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Florence a Tavola: The Best Restaurants in Florence

Affettati, crostini, crostoni, schiacciata, trippa, lampredotto, patate, fagioli all uccelletto, spinaci, peposo, frattaglie, ribollita, pappardelle, pappa al pomodoro…not to forget la regina the queen of the Florentine table — La Bistecca. But the true omnipresent item of a Florentine table is BREAD, strictly sciocco, salt free, because at the end of the day the cuisine of this region is based on simplicity, “la cucina povera”, one that derives from the peasant tradition, where it is all about the produce rather than the execution and the motto is “non si butta via niente” (nothing is to be thrown away!).

 

Here you can enjoy the best of it all perfectly accompanied by a bottle of chianti or vino nobile.

Trattoria Cammillo — An old school timeless classic, one of those places “che non passano mai di moda” (never goes out of fashion). ICONIC: first and foremost for its wonderful owner Chiara, for its waiters some of whom have been there for over 30 years, for its seasonal simple dishes, and for its mind blowing desserts. Here you can also find plenty of gluten free options, recipes created due to Chiara’s own intolerance. 

MUST ORDER: Fritti (don’t miss out on the fried fiore di zucca), curry chicken, rapa/sedano with bottarga (when in season), frittata with carciofi or funghi and make sure to leave space for their desserts: chocolate cake, tiramisu, crostata ai frutti di bosco, torta alle mele… don’t pick just order all of them.

Cibreo Caffè e Trattoria — In the hip neighbourhood of Sant’Ambrogio, a Florentine certainty resides here since 1979. Opt for the trattoria and if you want something slightly more fancy, with ample choices of pasta dishes head to the nearby cafè. Start off with a round of antipasti for the table with a double order of fegatini, tagliolini cacio e burro and top it off with their torta al cioccolato

MUST ODER: Antipasti, tagliolino cacio e burro and the braciola taglio bistecca

Trattoria Sostanza — The epitome of cucina povera done right, where less is more, a limited menu, strict hours (2pm is already too late).  *closed on Sundays 

MUST ORDER: Tortellini in brodo, pollo al burro (butter chicken) and il tortino di carciofi.

Trattoria Sabatino — On a sunny day, newspaper in hand, we love to soak in the sun and enjoy a homemade meal seated at one of the pea green tables of this long lasting neighborhood spot. Sabatino, with its menu which changes and is typed out every day on an old Olivetti typewriter, closely follows the seasonality and traditions of the various local festivities and has a unique familiar environment. It is one of the places that still respects not only traditions but also the spirit and soul of its neighborhood, San Frediano. The soul told by writer Pratolini, the soul which no longer exists as it was, but Sabatino is there to prove that it has not completely disappeared.

MUST ORDER: (when in season and on the menu) il roastbeef con patate, i gobbi in umido and on Friday’s le acciughe alla marinara 

Teatro Del Sale —Fun, food & entertainment, at Teatro Del Sale you will be entertained by a show (mostly stand-up comedy) and served plenty of food. Maria Callas show is hilarious but if you haven’t aced your Italian just yet, opt for the Sunday brunch. A real Tuscan feast! 

Da Burde — An evergreen in the outskirts of Florence. A spot you don’t randomly fall into, but you purposely go to. One of the most renowned and long standing Florentine restaurants — a point of reference for Florentines and for those who truly love Tuscan cuisine. Eat casually by the bar (our favorite), chose the dishes of the day or discover their menu in the cosy wood-clad restaurant.

MUST ORDER: One of their minestre (particularly love their pasta e fagioli) or a pasta, our favorite Tagliatelle al ragù bianco di Chianina. While for second opt for the Peposo or  il bollito. The fig tart and castagnaccio when in season. 

Regina Bistecca — Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere, a mix between old school NY feel with a bar (one of the few where to enjoy a meal solo) and a legit Florentine steak — strictly rare and cooked on burning carbon. You’ll definitely be coming back for more, enough times to be gifted your own engraved steak knife.

MUST ORDER: Bistecca accompanied by all the sides! 

Il Santino — In the Diladdarno, on the left side of the river, encased in a former wine cellar, this cozy wine bar is ideal for an aperitivo and great for a quick lunch.

