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Where to Eat in Florence


This blog post is long over due!

I am not going to lie, one of my favorite activities in Florence, and in Italy more generally, is eating. The food is simply incredible — fresh, simple, and flavorful. No one should diet when in Italy. Of course, with all of the walking and the freshness of the ingredients you really don’t need to. You can basically live out your food fantasies with little regret or weight gain (I said little not zero lol).

Since I love eating so much, I like to keep up to date on Florence’s food scene. There is always a new and exciting place to try. Naturally, I have blogged about my favorite places to eat in Florence before (here and here), but, as with any city, places come and go and my recommendations were in need of an update. So I have made a comprehensive and up-to-date map of my favorite places to eat in Florence. I have also decided to round up my top ten below!

My Top 10:

Best Way to Treat Yo’self:
I normally don’t advise eating at places located on major squares or near monuments. Irene, however, is the rare exception to this rule. As part of the Savoy hotel the ambiance and quality of Irene is unparalleled. The menu is fresh, seasonal, and creative. Whether you want to indulge in a 4-course extravaganza complete with calamari, asparagus and truffle bruschettone, risotto, and dessert (like Georgette and I did), or just fancy cocktails while people watching, Irene is a can’t-miss chic bistro in the heart of Florence.

Best Pizza:
I became obsessed with Simbiosi this summer. I also lived around the corner, so I ate there a lot. Simbiosi is actually two restaurants — a pizzeria and a hip eatery. All the ingredients, and even the wine, are organic and fresh. My personal favorite is the zucchini and pesto pizza. It’s life affirming! The saffron lasagna at the restaurant is also amazing.

Life-Changing Gnocchi:
Osteria Santo Spirito
Osteria Santo Spirito is my go-to recommendation when people ask me where to eat in Florence. Why? The truffle gnocchi is the best thing that will ever happen to you!

Best Breakfast:
I use the term breakfast loosely here. Italians consider a pastry and a cappuccino breakfast. If you must subsist on just this, I highly recommend going for the best cappuccino in Florence, which is served at Roberto Cavalli’s uber-chic bar, Giacosa.

My Favorite Gelato:
Cantina Gelato
Good gelato is not hard to find in Florence, but my personal favorite is Cantina. I love their Nutella and marscapone and ricotta and fig.

Most Local Experience:
Il Giova
I ate lunch here everyday when I was living in Florence and working in the archive. It is a tiny hole-in-the-wall frequented by locals. The menu changes daily based on what’s fresh and you won’t find any english here!

Crowd Pleaser:
Il Teatro
Il Teatro is always a crowd (and student) pleaser. They offer a great variety of traditional dishes and serve the best coccoli in town! Don’t know what coccoli is? Put it on your must-try list in Florence. Prices are great and they are always group and student friendly.

Best Variety:
Mercato Centrale
Not sure what you want to eat? Maybe you want to try some street food or sample a bunch of different things. Then the central market is for you. The down stairs is the traditional market, but the upper level is a modern Italian food court.

Hippest Cafe:
La Ménagérie
Cafe and coffee culture have finally arrived to Florence, and there is no hipper and chicer place than this cafe, slash florist, slash boutique.

My Favorite Aperitivo:
I love a good aperitivo. It is a great way to get some much needed veggies and try lots of new foods. Gallery, hands down, has the best vegetable offering, which may not seem important now, but after a week or two of pasta, pasta, pasta, you will be happy to see so many veggies!

See all of my Florence picks below:

And be sure you check out my favorite places in Rome here!