An online guide that puts together the best Italian food spots in the world: here is the new edition of Gambero Rosso’s Top Italian Restaurants.

Top Italian Restaurants: a guide for Italian food abroad

The obsession with burrata, the truffle fever, the ubiquitous tiramisu. These are just some of the constant elements that have accompanied us during 12 intense months of travel and tastings. Top Italian Restaurants, the online guide that puts together the best Italian addresses abroad, celebrates three years with 600 stories of authentic Italian flavour on 5 continents.

Top Italian Restaurants: new entries

Lots of new entries in the Guide, confirming a scene that is nothing short of dynamic and competitive. Among the openings there are also ones belonging to Massimo Bottura and Ciccio Sultano. Classic genres are losing ground, while wine shops go hand in hand with pizzerias, bistros praise fun dining, fresh pasta is increasingly protagonist on menus that, finally, are sharper and shorter.

Top Italian Restaurants guide: the awards

Some of the most fascinating and successful expressions arrive from a wiser fusion of style. But let’s talk numbers. The Italian restaurants winning Tre Forchette in this edition are 25, the Tre Gamberi, that is the best bistros and trattorias, are 15, same as the pizzerias that hit the mark with the Tre Spicchi winners; 20 Tre Bottiglie, amazing collections of Italian wine in the world. The most awarded cities? The front row poker hand is: Tokyo, Paris, New York and Copenhagen. But to meet the first special prize we need to travel to Russia.

Top Italian Restaurants: special awards

Chef of The Year – Emanuele Pollini (Moscow)

Yes, the embargo can become a stimulus to push further. Climbing up to the second floor of the not exactly austere Lotte Hotel in Moscow to meet Emanuele Pollini, we find a talent made in Cesena. We were bewitched by his cuisine: creative, risky, instinctive, authorial in one of the most difficult contexts in the world for Italian cuisine. Cracco left him carte blanche and that trust was highly repaid: the menu has a creative touch and a very well articulated and delicious technical execution. Caviar becomes a way to beguile the customers, then the experience continues playing on flavours and memories of home.

Up-and-coming Restaurant of the Year – Tèrra (Copenhagen)

A very positive discovery in an off-beat area, the place is small and welcoming. The cuisine travels between innovation and fusion, halfway between Rome and Copenhagen. At the base there is a manic search for ingredients, sourced at super trusted organic producers, and the imaginative vein of Valerio Serino. Make a note of his name. Among the many tastings we appreciated the spaghetti with butter, anchovies and boreal roe, which made us jump out of our chairs, plus the sensitivity on the excellent homemade pasta is amazing. His partner Lucia De Luca has embroidered on the dishes a fresh and very original list of Italian wines. When Tèrra lowers the gate, Valerio and Lucia go to work in the Il Mattarello pasta workshop in the Torvehallerne market.

Pizzeria of the Year – Futura (Berlin)

The pizzeria of the year has rhythm in its blood. The name is a tribute to Lucia Dalla’s song, a love story, divided by the wall. We are in East Berlin, in the heart of Friedrichshain, Futura is the new project of talented Neapolitan pizza maker Alessandro Leonardi, born in 1981, and the musician of Planet Funk, Alex Uhlmann. After clearing the culture of Neapolitan pizza from Standard in Kreuzberg, Alessandro decided to open his own place. All the ingredients are imported and carefully selected from Italy, all the pizzas pass through his hands. The dough is fabulous, particularly soft and airy, the opening montanare fried pizza bites are sensational. And the wine list is perfectly calibrated on the offer. Yes, today Berlin is one of the world’s pizza capitals.

Wine List of the Year – Giando (Hong Kong)

A blue Vespa at the entrance and a super incisive cellar in the skyscrapers of Hong Kong. The wine list of the year rewards the work of ebullient Gianni Caprioli, very active in promoting the best Italian products also through his trattoria Already, in addition to a network of niche product stores where gourmands can also find 5 varieties of Italian tomatoes. Emanuele Berselli, one of the greatest wine connoisseurs met during our travels, compiled the wine list. After the experience in La Ciau del Tornavento he returned to Giando. The filter is research and selection process that has few equals, great depth in the millesimes, also reaching the Fifties and, above all, brilliant and courageous choices unlike any other in Asia. The service is perfect, the cuisine is traditional and reassuring. A fine place indeed.

