the dishes are part of a menu fisso including a bottle of water and glass of wine. Get there as early as possible to find a table or a spot at the bar – the space is small, crowded and noisy come lunchtime – and to have the best choice of dishes; the menu is short and more popular options run out pretty quickly. It’s a tad expensive considering the brisk service and order-at-the-bar arrangement, but I think it’s worth it for the hefty portion sizes, and they’ll give you a doggy bag.
Lo Stonnato (San Salvario)
A modern seafood spot with a subway tile-clad dining room that offers various riffs on different styles of fish and seafood dishes. The antipasti is split across different types of mussels (choose from three flavourings), fritture (fried anchovies, calamari and the like) and raw dishes like tartare and carpaccio, while the primi serve up contemporary pastas, like sea bass ravioli with bisque sauce and chives. That’s their tuna tartare with persimmon sauce pictured above on the left, and an octopus pasta with tomato and eggplant on the right.
Pippo Paranza (Quadrilatero Romano)
The abundance of nautical decor is a bit kitsch, but I always come back to this cheerful spot when in the mood for seafood, and without wanting to spend too much on it. You order your two-course fixed menu at the counter, and then take a seat – there’s usually one starter served across the menus, like an octopus and potato salad, while the ‘menu griglia’ will be based around a fish of the day for the main, like grilled sea bass topped with thinly sliced, fried potato, and the ‘menu fritto’ usually means fritto misto is served for your main course. House wine and bottled water are included, and you’ll usually spend no more than €25 per person, all up.
La Gallina Scannata (San Salvario)
Run by the same owners as Scannabue next door and Pescheria Gallina in Porta Palazzo, this spot is fancier than their other fishmonger-come-diner outpost. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it for the good quality seafood – I especially liked the mixed crudo entree, serving up a selection of delicate raw fish. Go for a seat at the bar inside, where you can watch your dishes as they’re prepped – especially in Turin’s steamy summertime, as the indoor space has proper air conditioning.
Turin mayor Chiara Appendino may have announced plans in 2016 to transform Turin into a environmentally-conscious, vegan-friendly city, but for the most part good meat-free and animal-product-free spots are still hard to come by – Piedmontese cuisine especially is dominated by rich cheese dishes and veal.
L’Articcioc (Quadrilatero Romano)
This simple, cafeteria-style vegetarian diner does a €7 meal deal where you can select your own mix of dishes from the counter, then they’ll heat everything up and bring it over to you. There’ll usually be modern Italian/Mediterranean dishes on offer like bean salad with sesame seeds, black rice with pesto and sundries tomatoes, or roasted eggplant with amaranth.
Everything but Italian
I love me a serving of tagliatelle alla ragù, but three years living in Italy calls for a bit of dining variety. Turin is not a very international city compared to the likes of Milan and Rome, so the standards for foreign cuisine can be disappointing. That said, there are some gems around town.
Dawat (Quadrilatero Romano)
An Indian restaurant that specialises in seafood and vegetarian dishes – I like the tandoor fish, which comes to the table on a sizzling hot (and very noisy skillet), plus the paneer palak.
Greek Food Lab (San Salvario)
I’ve found their starters a bit hit-and-miss, but the pita bread with different fillings are moreish – those filled with either grilled eggplant or kefthedes (Greek lamb meatballs) are solid options, topped with your choice of sauce, like tzatziki (pictured above). They once had only a few bar stools and an outdoor bench to sit on if you wanted to eat there, but they’ve recently expanded the space, so there’s now an ample seating area inside.
Hafa Café (Quadrilatero Romano)
File this Moroccan cocktail bar under ‘aperitivo/drinks’, too – it has one of my favourite, good value, creative aperitivi on offer near the centre of the city. For €8 every night, you’ll have a selection of delicious tapas-style dishes brought to your table – a farro, cinnamon and raisin salad; hummus; spiced cous cous; bitter black olives; and more – including a cocktail (a few of those are pictured above). The cocktails are sometimes a bit too strong – I usually go for the mojito marocchino, flavoured with crushed cardamom pods – or there’s also (very, very sweet) fresh mint tea. They’ve recently opened up a second location inside the nearby Galleria Umberto I called Hafa Storie, with a more extensive menu and selling homewares imported from Morocco.
Kirkuk Kaffe (Centro)
Generous portions of Kurdish food in a cosy, colourful space, and it’s always busy. A good choice if you’re headed to watch a non-dubbed film over the road at the intimate Cinema Centrale.
Mar Rosso (San Salvario)
Run by an Italian-Eritrean family, this little restaurant has an equally short menu of delicious Eritrean dishes – choose yours with a base of cous cous or injera (a fermented, tangy flatbread with a light, spongy texture) served with the likes of creamy bean puree, oven-roast eggplant and zighni, a spiced beef curry. They often offer a lunchtime meal deal for around €8, and you can also go just for aperitivo and tapas.
Tan Thanh (Quadrilatero Romano)
The owner here is Vietnamese and grew up in Italy, and is a super friendly guy. He once told me it’s the only Vietnamese restaurant in all of Turin, and I’m inclined to believe him, such is the scarcity of Asian restaurants in this area. Skip the underwhelming main noodle dishes and go for their light rice paper rolls (either fried stuffed with pork mince or fresh with poached prawns) or a bowl of phở – they make the bone broth themselves from scratch.
Sedici 10 Bagel (Centro)
I’ll admit that I had low expectations about Turin-made bagels before coming here, but they are honestly really good and if I’m nearby then I often try to stop by here for lunch – it helps that the local Torinese owners are also always up for a chat! They make the bagels themselves using a sourdough base and have a slightly sweet flavour to the dough. I like the Alaska with smoked salmon, lettuce and cream cheese on a charcoal and sesame bagel, or the Pastrami – which actually has no pastrami on it at all – with sliced, spiced chicken, turmeric mayo and red cabbage salad on a white sesame-topped bagel.