Florence

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.

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.

Part bistro and part wine bar, Q.B. Quantobasta is a multipurpose venue owned by sisters Elisa and Alessandra Ruggi.

For a unique Florentine experience, book a table on Alle Murate's mezzanine beneath the earliest known frescoed portraits of writers Dante and Boccaccio.

With white tile walls, cured hams strung from the ceiling, and marble-topped wooden tables shared with other diners, Alla Vecchia Bettola is a classic Florentine osteria. The restaurant opened in 1979 as a way to preserve regional traditions that the owners saw slipping away.

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).

The restaurant is part of the Marchesi Antinori winery, which is located in Palazzo Antinori, the Renaissance palace that has been the winery's home since the 1500's. The real gem of the compound is Buca Lapi, an unpretentious restaurant with a vague conn

If you really want to blend with the natives, head to this cart resembling a hot dog kiosk in a tiny piazza just south of the Duomo. Locals swear L’Antico Trippaio makes the best panino con lampredotto (boiled tripe sandwiches) in town.

Fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, one of Florence's most famous sons (in modern times, at least) took it upon himself to revive one of the city's institutions to its former glory.

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.