If you’re going to Florence there are simply some foods and some places that you can’t miss. Whether you’ve got a day or weeks to spend meandering through her city streets you’ll no doubt need to squeeze in many meals during your stay. Some of these foods are quintessentially Italian, others Tuscan and some purely for the Fiorentini – but there is no doubt they’re enjoyed by all who visit.
See if you can work your way through the entire list!
Pasta e sugo
Sometimes you just need to start with the basics and a restaurant that has mastered the art of fresh pasta and a simple tomato sauce is Il Brincello. I also recommend the ravioli fritti for a tasty starter, they’re delicious!
Il Brincello also has a wonderful Papardelle Cinghiale – A Fiorentinian speciality!
Address: Via Nazionale, 110r, 50100 Firenze, Italy
Ok so I’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty hard-pressed to find a pizza that a truly enjoyed in Florence. Their style just seemed to oppose that which I was used to back home. The seemed much more soggy due to the fresh mozzarella. But there where a couple that I can suggest. The easiest by far is at the upstairs foodcourt at Mercato Centrale. This foodcourt is fantastic and open really late you can get a huge variety of food here but pizza is definitely a good option here.
La pizzeria Sud
Address: Mercato Centrale, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 3, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Another option that is a worthy contender is Fuoco Matto if you’re in that area.
Address: Via Ventisette Aprile, 16, 50129 Firenze, Italy
Italian breakfast – il colazione – is notoriously simple. But sometimes the simple breakfast pastry can be deceptively so. The sfogliatella – a deliciously light pastry filled with crema – is a wonderful way to kickstart your day in Florence alongside your morning espresso of course.
Pasticceria Sieni Srl
Address: Via dell’Ariento, 29, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Check out my blog post on Florence’s best gelato for more detail.
For the best artisanal gelato: My Sugar
Address: Via de’ Ginori, 49/red, 50123 Firenze, Italy
For the biggest range of an equally great gelato: Perché no
Address: Via dei Tavolini, 19R, 50122 Firenze, Italy
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Ok so Florence is basically a meat-lovers paradise, so you would be sill to not have a bistecca all Fiorentina if you’re there. They generally come served for two, so bring a meat-loving date and indulge. It’s aged beef and generally served on the rarer side.
Osteria All’Antico Mercato
Address: Via Nazionale, 78, 50123 Firenze, Italy
For a wonderful way to spend a few hours why not graze your way through one of La Prosciutteria’s platters – a carnivore’s dream. Note: there’s no table service and this isn’t really a restaurant but they really do offer a unique experience!
La Prosciutteria Firenze
Address: Via dei Neri, 54r, 50122 Firenze, Italy
You’ll notice while in Florence that hamburgers are big – and i mean popular, but they can also be BIG! I was surprised myself at first as you don’t necessarily associate hamburgers with Italy, but you really should give these a go. The chianina cows make top-notch beef and even better burgers. Birreria Centrale have an awesome chianina burger and additionally do a great potato ravioli too.
Address: Piazza de Cimatori, 1/red, 50122 Firenze, Italy
You can also try a couple of Florence’s specialities at Birreria Central: Panzanella and Ribollita
Perhaps not the dish for everyone, but lampredotto is the fast-food of Florence so if you’re game give it a go. It’s slow-cooked tripe on a sandwich essentially and the texture can be a little off-putting for the unaware but if offal is your game you’ll be right at home.
If you’re taking the plunge, I suggest Nobile Bistro, I recommend this place purely because they take such pride in their dish that they’re acutely aware that its not necessarily for the tourist’s palette. So they offered us a taster before committing to the whole panino.
Address: Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 13, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Bread in Florence can be a little underwhelming to those that enjoy the taste of salt in their bread. But they do have a quite a few baked goods that are delicious and savoury, amongst the variety of sweet treats you can find at the pasticceria.
Don’t stop at the focaccia though, give the schiacciata a go too.
Address: via 50129, Via Guelfa, 32, Firenze, Italy
When the Italian style colazione just simply isn’t enough why not try a tasty bollito! Fresh every morning from the Mercato Centrale. Get ready to line up again though, but again this one is worth waiting for. Slow braised beef with a hot-sauce, either soaked in the juices or not. Enjoy!
Address: Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Panini are very popular around Florence, my favourite place is Panini Toscani. They’re not phased by the line that swells out their door come 12pm, they don’t change their service model which is built around you taste the produce before you decide how you will personalise your panino.
It’s simply great produce that you try before you buy – prosciutto, formaggio and verdure.
So you’ll likely wait if you don’t get there early enough but I assume you it is worth it. And with a superb location, just behind the duomo you’ll be pleased that you put in the effort.
Panini Toscani – sadly now closed.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 34R, 50122 Firenze, Italy
An alternative: All All’Antico Vinaio
Address: Via dei Neri, 74/R, 50100 Firenze, Italy