The top spots for classic American brunch or traditional Italian style lunch in Florence
Although the Italian Sunday tradition of a classic multi-course pranzo (lunch) is world-famous, brunch-ing in Florence has become a big thing! Breakfast-meets-lunch is the new love affair, and is only growing deeper as the seasons go by in Florence.
floret Artisan Kitchen & Bar
Via Roma, 19/21
Daily 10.30am – 7pm
Price: à la carte menu | floret-bar.com
Inspired by an amalgam of cultures, ancient traditions and the Mediterranean lifestyle, floret Artisan Kitchen & Bar is sophisticated and cosy, and the perfect place to go to if you’re looking to sit amongst green leafy plants encapsulating tranquillity. Located in the buzzing shopping district of Via Roma, the interiors are akin to a charismatic conservatory blended peacefully with a jungle vibe and lounge sofas apt for a relaxed day ahead. The brunch includes a variety of options from Levantine salads to Greek ones and Italian ones too. Mediterranean waffles, burgers, granola bowls, cheesecakes and fresh fruits are on their menu too. For the health-conscious, the options vary from cold-pressed juices to homemade smoothies and passion-fruit chia bowls. Floret also offers variations in the ingredients (dairy-free, nut-free, vegan etc). Their specialities include Chai Tea Latte, Matcha Latte, Beetroot and Rose Latte and more. Herbal teas and coffees with the options of vegan milk are available too.
Via Porta Rossa, 63 – Via Sant’Egidio, 37
Daily 9.30am – 10pm
Price: à la carte menu | roostercafefirenze.com
An extremely popular spot for an American brunch, Rooster Café serves great juicy burgers, bagels, salads, coffees and more. The plates maybe inspired by the United States, but the café uses only local bio-friendly produce from Italy. There are two locations, but my to-go is the one at Via Porta Rossa. Housed in a quaint old building, the atmosphere is intimate and the music is groovy. One can bring a laptop and charger, plug in and order various scrumptious dishes off their brunch menu. The cafe serves up creamy scrambled eggs, avocado toast with multigrain bread, hand-battered fried chicken waffles, smoked salmon in a bagel, pancake stacks smothered with syrup (sweet), and so much more.
My favourites here include avocado toast, a loaded bagel comprising bacon, guacamole, tomato and cheese, a strong iced caffe latte, and a meaty pulled pork burger with fries.
Le Vespe Cafè
Via Ghibellina 76
Daily 10am – 3pm
Small things come in good packages, as they say. Le Vespe is a small but wonderful café that’s dedicated to serve brunch. It’s popular amongst the locals (which is always a safe bet), the café offers comfort foods from avocado toast and breakfast wraps to egg and bacon dishes, and home-made juices and smoothies. The menu is also great for vegetarians, vegans and those looking for gluten-free options. Claiming to be one of the only places in town you can get good filtered, American style drip coffee, Le Vespe uses Le Piantagioni Coffee (famous local brand). Their bestseller American breakfast plate is very famous. Homemade pancakes, eggs-your-way, bacon, sausage and oven-roasted potatoes – all on one plate. They also offer a breakfast burrito, which includes cheesy scrambled eggs, fresh Italian sausage, avocado and homemade Mexican salsa in a tortilla wrap.
Melaleuca bakery + bistrot
Lungarno delle Grazie, 18
Daily 10am – 3pm
Posh and airy settings, high ceilings, and rustic-chic, Melaleuca bakery + bistrot was founded by an Italian-Australian chef. Offering savory and sweet brunch options, the bestsellers here include the avocado toast, cinnamon buns and eggs benedict. Go here for a nice brunch by the river and enjoy the mid-morning sun along with a relaxed and delicious brunch menu.
Via dello Sprone, 5 – Via dei Carducci 2
Daily 9am – 3pm
Known to be the “temple of coffee”, Ditta Artigianale offers a plethora of freshly ground and roasted beans wonderful enough to pull you out of a sleepy morning and dive into a comforting brunch. The environment is arty, young and hipster, with an eclectic mix of 60s’-inspired furnishings. Eminent for artisanal coffee, the food is right in sync with that feeling. Their brunch menu is a combination of classics such as Firenze Cadillac Club Sandwich or Croque Monsieur and seasonal novelties. Our top dish this summer is Chilled Cream of Corn Soup and Roasted Chickpea Quinoa Bowl. The coffee’s is a must: flat whites and filter coffees made with careful curation thanks to three-time Italian coffee champ Francesco Sanapo.
A Casa Ca.fe
Via della Spada, 47
Daily 8.30am (9am on Sunday) – 4.30pm
Price: à la carte menu | acasacafe.it
A stone’s throw away from Santa Maria Novella train station, A Casa Ca.fe is the ideal place to drop in for a breakfast en-route your destination. The café even offers on-site luggage storage! If you want a classic Italian pastry and coffee kind of brunch, the café serves an array of interesting coffees with dollops of pistachio cream or Nutella. Their brunch menu includes fried egg and avocado toast, pancakes, omelettes, fresh juices and smoothies. Run by two friends, the atmosphere is warm and aims to make visitors feel at home (a casa).
Via Camillo Cavour, 67 – Via del Corso, 28 – Via degli Avelli, 2
Daily 8.30am (9am on Sunday) – 4.30pm
Renowned for “an alternative way of eating”, Shake Café emphasises “health, freshness, simplicity and quickness”. The owner apparently drives to the markets 3 nights a week and handpicks local seasonal produce. The brunch menu here is colossal. It includes toast, smoothies, salads, pancakes, bowls, hamburgers, centrifuges, sandwiches, sweet potato toast, avocado toast, juices, juices, tea, herbal teas and coffee.