Where to Eat in Florence, Italy: Pizza, Coffee, Gelato, Traditional Tuscan, Vegan, Brunch & More!

Monday, January 09, 2017

If you're living in Florence or about to visit it (lucky you) then you have to try some of these places. I lived in Florence for almost 5 months as part of my year abroad and whilst I was there I was able to taste some of what Tuscany has to offer, which is really good food. I have featured quite a few restaurants and gelaterias on here but obviously I couldn't include all of them. Here are all of my recommendations as well as some of my friends' ones, some of whom are from Florence and some of whom have also done a semester abroad here.

Italy is famous for it's food and Tuscan food is no exception. Some of the typical Florentine dishes include:

  • Crostini con fegatini - little toasts with chicken liver
  • Panino con lampredotto - a sandwich with lampredotto which is a part of the cows stomach (I have been told that it's amazing), you can also find trippa which is another part of the cows stomach.
  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina - steak in the Florentine way. It's normally shared by two people, is cut quite thickly and is cooked rare, only about 2 minutes on each side.
  • Pappa al pomodoro - A bready tomato soup
  • Schiacciata alla Fiorentina - a traditional cake that you can find in many pasticcerie (pastry shops)
  • Cenci - Fried pieces of dough dusted with icing sugar (yum!!!)

Here are all of the places that we would recommend, Tuscan ones are towards the bottom but I have also included some other cuisines in case you are here for longer and want to try something a little bit different, or if you happen to not like Italian food (in which case you're crazy!) The list will start with pizza and finish with typical Tuscan restaurants and gelato, with everything else in between.

Da Gherardo (Pizza)

I was introduced to this wonderful, cosy little place by one of my dear friends in the last month that I was living in Florence which is such a shame because their pizza is so good and both her and my absolute favourite pizzeria in Florence. Check it out! It's very small though so either try to go early or make a reservation. Borgo S. Frediano 57/R

Gusta Pizza (Pizza)

Great place for cheap pizzas that you can either take away to eat in the Piazza Santo Spirito, enjoying a bottle of wine or beer amongst friends or have it to eat in.  Pizzas start at 4 euros and you can read about it here. Via Maggio 46/R

Briscola Society (Pizza)

This is another great pizzeria, especially if you like more adventurous flavours and combinations. You can order two pizzas for 10 euros to try something different! They also have sweet pizzas for their desserts - pizzas with chocolate, cookies and ricotta. Via del Campidoglio 8/R

Al Noor (Indian)

You might find this funny but this is actually one of my flatmate's favourite place to eat in Florence. Not Italian food, but Indian food. It's mostly a takeaway place that does home deliveries and their food is always so good and great value for money. Try it out when you want a little bit of a change from the classic Italian menu. Borgo la Croce 20

AJI TEI (Sushi)

In Florence a lot of the sushi restaurants tend to be all you can eat, and sometimes not that good. At Aji Tei you spend 28 euros for dinner and they have so many options, even some more creative ones such as sushi with truffle or rice with squid ink. Unlike other places desserts are also included in the price and are yummy too - chocolate orange mousse or mango panna cottaViale Spartaco Lavagnini 38/a

Dim Sum (Chinese)

A tiny restaurant which is known to be the best Chinese one in the city. It's small and only has a couple of tables but specialises in dumplings, or dim sum. The dumplings also have a few creative ones which cater more towards Italians such as truffle dumplings or chianina (a type of cow) meat. They also have noodles and many other options if you don't like dumplings. Via dei Neri 37/R

Ditta Artigianale (Coffee & Brunch)

I say coffee and brunch but to be honest there isn't much that this place doesn't do well. They have great coffee with non-dairy milk options as well as a lovely brunch menu (best place in Florence) & a great lunch and dinner menu. Definitely go here when you're in Florence. The food isn't typically Italian, but at least try the coffee! Read more about it here. Via dello Sprone 3/5/R & Via dei Neri 32/R & Via Cavour 50/R

La Ménagère (Brunch)

Another spot that is great for brunch or even a sweet treat. The interior is so cute and it's a "concept-restaurant" so they have a little shop in there too which sells home ware as well as fresh flowers. It's very popular with American exchange students and you can easily work away at your laptop whilst you sip on a cappuccino (even after lunch time, shocker). Via de' Ginori 8

Libreria Brac (Vegetarian)

Lovely range of inventive vegetarian and vegan foods, not to mention the really cool interior design. They also apparently have great aperitivo and get quite busy so make sure to book. Via dei Vagellai 18

Ristorante Quinoa (Gluten-Free)

This is a 100% gluten free restaurant which is perfect for everyone. They have lots of vegan and vegetarian options as well as lots of meat ones so it can please everyone. They've also got a great looking brunch and their normal menu is very inventive. Read more about it here. Vicolo di Santa Maria Maggiore 1

