Are you looking to try the best restaurants Florence has to provide? While trying to avoid tourist traps that fall below Florentine standards? Yep, we get it.
Don’t worry! Despite the fact that the city center is home to many touristy spots, it’s easy to find an authentic restaurant close to major attractions in Florence.
We had a chat with Elena, a local Walkings guide, who shared her insight on the local eateries, trattorias, restaurants, and cafes that are bustling with local patrons and offering the Tuscany experience every visitor to the area is looking for.
If you want to really make the most out of your trip, take a local-led food and wine tour through Florence. Or make pasta or gelato with a local chef.
Start with a cup of coffee
Cucciolo specialises in chocolate and custard bombolini although Italians don’t tend to rush their morning coffee, this spot is perfect for travelers who want to grab breakfast on-the-go!
Cucciolo was established in the heart of the medieval city. Cucciolo, located just a few steps from the Duomo is famous for its Bomboloni, an Italian specialty made of fried dough filled with custard and jam.
Elena says that their bomboloni are a must-try. I recommend trying one with custard, and then having it with a cup of coffee: It’s a wonderful way to start a day in Florence.
Tip:Don’t be alarmed if there aren’t any bomboloni on the counter. They will make them for you right away!
If you are looking for a relaxed breakfast in an atmosphere that recalls the Italy of days past, then visit Gilli. It is the oldest cafe located in Florence.
Elena tells us that this cafe has been a meeting place for intellectuals and artists over the centuries.
Gilli is located in Piazza della Repubblica. It was opened in 1773.
You can take your time selecting from the many pastries available at the cafe before you relax in the dining room that invites you to enjoy yet another cup of coffee.
PSSST! It can be difficult to choose a restaurant, but it is easy to pick a tour! Walks in Italy is an expert on Italy and its cities, and we love to share that knowledge with you on our local-led tours.
Do you prefer to eat like a local, or do you prefer to be a tourist?
Most travelers love the idea of eating as a local. Locals are experts in what and where to eat, so why shouldn’t we follow their lead?
Elena says, “If you want to eat lunch like a local, then go to trattoria Casalinga near Santo Spirito Church.”
Casalinga has a unique focus on flavor and a warm atmosphere that attracts people to it every time they visit. This is the place to be if you want to enjoy Florentine home-style cuisine.
Our tip: Try their ribollitas, francesinas, and crostinitoscani and you’ll thank us later!
Are you worried about how meal-time could impact your tour plans? We understand that time is of the essence when there are entire cities to see!
You can combine a delicious lunch and a little sightseeing at Boccadama, which is located against the backdrop of Santa Croce Church.
This service is very popular with tourists. It’s fast and efficient, and Elena says it offers a great selection of wines.
Boccadama offers a wide range of delicious dishes including pizza, bruschetta, lasagna, ravioli, and home-made lasagna. It is the ideal spot for tourists to Florence looking to satisfy their palates while taking in the sights.
Florence Dinner: Save or splurge
Cento Poveri will help you if you are looking for a budget but still want to enjoy Florence’s finest cuisines.
This restaurant is located near the Piazza Santa Maria Novella and is well-known for its home-cooked food and fresh dishes. It is also a favourite of locals, like Casalinga.
Elena says that locals love this restaurant because the portions are large and the ingredients are fresh.
Tip: Avoid ordering Fiorentina steak ‘well done’
Osteria del Pavone
Elena explains that Osteria del Pavone is an ideal balance between innovation and tradition in a intimate corner of Oltrarno.
This elegant, but simple restaurant is just a few steps away from Ponte Vecchio. It’s the ideal place if you want to enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisine with an innovative twist.
Osteria Del Pavone has a full bar and extensive wine selection. This is the perfect place to relax while enjoying a memorable evening dinner.
Florence: Family dining out
Foody Farm is the perfect venue for families with children.
The restaurant works with many Tuscan farms and aims to offer unique Tuscan flavors to all, no matter what their taste or budget.
Foody Farm offers a wide range of meats, vegetables, and cheeses, which allows customers to enjoy a ‘gourmet trip of Tuscany’ without spending too much.
Brac is a vegetarian-friendly place with vegan options. Brac is definitely worth a visit!
Brac is often overlooked by tourists because its exterior looks almost like a bookshop. However, it has a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere that makes it a highly recommended destination.
It’s likely that you will visit Florence more than once, as it is delicious, affordable, and just the right amount of quirky.
Tips for finding the best restaurants in Florence
Okay, we’ve covered breakfast, lunch, and dinner options in Florence. Let’s get into the details!
We have a bonus for you if you want to enjoy traditional Florentine food or just relax with good wines and savoury snacks.
You’re now ready to add these spots to your Florence food plan!
Bistecca fiorentina: Try Il Fiesolano
Florence is home to many top-quality steak restaurants. Il Fiesolano is a top-notch steak restaurant located in the hills outside Florence. It serves the succulent, tender bistecca fietina, Florence’s traditional T-bone steak. They also give it a dramatic presentation. The waiter will quickly slice the steaming bistecca fiesina onto a wooden cutting board before serving it with colorful Tuscan dishes.
Are you not a fan of steak? You don’t have to be a steak fan? You can also enjoy the rest of Il Fiesolano’s Florentine-inspired cuisine. No matter what you choose, make sure to get a bottle Il Re delle Carni, the house wine. It captures that Florentine moment that you traveled for.
Either on one of the two terraces or inside, you can enjoy lunch or dinner. Remember to bring enough food! The bistecca fiorentina weighs in at a serious 12.5 lb for two.
Continue reading: Ordering – and Enjoying – Wine in Italy
Traditional Florentine cuisine: Il Magazzino
Here you can enjoy classic Florentine dishes like ravioli di lampsredotto, tripe and other pastas. There are also non-meat options if you have a vegetarian member of your group.
Continue reading: What to Eat in Florence, Tuscany
Snacks and wine at Il Santino
Sit down at the bar and prepare to savor: There will be a variety of sausages and hanging meats available, as well as prosciutto. Keep an eye out for the red meat slicer. You can also enjoy top-quality wine and cheese at a small table against the brick walls.
Their bacalao is cod whipped with potatoes, and we love it! One order is never enough!
Panini: Caffe dogali
We’ve never seen a better focaccia bread to make panini. You can choose from a range of meats, and you can also add cream of mushroom, cream artichoke or porcini mushrooms to your panini.
Do you fancy a cocktail with your panini recipe? Done! Dogali also has a bar! The popularity of Dogali has allowed it to extend its hours into the night.