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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Mario

    $ | San Lorenzo | Italian

    Florentines flock to this narrow family-run trattoria near San Lorenzo to feast on Tuscan favorites served at simple tables under a wooden ceiling...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 12. 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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  • 13. 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

  • 14. da Rocco

    $ | Santa Croce | Italian

    At one of Florence's biggest markets you can grab lunch to go, or you could cram yourself into one of the booths and pour from the straw-cloaked...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. 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

  • 19. 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

  • 20. Le Mosacce

    $ | Duomo | Italian

    Come to this tiny, cramped, and boisterous place for a quick bite to eat. The menu, written in three languages, includes hearty, stick-to-your...Read More

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