FISHING LAB Alle Murate (Seafood)

This one is a recent addition to Florence's restaurant scene but it's already had a lot of success. They have a mix of street food such as fried fish and more expensive, upmarket options such as tuna tartare. They also have mezze porzioni (half portions) which means that you can mix and match your dishes or just enjoy a half portion at a reduced price. It's very popular though so make sure to book or go early. Via del Proconsolo 16/R

Tamerò (Aperitivo & Pasta)

One of my favourite places for aperitivo in Florence, hands down. At only 8 euros for any drink of your choice and an unlimited buffet it's pretty hard to beat. Their normal menu looks great too so check it out whether your budget is more student-friendly or whether you have no budget at all. All of their pasta is home made and you can read more about it here. Piazza Santo Spirito 11/R

Caffè Letterario (Aperitivo)

I love the atmosphere in this place, especially in summer. You can sit outside and enjoy your unlimited buffet with a strong cocktail (and they make them strong here!) Enjoy the ambience of the fairy lights and the live music whilst appreciating how the place used to be an old prison! Read more about it here. Piazza delle Murate

Gilli (Coffee)

One of the most beautiful cafés that you will ever lay your eyes on. As soon as you step inside you feel like you're going back in history but don't let the posh exterior (and interior) put you off. Order a coffee and a pastry and enjoy the ambiance of the place - although remember to stand at the bar so that you don't pay about 5x the price. Coffee, surprisingly, is the same price as pretty much any other café as long as you don't sit down. Via Roma 1/R

All'Antico Vinaio (Panini)

You can see that it's probably one of Florence's most famous and loved panini shops purely based off of the queues that come out of the place. Most sandwiches are only 5 euros and although the cold cut meats are their speciality I absolutely love their vegetarian one ( and so did my meat-eating flatmate!) If you go there for lunch go a little earlier, around 12 or 12.15 to make sure that you don't get caught in long lines. Read more about it here. Via dei Neri 74/R

Pinos (Panini)

Another one of Florence's very loved panini places, if you've spent any long period of time in Florence you have probably been served by the charming man at the counter. Via Giuseppe Verdi 36/R

#RAW (Vegan)

A great option for those who are vegan, raw vegan or simply more health conscious. They offer a range of different dishes, all of which are 100% raw and vegan (as the name would suggest) as well as desserts, juices and even raw ice cream, plus they have the cutest interior. Read more about it here. Via Sant'Agostino 11/R

Caffè AIEM (Tea Bistrot) 

Famous for being a tea bistrot, Cafe AIEM also offers delicious breakfasts and lunches, as you can see in the picture above, with a menu that changes daily. Piazza Leopoldo Nobili 12

Trattoria La Lola (Tuscan)

This is such a cute little trattoria which is so popular that you have to make a reservation. Their menu is constantly being updated and is hand-written. Go there and definitely get the fried bread balls - they're incredible. Via della Chiesa 16/R

Alla Vecchia Bettola (Tuscan)

This is one of Florence's well kept secrets - a true Tuscan restaurant serving amazing, authentic dishes. Everyone seems to love it. Via Luigi Ariosto 34/R

Trattoria 13 Gobbi (Bistecca alla Fiorentina)

I've been told that this is the best place for one of Florence's famous dishes, bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak). I've never been and haven't tried the steak because I don't eat meat but apparently it's to die for. Via del Porcellana 9R

Il Vecchio Cigno (Tuscan)

This restaurant offers typical Tuscan food such as crostini con fegatini (crostini with chicken liver), gnocchi al tartufo (truffle gnocchi), tagliolini ai funghi porcini (tagliolini, a type of pasta, with porcini mushrooms) and pici al sugo d'anatra (pici, also a type of pasta, with a duck sauce). Via di Varlungo 3

La Beppa Fioraia (Tuscan)

This place is close to the Piazzale Michelangelo which is where you can have a beautiful view of the whole of Florence and is especially famous for their taglieri which are deli boards or what we would call cheese and meat platters (with many more things than just cheese and meat!) Via dell'Erta Canina 6/R

Osteria de'Macci (Tuscan)

I would honestly say that this is in one of my top 5 places to eat in Florence. Their menu changes all the time and their prices are great - it's under 7 euros for a pasta dish, a "primo" and under 9 euros for a "secondo" which includes more meat and fish options. I would like to say that it's traditionally Tuscan, however I have also seen things like a salmon green curry, which was incredible. The only downside is that there generally aren't any vegetarian options, although the staff are super friendly so I'm sure they could come up with something for you. Via dè Macci 77

