Niko Romito

Three Michelin stars. World’s 50 Best Restaurants recognition. Being awarded the highest score in the Gambero Rosso Guide for two consecutive years. For a self-taught chef, Niko Romito has amassed an impressive track record. At the heart of his success is Reale, the restaurant Niko and his sister Cristina run in the mountainous Italian region of Abruzzo. In the kitchen, he’s all about championing regional flavours and traditions. His eating and drinking recommendations follow a similar Abruzzese tack.

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The Taste Of Abruzzo

Taverna de li Caldora represents a milestone for typical Abruzzesi cuisine. High quality ingredients and classic recipes allow you to experience and taste the local gastronomy. Olive oil, bread, local charcuterie, truffles: these are few of the beautiful products you can try here. The cuisine is simple and genuine. The atmosphere is truly traditional and inspired by the local artisans.

Beautiful Dishes In The Historic Centre

The food at Mastro cibo e cucina is vibrant, beautiful and delicious. The kitchen is helmed by young chef, Roberto Mastrocola, a previous student of mine. He runs the restaurant together with his sister Serena, who takes care of the dining room. They’re young and have great energy. It’s a special experience to have in the historical centre of the city.

Contemporary Abruzzesi Cuisine

In Roccaraso – one of Abruzzo’s most famous towns – is a tiny restaurant called Chichibio. It’s run by one of my previous students, Raffaele Trilli. There are only a few tables, so everything is given great attention and care. The cuisine of Raffaele is contemporary Italian, taking inspiration from the local tradition but evolving it into a personal language that represents a new style of local cuisine.

Pizza And Wine

Once upon a time Max’s Bar was a little sliced pizza shop, where students would eat during cold winter days in Castel di Sangro. Today, it is a trendy bar. You can still enjoy crunchy slices of pizza Margherita, but with the addition of an amazing gin & tonic or an excellent bottle of wine. I like to an enjoy a traditional aperitif with salami and pinzimonio (celery and carrots dip in olive oil).

Simple Seafood By The Sea

Ristorante Albergo Vecchia Marina is home to Adriatic seaside cuisine. If you come by early in the morning, you will see the local fishermen catching fish for the day. It’s super fresh. The best raw ingredients are treated and transformed in a respectful way that maintains the integrity and true characteristics.

Classic Recipes Using Local Ingredients

If you are passionate about Abruzzesi traditional cuisine don’t miss L’Angolo D’Abruzzo (in Carsoli). Its menu is of classic recipes, all based on seasonal products coming from local farmers. It’s an intense journey into Abruzzo gastronomy.

Wine, Charcuterie And Vinyl

Caffe’ La Fenice (in L’Aquila) is not only a wine bar but also a deli. Enjoy a good steak with a glass of wine. Discover the greatest Abruzzesi cheese and charcuterie available. The atmosphere is cozy and warm with old wooden chests and vinyl records always playing in the background.

Traditional Cuisine In A Unique Location

Eat in a cave surrounded by ancient stones and hundreds of bottles of wine at La Grotta Dei Raselli. It’s a very unique experience. The location is in the middle of Abruzzo at Guardiagrele, a beautiful borgo (medieval village) in the mountains. The menu is traditional Italian – dishes are simple but delicious.

Selected Works: Unforketable.it. La cucina italiana di Niko Romito a casa tua (2018), Dieci lezioni di cucina (2017), Dieci lezioni di cucina (2015), Niko. La semplicità del reale (2009).

Guide Last Updated January 2020

Our guides are fact-checked and updated every three months. Read more here.

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