Florence was probably my favorite city for food in Italy—the food here was even better than Rome, where we had some truly great meals (and it was a million times better than in Venice, where we struggled to find good restaurants). The best places to eat in Florence are a mix of trattorias, Michelin star restaurants, wine bars, markets, and panini shops. There are just so many incredible places to eat in this beautiful city, where fresh pasta is a given, Italian wines flow, and truffle is used without abandon. Besides making me drool, writing this post up is making me want to travel back to Florence right now just for the food!
There are several Florentine Italian dishes that Florence is known for, and you have to try all of them. The most famous is bistecca alla fiorentina, which is a very rare (by American standards) t-bone steak that is usually ~1.5 kg. It’s pretty amazing and if you don’t mind trying steak that is on the rare side (but very high quality meat), you absolutely have to try bistecca fiorentina while in Florence. Personally, some of the pieces were a little too rare for me, but there were also pieces that I thought were perfect. And Omied looooved the rare pieces, so we made a good team. And don’t worry, a good bistecca fiorentina really should melt in your mouth—it shouldn’t be tough or chewy! Florentine restaurants also do gnocchi incredibly well (omg so soft and fluffy and yummy) and you’ll almost always find it on a restaurant menu. Wild boar and osso bucco are also popular local dishes. God, I just love Tuscan food.
Most of these restaurants were within walking distance from our hotels (the St. Regis and the Westin), and you can check my custom Google Map of Florence to see pins where they are all located and get an idea of where they are and which sights they’re close to. I would highly recommend making reservations for any of these restaurants that accepts them—it’s not uncommon to see huge lines out the door at many of these places. And be sure to check their websites to see when they are open, as often times restaurants in Florence are closed on random days of the week.
Without further ado, let’s get into the best places to eat in Florence, and all of the foodporn!
Ristorante Parione: Let’s kick things off with one of my favorite Florence restaurants that I went to, shall we? Ristorante Parione has insanely delicious pasta dishes (The picchi pasta and truffle gnocchi are not to be missed! They were some of my favorites in Italy.) and incredible Florentine steak. They have an extensive wine list as well as bottles and bottles of wine around the restaurant that they just pluck off the shelves, and our waiter helped guide us to pick one in our price range that would go with our bistecca fiorentina. This place is amazing. I mean, look at how happy Omied looks in that pic! The desserts are also fabulous, and we had the fluffiest, most delicious strawberry cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life here.
Via del Parione 74/76/r, 50123, Florence, Italy
+39 055 214005
All’Antico Vinaio: This panini place right next to the Santa Croce neighborhood is seriously amazing. I don’t know how they do it, but for 5 Euro you get a huge panini that could be split between two people, and the deli meats, cheeses and spreads are out of this freaking world. Get something with salami, burrata, and/or truffle and you won’t regret it. Expect a long line—it’s so worth the wait!
Via dei Neri 74 R, 50122, Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 27 23
Gustapizza: Gustapizza is the perfect lunch spot for a day when you’re on the south side of the river, checking out the Boboli Gardens and Santo Spirito. Def get the calabrese or the spicy salami pizza.
Via Maggio 46R, 50125, Florence, Italy
+39 055 285068
Enoteca Alessi: Enoteca Alessi is a cozy wine bar where you’ll find yummy antipasti and a fab wine list. If you’re looking to bring something home with you, they also have a little store where you can buy delicious things like truffles, candies, and pastas. Our tour guide on one of our walking tours recommended this spot to us.
Via Dell’Oche 27, 50122, Florence, Italy
+39 055 214966
La Ménagère: La Menagere’s bistro is a great option in Piazza della Duomo. The restaurant is upscale and pricey, but the bistro is casual and yummy, making it a perfect lunch spot after climbing all of those stairs to the Duomo.