Gelateria della Passera (Gelato)

Great all-round gelateria with natural ingredients and flavours. At one euro a scoop it's definitely worth a try and is close to the Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti. My favourites are nocciola (hazelnut) and mojito which they had in summer but to be honest all of the ones that I have tried are awesome. Read more about it here - one of the owners went to the Gelato University in Bologna! Via Toscanella 15/R

Edoardo il Gelato Biologico (Gelato)

Go here for the best ice cream cones in the city which are freshly made in-house. The gelato is all organic and free from preservatives, additives and other chemicals as well as being really yummy. My favourites are gianduia and cannella (cinnamon). It's close to the Duomo and cones start at 3 euros for 2 scoops. Great vegan options too, although unfortunately the cones are not. Read about it more here. Piazza del Duomo 45/R

Gelateria DEI NERI (Gelato)

This is a great typical gelateria with lots and lots of different flavours to choose from. It's close to the Uffizi Gallery and the famous panini place All'Antico Vinaio (which is coming up below) and with prices starting at just 1,80 it's hard to turn down. Read more about it here. Via dei Neri 9/11

My Sugar (Gelato)

Great gelato and yoghurts to choose from. This place also won first place at the Gelato Festival (how Italian!) Close to the Galleria dell'Accademia. Via de' Ginori 49/R

Gelateria la Carraia (Gelato)

Honestly this probably isn't the healthiest option but if you're ever feeling naughty then try this place out. Again, like Gelateria dei Neri they have lots and lots of options. One of my favourites is baci (kisses), a mix of hazelnut and chocolate as well as their passion fruit flavour. The Piazza Nazario Sauro one is definitely bigger, although a little further away, just off of the Ponte alla Carraia so if you're looking for lots of flavours definitely go to that one. Piazza Nazario Sauro 25/R & Via de'Benci 24/R

Gelateria la Carabè (Gelato)

This one was recommended to me by one of my Italian teachers as she used to work there part-time when she was studying at university. They use all natural ingredients and have great Sicilian style granitaRead more about it here. Via Ricasoli 60/R

Please remember that when an address has /R at the end it means that the house number is red. This gets a little bit confusing as number 7 and number 7/R for example are two completely different places and may not even be next to each other.

I hope that you find something that you like in here - and that most importantly of all, you enjoy Florence and all that it has to offer!

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for commenting! Your blog is amazing. I love Florence so much - it's a big enough city that you have a lot to explore but it's small enough to walk around all by foot! xx

  2. Thank you for the recommendaions as I'm planning on visiting Florence with the hubby next year !! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Happy New Year to you and your family!! Dominica from www.its-dominica.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Oh omg I hope you enjoy Florence!! It's the most beautiful city ever!! xxx

  3. How exciting to have lived in Florence for a while, I can imagine how beautiful your time there must have been :) The pancakes at Ditta Artigianale look delicious and YES to pizza every single time!


    1. It was so lovely!! I miss it already :( although I can't complain too much because Paris isn't a bad alternative at all ahaha. Those pancakes were great! And the pizza too (basically everything) x

  4. This is such a lovely post - love all the tips and places to eat! Not a lot of bloggers out there do what you do so it's really refreshing to see! :)

    Wishing you a wonderful 2017 and can't wait to see more!

    Layla xx


    1. Wow! Well aren't you just the absolute sweetest xx

  5. Oh my god! drooooool!
    I am saving this post for when I go to Italy next year as a little guide
    You have picked some absolutely amazing places

    Lizzie | Takeoffs & Landings

    1. The food there is SO good! I hope that you have the best time ever!! xxx

  6. Everything looks soooo yummy! Those pizzas & gelatos made me so hungry...And this post just has every option needed for everyone! Thanks for sharing xx

    Kaylee 🌛ㅣJK's Dawn

  7. Florence is on top of the bucket list! I will refer back to this when I finally get there

    Life is just Rosie

    1. I hope that you get to go there soon - it's one of my favourite cities! And don't hesitate to ask for any tips if you need them!! xxx

  8. Well this is an amazing, comprehensive list!! I need to go back to Florence, I've only visited once for a couple of days. Did you go to Vivoli gelato at all? We went a few years ago and I remember it being insanely heavenly xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    1. It's such a beautiful city with so much to do! I actually never ended up going to that one - there are too many to try in Florence! xxx

  9. Great post, thanks for sharing :) I would love to visit Florence

    Camille xo


    1. Thanks for commenting! Well you definitely should put it on your bucket list! xx

  10. Ciao Alexandra.
    Complimenti. Hai fatto un gran lavoro. Bravissima.

    1. Ciao Darvin, grazie per le tue parole dolci ! Spero che stia bene a Firenze :)