Florence has a myriad of places to eat throughout the historic centre. From high end ristorante to family run trattorie to street food and beyond. The question of where to eat in Florence could be answered differently by everyone as there is so much to choose from. However, it’s just as easy to eat at the wrong places that are touristy serving underwhelming food as it is to eat at the authentic places you will always remember.
When asking where to eat in Florence it’s important to understand the city’s cuisine. Traditional local dishes include the famous Bistecca Fiorentina, gnudi or ‘naked ravioli’, ribollita vegetable soup, tortino di carciofio or artichoke frittata, as well as ingredients including legumes, truffles, chestnuts, and a lot of offal. For those with a weak stomach, some of the most traditional dishes like trippa or tripe and lampredotto panini– cow stomach sandwiches may not be up your alley.
Below are options for where to eat in Florence on any given occasion but more importantly, they are places that serve local food with memorable atmosphere and offer those ‘Sunday lunch’ vibes we love, every day of the week.
Standing in line at All’Antico Vinaio, is worth the wait for a fresh focaccia panino filled with house made deli goods. Favourite ingredients include roast porchetta, freshly sliced proscuitto, local cheeses, marinated vegetables and house made tapenades. The friendly servers whip up sandwiches, slicing, spreading, drizzling and layering up the ingredients like artisti. Sit in one of the surrounding piazzas in the centre of Florence. Unwrap the white paper, pull out some napkins and sink your teeth in. This is a panino that will ruin every other sandwich you eat after this.
Via dei Neri, 76R, 50122 Firenze
Trattoria La Lola is a hole in the wall with only a few tables. A local’s favourite for its authentic home style cooking, paper menus, confident service and vino at just 2 euros a glass (at the time of writing). Dishes are simple but full of flavour. Spinach and ricotta gnudi, pappardelle with duck ragu, and tiramisu for dessert leave you wanting to return domani.
Via della Chiesa, 16r, 50125 Firenze
Antica Trattoria da Tito simply describes itself as a historic trattoria since 1913 with informal service. Expect a side of sarcasm or a joke served with your meal at this lively, fun institution where guests have been playing the part of graffiti artists, scribbling their names and comments on the walls for years. A meat lovers haven, the classic Florentine steak (if you want to order it well done, turn around and go home. It’s strictly served rare and there’s a sign outside to remind you) and Nonna’s meatballs, are house favourites. Write your name on the wall and be part of this restaurant’s long history.
Via S. Gallo, 112/r, 50129 Firenze
Trattoria Sostanza Troia, open since in 1909, has stayed very true to its roots. When asking where to eat in Florence you will likely be directed here by locals and tourists alike. Handwritten paper menus and black and white photos of their most important guests hang on the walls. Throughout the years they have served simple, traditional dishes that the clientele never tire of. You can only wonder what has gone on between these four walls over the last 150 years. The place is small and intimate, only taking about ten reservations each dinner. Regulars come here just for the Petto di Pollo al Burro, or butter chicken breast. This is their signature dish and the recipe remains a secret. Also try the tortino di carciofior savoury artichoke frittata for starter and the famous layered raspberry merengue cake for dessert.
Via della Porcellana 25, 50123 Firenze
Trattoria la Casalinga is exactly as its name describes. Casalinga meaning ‘homemade’ is what you can expect in both the food and the atmosphere. Peering into the kitchen you’re likely to see Nonna cooking the tasty dishes she’s been perfecting her entire life. Since opening in 1963 the family run trattoria claims to welcome everyone from lawyers, writers, doctors, pensioners, students and tourists to sit elbow to elbow, even at the same table, to share a meal and watch the bickering between waiters. Although some of the dishes stray from the traditional Tuscan cuisine (probably to please the masses), you can find traditional bistecca Fiorentina and a number of other crowd favourites at very reasonable prices.
Via dei Michelozzi, 9/R, 50125 Firenze
Trattoria l’Oriuolo is just a stone’s throw from the Duomo and has just a few small tables outside on the laneway making it a prime spot for people watching at lunch time. The traditional menu is refined and dishes are cooked and presented with a little more care and finesse than the more family style places. For the quality of food and the central location the prices are surprisingly low. Polenta with slow cooked wild boar is a warming and hearty dish that’s typical to the area. After something vegetarian friendly? Spinach and ricotta ravioli and the tagliolini with artichoke and pecorino are a the go-to dishes.
Via dell’ Oriuolo, 58r, 50122 Firenze
Osteria Vini E Vecchi Sapori is the place to go if you’re after a hearty meal. Specialising in traditional Florentine cuisine including the almighty Bistecca Fiorentina, this classic osteria is welcoming and exactly what you’d expect from a family run business. The interior is homey, the pasta is fresh and the staff passionate about their food. What more could you ask for?
Via dei Magazzini, 3/r, 50122 Firenze
Cibrèo has been a go-to for local Florentines since 1979. Whether you’re in need of a breakfast espresso and cornetto, a lunch of nibbles and panini, aperitivo cocktails with freshly sliced prosciutto or a hearty dinner, Cibrèo will likely satisfy your every craving as they have a restaurant, trattoria and cafe within metres of each other . Outdoor seating is available for warmer weather and inside the atmosphere is warm, old school Italian with dark wood panelling and an extensive bar.
Via del Verrocchio, 8r
Via del Verrocchio, 5r
Via de’ Macci, 122r
Il Cantinone restaurant is right near the Ponte Vecchio and opened in 1975 in what was once an old stone wine cellar or cantina. Make your way down the stairs to the underground dining room with arched ceilings and dimmed lighting. Enjoy typical Tuscan cuisine with a selection of house made pastas. Think tagliatelle with slow cooked lamb ragu and pappardelle with Porcini mushrooms and a glass of Chianti Classico red wine.
Via Santo Spirito, 6r, 50125 Firenze
Trattoria Omero started out as a countryside corner store or small goods store just outside Florence where locals would shop for staple items. They then began to serve a simple fried chicken dish and some pasta to people in the neighbourhood. Although it still holds the casual ‘trattoria’ name, today it has been transformed into a full restaurant with more formal dining and an outdoor terrace that showcases sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. The little store front remains, inviting visitors to purchase local products and they still serve their signature fried chicken. If you’re after a quiet lunch outside the city, it’s just a short taxi ride from the centre of Florence or you can even venture on public transport. Be sure to book a table outside. Tip: They sometimes offer dining specials on The Fork
Via del Pian dei Giullari, 47, 50125 Firenze
When considering where to eat in Florence you may not think about leaving the city centre. If you have some extra time up your sleeve, Agriturismi are worth a visit. These are Italian farms that also offer accommodation and/or restaurants that are open to the public. Their focus is on farm to table cuisine, utilising produce that can include fruit and vegetables, honey, meat, eggs and many more products that they grow and farm themselves or source from neighbouring properties. Fattoria di Maiano is just 5km outside of Florence and offers just that. Enjoy a tour of the farm and a stroll on one of the walking tracks after lunch. It’s the perfect way to spend the day outside of the city.
Via Benedetto da Maiano, 11,50014 Fiesole
If you have more recommendations for where to eat in Florence, leave them in the comments!