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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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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  • 7. 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

  • 8. La Bottega del Buon Caffè

    $$$$ | Oltrarno | Italian

    This recently relocated restaurant (it used to be outside the centro storico) is a symphony in gustatory pleasures in a room with exposed sandy...Read More

  • 9. Ora d'Aria

    $$$$ | Piazza della Signoria | Italian

    The name means "Hour of Air" and refers to the time of day when prisoners were let outside for fresh air—alluding to the fact that this gem...Read More

  • 10. Ristorante Frescobaldi Firenze

    $$$ | Piazza della Signoria | Italian

    The Frescobaldi family has run a vineyard for more than 700 years, and this swanky establishment offers tasty and sumptuous fare to accompany...Read More

  • 11. Touch

    $$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    The first restaurant in Florence with the menu written on an iPad (hence the name), owners Stefano, Matteo, and Max met at hospitality school...Read More

  • 12. Caffè Giacosa

    $$ | Santa Maria Novella | Italian

    This café opens early in the morning for coffee, serves tasty light lunches, and makes excellent cocktails in the evening. ...Read More

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