There is no doubting Italy has some of the finest ingredients in the world. It also has some of the finest restaurants, too. Tripadvisor’s ‘Best of the Best’ 2021 awards show Italy is highly rated for restaurant experiences.
Yesterday (21st July), Tripadvisor announced the winners of its 2021 Travellers’ Choice® “Best of the Best” Restaurants awards, with five new categories of must-visit restaurants no matter where you are or what you crave, based on traveller reviews of people who have dined there before. From favourite Fine Dining establishments for the more discerning taste buds and the Best Brunch Spots to fill up on avo toast and mimosas, to the Hottest New Restaurants and Best Vegan Spots serving up some of the tastiest plant-based grub. These award-winning restaurants have something to suit every type of palate.
The 2021 Best of the Best Restaurants Awards are calculated based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings for restaurants on Tripadvisor collected from January 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021, specific to each award subcategory, as well as an additional editorial process.
Fine dining restaurants – Europe
While the UK tops the awards list, Italy has a wonderful showing with four fine dining restaurants in the top 25 in Europe.
In 6th place is Quintessenza in Trani (Barletta-Andria-Trani) on the Adriatic coast. Run by Stefano di Gennaro, his family run restaurant uses the best of the sea’s fare to create tantalising dishes. One reviewer described the experience as “Incredible food and very high standard service”.
Just behind in 7th place is Ristorante Villa Crespi in Orta San Giulio (Piedmont). Run by Antonino Cannavacciuolo, the Michelin-starred restaurant is set in the stunning Villa Crespi overlooking Lake Orta.
In 9th place is Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi (Naples). A family run restaurant for over a century, their website says it is “innovative while respecting the local food culture and the old traditions of the Sorrento peninsula and the Amalfi Coast”.
Ristorante Lido ’84 in Gardone Riviera sits on the shores of Lake Garda and came in 13th place in fine dining awards list. Its menu makes the most of the mountains and lakes and has vegetarian options as well.
Hottest new restaurants – World
Italian restaurants feature twice in the hottest new restaurants in the world award list. In 8th place is Wisteria in Venice. The restaurant has a garden with a canal view, where tables shaded by wisteria. They also have intimate dining spaces inside.
In 10th place is Naple’s Opera restaurant. One reviewer said, “The food and the service was outstanding. We were made welcome and the place itself was beautiful”.
Picture perfect restaurants – World
The top 20 picture perfect restaurants in the world features two Italian restaurants. In 4th place is I due Roccoli, Iseo (Lombardy). On the hill above Lake Iseo, the restaurant has incredible views as well as photo-tastic food.
Ristorante Pizza Incontro, Limone sul Garda, also boasts lake views and came in 9th place on the awards list. The menu offers much more than pizza and the setting is sublime.
Best vegan spots – World
You’d be forgiven for thinking Italy is not a vegan hotspot, but an Italian restaurant has made it into the top 20 vegan spots in the world according to Tripadvisor reviews.
Cavo Bistrot in Cagliari came in 18th place and is a restaurant and cocktail bar serving plant-based foods. From their Instagram pictures, it’s worth a visit.
Top date night restaurants – World
Italy is one of the most romantic countries, so it will come as no surprise to find an Italian restaurant topping the date night restaurants award list.
Degusteria Italiana agli Uffizi in Florence is no.1 for that romantic meal with a special someone. One reviewer said, “The best meal I’ve had in the past 10 years. The best of the best in Italian cuisine. Fantastic service and small, intimate atmosphere.” An intimate restaurant just a stone’s throw from the Uffizi gallery, their website says you can “Enjoy gourmet recipes based on the best cheeses, truffles and wild game, served alongside world-renowned Italian wines”.
The Florence restaurant was not alone in the top 20 romantic restaurants in the world. In 17th place is Terrazza Vittoria, Sorrento. The restaurant is on the fifth floor of the hotel and overlooks the Gulf of Naples, perfect for a romantic meal as the sun sets.
Italy tops Tripadvisor lists in hotels
Italy also did well in Tripadvisor’s ‘Best of the Best’ hotels awards, too. Announced earlier this year, you can read which Italian hotels reviewers love, here.