MUST ORDER: The crostone with pancetta, pecorino e miele 

Alla Vecchia Bettola — One room, communal tables, simple, chaotic, rustic, home cooked goodness, jugs of Chianti at each table to freely enjoy for four euro each. A real Tuscan feast.  

MUST ORDER: Artichokes, penne alla vecchia bettola, and torta alle mele 

Trattoria La Casalinga — Don’t expect much, but a solid, casual traditional meal. We love it best during the warmer months when we can sit outside and enjoy the buzzing Santo Spirito neighborhood. 

MUST ORDER: La pasta con le tre “P”, arista di maiale and peposo all’impruneta

Trattoria Ruggero — Quite off the radar but a true local favorite, the decor stuck in the 70’s, the menu handwritten, the food solid, filling, simple, Tuscan. We keep going back for the nostalgic feel of a Sunday lunch di altri tempi (of other times) and for the pork arista, thick, hot, juicy, roasted and greasy to the right point… makes the hike worthwhile. 

MUST ORDER: Farinata di cavolo nero (kale), spaghetti alla carrettiera, arista, carciofi al tegame e patate arrosto

Sergio Gozzi — Doesn’t get more real than this, a relic of old Florence in the heart of the city. Satisfying locals and tourists since 1915, when Antonio Gozzi inherited the restaurant. Initially he just served a few soups and beans, later the menu was enriched with boiled meat which was served once a week. Today their menu is slightly more varied but still sticking to this region’s culinary traditions: solid, substantial and tasty. *closed for dinner and all day on Sundays

MUST ORDER: I pici and il peposo

Casa Del Vino — The name says it all: “The Home of Wine” literally and figuratively. A Rustic, wood-lined wine bar run by Gianni and Nicoletta, who make sure you are quenched, well fed and part of the conversation. 

I’Brindellone — solid and simple a real tuscan experience. Named after a unique Easter Florentine tradition (not to miss) this restaurant is the place where to enjoy the cucina povera in a  lively convivial room strewn with sports memorabilia.

MUST ORDER: The home made crema di mascarpone

L’Angolo del Mare —  The corner of the sea, literally and physically —  one of the few great seafood restaurants in Florence located in a quiet corner in the residential neighbourhood of Coverciano. This hidden gem is a great option for when in need of a bistecca break.

MUST ORDER: Un’assaggio di antipasti 

Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori — small, hidden and on point. As the menu states, in this restaurant located in a tiny alley behind Piazza della Signoria, there is no: pizza, ice, takeaway, phone signal, Wi-Fi, cappuccino spritz, virus and/or war — take it or leave it and if you are asking us you should take it and…

MUST ORDER: Their pappardelle al sugo d’anatra (duck ragout pasta)

 

Florence Surroundings:

Antica Macelleria Cecchini — In Panzano in Chianti, a 45 minute drive from Florence’s city center, there is Il mitico Dario, a butcher, a grand personality, a kind man who truly deeply loves and breathes meat. A man who takes his job as a butcher very seriously and who believes in zero waste, especially when it comes to an animal: L’è tutto bono anche le ossa” (Everything is good even the bones). So get ready for a deep dive into his world made of meat delicacies you’ve never tried before and quality you will never forget. 

Bottega di Rosano Our secret spot for una bella scampagnata fuori porta (a beautiful escape). Schiacciata a go go, have Matteo make you one and enjoy it to go or right by the counter. If not, sit in the back for a full meal and leave some space for their daily homemade cakes.  

Da Padellina — A terrace on the Chianti hills. In all honesty, and this is a big one, no matter how sunny it is outside we rather sit in the dining room on the ground floor where the owner, between dishes, gifts us verses from Dante’s Divina Commedia which he impressively knows all by heart!

MUST ORDER: Le penne sul gallo, la bistecca with the various side dishes and the zuccotto (a typical Florentine desert) 

Trattoria Cammillo

Cibreo Caffè e Trattoria

Trattoria Sostanza

Trattoria Sabatino

Teatro Del Sale

Da Burde

Regina Bistecca

Il Santino

Alla Vecchia Bettola

Trattoria La Casalinga

Trattoria Ruggero

Sergio Gozzi

Casa Del Vino

Antica Macelleria Cecchini

Bottega di Rosano

Da Padellina

L'Angolo Del Mare

Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori