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.
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.
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.
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.
A café with delicious small plates, located on the ground floor of a palazzo in Santa Croce.
Imagine yourself sitting on the terrace of the 14th-century Palazzo Capponi delle Rovinate, watching the sleepy crawl of the Arno as you savor a plate of hand-cut french fries and a big, juicy gourmet burger cooked to a pitch-perfect medium rare.
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).