Florence Restaurants

Florence's popularity with tourists means that, unfortunately, there's a higher percentage of mediocre restaurants here than you'll find in most Italian towns (Venice, perhaps, might win the prize). Some restaurant owners cut corners and let standards slip, knowing that a customer today is unlikely to return tomorrow, regardless of the quality of the meal. So, if you're looking to eat well, it pays to do some research, starting with the recommendations here. Dining hours start at around 1 for lunch and 8 for dinner. Many of Florence's restaurants are small, so reservations are a must. You can sample such specialties as creamy fegatini (a chicken-liver spread) and ribollita (minestrone thickened with bread and beans and swirled with extra-virgin olive oil) in a bustling, convivial trattoria, where you share long wooden tables set with paper place mats, or in an upscale ristorante with linen tablecloths and napkins.

Those with a sense of culinary adventure should not miss the tripe sandwich, served from stands throughout town. This Florentine favorite comes with a fragrant salsa verde (green sauce) or a piquant red hot sauce—or both. Follow the Florentines' lead and take a break at an enoteca (wine bar) during the day and discover some excellent Chiantis and Super Tuscans from small producers who rarely export.

International cuisine in Florence is a hit-or-miss affair. Although numerous Asian restaurants have sprung up since the 1990s, only a select few are worth a visit. Still, if you need a break from Italian, some relief is available.

Pizzas in Florence can't compete with their counterparts in Rome or Naples, but you can sample a few good approximations.

Cafés in Italy serve not only coffee concoctions and pastries but also sweets, drinks, and panini, and some have hot pasta and lunch dishes. They usually open from early in the morning to late at night, and are often closed Sunday.

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  • 1. Ciblèo

    $$$$ | Fusion

    This tiny eatery, which seats just about 20 people, brilliantly blends the cuisine of Tuscany with that of Korea and Japan. Here you'll find...Read More

  • 2. Cibrèo

    $$$$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    This upscale trattoria serves sumptuous options like the creamy crostini di fegatini (a savory chicken-liver spread) and melt-in-your-mouth...Read More

  • 3. Fuori Porta

    $ | San Niccolò | Wine Bar

    Perhaps the oldest and best wine bar in Florence, this place serves cured meats and cheeses, as well as daily specials. Crostini and crostoni...Read More

  • 4. Gucci OsteriaChef

    $$ | Piazza della Signoria | Fusion

    Chef/artist/visionary Massimo Bottura has joined forces with creative folk at Gucci to make a marvelous menu that is both classic and innovative...Read More

  • 5. La Casalinga

    $ | Santo Spirito | Italian

    Casalinga means "housewife," and this place, which has been around since 1963, has the nostalgic charm of a mid-century kitchen with Tuscan...Read More

  • 6. La Giostra

    $$$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    This clubby spot, whose name means "carousel" in Italian, was created by the late Prince Dimitri Kunz d'Asburgo Lorena, and is now expertly...Read More

  • 7. Mangiafoco

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella | Italian

    Created by Francesco and Elisa in 2001, this small, brightly painted spot in the heart of the centro storico on a romantic medieval side street...Read More

  • 8. Osteria de'Benci

    $$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    A few minutes from Santa Croce, this charming osteria serves some of the most eclectic food in Florence. Try the spaghetti degli eretici ...Read More

  • 9. Perini

    $$ | San Lorenzo | Italian

    It's possible to break the bank here, as this might be the best salumeria in Florence. Perini sells prosciutto, mixed meats, sauces for pasta...Read More

  • 10. Taverna del Bronzino

    $$ | San Marco | Italian

    Located in the former studio of Santi di Tito, a student of Bronzino's, Taverna has a simple, formal decor, with white tablecloths and place...Read More

  • 11. Trattoria Sostanza (il Troia)

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella | Italian

    Since opening its doors in 1869, this trattoria has been serving top-notch, unpretentious food to Florentines who like their bistecca fiorentina...Read More

  • 12. Alfio e Beppe

    $ | San Marco | Italian

    Watch chickens roast over high flames as you decide which of the other delightful things you're going to eat with it. The beauty of this place...Read More

  • 13. Alla Vecchia Bettola

    $ | Oltrarno | Italian

    The name doesn't exactly mean "old dive," but it comes pretty close. The recipes here come from "wise grandmothers" and celebrate Tuscan food...Read More

  • 14. Antico Noe

    $$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    The short menu at the one-room eatery relies heavily on seasonal ingredients picked up daily at the market. Although the secondi are good, the...Read More

  • 15. Antico Salumificio Anzuini

    $ | Santa Croce | Deli

    This salumeria shrink-wraps their own pork products, making it a snap to take home some salame di cinghiale (wild boar salami). ...Read More

  • 16. Birreria Centrale

    $$ | Duomo | Eclectic

    The feel here is more Munich beer hall than Florentine trattoria; indeed, although the menu lists plenty of Italian dishes, it also emphasizes...Read More

  • 17. Borgo Antico

    $ | Santo Spirito | Pizza

    In the Oltrarno, try Borgo Antico, which serves fine pizza and other trattoria fare. ...Read More

  • 18. Buca Lapi

    $$$$ | Santa Maria Novella | Italian

    The Antinori family started selling wine from their palace's basement in the 15th century and 600 years later, this buca (hole) is a lively...Read More

  • 19. Cantinetta Antinori

    $$$ | Santa Maria Novella | Italian

    After a morning of shopping on Via Tornabuoni, stop for lunch in this 15th-century palazzo in the company of Florentine ladies and men who come...Read More

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  • 20. Cibrèo Trattoria

    $$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    This intimate little trattoria, known to locals as Cibreino, shares its kitchen with the famed Florentine culinary institution from which it...Read More

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