The array of food you can expect to encounter in Florence is simply overwhelming. Simple local dishes with minimal ingredients, Tuscan specialties prepared the same way for centuries, and seasonal dishes that highlight the best of the region are all featured on menus around Florence.
If you’re visiting Florence on vacation, you need to make your meals count. A ten-day trip only includes ten dinners, after all. Since you’re here doing your research, you probably understand this already.
This article is our best effort to guide you on a culinary tour of Florence. We hope you enjoy your stay, your meals, and everything else that Florence has to offer a hungry tourist.
1. Cucina Torcicoda
This is the place to visit if you’re looking for a unique Tuscan dining experience. Cucina Torcicoda is located just a few steps from Piazza Santa Croce and features two fantastic dining options. First, if the restaurant is too busy, you can sample their pizzeria which features a wood oven and some delicious bites. If you have time and a reservation, however, we’d highly recommend stepping into their gourmet restaurant.
This is the place to come to sample Florentine steak. It features a romantic setting with white tablecloths and soft lighting, the perfect place for a celebration of love…and food of course. Settle in for a night you’ll never forget.
2. All’antico Vinaio
A Tuscan lunch that is guaranteed to keep you full until dinner. These sandwiches are huge, and it’s been a daunting task to narrow down our favorites. First, we have to recommend La Favolosa, which comes with pecorino, olives eggplant and salami. If that doesn’t suit your tastes, La Dante and L’Inferno are our second and third go-to sandwiches. La Dante includes prosciutto and basil, while L’Inferno is porchetta.
There’s no wrong way to order.
3. Pasticceria Giorgio
When it’s time for breakfast in Italy, it’s time for pastries. There’s no better place to visit in Florence for baked goods than the locally famous Pasticceria Giorgio.
Creme puffs, fruit tarts, and truffles are their specialties, but in the morning we’d recommend the glazed brioche or custard-filled millefogile. Schiacciata alla fiorentina isn’t to be missed when it’s on the menu. Adjust your order appropriately.
4. Trattoria Mario
This tiny restaurant takes no reservations and is open for lunch only (from 12:00 to 3:30 PM, Monday to Saturday). Don’t let the hours or the lineup scare you. Get their early, and prepare yourself for a meal you won’t soon forget.
If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic meal, this isn’t the spot. It’s chaotic, busy, and communal seating, with a lineup out the door. The menu changes daily, but if you should be so lucky to get your hands on their Osso Bucco you’ll go home happy. A must visit in Florence.
It’s been called the best panini in Florence, and we can’t argue. This hole in the wall shop is located at the side of the busy Sant’Ambrogio market, and it’s not like any other panini you’ve had in town. Their soft, white buns known as semel are loaded with delicious and new combinations of ingredients you probably aren’t used to – this is street food at its best. A few of the bites include:
-Wild boar (a local favorite) with blackcurrants and polenta
-Orange infused porchetta and kale
Warning: You’re probably going to want to come back to Semel every day. It’s that good.
We hope your time in Florence is as delicious as it is beautiful. If you’re looking for pasta, remember it’s not as traditional to the region as in other parts of Italy. Our recommendation in Florence for pasta would have to be the Truffle Pasta at Trattoria 4 Leoni, followed immediately by the Marscapone Cheesecake.