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.
At this Florentine institution near Santa Croce, sit in the rose-colored, gilt-laden dining room and sample Tuscan staples like chickpea soup with pasta, or wilder options, like salt-encased smoked goose liver and prune bread. The wine cellar contains more than 100,000 bottles.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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).
One of Florence’s first wine bars, Pane e Vino (Bread and Wine) is just a 10-minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge).
Ask for a table on the candlelit terrace overlooking the Arno at the chic, Ferragamo-owned spot. Chef Beatrice Segoni serves fresh fish and prawn soup and millefoglie with layers of light pastry and coffee cream.
Owned by eccentric restaurateur Fabio Picchi of Cibreino, Teatro del Sale is a members-only restaurant/theater/social club.
Lauded for its simple, no-frills Tuscan fare, Sostanza is also known as Il Troia (the trough) because its long, wooden communal tables are always packed with diners enjoying the same signature dishes.
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.
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.