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.
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.
For a unique Florentine experience, book a table on Alle Murate's mezzanine beneath the earliest known frescoed portraits of writers Dante and Boccaccio.
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.
In a humble kitchen outfitted with a century-old wood burning stove, Gianlfranco Paoli served traditional Tuscan dishes such a ribollita and rabbit in balsamic vinegar to the likes of England’s Prince Charles, Oscar-winners Roberto Begnini, Anthony Hopkins, and John Malkovich.
Just a little off the beaten path on Borgo Ognissanti near the Communal Theater, the family-run Trattoria Armando offers cucina casaligna (homemade food) in a narrow dining room decorated with autographed photos of the opera stars who've eaten there.
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.