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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.