Restaurants in Florence
With his mass of snowy white hair and beard, it’s hard to miss restaurateur Fabio Picchi as he flits between the four establishments that make up his gourmet empire in Florence’s up-and-coming Sant’Ambrogio area.
This intimate restaurant is helmed by Giordano Monni, who selects ingredients at the nearby San Lorenzo market. Try the chittarini, angel-hair pasta with porcini mushrooms.
With a history dating back to 1733, Caffé Gilli is one of the oldest continuously operating cafés in the city. Located in Piazza della Repubblica, Gilli retains an early 20th-century style with frescoed ceilings, rich wood paneling, Murano lamps, and a green marble—topped bar.
A literal hole-in-the-wall in the centro storico (historic district), I Fratellini is a tiny fiaschetteria (wine tavern) that sells affordable wines by the glass as well as panini made with fresh local ingredients.
Just a 10-minute walk from the Duomo, Caffé Cibrèo is situated outside the small, semi—open air market of Sant' Ambrogio.
When Florence’s top sommeliers want to learn about wine trends, they claim a stool behind the horseshoe-shaped counter at this enoteca between the Ponte Vecchio and the Pitti Palace.
The restaurant, so named because the long, vaulted space once housed a carousel, is a perfectly straightforward restaurant owned and run by Prince Dimitri and Soldano d'Asburgo Lorena.
You won’t find bow-tied waiters or elaborate gourmet dishes at La Casalinga (“The Housewife”). Instead, Florentines—and the occasional tour group—pile in here for the friendly, family atmosphere and the heaped platters of authentic, homemade cuisine.
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.