When it comes to gastronomy, the capital of Tuscany doesn’t budge to the likes of Bologna or Naples and is definitely among the top cities for foodies in Italy. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly café or a fancy evening out, we’ve got you covered!
But before we delve into the world of impeccable Italian food, here’s a crash course in Italian restaurant lingo.
Enoteca – translates to ‘wine library’, usually refers to a wine bar or shop.
Osteria – wine bars that serve nibbles or small meals. Traditionally a bit simpler than a trattoria.
Trattoria – a family-run, casual restaurant, usually serving local food.
Ristorante – a full-service, more formal restaurant.
For an authentic experience… Trattoria Mario
Any Italian getaway is not complete without a visit to an authentic, family-run restaurant. Trattoria Mario is a quintessential Italian eatery introducing the Tuscan culinary scene to the town’s visitors. Established back in 1953, the trattoria has been in the same family for 70 years now and has since become a true Florentine institution beloved by the locals and tourists. The menu changes daily, depending on what ingredients the family get from the local market, but you can always expect fresh and regional flavours.
For breakfast and brunch… Rooster Café Firenze
Buongiorno travellers! Ready for a classic Eggs Benedict or maybe full English? Head to Rooster Café Firenze for an Italian twist on your favourite brunch dishes! Serving the best breakfast in town, the café is a locally kept secret for those craving a good stack of pancakes and an easy-going atmosphere. The menu leans towards European cuisine, which means you won’t be judged for ordering a cappuccino here too…
For grand views… B-Roof
If you haven’t got enough of the views of the Duomo, (and let’s be honest, how can you?) head to B-Roof for a palate-pleasing dinner and some grand views of Florence’s most iconic landmark. Set on the fifth floor of the Grand Hotel Baglioni, this rooftop restaurant serves lavish pasta garnished with truffles or seafood. For the main course, we recommend trying catch of the day smoked over olive wood with a lush Florentine salad. The mix of regional flavours and spectacular views awaits…
For a romantic atmosphere… Il Palagio
The fact that this Michelin-starred magical place is part of the Four Seasons Hotel should tell you what to expect already. The luxurious dining hall decorated with chandeliers and arched high-ceiling windows is enough to make your jaw drop without even tasting the food. Oh, but the signature dishes will make you forget everything around you, as you’ll focus only on the delights on your plate. On a warm summer’s day, head to the garden terrace for a swoon-worthy Italian atmosphere.
For the whole family… Fuoco Matto
An Italian family-favourite, Fuoco Matto is wallet and family friendly restaurant serving the staples – cheesy pizzas, lip-smacking pasta and steaks for a great meat feast. For an elevated experience, even with the little ones, there’s a tasting menu alongside Fuoco Matto specialty appetizers and meat selections. What makes this restaurant stand out for the families is the kids’ menu and the fun play area. And you won’t find a lot of those in Italian restaurants…
For homemade pasta… Trattoria Zaza
Lively Trattoria Zaza is the go-to place if you’re after authentic Italian and Tuscan flavours. Exposed brick walls dotted with framed family pictures and stacks of wine bottles create the traditional atmosphere locals and tourists flock here for. Add that to the tastiest menu and you’ve got yourself an evening you’ll reminisce about for a long time! Located in the heart of Florence, Trattoria Zaza has an extensive menu that will fill everyone’s wildest dreams and stomachs. Buon appetito!
For Michelin magic… Enoteca Pinchiorri
No Italian city is complete without a Michelin experience, and Florence boasts over 50 starred restaurants. Enoteca Pinchiorri stands out by a mile though – a three-star gastronomic wonderland has been Michelin-stamped since 1993 and has become a true Florentine institution over the years. A grand historic atmosphere is guaranteed and, well, nobody will doubt the culinary fireworks once the tasting menu is served. One thing is for sure – everyone should prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
For that perfect Italian pizza… Giotto Pizzeria-Bistrot
Truly an under-the-radar gem, Giotto Pizzeria plates exceptional Neapolitan pizzas that will treat your taste buds. While this pizzeria might look quiet when you’re walking by, just wait ‘til the Italian classic is served – you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Got a sweet tooth? Treat yourself to a remarkable homemade dessert here too!
For the best gelato… Perche No!
A gelateria is a must on your to-eat itinerary although you’ll usually stumble upon one even without trying. If you fancy an elevated taste of citrus, pistachio or hazelnut, head to Perche No! shop for a scoop. Refreshing and delicious – what’s a better way to cool down on a summer day while strolling through piazzas?
For Tuscan cuisine… Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori
Be warned by the sign outside this osteria – ‘no pizza, no ice, no cappuccino, and no steak’. Only step inside if you’re after traditional Tuscan food, which differs from the Italian classics we’re used to. This local institution warmly welcomes tourists, just make sure to reserve a table in advance, as the restaurant is always lively with locals’ laughs. Not sure what to try? Duck ragu is the region-favourite, closely followed by the ribollita soup.
Now that you know the top spots, are you ready to eat your way through Florence?
Posted: 12th Sept 2023.