Florence on your plate
The best restaurants in the Tuscan capital (tried and tested - by ItalyTraveller)
Florence, the Italian art city par excellence, famous for its renaissance masterpieces and... its food. Below, we've listed a weekend's worth of must-be-eaten dishes - all tried, tested and digested by members of the ItalyTraveller team!
Think Florence, think food, think Fiorentina. A T bone steak sourced from the Chianina breed of cattle, tradition has it that a Bistecca alla Fiorentina should be at least "3 fingers thick" and cooked over a wood or charcoal fire.
Feel free to share your steak with a friend but, whatever you do, don't ask for it be "well done": these protein-packed babies should be eaten rare.
Where to eat "the real thing" :
- Da Mario - Via Rosina, 2R, Firenze -Tel: 055/ 218550
If you're looking for an old fashioned restaurant, the type of no-nonsense eatery where you share your table (and perhaps even your wine) with total strangers, then you'll love Trattoria da Mario, slap bang in the middle of the historic center of Florence. No reservations. No credit cards.
- Da Tito - Via San Gallo 112, +39 055 472475
Want to experience a bit of Florentine banter with your meal? Go to Da Tito, where you'll be served platters of succulent "ciccia" (the Tuscan name for "meat") by some of the wittiest waiters in Florence. The place is popular so, if you want to avoid disappointment, book in advance!
La pappa col pomodoro
They say throwing away bread is a sin. Which is perhaps why Tuscany has so many dishes made with stale bread. One such dish is pappa al pomodoro, a dense soup made with bread, tomato, olive oil and basil.
Pappa al pomodoro is served in almost every Tuscan restaurant in Florence but nowhere does it quiet like Osteria Pepo, Via Rosina 6 (039 055 283259)
Ribollita is another typically Tuscan dish made with left-over bread. Here, in addition to bread, the main ingredients of the thick mushy soup are vegetables.
The name of the specialty derives from the verb ribollire or re-boil, because, traditionally, poor families would make a huge pan full of the stuff and keep reheating it and serving it up for days, until it was finished.
For purists, to be true ribollita, the soup has to be made with plenty of borlotti beans and black cabbage and be cooked in a wood burning oven.
"The best ribollita in town?"
- Trattoria Da Garibardi in Piazza del mercato centrale,39 055212267
- Osteria Antica Mescita San Nicolò, Via San Nicolò 60
Not for the squeamish, lampredotto is made from the abosmasum - the fourth and final stomach of a cow (yes, cows have four stomachs!). Lampredotto is cooked in a large pan of boiling water with tomato, parsley, onion and celery and generally used as a filling for panini.
Don't even think of eating a lampredotto sandwich if it hasn't been dunked in the cooking broth and smeared with a generous splodge of green sauce first.
The best lampredotto is served in kiosks in the city's street markets by, yes, you've guessed it, lampredottai.
Where to taste lampredotto:
- Nerbone: in Florence's main San Lorenzo food market
- Il Trippaio: in the loggia del Porcellino, Mercato nuovo, via Pellicceria
Names to remember:
- Trattoria ai 13 Gobbi, Via della Porcellana 9 , +39 055 284015
A traditional restaurant furnished like an old fashioned Tuscan home and with an atmosphere to match. Start your meal with a family-size portion of rigatoni pasta with tomato and ricotta cheese sauce, followed by one of the restaurant's juicy beef steaks, cooked on the bone and served on a bed of roast potatoes.
- La Beppa Fioraia, via dell'Erta Canina 6, +39 (0)55 2347681
If you want to taste a bit of everything and you're dining with a group of friends, this is the place for you: La Beppe Fioraia is famous for its massive trays laden with cold meats, cheeses, soups, liver pates, and crostini served with an infinite variety of typically Tuscan toppings ...
Fast food in Florence?:
- I due fratellini, Via dei Cimatori 38
Right in the center of the city, this is a great place in which to grab a quick panino and a glass of wine. The quality is as high as the prices are low. Whatever filling you choose, make sure you put some of that amazing truffle sauce on it!
Food & Drink
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