Where to eat in Florence
Florence’s dining scene is dynamic, so much so that the Tuscan capital has become a true foodie destination over the years. In addition to the classic osterias and trattorias serving traditional Tuscan cuisine, Florence is packed with street food vendors offering schiacciata with cured meats or lampredotto sandwiches; classy restaurants offering twists on classics; gluten-free options and much more. Not to mention, Florence has not one, not two but eight Michelin starred restaurants, making it a great destination for gourmet dining. From bistecca alla fiorentina to excellent wine selections, here are the best restaurants in Florence.
Via del Porcellana, 25/R
“Substance over form” is the motto of this rustic trattoria tucked away on Via della Porcellana. As you step inside, you’ll feel catapulted into an ancient butcher shop, with white tiles on the walls and staff with white 50s style uniforms. The menu changes daily and offers dishes that have been passed down from one generation to the next, ever since the trattoria’s opening in 1869. Instead of ordering the classic bistecca alla fiorentina (although outstanding) we recommend you opt for the butter chicken – tender and juicy! To start off, the tortellini, in three variants, are musts. Always make a reservation and know that you can only pay with cash!
Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura
Piazza della Signoria, 10
You don’t have to go to Modena to taste dishes from the legendary chef Massimo Bottura. All you have to do is get yourself a reservation to Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura inside Florence’s Gucci Garden museum. The menu is inspired by Italian chef Massimo Bottura and Latin-American chef Karime Lòpez’s travels. And, since its opening, Gucci Osteria has already earned itself a Michelin star. Absolutely go for the marinated bonito with purple corn tostada and hint of spice and citrus or Bottura’s signature Tortellini with Parmigiano Reggiano Cream (you can also add white truffle shavings if you’d like). But it’s not just the menu that grabs our attention – the restaurant has green accents and a beautiful boisire , while food is served in Ginori porcelain.
Via Ghibellina 87
If you’re a serious foodie, you’ve probably heard of the famed Enoteca Pinchiorri – Florence’s three Michelin-starred restaurant inside a sumptuous palazzo. The menu is a triumph of Tuscan, Italian and international cuisine, offering a timeless dining experience. The atmosphere is sophisticated, with numerous dining rooms and, as you’d expect, there’s an impeccable service. But it’s not just the food that’s renowned at Enoteca Pinchiorri, owners Annie and Giorgio Pinchiorri have also created an excellent wine list that’s become known worldwide. If you opt for the a la carte menu instead of the tasting menus, don’t forget to order the ravioli with swiss chard, roasted and not boiled, with caviar and smoked herring milk.
Borgo San Jacopo
Borgo San Jacopo, 62/R
This one Michelin-starred restaurant overlooking the banks of the Arno is definitely a place to save for a special occasion. It offers a phenomenal dining experience mixed with an unforgettable view of Ponte Vecchio, immersing guests in an atmosphere of intimacy. Captained by executive chef Claudio Mengoni, the menu mixes Italian ingredients with French techniques. You can opt for two tasting menus or order a la carte. Either way, the raw and cooked seasonal vegetables, porcini mushroom ice cream and fib molasses and the milk-fed porchetta with black salsify, port-reduced shallots and dijon mustard are unmissable dishes. To make the experience extra special, make sure to reserve one of the very few romantic tables on the balcony.
Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 20r
La Salmoneria is a gastro-bistro that focuses on seafood specialties and pizzas. Located inside the famed Mercato Centrale, it’s the perfect place to stop by for a gourmet panino, a seafood salad, a perfectly executed pizza (go for the Chalet del Mare with potatoes, crispy pancetta, grana cheese, Norwegian salmon and valeriana salad) and more. The secret to their delicious specialties is the quality of their products: you’ll find wild salmon, Cantabrico anchovies, red tuna and red king, among others. And to fully enjoy the experience at La Salmoneria, pair your food with some mixology cocktails!
A stone’s throw away from the Arno river in the San Frediano neighborhood you’ll find this charming bistrot with a beautiful outdoor area. From breakfast to lunch, from aperitivo to dinner, Santarosa Bistrot is the perfect place to stop by. The seasonal menu offers Italian and international cuisine with a twist and mainly focuses on vegetarian and seafood dishes. Outdoors you’ll find sofas and cushioned chairs, indoors a shabby chic setting. The vibe is relaxed and fun and their mixology cocktails are great for aperitivo and brunch.
Via del Verrocchio, 8r
Cibrèo is an institution in Florence – it’s one of those famed fine-dining restaurants that have been on the dining scene since forever – well, since 1979 at least. Chef Fabio Picchi excites his guests with a menu that’s a mix between the past and present, combining family tradition with a passion for Florentine and Tuscan classics. Cibrèo prides itself in offering strictly seasonal ingredients. If you want to taste the same dishes but in a more informal setting, right next door you’ll find Cibrèo Trattoria, offering Tuscan classics at a cheaper price.