Best New Opening – Feroce (New York)

For the opening of the year we travel to Chelsea, New York, with the signature of Francesco Panella. Feroce wins hands down thanks to an ambitious and very successful project ranging between classic-style dining and excellent ingredients. There is a nice Italian-style bar, the pizzeria with subtle and fragrant delicious pies, thanks to the hand of the Roscioli family, and an aesthetically pleasing restaurant, boasting vintage furnishings and a completely Italian team. The flavours are clear, authentic: a very Italian palate that’s otherwise very difficult to find in the Big Apple. The paccheri with tomato are perfect, as is the Milanese style schnitzel, done just right. A solid and fun format. And very successful.

Guardian of Tradition – Mancini (Stockholm)

Pro approach and respect are the two concepts we associated with this family-run restaurant, active since 1978. In a scene of hundreds of noisy openings, and of sudden and silent closures, we believe that being constant is a primary value. Mancini wins the Guardian of Tradition award for the tireless work of valuing the best ingredients and attention in recipes. On the table, a fun ticket invites customers not to dip the vinegar in the olive oil. The cellar, perfectly managed by talented Giancarlo Clark, boasts 2,000 bottles, very deep on the vintages, among the most beautiful collections in Northern Europe. In the air only good things. Meals start with homemade sausages served in a pan (sopping up the sauce with bread is a must), or two fine slices of ham. The pastas are always well hand-stretched, when in season the truffles are authentic and served in classical fashion; excellent selection of olive oils and cheeses. Plus, Claudio Mancini is a fantastic host. Precious.

Restaurant of the Year – Il Ristorante Luca Fantin (Tokyo)

For a decade occupying the 10th floor of the Bvlgari Ginza Tower, Luca Fantin has built over time the most solid Italian creative cuisine in Asia, dosing exceptional local ingredients, following the rhythm of the seasons and applying the background matured over time in the greatest restaurants in Italy, Spain and Japan. Sensitivity and flavours mix and shine to perfection, the chef’s masterful hand on smoking, and the details make the difference: service temperatures, cooking precision, handling of the savoury and spicy elements. We’re still dreaming of the Felicetti single wheat variety spaghetti with sea urchins. For us this is the Restaurant of the Year and the highest experience of Italian authorial cuisine outside national borders.

The highest ratings by category

Tre Forchette (25) – The best fine dining restaurants

Acquarello – Monaco

Acquerello – San Francisco

Aromi – Prague

Braci – Singapore

Buona Terra – Singapore

Cioppino’s – Vancouver

Era Ora – Copenhagen

Don Alfonso – Toronto

Fiola – Washington

Heinz Beck – Tokyo

Il Ristorante Luca Fantin – Tokyo

Il Ristorante Niko Romito – Dubai

La Scala – Bangkok

Le George – Paris

Locanda Locatelli – London

LuMi – Sydney

Mancini – Stockholm

Mio – Beijing

Mosconi – Luxembourg

Neto – Sao Paulo

Ovo by Carlo Cracco – Moscow

Pelago – Chicago

Pastamara – Vienna

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana – Hong Kong

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana – Macau

Tre Gamberi (15) – Best bistros and trattorias

Belotti Ristorante e Bottega – Oakland

Carne SA – Cape Town

Dilia – Paris

Fico – Hobart

Gianni – Bangkok

Icaro – Tokyo

Locanda dell’angelo – Hong Kong

Osteria Angelini – Los Angeles

Osteria del Pettirosso – Sao Paulo

Passerini – Paris

Pausa – San Mateo

Pianeta Terra – Amsterdam

Tentazioni – Bordeaux

Tèrra – Copenhagen

Torno Subito – Dubai

Tre Spicchi (15) – The best pizzerie

50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo – London

Al Taglio – Sydney

Bijou – Paris

Futura – Berlin

Leggera Pizza Napoletana – Sao Paulo

Luigia – Dubai/Geneva

Kytaly-Hong Kong

Montesacro – San Francisco

Napoli sta’cca -Tokyo

nNea – Amsterdam

O’Munaciello – Miami

Pizza Bar on 38 – Tokyo

Song ‘e Napule – New York

Standard – Berlin

Una Pizza Napoletana – New York

Tre Bottiglie (20) – The best wine cellars

1889 Enoteca – Brisbane

A 16 – San Francisco

Altovino – San Francisco

Avventura – Stockholm

Bar Centrale Terroni-Toronto

Bottega – Geneva

Casa d’Angelo – Fort Lauderdale

Del Posto – New York

Enoteca Italiana – Bangkok

Enoteca Mr. Brunello – Copenhagen

Graziella – Montreal

Gallo Nero – Hamburg

Garibaldi Restaurant & Bar – Singapore

Giando – Hong Kong

Marea – New York

Osteria del Becco – Mexico City

Piccola Enoteca – Zhubei City

Sartoria – London

Sistina – New York

Trattoria Popolare – Oslo

by Lorenzo Ruggeri