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Foodie searching for great little restaurants in Florence & Rome

Foodie searching for great little restaurants in Florence & Rome

Feb 20th, 2014, 08:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 183
Foodie searching for great little restaurants in Florence & Rome

My girlfriends and I are "foodies" looking for those special neighborhood gem restaurants not listed in all the travel guides. For those of you who have recently traveled to Florence and Rome, or live there, we would love you to help us find a few places with authentic good eats! We plan to visit in mid-May.
Thank you all in advance for your help!
MarciaK is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,645
Our favorite restaurant in Florence is Trattoria Sostanza - we have actually taken a day trip from Rome to have lunch there. Also love to stop for a snack at Procacci in Florence.

You might try doing some research on the Italy board over on Chowhound.

There are also several good apps, including Eat Florence and Eat Rome, both by Elizabeth Minchilli and Katie Parla's Rome.
ekc is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
In Rome, Al Boschetto [open Sunday], is the perfect neighborhood trattoria. A few blocks away,
Antica Boheme [a little more crowded] is another winner.
RonZ is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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DebitNM is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,005
Your best way to find restaurants that aren't in all the tourist guides (and on all the expat apps) is to just follow your nose and ignore all the guides and advice on forums. However, many of the restaurants in tourist guides are there for a good reason. I wouldn't rule them out. I also wouldn't rule out restaurants where lots of tourists eat. In the most popular areas of Florence and Rome, the tourists outnumber the local diners. Even the people you think are locals are likely to be Italian tourists.

If you want to try following your nose, learn enough about the local cuisine and menus to be able to decide whether the restaurant specializes in local cuisine, which is quite different in these two cities. Study the other people dining. Does their food look appealing? Do they look as though they're enjoying themselves or are they disgruntled? Does it look as though a lot of them are waiting for their meals? I follow these guidelines even in highly recommended restaurants.

Whatever you do, don't ask your hotel for advice. They'll steer you to their friends and relatives in the best of circumstances, and in the worst of circumstances to someone who's bribing them.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,478
You may want to take a look at my 2 most recent trip reports.

For this one from my October 2013 trip, you will need to scroll through the first week, as I was in Abruzzo, but the second week I was in Rome:


The next one is from a week I spent in Rome during November 2012:

If you click on my screen name you can access all my trip reports, which include 8 trips to Italy, many of which have time spent in Rome.

I'll second the recommendation for the Elizabeth Minchilli and Katie Parla apps, these are now my Go-To Rome food/wine resources.
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 11
My girlfriend and I, also foodies, visited Florence this past August. Our reviews are below. Top choice was Ristorante Marrione. Make sure to sit upstairs, as the atmosphere is much better.

-florence - trattoria marrione(penne al Ragu, bread soup, beef stew, good cheap wine, pasta al pomodoro) $$-$$$
-florence - I bevitore santo(crudo, pasta al pomodoro) $$$-$$$$
-florence - Grom gelato $
-florence - perche no gelato(nocciola, cioccolatto) $
-florence - Siena pastry shop(amaretti cookies, brutti ma buoni) $$
-florence - cascine market(cheese, meats, fruit) $

tuftsauto is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 171
In Rome, Osteria Barberini, a smallish friendly place with great food at reasonable price. In the last year or so it picked up a thousand reviews on Tripadvisor, so you need a reservation. For gelato in Rome, try to find il Gelato del Teatro for absolutely amazing flavors. If you are around the Campo dei Fiori and want a sandwich, go to the Forno de Campo dei Fiori (also for great flatbread snack).
Caliban is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 34
TXtraveler2013 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
"Whatever you do, don't ask your hotel for advice. They'll steer you to their friends and relatives in the best of circumstances, and in the worst of circumstances to someone who's bribing them."

Sounds terribly cynical and in my experience not true.

There are certain hotels who hire very knowledgable people, and these people love their jobs and care about the quality of information they're handing out to their customers.

I love kicking it up with a well-heeled concierge (or in-the-know reception personnel). If you figure out how to speak to a foreign concierge and you possess an ounce of charm and patience, you can cull an abundance of great information, and very specific information if you know how to express your wishes and desires.

Florence is very small town. The best established restaurants are known. There are plenty of reliable sources available. Fodor's would not be my first choice.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 04:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 225
We were in Florence last October, and can recommend Ristorante la Giostra, Trattoria I Che C'e C'e, and Ristorante Accademia. All different price points but each very good quality and atmposheric. There were so many great coffee stops and walk up bars along the way each day, it's hard to name one!
rosemaryoz is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 14
I second Trattoria Sostanza too! It was our favorite place in Florence and I'm also seriously thinking to go there for lunch from Rome on our trip to Italy coming up this year!
bearbe is offline  
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