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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Coquinarius

    $$ | Duomo | Italian

    This rustically elegant space, which has served many purposes over the past 600 years, offers some of the tastiest food in town at great prices...Read More

  • 14. Dolci e Dolcezze

    $$ | Sant'Ambrogio | Italian

    The pasticceria (bakery) Dolci e Dolcezze, just off colorful Borgo La Croce, has the prettiest and tastiest cakes, sweets, and tarts in town. ...Read More

  • 15. I'Giuggiolo

    $$ | Italian

    Florentines flock here to indulge in the sinfully rich, thin-crust pizzas turned out by a skilled pizzaiuolo (pizza-maker). However, the real...Read More

  • 16. il Desco

    $$ | San Lorenzo | Italian

    Owned by the Bargiacchi family, who are proprietors of the lovely hotel Guelfo Bianco just next door, their organic farm in the Tuscan countryside...Read More

  • 17. Il Santo Bevitore

    $$ | Santo Spirito | Italian

    Florentines and other lovers of good food flock to "The Holy Drinker" for tasty, well-priced dishes. Unpretentious white walls, dark wood furniture...Read More

  • 18. Kome

    $$ | Santa Croce | Japanese

    If you're looking for a break from the ubiquitous ribollita, stop in at this eatery, which may be the only Japanese restaurant in the world...Read More

  • 19. L'Osteria dell'Enoteca

    $$ | Italian

    This innovative, charming place serves up remarkable food. Anyone looking for sublime bistecca fiorentina should stop here: they serve the cut...Read More

  • 20. La Reggia degli Etruschi

    $$ | Italian

    Located on a steep hill on the way up to the church of San Francesco, this lovely little eatery is certainly worth the trek. Indulge in inventive...Read More

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