The Best Restaurants in Italy 2023

5 of the best restaurants in Italy appear on the list of the 50 Best Restaurants

One approach to finding the best restaurants in Italy (and around the world) is to consult the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2023.

This year, five restaurants in Italy made this prestigious list.

The new rankings were announced on June 20th, at an awards ceremony held at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. The event was co-sponsored by water brands San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.

About The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list

2023 World's best restaurants after party
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, After Party (credit: William Reed)

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list first appeared in 2002. When it launched, it was an outgrowth of the UK trade magazine Restaurant. 

The list was acquired by William Reed, a British media company, which greatly expanded the 50 Best brand and enhanced its prominence in both industry circles and the media. (I recently wrote about the six bars in Italy recognized among The World’s 50 Best Bars.)

This year’s best restaurant rankings are based on voting by a panel of 1,080 culinary experts, including food writers, critics, chefs, restaurateurs, and well-traveled gourmets. 

The five best restaurants in Italy

Casadonna Reale Restaurant Dining Room(credit: Helenio Barbett)
Casadonna Reale Restaurant Dining Room
(credit: Helenio Barbett)

Five restaurants in Italy, each in a different region, ranked among the 50 best in the world. Largely removed from the big tourist cities, these destination restaurants are worth the trip if you’re anywhere in the area. 

Below are the names and locations of the five restaurants in Italy, some information about what to expect, and links to the restaurant websites for additional information.

#7 – Lido 84

Gardone Riviera, Lombardy

Cacio e Pepe en Vessie
Cacio e Pepe en Vessie (credit: Lido 84)

Lido 84 is located in the small tourist resort of Gardone Riviera, which sits on the western shore of Lake Garda in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. This is the third consecutive year that Lido 84 has been on the list, placing #15 in 2021, #18 in 2022, and then ascending to #7 this year.

Helmed by Giancarlo and Riccardo Camanini, the Lido 84 menu draws heavily from the bounty of high-quality local products available from the lake and the mountains. According to the new ranking, it might be considered the best restaurant in Italy.

From 50 Best: 

“The cuisine of this inventive Italian restaurant set on a picturesque lake is the result of years of extensive research into local ingredients, old recipe books and international cooking techniques.”


#16 –  Reale 

Castel di Sangro, Abruzzo

Broccoli leaf and anise dish at Reale Restaurant
REALE Restaurant Broccoli leaf and anise (credit: Andrea Straccini)

Castel di Sangro is located in the province of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of central Italy.

Helmed by chef Niko Romito, the restaurant is set in a renovated 16th-century monastery. Reale has three Michelin stars and the chef is known for his restaurants in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. At Reale, both the tasting and a la carte menus showcase Christiana and Niko Romito’s research on food transformation and emphasis on the connection between food and wine.

From 50 Best:

“Through intense research, often focused on overlooked ingredients and techniques such as pressure cooking, Niko Romito is pioneering what he calls ‘the Italian food of tomorrow.’ Expect precise plates that are minimal in presentation but punchy on flavour.”



#34  –  Uliassi

Senigallia, Marche

Senigallia is a seaside town on the Adriatic Sea in the province of Ancona in the Marche region.

Brother and sister Mauro and Catia Uliasssi run the restaurant, whose menu is heavily influenced by its coastal position. Diners can choose from several different tasting menus or order a la carte for a minimum of three courses per person. The restaurant ranked highest of any new entry added to the list this year

From 50 Best: 

“Mauro Uliassi is interested in the interaction between smell, memory and taste: smoked pasta with clams evokes the experience of walking past the pop-up seafood grills on Rimini’s beaches. The experimental ‘Lab’ menu is reimagined from scratch every year, while the classics option includes hits such as raw amberjack puttanesca.”



#41  –  Le Calandre

Rubano, Veneto

If you are visiting Venice, Rubano can offer a memorable culinary experience and a respite from the crowds only 25 miles away. The village is located in the province of Padua in the Veneto region.

Le Calandre was started some 40 years ago by Erminio Alajmo and Rita Chimetto. Their sons Max and Raf raised its profile in 2003 and went on to open more than a dozen restaurants, including ones in Paris and Marrakech. At the age of 28, Chef Max earned the distinction of being the youngest chef in the world to achieve three Michelin stars. Le Calandre has been listed in 15 World’s 50 Best Restaurants editions. Diners can choose from a variety of menus that change with the seasons.

