Exterior View - A Pignata, Corsica, France

A Pignata

Dining at this restaurant makes a drive up the winding mountain roads worthwhile. A Pignata is as authentic as it gets, when it comes to local terroir specialties. If you haven't experienced rustic traditional cuisine, this is a must. The owners have created a convivial farm-to-table restaurant that is modestly priced and just plain fun. You might find yourself elbow to elbow with anyone from well-heeled locals from Porto-Vecchio to agricultural families who live down the road.

The portions are large, so be prepared for a long afternoon of tasting. After the homemade charcuterie, some of the most outstanding simple grandmotherly recipes include the Corsican peasant soup, oven-baked caramelized lamb, cannelloni stuffed with brocciu, and chestnut flour cakes with nuts.

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Jardin de L'Echaugette

Anyone touring the small perched village of Sartène (which writer Prosper Merimée poetically called "the most Corsican of Corsica's towns") should book lunch on the terrace of this local restaurant. Don't be put off if you hear a lot of English (and German and Italian etc.) All the restaurants in Sartène draw visitors, but Jardin de l'Echaugette is a find among them thanks to the al fresco setting and good daily specials (the regular menu is lengthy and includes everything from Corsican charcuterie to pizza). It's a congenial, family-friendly vibe. Afterwards, don't miss stopping in at La Cave Sartènaise to stock up on some culinary mementos.

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L’Etang de Diane

This oyster wholesale supplier and adjacent restaurant are not easy to find—but, as so many hidden destinations on Corsica, well worth the trek. Located just north of Aléria, a one-hour drive from Bastia, the restaurant was built across a beautiful bay, so that diners sit above the water from which the oysters on the menu hail. Diners sit at no-frills wooden tables that are soon stacked with elevated trays containing oysters, mussels, little necks, lobster and langoustines, as well as bottles of Corsican whites and roses (only tourists, it seems, order by the glass here). The ambience is a mix of Montauk oyster shack and French seafood restaurant, and everyone who scores a table outside looks visibly thrilled just to be there. Lunch reservations recommended.

La Cantina de L’Orriu

This highly popular specialty shop in the middle of Porto-Vecchio is chockablock with wicker baskets and dangling sausages, gourmet goodies and authentic Corsican products, but also doubles as a cozy wine bar where you can sample all the top island vintages. Grab one of the tables outside and order a platter of local goat's cheeses, figatelli sausage or some homemade pâté with your chilled rosé.

La Gaffe

One of northern Corsica's most acclaimed seafood restaurants, La Gaffe is located in the port of Saint Florent and a great choice for lunch when touring and/or road-tripping through this area. (If you come with your own boat, the restaurant also offers on-board delivery.) The mussels are a favorite. After lunch, take a stroll around the port for a gelato at Maison Salge.


Pool at Hotel La Villa, Corsica, France - Courtesy Fred Oliver

La Table by La Villa

La Table, the restaurant of the acclaimed La Villa hotel, is part of a growing number of restaurants in France that gave up a Michelin star in order to be more flexible and free in its style of cooking and dining ambience. However, the cuisine turned out in this special setting is nothing short of spectacular, and the Italian chef deserves all the accolades he has been getting. Diners sit with spot-on views of Calvi's Citadelle, particularly magic during sunset. The menu is heavily slanted toward Mediterranean-Italian dishes, and the wine list is extensive and includes many Corsican heavy-hitters. This is one not to miss for foodies staying in the Calvi area.

Editors' Picks
Dinning Area at La Table de Cala Rossa, Corsica, France

La Table de Cala Rossa

This elegant Michelin-starred restaurant not only dishes up some reliably superb Mediterranean cuisine in an unbeatable setting.
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Le Vieux Moulin

One of Cap Corse’s most acclaimed restaurants, Le Vieux Moulin sits in the port of Centuri, with spot-on views of the sea from its shady terrace. Travelers staying at Misincu should make the trip for lunch here thanks to the gorgeous setting and incredible seafood menu. The restaurant is famous for copious platters of lobster pasta, but other winners include a flavorful fish soup (with a neon-colored rouille), fresh roasted catch of the day and beautifully prepared side dishes. Order a Cap Corse cocktail to start and take in the terrace setting, which draws lots of local families. After a meal, play a round of pétanque at Le Vieux Moulin’s nearby course. During the summer, especially lunch reservations al freso are a must.

Playa Baggia

Is there anything more magical than sitting with your feet in the sand, nursing a pre-lunch aperitif, eaves-dropping on the neighboring table (a touch too close to your own, but in this breezy setting, no matter) and waiting for your fish of the day that will come with its own tableside pan of roasted potatoes and steamed seasonal veggies? Playa Baggia is one of Palombaggia beach's most famous restaurants—and to be sure, they churn out a lot of plates in the course of a season.

A wait staff that seems to have escaped central casting for a South of France telenovela, take orders on mini iPads (perhaps not the most charming but extremely efficient), and the food arrives fast but expertly prepared. There's a touch of a party vibe but all très français (instead of très Montauk), and despite the large menu, the dishes are all very good. Order a bottle of wine and settle in for the afternoon. After (or during lunch), don't miss the complex's cute shop stocked with beachy fashion and accessories.

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Restaurant VM

The terrace of the Version Maquis Citadelle hotel, in the hillside just outside Bonifacio, offers spot-on views of the town's old Citadelle, making it a wonderful place for dinner. The menu is small but changes often, depending on what's in season, and the food is excellent, with both Corsica- and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Forgo dessert in lieu of the local cheese platter—or better yet, get both. Version Maquis is an eight-minute drive from the port of Bonifacio. Reservations are recommended.

Stella d'Oro (Chez Jules)

On a small side street in the stunning medieval village of Bonifacio, Stella d'Oro-also known as Chez Jules-is an unassuming friendly cozy haunt. The restaurant has been around for four generations, and the dishes have remained exactly the same. Among the delicious local specialties are stuffed mussels, stuffed baked eggplant, ravioli with brocciu cheese, and spaghetti with lobster, plus homemade fruit tarts for dessert. It is one of Corsica's most famous restaurants, so you will definitely hear English spoken at the surrounding tables, but it is worth having a meal here for the old-school setting.

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