I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Florence a few times, and the thing that gets me the most excited for going is always the food. From fine dining experiences to take out paninis – it seems to be impossible to have a bad meal in this city!
Florence is known for truffle (which can actually be found at an affordable price here), porcini mushrooms, boar meat, and Florentine steaks. However, as someone who prefers American style steakhouses, I have yet to be wowed by the Florentine steaks and method of cooking them. It’s all about pasta for me!
Osteria All’antico Vinaio via dei Neri, 76 R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This has to be the most famous shop in all of Italy. It has been featured on countless blogs and shows such as You Gotta Eat Here! On my first visit, I did not have to line up by coming near closing time. I ate the Summer Sandwich and loved every bite of it. They are so large you could easily share with 2 people or make two meals out of it. The second time I tried the L’Inferno which still has to be favourite and also had no wait due to going near opening time. This time, I came right when it opened and only has to wait for a handful of people. The third time, I experienced what was the longest line I had ever seen in Italy for food but decided to wait the 40+ minutes and then order the La Favolosa. I tried asking for more sauce since I had considered myself a regular by now, and they added a purple caramelized onion to the sandwich, which ruined it for me. Overpowering sweet flavour. But 2/3 hits. I’d say it’s still worth a visit, but maybe not worth the wait.
Mangia Pizza Via Lambertesca, 24/26/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Thin crust and fluffy wood oven Neapolitan pizza. The crust is perfectly chewy and the pizza here comes made to order with toppings of your choice. Great for a quick bite to eat on the go.
Mercato Centrale Firenze Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell’Ariento, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I’d give this a miss as it is packed to the brim with tourists, making it hard to navigate the options. Prices also seem jacked up to account for this. I did, however, have some excellent antipasti near the exit of the second floor.
Bondi Le Focaccine Via dell’Ariento 85R 50123 Firenze, Italy
The pizza here is thin crust and crunchy with savoury toppings. You can order premade slices or a custom pizza or sandwich. The prices were a steal compared to the offerings at the market without the crowds and room to sit down and enjoy on their wooden benches. You can read more about my review on Yelp here.
Vini e Vecchi Sapori Via dei Magazzini, 3/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
It took my third visit to finally secure a reservation at Vini e Vecchi Sapori. I would recommend calling in at 10 am local time, or at least that is what they recommended to me. The restaurant is very small and cosy and serves excellent Tuscan fare with a casual feel. The menu is handwritten each day to feature the seasonal ingredients. The boar pappardelle is melt in your mouth delicious. They also have a selection for dessert each day, and if you see the gelato cake- you must order it! It is a piece of honey gelato with crispy thin pastry wrapping it. Divine!
Trattoria San Lorenzo Borgo S. Lorenzo, 53R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I stumbled upon here after searching for another restaurant to no avail. This trattoria was bustling with people and had a beautiful ambience. The wild boar pasta came with plentiful pieces of succulent tender meat. They also had housemade desserts available, such as a very fluffy tiramisu. You can read more about my review on Yelp here.
Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco Borgo S. Jacopo, 43, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This gem is featured on many best of Florence lists, so naturally, I had to try it. The hospitality we received when dining here was unmatched and we had one of our best dining experiences. If you only have a few days to experience Florence, this restaurant encompasses everything you need to try in Florentine dining. Tables are places intimately here and yet it feels very homey. Mouthwatering burrata, buttery truffle pasta, pappardelle ragu, Florentine steak, tiramisu – you just can’t go wrong eating here.
Pensave Peggio Via del Moro 51R 50123 Florence Italy Santa Maria Novella
Okay, so this place came highly rated on Yelp for their lasagna. The classic lasagna dish here has many thin layers of ricotta cheese and bolognese. Though, reminiscent of many lasagnas that I’ve had in North America. It was very good, but not spectacular. In a city like Florence with so many outstanding options, I wouldn’t return.
La Giostra Borgo Pinti, 12R, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Another crowd favourite. Because this place is Michelin rated, the pricing is a little higher than other similar restaurants in the area. However, the quality is there. We started our meal with complimentary bubbles and antipasti with grilled vegetables. The mozzarella is freshly made and so so creamy and the tomatoes bursting with flavour. The pappardelle was very memorable. This would be the perfect place for a date with the dark lighting and string lights above.
Osteria Vecchio Vicolo Via Lambertesca 16R 50122 Florence Italy Duomo
The truffle pasta here is delicious because the truffle is embedded in the sauce. The atmosphere here is casual, young, and hip, which was a fun change after all of the classic trattorias we had been dining in. They also had some great salads available.
Gelateria La Carraia Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
This place had the best gelato in all of Italy. The mascarpone & pear and amaretto flavours here are to die and can’t compare to anywhere else. This is always the first and last place I visit when I go to Florence. Read more about it here.
Venchi Gelato Various Locations
Okay, this is a chain found in most Italian major cities. However, if you stick to the chocolate and/or nut flavoured offerings, they are actually pretty good. The hazelnut chocolate one is my favourite as it reminds me of Ferrero Rocher.
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