From 50 Best:

“The Alajmos’ Tiramisu in a Pipe is one of Le Calandre’s iconic dishes, as well as the perfectly spherical Almond Mozzarella, an explosion of almond milk and basil on the palate. The chef’s latest signature dish is the Cappuccino Murrina, which marries the colours of Venetian glasswork with layers of surprising flavours.”


#42  –  Piazza Duomo

Alba, Piedmont

Alba, in the Cuneo province of the Piedmont region, is known for its spectacular gastronomy (including wine and white truffles) . The town is located about two hours from Milan.

The restaurant sits in Alba’s main plaza and in a restored palazzo with an art nouveau facade. The menu pays homage to its Piedmontese heritage but also has international influences, including France and Japan. Piazza Duomo has been included on the best restaurants list since 2013.

From 50 Best:

“Enrico Crippa’s cuisine is a voyage through space and time, led by taste, colour, texture and aroma. His latest menus show a confluence of two core ideas: on one hand, Crippa wants to highlight the relationship with ingredients and their local territory; on the other, he looks to explore new frontiers through a creative synthesis of taste and technique, with nods to the future.” 


The complete list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

Here’s the complete list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

A continent away from Italy, in Lima, Peru, the tasting menu of chef Virgilio Martinez of Central snagged #1 as the best restaurant in the world. 

Because any restaurant named #1 can’t win that honor a second time, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, isn’t on the list. Instead, it has been moved to a “Best of the Best” list, along with Noma and Mirazur. (Osteria Francescana is in the Emilia Romagna region, often called the culinary capital of Italy)

50. The Chairman, Hong Kong
49. Rosetta, Mexico City, Mexico
48. La Grenouillère, Montreuil-sur-Mer, France
47. Mayta, Lima, Peru
46. Orfali Bros Bistro, Dubai, UAE
45. Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin, Germany
44. Le Bernardin, New York, USA
43. Leo, Bogata, Colombia
42. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
41. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
40. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany
39. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium
38. The Clove Club, London, UK
37. Sezanne, Tokyo, Japan
36. Plenitude, Paris, France
35. Ikoyi, London, UK
34. Uliassi, Senigallia, Italy 
33. El Chato, Bogota, Colombia
32. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
31. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
30. Frantzen, Stockholm, Sweden
29. Boragó, Santiago, Chile
28. Kjolle, Lima, Peru
27. Florilege, Tokyo, Japan
26. Schloss Schanuenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
25. Belcanto, Lisbon, Portugal
24. Septime, Paris, France
23. Kol, London, UK
22. Elkano, Getaria, Spain
21. Den, Tokyo, Japan
20. Restaurante Quique Dacosta, Alicante, Spain
19. Don Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina
18. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
17. Gaggan Anand, Bangkok, Thailand
16. Reale, Castel del Sangro, Italy 
15. Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand
14. Odette, Singapore
13. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
12. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo, Brazil
11. Tresind Studio, Dubai, UAE
10. Table, Paris, France
9. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
8. Atomix, New York
7. Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy
6. Maido, Lima, Peru
5. Alechmist, Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Asador Extebarri, Bizkaia, Spain
3. DiverXO, Madrid, Spain
2. Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain
1. Central, Lima, Peru


A brief video about The World’s Best Restaurants is on YouTube:


The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list brings droves of tourists to the restaurants on the list so it’s essential to make reservations well in advance.

Be sure to check the restaurant websites for opening hours, especially during summer when many close down during August and any dress codes.

Read this post for a brush-up on Italian Food Rules to Follow.

Finding the best restaurant for you

Dining with a view at Lido 84 (credit: Lido 84)
Dining with a view at Lido 84 (credit: Lido 84)

“People want to experience the life and culture of the places they visit, and food is one way to do that — to literally take in the culture,” said Maureen Costura, an assistant professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

So it’s not surprising that travelers who are passionate about food often use multiple approaches to find highly-quality restaurants when they plan their travel to other countries. But it’s worth noting that there is a fair degree of crossover between the Michelin Guide and the 50 Best Restaurant list. 

If you’re traveling to Italy, the 2023 Michelin Guide lists 38 one-star, two-star, and three-star Michelin starred restaurants in Italy that were added to the newest edition. This made ​​Italy the third most Michelin-starred country, after France and Japan.

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