Pisa, Italy is a wonderful Tuscan city to visit before or after a trip to Florence, which is about an hour away by train. World-famous for its iconic Leaning Tower, Pisa is worthy of further exploration for its Piazza dei Miracoli which houses the tower, top-notch museums, scenic seaside, historically significant Arno River, and excellent food.
The delicious food in Pisa obviously skews Italian, but you can find American, Asian, Indian, and Greek cuisine scattered around the historic city. As for everyone's favorite meal - brunch - there are great options for that as well. Fragrant coffee and a pastry are the perfect light start to the day and well-rounded breakfast and lunch options combine for the ideal brunch. If you play your cards right, you can even have a brunch picnic at the Piazza del Duomo or dine with a view of the Leaning Tower.
There's so much to see and do when you visit Pisa that you don't want to be saddled with extra bags. Before you set out on your brunch journey, make sure you stop by a Bounce luggage storage in Pisa to lessen the burden. That way, you can focus all your attention on all the high-quality food at your disposal. Here is a list of the best breakfast and brunch places in Pisa, Italy:
Cafe Miracoli gets its name from the UNESCO world heritage site that is the Piazza dei Miracoli home to the Leaning Tower and Pisa Cathedral. The proximity and view of the Leaning Tower while you eat is almost priceless, but at Cafe Miracoli, they do find the price, and it's high. This spot is great to visit once on your trip to Pisa to get the photos and enjoy the experience, but once is definitely enough.
Bruch at this centrally-located cafe is fairly basic with a focus on coffee and pastries, so don't expect a hot brunch here. Cappuccino, espresso, sandwiches, and croissants are served from a counter. It's best to get a seat outside to fully admire the view you're paying for and enjoy the sun if the weather is favorable. This cafe is open from 7:30 am to 10 pm, so a lunch or breakfast break here is always possible.
Po'stò Cafè Pisa
Just a three-minute walk from the Piazza dei Miracoli, Po'stò Cafè Pisa also offers a view of the Leaning Tower from the dining area and has a cozy atmosphere full of exposed brick, cushy benches, and soft lighting. The counter here is loaded with cakes, tarts, pudding, and pastries. There's so much that it's going to be hard to decide what to get for breakfast to accompany your coffee or juice. As you might expect, they also do fresh pizza and delicious cocktails for more of a brunch feel. The service is great and the prices are more favorable than the expensive Cafe Miracoli.
If you're leaving or arriving in Pisa and need a brunch fix, Vero Bistro is ideal. It's located very close to the Pisa Centrale Train Station and is open from 6:30 am to 10 pm, which suits most travel times, although it is closed on Sunday. The breakfast and brunch fare is served to your table in their modern yet comfortable dining room. Pastries, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and burgers all feature on the ever-changing menu. The portions are hearty and the service is welcoming and efficient. This bistro is popular with both tourists and locals with counter service at the front and a sit-down area at the back and you really can't beat a two-minute walk to the train station. But, if you're looking for a long walk to burn off some of the calories you've no doubt consumed in Italy, Pisa is also full of interesting walks through narrow streets and challenging hikes.
Galileo Art Cafe
The Galileo Art Cafe is one of the more affordable breakfast places to eat in Pisa. The cafe is located across the Ponte di Mezzo from the Leaning Tower close to the Palazzo Blu. Coffee is as low as €1 and the brunch options are second to none. This is your go-to restaurant for full-service brunch including English breakfast and other choices from around the world. They also do an American breakfast with eggs, prosciutto, and toast, and a French Breakfast with pastries, brie, and orange marmalade. The other specialty at Galileo is pancakes. They come plain or dressed up with things like bananas and Nutella. The restaurant is fully licensed, so head here for a grown-up brunch accompanied by beer and spirits as well as a well-stocked wine bar.
Since many of the brunch places in Pisa tend toward Italian food, Galileo is a welcome change with its international menu. It's open every day, although the hours vary from opening times between 7:30 and 8 am to closing times of 8 or 9 pm.
Open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday, when it's open only for lunch, La Grotta is the place to eat when you get up late. The restaurant is open from 12:30 pm to 3 pm and then again from 7:30 pm to 10 pm, but suits the leisurely brunch crowd. The vibe here is casual Italian with red checkered napkins, terracotta floors, wood furniture, and stone-carved ceilings. It isn't easy to pass up the chance to dine in a medieval grotto.
