Ristorante Quinoa: Florence's First Gluten-Free Restaurant

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Ristorante Quinoa was the first ever 100% gluten-free restaurant to open up in Florence, Italy. After my friend Ilaria and I saw it featured on instagram numerous times we finally decided to go there during my lunch break for some yummy gluten-free goodness.

First of all the building was absolutely beautiful. There were lots of old frescoes and if you go to the bathroom (on the 3rd or 4th floor) you can have a better view of the courtyard which is so so cute and perfect for sitting outside in the warmer months (not now as Florence is absolutely freezing. This is not what I signed up for when I picked Florence as one of my year abroad destinations!) It's an old palazzo in Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore (map below) which is a little bit tucked away but very very central, in between the Duomo and the Santa Maria Novella train station.

We obviously, due to the weather, chose to sit inside which was equally as nice and filled with space heaters which we very much appreciated! When we got there we were presented with a very long (and inventive) list of food options. Their menu was very extensive, including not only Italian, but also many international options and everything was gluten free! They also had a lot of plant based and vegetarian options as well as those with meat so it's perfect for everyone really: meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs, those with lactose-intolerance or just anyone who wants to eat yummy food.

We both decided to go for more oriental dishes and Ilaria, la mia amica italiana (how beautiful is her name!?), chose a pad thai (yum) which I was very jealous of whereas I took a vegetable wok stir-fry which came with rice and lots and lots of veggies which was equally as good. Whilst we were waiting for our food they brought us some warm, freshly baked bread which was incredible considering that it was gluten free. Normally a lot of these kinds of breads don't have that much taste but I honestly would not have been able to tell the difference and I came away less bloated yay!

The restaurant wasn't cheap but wasn't particularly expensive either. Each main was around 11-16 euros, however the place was charming and the menu very inventive - it was nice to see some more international options on the menu for once. Also: how cool is the name?

They are open for lunch from 12.30 - 15.00 every day Monday to Saturday, dinner from 19.30 - 23.00 from Tuesday to Saturday and brunch from 12.00 - 15.00 only on Sundays. So definitely try them out if you're visiting Florence and are looking for something gluten-free or just a little bit different.

Alexandra x

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