While you enjoy the sights of Florence, make time for the good eats. Here’s my restaurant “short” list in Florence – culled from my food research. The Eat Florence phone app will have more and the latest updates.

Also, if it is tomato season, be sure to order plenty of dishes with these fresh fruits. They are to-die-for, and so much better than the regular stuff you get at grocery stores in the US. (Though my favorite in the world are dry-farmed early girl tomatoes we found in the San Francisco farmers markets! The Civic Center market is “gritier” than the Ferry Building, but we found some better produce at the former.)



Near Duomo

  • Ciolla Rossa's ricotta mousse in a parmesan crisp
    Ciolla Rossa’s ricotta mousse in a parmesan crisp

    Ciolla Rossa (Via dei Conti 53) – I ended up eating here for lunch and dinner because it was open and delicious; get the ricotta mousse appetizer; they ran out of the burrata appetizer, but I was dying to try that too; I got the pork chop that was marinated in vinegar (awesome if you like tangy); also recommended were grilled chicken and tagliata of chianina; if you get the jug of water (instead of bottle of water) it’s free

  • Coquinarius (Via delle oche 15 red) – wine bar (450+ wines, many from small producers) and restaurant (ravioli with asparagus and pecorino is excellent); insalatone are huge salads; only one block from Duomo and it’s open from 9am-midnight
  • Il Cernacchino (Via della Condotta 36 red) – sandwiches filled with Tuscan stews; you’ll find Tuscan classics like peposo, acquacotta, fegatini di pollo served in a hollowed out crusty roll – eat your stew with a fork/spoon, then eat the roll it came in; only cost 3-5 euros so great lunch time deal; open 9am-7:30pm, Monday-Saturday
  • Carabe (Via Ricasoli 60 red) – Sicilian style gelato and granita; Carapina and Carabe considered two best places for gelato in Florence; go to Carabe website for a coupon for a free extra scoop upgrade
  • Grom (Via delle Oche 24 red) – good gelato

San Lorenzo

  • Trattoria Sergio (Piazza San Lorenzo 8 red) – traditional trattoria near market; only open for lunch; recommended is polpette fritte (fried meatballs)
  • La Paddellaccia (Via S. Antonino 19 red) – ex-butcher’s restaurant; 4-course lunch menu for only 19 euros; serves simple, well-prepared Tuscan classics; open 11:30-3 and 6:30-11pm, closed on Sundays
  • Pork’s (inside San Lorenzo market in one of corners) – cheap and great market restaurant;recommended – Sicilian “fresh toast” made with crumbled bread soaked in milk and seasoned with pecorino romano and wild herbs, fried and served warm; also recommended is roast pork sandwiches; closes at 2pm

Near Ponte Vecchio/Uffizi

  • Carapina (Via Lambertesca 18 red) – best gelato in Florence; all about seasonal ingredients for gelato; located half a block from Ponte Vecchio bridge; neroassoluto flavor is the darkest chocolate you’ll ever taste
  • Golden View Open Bar (Via dei Bari 54 red) – restaurant and bar with amazing views; located just to left of Ponte Vecchio bridge; open noon-1am, live jazz at night

Pitti Palace/across river

  • Antica Mescita San Niccolo (Via San Niccolo 60 red; east of Pitti Palace) – 2 course lunch for only 10 euro; great Tuscan classics like pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup), ribolitta and trippa alla florentina – you can actually order their special tasting portions of all three soups; great wine bar too; the restaurant is located on the foundations of a 10th century church
  • inTavola cooking classes (Via dei Veulluti 18-20 red; few blocks west of Pitti Palace)

Santa Croce

  • Vivoli (Via dell’Isola delle Stinche 7 red) – amazing gelato and open when I was in Florence; creamy and airy goodness; you pay the cashier first then go to the counter to order your flavors
  • Patrizio Cosi (pronounced “cozy”) (Borgo Albizi 11) – famous pastry shop/an “institution” in Florence; consider starting your day with a cappucino and one of their breakfast cornetti or brioche
  • Samel (Piazza Ghiberti 44 red) – best panini in Florence; very small place and easy to miss; tiny store that serves some of the best panini in town (and maybe in Italy?); not as “gourmet” as Il Cernacchino; only open from 11am-3pm; sandwiches are served on Florentine roll and filled with things like stew or roasted meats
  • San Marco (close to/north of Accademia)
  • Pugi (Piazza San Marco 10) – best focaccia in Florence

Near train station

  • Trattoria Due G (Via B. Cennini 6 red) – old-fashioned restaurant and one of best trattorias in Florence; recommended: pappa al pomodoro, ribolita, bistecche florentine, veal meatballs, apple cake
Rossa's pork chop with vinegared red onions
Ciolla Rossa’s pork chop with vinegared red onions