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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Perché No!

    $ | Duomo

    What many consider the best gelateria in the centro storico embodies the "practice makes perfect" adage. It's been making ice cream since 1939....Read More

  • 8. Procacci

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella

    At this classy Florentine institution dating from 1885, try one of the truffle panini and swish it down with a glass of prosecco....Read More

  • 9. Rivoire

    $$ | Piazza della Signoria

    One of the best spots in Florence for people-watching offers stellar service, light snacks, and terrific aperitivi. It's been around since the 1860s, and has...Read More

  • 10. Trattoria Sostanza (il Troia)

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella

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

  • 11. Buca Lapi

    $$$$

    The Antinori family started selling wine from their palace's basement in the 15th century, and, 600 years later, this buca (hole) is a lively, subterranean...Read More

  • 12. Buca Lapi

    $$$$ | Santa Maria Novella

    The Antinori family started selling wine from their palace's basement in the 15th century and 600 years later, this buca (hole) is a lively, subterranean...Read More

  • 13. Cantinetta Antinori

    $$$ | Santa Maria Novella

    After a morning of shopping on Via Tornabuoni, stop for lunch in this 15th-century palazzo, a place to see and be seen as well as...Read More

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  • 14. Enoteca Pinchiorri

    $$$$ | Santa Croce

    A sumptuous Renaissance palace with high, frescoed ceilings and bouquets in silver vases provides the backdrop for this restaurant, one of the most expensive in...Read More

  • 15. La Mescita

    $

    Come early (or late) to grab a seat at this tiny spot frequented by Florentine university students and businesspeople, who come to enjoy the day's...Read More

  • 16. Obicà

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella

    Mozzarella takes center stage at this sleek eatery on Florence's swankiest street. The cheese, along with its culinary cousin burrata (a fresh cheese filled with...Read More

  • 17. Antica Macelleria Falorni

    $ | Santa Croce

    The Falorni family has been in the butcher business since 1806 in Greve in Chianti, and mercifully decided to open a small trattoria in Florence's...Read More

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