While La Grotta may not be your typical brunch joint, the brunch variety in Pisa can be a little one-sided, so branching out to a lunch-y brunch is an easy compromise. The central location in the heart of Pisa is hard to pass up, as are the menu items. Start with a selection of meat and cheese from their antipasto, then move on to a hearty pasta, like ravioli filled with something decadent and tossed in a flavorful cream sauce. There are vegetarian dishes and the pappa al pomodoro, which is a blended tomato and bread soup, is a unique Tuscan treat. If the mood strikes you, they do dessert and coffee to complete the meal. This is one of the best restaurants in Pisa to try authentic Tuscan cuisine, and the quaint and cozy atmosphere doesn't hurt either!
Another excellent restaurant for some of the best brunch in Pisa is La Cicala, which is relatively close to the Corso Italia, a fantastic shopping destination. La Cicala is an easy central stop for a meal due to its location almost exactly in the middle between the Leaning Tower and the central train station. The cafe is full of vegetarian options and lots of good food. It's considered a hidden gem since it's popular with locals, but tourists can also enjoy everything from omelets and muffins to a full English breakfast, although it isn't always available on the menu. They are closed on Sundays, but otherwise, open every day from 7 am to 10 pm.
Centrally located in the majestic Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, the Leonardo Cafe is popular with people who visit Pisa. The cafe has varying opening hours but is one of the longest open restaurants on this list. Most days of the week they feed customers from 9 am to 1 am, often with a short break between 5:30 and 6 pm to prepare for the dinner crowd.
The menu at Leonardo cafe is full of Italian favorites, but also offers vegan selections with hummus and falafel, seafood, and other delicious meals. The prices are very reasonable here, especially considering the setting directly in the square. The restaurant serves coffee and pastries for those who prefer a continental-type breakfast and does brunch every day. As for the brunch lovers, Leonardo's has eggs, pancakes, and the salmon toast is always a crowd-pleaser. This is the perfect place to settle in for a leisurely meal while watching the traffic in the square go by from your cozy table inside.
Vanilla Cafe and Espresso Bar
If you find yourself in need of sustenance on the south side of the River Arno and past the train station, Vanilla Cafe and Espresso Bar have you covered. Due to its tucked-away location a bit far from the main tourist areas, Vanilla Cafe is one of Pisa's hidden gems for a cheap and flavorful cup of coffee. It's also very close to the Pisa International Airport, in fact, walking less than ten minutes from the airport will get you in the door, seated, and drinking your first espresso.
They offer contemporary outdoor seating and primarily focus on baked goods, but the restaurant also cooks up some of the best pasta in town. The plates are expertly presented and the fresh ingredients are evident as soon as you take your first bite.
Ars Café & Bistrot
Directly on the Corso Italia shopping street, you'll find Ars Café and Bistrot, a wonderful brunch spot in Pisa. The breakfast menu is made up exclusively of coffee and tea, but the selection is almost overwhelming. It's an affordable stop with the basic coffees costing less than €2 and the fancy ones up to €4. You can also get a pastry or two if your stomach is empty and you don't want to wait for the lunch service. Other than these drinks and pastries, they serve typical Italian fare for lunch and offer daily specials, many of which are vegetarian-friendly. Head here before, during, or after some early morning retail therapy, and at the very least, the caffeine will help regenerate you.
Filter Coffee Lab
Located on via Santa Maria, Filter Coffee Lab is the spot for excellent coffee, friendly staff, and a good base for Pisa exploration. It's a five-minute walk to the markets at Piazza dei Cavalieri and about the same using via Santa Maria to the Leaning Tower. Filter Coffee Lab should be your go-to spot for brunch and caffeine on Sundays, as many breakfast joints and restaurants are closed. Filter bucks this trend and closes on Saturday instead and stays open from 8 am to 3 pm and as late as 6 pm on certain days.
The contemporary cafe has a quaint courtyard in which to enjoy a caffeinated beverage or two and a sinful pastry (or two). The vibe here is artsy and skews young, but everyone, both tourists and locals, are welcome.
Everything from an early breakfast to a late lunch is available in the charming city of Pisa, Italy. Those who enjoy brunch don't have to do without just because they're in another country. Although brunch in Pisa might look a little different than what it is in North America or the UK, the Italian twist adds character and interest, and that's what traveling is all about.
Pisa has you covered for coffee and pastries, but the restaurants also serve selections of egg dishes, meats and local cheeses, sandwiches, and pasta for brunch and there's nothing wrong with that. Even though the brunch offerings are far from typical, there's usually something for every taste and dietary requirement, especially those who eat vegetarian. To make your culinary journey through Pisa even more authentic, try the traditional street food of chickpea flatbread available at a number of places to eat in the city. With your flatbread in hand, you can keep exploring along the River Arno and all the other places that make Pisa special.