Via De’ Ginori 8r, 50123, Florence, Italy
+39 055 075 0600
Via del Proconsolo 16R, 50122, Florence, Italy
+39 055 240618
La Giostra: La Giostra is sooo cute and the twinkly lights make for such a romantic atmosphere. One of my followers on Instagram recommended this restaurant the first day we arrived in Florence, so we thought we’d give it a try. We loved their pasta dishes and their bistecca alla fiorentina.
Borgo Pinti 10/18 Rosso | piazza Santa Croce, 50121, Florence, Italy
+39 055 241341
Trattoria 13 Gobbi: Trattoria 13 Gobbi was recommended to us several times by locals. The pasta dishes were absolutely bomb, but we didn’t love the entrees (my eggplant parm was so salty I couldn’t finish it, and Omied’s osso bucco was just ok). But I’m keeping it on my best places to eat in Florence list because the homemade pasta was just so delicious, especially the cheesy rigatoni! I’d recommend going and getting an appetizer and two pasta dishes between two people, and just skipping the entrees.
Via del Porcellana 9/r, Florence, Italy
+39 055 284015
Via Romana 70/R, 50125, Florence, Italy
+39 055 228 6018
Trattoria Sergio Gozzi: Come to this family-run place for simple, delicious Tuscan food just like your Italian Nonna used to cook. It’s only open for lunch, and you’ll find a lot of locals here.
Piazza San Lorenzo, 8r, Florence, Italy
+39 055 281941
Zeb: This unique bistro and gastonomia is situated at the foot of the hill heading up to Piazzale Michelangelo. Chef ALberto Navari and his mamma Giuseppina prepare delicious cold cuts and creative Tuscan dishes. Be sure to save room for their delicious desserts!
Via San Miniato, 2, Florence, Italy
+39 055 234 2864
Cantinetta dei Verrazzano: What do you get when you mix a forno (baker’s oven) with a cantinetta (small wine cellar)? Cantinetta dei Verrazzano. Pick your wine from the family’s estate in Chianti, and enjoy some traditional focaccia and salami.
Via Dei Tavolini 18/R, 50122, Florence, Italy
+39 055 268590
Winter Garden by Caino: If you’re looking for a fancy night out, Winter Garden by Caino at The St. Regis was so delicious and such a fun experience. The Michelin Star restaurant serves beautiful, creative dishes in a gorgeous setting, and of course, the service is impeccable. Btw, have you ever seen a water menu? I hadn’t until I came here. You can choose from an assortment of crisp bottled water, ranging all the way up to hundreds of Euro for bottles decorated with Swarovski crystals. Don’t worry, there’s also regularly priced water as well.
Piazza di Ognissanti 1 | The St. Regis Florence, 50123, Florence, Italy
+39 055 2716 3770
Trattoria Zà Zà: I loved this fun and lively Trattoria! They have indoor/outdoor-style seating outside of the restaurant with plastic walls, so you feel like you’re sitting in the plaza but also kept warm. The gorgonzola gnocchi was killer.
Piazza del Mercato Centrale 26R, 50123, Florence, Italy
+39 055 215411
‘Ino: This sandwich shop is stocked with drool-worthy artisan ingredients, and has dozens of house specials to choose from. It’s just around the corner from the Uffizi Gallery, making it a nice place to stop and sit with a glass of Tuscan wine after your feet are tired from walking all over the museum. Or, take your sandwich to go and stroll over to Ponte Vecchio.
Via De’ Georgofili 7r, 50122, Florence, Italy
+39 055 214154
Il Latini: Il Latini is all about tradition, and they serve family-style meals at shared tables. It’s lively and noisy, and a very popular spot.
Via Dei Palchetti 6/r, 50123, Florence, Italy
+39 055 210916
Mercato Centrale: The San Lorenzo/Mercato Centrale food court has an overwhelming amount of delicious food stalls to choose from. Sample here and there and enjoy the sensory overload as you explore stall to stall.
That’s it for my list of the best places to eat in Florence! At least until I get to travel back to Florence and try more amazing Trattorias and wine bars.