It’s a well-known fact that Italy is famous for it’s cuisine, and the city of Florence is as well. But it can be hard to figure out which spots around Florence offer fresh, authentic Florentine cuisine or are just another tourist trap. After living in the city for a year, I’d like to think I’ve found the best places to get a good meal, so here’s my list of where to eat with the top 10 restaurants in Florence.
Where to Eat: Top 10 Restaurants in Florence
1. Antico Noe
Fancy yourself a panino that’s actually GOOD? Find Antico Noeand you’ll get a hearty one that’s more than just a slice of cheese and prosciutto. Chose your sandwich from the list on the door or just tell them what you want. I recommend trying the rose sauce.
2. The Clubhouse
The name might be in English but this restaurantis frequented by the Italians, which means it’s actually good. If you’re looking for one of the best Florentine steaks in the city, this is your spot. The menu offers plenty of traditional Florentine dishes as well as some from other parts of the world– there’s even a complete burger menu.
3. Gusta Pizza
You can’t just go anywhere in Florence for pizza, as many of the so called “authentic” restaurants just serve up a sad version of what you’ve ordered at a ridiculous price. So venture out of the tourist areas a bit and head to Gusta Pizza which arguably has the best pizza in town. Order one pizza for yourself, because once you taste it, you won’t want to share. This spot gets busy so try to get there right when it opens.
4. Osteria dei Baroncelli
Located in a small alleyway right off of Piazza Signoria, Osteria dei Baroncelliis hard to find but is certainly worth the search. The osteria is known for it’s lasagne– it’s a must-order. There’s a great offering of other traditional Italian dishes as well.
5. Acqua al Due
This restaurant is popular among tourists, students, and celebrities alike, so a reservation is a MUST if you want to dine here. And believe me, you’ll want to, because they offer Blueberry steak, and it’s really good. Order the steak sampler to try three different types, or get the pasta sampler if you’re looking for a variety of scrumptious pasta options.
6. Trattoria Mario
This placeisn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll probably have to wait for a spot at a table and you’ll come to realize the servers don’t really do customer service, but after one bite of something off the menu that day you won’t mind too much. This place is great for meat lovers as many of the dishes at Trattoria Mario are hearty. And it’s open only for lunch.
7. All’Antico Vinaio
When the weather’s nice, head to All’Antico Vinaiofor some pre-dinner snacks. This little hole in the wall serves up crostinis (little pieces of bruschetta bread) with tons of different yummy toppings, and you pay when you’re done eating by the crostini. Hang out outside as you enjoy your food with a glass of Chianti. Just a heads up– this is the place to practice your Italian skills, as you won’t find anyone speaking English here.
8. da Nerbone
Located in the Mercato Centrale, da Nerbone is where the Italians go for lunch. You’ll notice some tourists too, but you’ll learn the reason why there’s always a long line once you eat. This is the spot to try the Florentine specialty lampredotto which, just to give you a heads up, is cow’s stomach. Hey… when in Florence, right?
9. Gelateria dei Neri
No list of places to eat in Florence is complete without a gelateria! Gelateria dei Neriis one of the best around town because of its variety of flavors. Ask to try one that you’re intrigued by before settling, or get two in one cup! And it’s open late, so you can satisfy your late night gelato craving.
Aperitivo is the Italian version happy hour, except better. Bars around town will offer aperitivo generally from 7-9pm, during which if you buy just one drink (usually around 7 euros) you are allowed access to a spread of finger foods. Kitchis known as one of the best aperitivos in Florence, as they offer some fantastic food choices as well as fancy cocktails. It’s an economical and delicious choice.
Have you travelled to Florence? Where are your favourite place to eat and the top 10 restaurants in Florence?