Having been to Florence for a semester and now two additional week long vacations, I have been able to eat at a lot of different places around the city. From panini shops, to cafes, trattorias, and gelaterias, I have my go-to spots for everything. There are times when I wonder if I should branch out more when I’m there, but why break what isn’t broken? With each visit back I know the spots I absolutely NEED to eat at, but also do try to mix in a few new places too! (Which is definitely a hard task, having so many favorites already.)
I’ve visited some restaurants that I’ve read amazing reviews about and have gone, but been disappointed. Such as Trattoria Sostanza or Trattoria ZaZa near Mercato Centrale, these like many other places are over-hyped, too popular, or just way overwhelmingly touristy. For the most part, my favorites combine all the great qualities I look for in an eatery; amazing food, a good vibe, and humble friendly service.
I’m getting hungry just writing this post…
ALMUERZO // LUNCH
Pino’s (Salumeria Verdi)
Via Giuseppe Verdi, 36/r
YAS. Pino’s will never disappoint you. Their paninos are absolutely amazing. It is a little more on the touristy side of places to eat in the city, but it’s so worth it. It’s not unusual to see a lot of American study abroad students stopping in for a quick sandwich between classes and different university pennants hanging on the wall, but don’t let that scare you away. They have an incredible amount of panino options, with the ability to even make your own. Everything’s fresh, Pino is so friendly, and you might even come back again for another one. You’ll usually find me ordering the “Tuscan”.
Via Rosina 2
ULTIMATE FAVORTIE LUNCH SPOT. I would go to lunch here every day in Florence if I could. This is one place I will always visit when in the city, no question. It’s a family owned restaurant that is only open for lunch from 12-3:30pm, Monday – Saturday. It’s so comforting to go back time and time again and eat the same great food with the same amazing atmosphere, and friendly staff. It’s a very busy place, with orders being shouting, sounds of the kitchen sizzling loudly, and sharing tables with complete strangers, it’s the ultimate Italian experience. Is it bad that I get two bowls of Ragù all for myself there?
The market in Florence is a hub for local and affordable food options. You’ll always find some hidden gems inside, and one is da Nerbone. It’s very similar to Mario’s, only open for lunch and their menu changes every day, it’s absolutely delicious, but the environment is somewhat different. You’re in the open market, so it’s a little less intimate, but overall a great experience to try. Cash only and be sure to try the tripe!
Antica Sosta Degli Aldobrandini
Piazza di Madonna
I’m going to be upfront. This is probably not the best lunch cafe in Florence, but I can say it’s definitely mine. This cute cafe has a very special place in my heart, and therefore it makes the list. It was my spot to go to while walking to class on Via Faenza, and I’ve always liked going back. Good paninos, simple salads (which is hard to find), affordable drinks, and an amazing aperitivo. It’s the perfect place if you are feeling like a whale from having ate wayyyyy to much in Italy, and want a low key salad and spritz for lunch.
Bevo Vino : Wicked friendly staff, surprisingly good eats, and situated in the local San Niccolo neighborhood.
La Prosciutteria : Good meat and cheese plates, always busy, usually hard to find a seat.
Signorvino : Wine store and bar on the Arno River with fantastic views of the Ponte Vecchio.
CENA // DINNER
Via De’ Benci 3/3a
My favorite restaurant is Florence. Just look at my old post…
This place makes it hard not to try out other restaurants for dinner…I really won’t go many other places! If you don’t go here, you’re seriously missing out. Say hello to Ledio for me!
Piazza della Passera
This one is a new spot we tried out this past trip. I thought it was excellent. It’s located in Oltrarno, which is the on the opposite side of the Arno River, so it’s much more local and less crowded. I loved sitting outside in Piazza della Passera while enjoying our meal. We ordered bruschetta, a meat plater, ribolitta, gnnochi, and some bomb desserts. Also their house wine is fantastic for the price. We got a 1.5L for two people!
Via Maggio 46/r
Really the only place I will go in Florence for pizza, besides Bevo Vino. I can’t recommend this place enough for their absolutely fantastic wood fire pizzas. They are open for lunch and dinner, but close between 3pm and 7pm, like most places. Usually super busy, so we usually get ours to go and eat it on the steps of Piazza Santo Spirito. The classic Caprese or spicy Calabrese is the way to go!
I’m beginning to think I am going to continue the trend and make my travels to Florence/Italy an annual extravaganza. So next time I will try as many new places to eat as I can, while obviously keeping some of the classics.
Shoot me any questions on where to eat if you are traveling soon. Ciao!