Via de Ginori, 8r
In the mood for a trendy setting coupled with some entertainment? Then head to La Ménagère – a concept-restaurant complete with a beautiful setting, quality cuisine and flower and home design products. The restaurant boasts an industrial decor and a long dining table that creates a romantic atmosphere. On the menu you’ll find seasonal dishes and three different tasting menus. After dinner, head downstairs to taste some great cocktails. They also have live music – it’s the perfect place to start and end your evening.
Il Santo Bevitore
Via di Santo Spirito, 64r
This place isn’t just for the foodies but for the wine enthusiasts, too. The restaurant’s name, Il Santo Bevitore, literally translates to “The Holy Drinker”, so you can imagine the type of wine selection that awaits you here. We recommend you start off with a cheese and cured meats selection to get a real taste of the quality produce offered at this restaurant. There’s also a nice selection of soups and interesting pasta combinations. As a main, go for the marinated beef with smoked ponzu but definitely leave some room for dessert. If you’re having trouble navigating the wine selection, make sure to ask the sommelier for advice.
Osteria La Pescatoria
Via Palazzuolo, 80r
Get ready to dive into the Mediterranean seafood tradition at this refined osteria with a marine touch. La Pescatoria offers a top-notch selection of quality produce and a menu that’s a triumph of seafood specialties. The restaurant is captained by Enrico Verrecchia (with over 30 years of successful restaurant experience), his brother Giovanni and his brother-in-law Aurelio Fontani, who together share the passion of bringing the best raw ingredients to the restaurant. In fact, the restaurant prides itself in selecting only producers, breeders, fishermen and cooperatives that respect the planet. That’s why we recommend going for the seafood cruditè, you won’t be disappointed!
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Trattoria La Casalinga
Via dei Michelozzi, 9r
This family-run Tuscan trattoria in the Santo Spirito neighborhood has been lauded as one of the best trattorias in Florence. Even half a century since its opening, this no-frills restaurant has always stayed the same. Dining at Trattoria La Casalinga is like eating at home: the service is friendly, the atmosphere is just perfect and the menu offers the best of Tuscan tradition. The wine list is great but the house wine isn’t bad either. Reservations are recommended as it’s always packed.
Trattoria 4 Leoni
Via de’ Vellutini, 1r
Footsteps from Palazzo Pitti, tucked away in Piazza della Passera, you’ll find the 4 Leoni – a trattoria where you can taste the genuine flavors of Tuscan cuisine in a rustic-chic and contemporary setting. But let’s get to the menu: from the pappa al pomodoro to the tagliolini with truffle shavings, from the bistecca alla fiorentina to the ribollita, you’ll only find seasonal delicacies at this trattoria. A plus, all pastas are homemade! The restaurant also boasts a nice outdoor area.
Via dell’Orto, 49a
Located in the heart of Florence in the San Frediano area, this restaurant has been offering an excellent choice of traditional Tuscan dishes since 1986. The restaurant is divided into three rooms with exposed beams, natural wood and shades of yellow and is always packed with people. But Il Guscio’s extensive wine selection is also its forte – with a list of 70 wine labels from various regions and a special focus on Tuscan wines, including Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Come by to experience a real neighborhood hangout, to taste delicious Tuscan dishes and sip some great wines.
Vicolo di S.Maria Maggiore, 1
Opened in 2014, Quinoa is the first 100% gluten-free restaurant in Florence, certified by the National Celiac Association. Just a stone’s throw from the Duomo, Quinoa offers a varied menu by Simone Bernacchioni that combines the flavors of Tuscan tradition to those of oriental cuisine. The lunch menu changes daily and offers five to six dishes based on what’s fresh at the market as well as a fixed selection of burgers, salads and pizza options. The menu is perfect for those in need of a quick lunch break. While for dinner, you’ll find a seasonal menu that changes monthly.
Via dei Palchetti, 6R
Maybe not the idea choice if you’re looking for a romantic atmosphere – but if you’re looking for a laid back setting where you can taste traditional Tuscan dishes in an historic trattoria, then you’ve hit the bull’s eye. Just a short walk from Ponte Vecchio, Il Latini is one of those typical Tuscan restaurants where you can taste traditional regional cuisine. One of the must orders is the bistecca alla fiorentina, one of the best in Florence.
Via dei Girolami, 28
Inside a 13th century palazzo just footsteps from Ponte Vecchio you’ll find Osteria Buca dell’Orafo – a cozy restaurant where you can experience traditional Tuscan cuisine. This place isn’t just cozy but also unique, in fact, in ancient times, the city’s historic goldsmith shops were located here, and that’s where the restaurant’s name comes from. The restaurant is located just below street level and offers an authentic Florentine atmosphere. They also have an excellent regional wine selection.
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