Restaurants in Florence
Once known solely for its white-linen restaurants and trattorias, Florence has increasingly more to offer. A crop of enoteche (wine bars), along with new cafes and small specialty shops, are infusing life into the somewhat staid culinary scene. And many bars are stepping up their game serving full meals. Some of the best restaurants in Florence are located around Santa Croce and the Oltrarno.
But while restaurants in Florence deliver more variety than ever, keep in mind that the best Tuscan fare is made with fresh and local ingredients sourced from the surrounding region. One of our favorites is well-suited to the more adventurous palate: the Proacci Sandwich Shop, which puts its own spin on authentic Italian fare; be sure try one of their truffled sandwiches.
Another standout is Enoteca Pinchiorri. You'll pay well for the pleasure of feasting on foie gras or absolutely delicious guinea fowl ravioli in a palazzo north of Santa Croce. Of course, you're in Italy, so you must indulge. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Gelateria La Carraia, which scoops excellent homemade gelato in a wide range of flavors.
Named for a Genovese doge (who was also the subject of a Verdi opera), Simon Boccanegra occupies the ground floor of 16th-century Palazzo Salviati in the Santa Croce quarter, and the location is a large part of its appeal.
The posh Cibreino ranks as one of the city's most famous dining destinations. A few doors away, at its sister location, you can share communal wooden tables but eat the same Tuscan specialties—such as stuffed chicken neck or yellow pepper soup—at half the price.
On an unassuming street near Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno, this contemporary trattoria offers stylish decor, a hip atmosphere, and tasty, inventive dishes ranging from salt cod carpaccio to the house-speciality breaded 'elephant ear' pork chop, even a cheeseburger and house-made chips.
The city's best kosher option serves a mean lox, couscous, and falafel.
With the goal of serving up "the soul of Tuscany" on a plate, former Bulgari executive Silvio Ursini (also the creator of the Obika mozzarella bars in Florence, Rome and five other cities) opened Osteria Tornabuoni in 2010.
Situated atop La Rinascente, a four-story department store on the edge of Piazza della Repubblica, Terrazza is a small, open-air rooftop café with about a dozen tables. The menu is reasonably priced and includes coffee, tea, wine, and light snacks such as panini and pastries.
At this lively pizzeria in the Oltrarno, Neapolitan-style pies are served in a setting designed to resemble a vico (side street) in Naples, with miniature lights and clothes lines strung between the bare walls.
Located near Palazzo Pitti, Trattoria 4 Leoni (the Four Lions) has two dining rooms, a casual one closer to the street and one a little more elegant with interior arches and brick showing through the stuccoed walls.
Located in the famed wine-producing family’s historic palazzo off the north end of Via Tornabuoni, this wine bar offers upscale dinners in intimate surroundings: vaulted ceilings high enough for a second, lofted dining area; crisp white tablecloths; waiters in cream jackets; and a hushed atmosphe
The hotel restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel, Firenze is serious and excellent. Chef Vito Mollica serves homemade pastas such as ricotta-and-mint ravioli in a lamb sauce.
Owned by a Sicilian who learned the art of ice cream–making from his grandfather, this small gelato parlor is considered the city’s best by many Florentines.
Established more than three decades ago by Florentine chef Guiliano Garga and his Canadian-born wife Sharon Oddson, Trattoria Garga is known as a colorful place.
The simply furnished restaurant (ivory tablecloths, black-and-white photos) in the San Frediano quarter is a favorite among locals, who come for experimental and traditional Italian cooking (scallops, quail eggs, and bacon; lamb fillet with cabbage).
An elegant (if somewhat nondescript) white tablecloth restaurant in the Oltrarno, Fuor d'Acqua ("out of the water") specializes in seafood trucked in fresh each day from the coast of Tuscany and prepared in every conceivable way from grilled to poached to raw.
Opened in December 2006, PORTOfino is rapidly becoming the Florentine’s favorite seafood restaurant. Although it’s ten minutes by cab from the city center, the ride is well worth it.