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. da Nerbone

    $ | Italian

    This tavola calda in the middle of the covered Mercato Centrale has been serving up food to Florentines who like their tripe since 1872. Tasty...Read More

  • 2. da Sergio

    $ | San Lorenzo | Italian

    Run by the Gozzi family for just over a hundred years, the food here is delicious, affordable, and just across the way from the basilica of...Read More

  • 3. Pegna

    $$ | Duomo | Italian

    Looking for some cheddar cheese to pile in your panino? Pegna has been selling both Italian and non-Italian food since 1860. ...Read More

  • 4. Perché No!

    $ | Santa Croce | Café

    They've been making ice cream at this much-loved-by-Florentines place since 1939. Such continuity is the reason why this might be the best gelateria...Read More

  • 5. Procacci

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella | Italian

    At this classy Florentine institution dating to 1885, try one of the panini tartufati and swish it down with a glass of prosecco. ...Read More

  • 6. Rivoire

    $$ | Piazza della Signoria | Italian

    One of the best spots in Florence for people-watching offers stellar service, light snacks, and terrific aperitivi. It's been around since the...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Enoteca Pinchiorri

    $$$$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    A sumptuous Renaissance palace with high frescoed ceilings and bouquets in silver vases provides the backdrop for this restaurant, one of the...Read More

  • 9. La Mescita

    $ | Italian

    Come early (or late) to grab a seat at this tiny spot frequented by Florentine university students and businesspeople. Enjoy the day's primi...Read More

  • 10. Antica Macelleria Falorni

    $ | Santa Croce | Italian

    The Falorni family has been in the butcher business since 1806 in Greve in Chianti, and mercifully decided to open a small trattoria in Florence...Read More

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