Piole and Osterie of Turin
If there is something that abounds in Turin, Italy, it’s the popular Piedmont cuisine. The Savoy capital city is home to the bastions of Piedmontese gastronomic tradition that, so far, have resisted the change of time, price hikes, food fads and even the ambitions of the hipster: these are the typical restaurants of Turin, from piole (typical local restaurants to Turin serving inexpensive local food and wine) in their strictest sense to osterie (simple eateries found throughout Italy), which are, by proportion, much more numerous than in other Italian cities and where the check will be lower than average.
We have selected a few places where to eat well in the centre or near vicinity of Turin, whether on a day visit, holiday, warding off the winter cold or in town for the spectacular bi-annual food fair, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto that starts properly today. Here are our five typical restaurants of Turin and remember, these are the restaurants that have resisted the web and Instagram so the grainier the picture, as a general rule, the better the food.
Until a few years ago this haunt was a small bar without a name. These days it’s a restaurant as rustic as the cuisine, where Mr. Celso still passes among the tables making jokes whilst dishes of cheerful appetisers are scattered on the table in front of you: Russian salad, vitello tonnato, tomini, anchovies green, cooked salami. The menu has its own identity, and despite enormous servings (be aware: those leaving leftovers in the pot will be frowned upon) be sure to leave space for the tart.
The most popular of the popular local restaurants in Turin, it’s no coincidence that they are only open for lunch. Among pennants and nut vendors, panelling and old postcard shops the restaurant has survived all the changes of the San Salvario neighborhood in which it is located, also the epicentre of Turin’s nightlife, where pasta and beans are brought to the table with pride along with lentil soup, ribs and decent house wine.
Set in the Borgo Dora, the historic district in the Aurora neighborhood, the Trattoria Valenza is an inevitable stop after a trip to Balon, the antiques market held in the area every Saturday. Try the caponet, cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and served with butter and parmesan, and a glorious tripe alla Piemontese (tripe cooked with beans, onion, tomatoes and spices). The service is as eclectic as the decor and the final coffee with liqueur and lemon zest is not to be refused.
Osteria Antiche Sere
This osteria became a legend thanks to its pepper served covered with bagna cauda and pork shank, making it one of those places that comes recommended in Turin. Equipped with a delightful pergola, which makes it easier to find, it’s ideal in spring, however, the real season in which to test its perfection is when porcini arrive, perfect with tajarin pasta.
Osteria le Putrelle
An unusual combination of a Pugliese chef cooking Piedmont cuisine, which works surprisingly well. makes this a popular small stop among the typical restaurants of Turin, thanks also to a selection of extraordinarily carefully curated food products. Beautiful and delicious Agnolotti with three meats with butter, hazelnuts and Montebore, all the typical appetisers and raw chopped Piemontese meat.