Florence Restaurants

Florence's popularity with tourists means that, unfortunately, there's a higher percentage of mediocre restaurants here than you'll find in most Italian towns (Venice, perhaps, might win the prize). Some restaurant owners cut corners and let standards slip, knowing that a customer today is unlikely to return tomorrow, regardless of the quality of the meal. So, if you're looking to eat well, it pays to do some research, starting with the recommendations here. Dining hours start at around 1 for lunch and 8 for dinner. Many of Florence's restaurants are small, so reservations are a must. You can sample such specialties as creamy fegatini (a chicken-liver spread) and ribollita (minestrone thickened with bread and beans and swirled with extra-virgin olive oil) in a bustling, convivial trattoria, where you share long wooden tables set with paper place mats, or in an upscale ristorante with linen tablecloths and napkins.

Those with a sense of culinary adventure should not miss the tripe sandwich, served from stands throughout town. This Florentine favorite comes with a fragrant salsa verde (green sauce) or a piquant red hot sauce—or both. Follow the Florentines' lead and take a break at an enoteca (wine bar) during the day and discover some excellent Chiantis and Super Tuscans from small producers who rarely export.

International cuisine in Florence is a hit-or-miss affair. Although numerous Asian restaurants have sprung up since the 1990s, only a select few are worth a visit. Still, if you need a break from Italian, some relief is available.

Pizzas in Florence can't compete with their counterparts in Rome or Naples, but you can sample a few good approximations.

Cafés in Italy serve not only coffee concoctions and pastries but also sweets, drinks, and panini, and some have hot pasta and lunch dishes. They usually open from early in the morning to late at night, and are often closed Sunday.

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  • 1. 'ino

    $ | Piazza della Signoria

    Serving arguably the best panini in town, proprietor Alessandro Frassica sources only the very best ingredients. Located right behind the Uffizi, 'ino is a perfect...Read More

  • 2. 'ino

    $ | Piazza della Signoria

    This is the perfect place to grab a bite and/or a glass of wine after a visit to the nearby Uffizi. Only the very best...Read More

  • 3. Baroni

    $ | San Lorenzo

    The cheese collection at Baroni may be the most comprehensive in Florence. They also have high-quality truffle products, vinegars, and other delicacies....Read More

  • 4. Casa del Vino

    $ | San Lorenzo

    Come here for creative panini, such as sgrombri e carciofini sott'olio (mackerel and marinated baby artichokes), and an ever-changing list of significant wines by the...Read More

  • 5. Ciblèo

    $$$$

    This tiny eatery brilliantly blends the cuisine of Tuscany with that of Korea and Japan. Here you'll find wacky and marvelous combinations in the dumplings,...Read More

  • 6. Cibrèo Ristorante

    $$$$ | Santa Croce

    This upscale trattoria serves sumptuous options like the creamy crostini di fegatini (with a savory chicken-liver spread) and melt-in-your-mouth desserts. Many Florentines hail this as...Read More

  • 7. da Nerbone

    $

    This tavola calda (cafeteria) in the middle of the covered Mercato Centrale has been serving Florentines since 1872. Tasty primi and secondi are always available,...Read More

  • 8. da Sergio

    $ | San Lorenzo

    This restaurant just across the way from the Basilica of San Lorenzo and run by the Gozzi family since 1915 serves food that's as delicious...Read More

  • 9. Fuori Porta

    $ | San Niccolò

    What is, perhaps, the oldest and best wine bar in Florence serves cured meats and cheeses, as well as daily specials. Crostini and crostoni—grilled breads...Read More

  • 10. Gucci Osteria

    $$$ | Piazza della Signoria

    Chef/artist/visionary Massimo Bottura has joined forces with creative folk at Gucci to make a marvelous menu that is both classic and innovative. Though he's trained...Read More

  • 11. I Fratellini

    $ | Piazza della Signoria

    A hop, skip, and a jump from Orsanmichele in the centro storico and in existence since 1875, I Fratellini sells wines by the glass and...Read More

  • 12. Il Santino

    $ | Santo Spirito

    Though it has only four tables and four small stools at an equally small bar, Il Santino is blessed with a big wine list and...Read More

  • 13. Il Santo Bevitore

    $ | Santo Spirito

    Florentines and other lovers of good food flock to "The Holy Drinker" for tasty, well-priced dishes. Unpretentious white walls, dark wood furniture, and paper place...Read More

  • 14. La Casalinga

    $ | Santo Spirito

    Casalinga means "housewife," and this place, which has been around since 1963, has the nostalgic charm of a midcentury kitchen with Tuscan comfort food to...Read More

  • 15. La Giostra

    $$$ | Santa Croce

    This clubby spot, whose name means "carousel," was created by the late Prince Dimitri Kunz d'Asburgo Lorena and is now expertly run by Soldano, one...Read More

  • 16. La Sostanza

    $$ | Lungarno North

    Since opening its doors in 1869, this trattoria has been serving top-notch, unpretentious food to Florentines who like their bistecca very large and, of course,...Read More

  • 17. La Trippaia

    $ | Santa Maria Novella

    ...Read More

  • 18. Le Volpi e l'Uva

    $ | Palazzo Pitti

    An oenophile's dream, this spot—whose name translates as "the foxes and the grape" and is based on one of Aesop's fables—is off Piazza Santa Felicita....Read More

  • 19. Mangiafoco

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella

    On a romantic medieval side street in the heart of the centro storico, this small restaurant serves Tuscan classics that reflect both the whims of the...Read More

  • 20. Mario

    $ | San Lorenzo

    Florentines flock to this narrow, family-run trattoria near San Lorenzo to feast on Tuscan favorites served at simple tables under a wooden ceiling dating from...Read More

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