We stayed for 2 weeks in the Quadrilatero, which is one of the oldest areas of Turin. It is a walkable city, we walked pretty much everywhere I mention below. Below are our favorites from this trip.
Best meal: Consorzio. It’s very adventurous in terms of meat/butchering, but there are also more traditional- and vegetarian- choices. We ate great vegetarian food: leeks burnt to an ash but then peeled and added vinger, so its soft and tender with a bit of balsamic and ash taste; amazing gnochetti with an herb and cheese sauce; an artichoke in a sunchoke puree. Also amazing panna cotta and cheese plate. The adventurous among us ate langostine and blood ravioli, an entire guinea fowl (essentially it looked like fancy fried chicken), bone marrow with raw fish. The ambiances is lovely, casual but they’ve thought everything through. Great wine list and service. We had a very strange and wonderful sparkling yellow wine (macerated white grapes) called Le Rose, and some fantastic reds, quite old. Apparently Alice Waters eats at Consorzio every few years… there is a signed poster from her on their wall.
1) Porto di Savona is a classic spot on Via Po, and I had fresh Tajarin with castelmagno sauce. It was simple and phenomenal. While sitting outside is nice, the décor is so old school and classic I’d suggest going indoors. I wish I’d had my celebratory dinner here instead of La Badessa (see below).
2) Enoteca Rabezzanna on via San Franceso is a wine store with a basement restaurant. They have some live music nights, and two sidewalk tables. Their house wine from their estate is really excellent, and we had a knock out pasta- made with turnip top pesto. It was basically swimming in a bright green bitter and garlicky sauce. Other food was good too.
Biggest disappointment: La Badessa. Despite having had a wonderful lunch there 5 years ago, and the great reviews on this site, the food didn’t hit the mark. It was all decently executed but just didn’t quite deliver. I then asked a local friend who said it is very touristy. I wouldn’t give it another chance at this point.
Best enoteca: Enoteca Vinile is a small, friendly, tiny wine and snacks place.
Best old man bar: Bar Pietro (piola sardo-veneziana) on Via San Domenico. It is a Sardinian clubhouse of sorts, meaning a bunch of probably Sardinian men drink and play cards there, but there is also a Venice connection, and they have 5 or 6 kinds of spritz. Nice atmosphere, very relaxed.
Best bakery: Perino Vesco was recommended by an Italian friend as “the best bakery in Turin, possibly in Italy.” I can’t speak to that, and I only took things to go, but there is also a seating area in back with a wider menu. Everything I did taste was great – foccaccia with pickled puntarella (chicory) and buffala was a stand out.
Sourcing to cook at home
The thing with Turin is that with the markets and local products, the food seems to make itself. If you come here, I’d suggest doing some cooking at home- the ingredients are just too good.
The Porta Pallazzo farmers market is incredible. The market includes a huge amount of outdoor stands, with variable quality and goood prices (the olive and nut stands are great). For local and higher quality produce, dairy and eggs I highly recommend you head to he covered farmers market, in the back area of the large grey/black glass market hall. You walk around it and enter on the back, across the street from Pescheria Gallina. Closed Sundays, Mondays are slow but there are a few farmers and it is still worth it, and Saturdays are vibrant and incredible. The local cheese stands are amazing, and the diversity of produce- I think 50 kinds of bitter greens. You can source pretty much anything for a meal here.
I bought fresh pasta at Sapori in via San Tomasso several times. It’s just so good. I think local restaurants also buy pasta there as I saw someone buying 20 portions one afternoon.
For fresh pasta, Pastificio Giustetto is also amazing- the proprietor is a women who must be in her 90s, she is sweet and makes home made pasta in an old store front. The store has been around since 1911. It is on Via Santa Teresa, next door to Enoteca Rabezzanna, so you can buy some wine next door. http://www.piemontetopnews.it/pastifi...
Cheese: Latteria Bera. This place is top notch, lovely owner who will spend time answering all your annoying cheese questions. She was able to special order a hard to find cheese for me. https://www.maestridelgustotorino.com...
Fun things to do
Note that right behind Porta Pallazzo, a few blocks north, is the Balon vintage market on Saturday mornings (big market one Sunday a month). Vintage movie posters, clothes, etc.
Day trip to the langhe
We rented a car and drove to Castiglione Falletto, booked ahead at La Terrazza da Renza. It is a spectacularly located terrace overlooking vineyards. They have a simple menu with few choices, nothing is hot (no pasta), just simple but very good cold plates. We had a celery and walnut salad with an almost sweet local sheep cheese, the local beef tartare, asparagus, scarpione with eggs and veggies, and amazing cheeses. You must book ahead, especially on a sunny weekend day.
We then walked 3 minutes to the Cantina Comunale of Castiglione Falletto, where we also booked ahead (called that morning). Again, great views, outdoor terrace tasting.
After that we went on a great truffle hunt at Casa del Trifalau, which we heard of from great trip advisor reviews, which was closer to Asti.
We then stopped through Asti for a light dinner at our favorite “wine bar where you can eat well” in Asti: Vin’ Taste. I love their food and the wine menu is deep, the staff very knowledgable. It’s in a cave with vaulted brick ceilings, nothing bad to say about it.
And as a side note, we also had to get some more cheese at our favorite cheese store in Asti: Fucci Formaggi, Piazza Statuto, 9, Asti. They also have some nice picnic snacks, all impeccable quality. Asti is a handsome town to walk around, shop, see some nice architecture.
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