Looking to avoid the tourist traps in Florence? Here’s a look at six of city’s best restaurants.
The Uffizi, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, Ponte Vecchio, Duomo and Baptistry... so many things to see and do in Florence! After admiring Botticelli’s Venus and strolling along the Arno, you might be eager to relax, rest your limbs and, most importantly, recharge your batteries with a good meal and a refreshing glass of wine. In a city like Florence, constantly besieged by tourists from all over the world, it may be difficult to avoid restaurants that cater to tourists – and surprisingly easy to be disappointed by what on the menu looked like a tasty rare Florentine steak. However, it’s no secret that Tuscany is world famous not only for the quality of its ingredients but also for the excellence of its traditional cuisine. Is it really difficult to eat well in Florence? Absolutely not…you just have to know where to go.
In no particular order, here’s a list of some of the best restaurants in Florence that won’t let you down.
1. Da Burde
This restaurant has no written menu as the food changes according to the kitchen’s mood, the weather and the season. However, without a doubt, you’ll be able to sample traditional Tuscan dishes such as liver croutons, various kinds of soup (ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, chickpea cacciucco), fresh pasta and the legendary, one-and-only charcoal-grilled bistecca alla Fiorentina steak. The exquisite wine list features organic, biodynamic and local wines (except for the Champagne of course). The thoughtfully curated wine offerings haven’t gone unnoticed, earning Da Burde a SloWine award for Best Wine List in the 2018 Osterie d’Italia guide. (Via Pistoiese 154)
2. 5 e Cinque
Black and white photographs, simple and sophisticated ambiance, and light but incredibly delicious dishes characterize this vegetarian restaurant. Though the cuisine is inspired by Liguria, there are plenty of Tuscan influences to be found. Cecina (chickpea pancakes), plenty of marjoram flavors, and fresh and delicate combinations such as spaghetti with escarole or pansotti with herbs. In addition, there’s a selection of seasonal focaccia and flans. (Piazza della Passera 1)
At first glance Trattoria Marione might seem like a tourist trap at first glance with its fixed menus, red-and-white checkered tablecloths and city center location. However, this two-story trattoria offers traditional quality Tuscan dishes: charcuterie (as you might guess from the hams hanging from the ceiling), game meat, and an unforgettable ribollita served with crispy croutons and Tuscan oil. (Via della Spada 27)
Wood tables, stone ceilings, wrought iron chandeliers and blackboards serve as the backdrop for excellent pizza at da Gherardo in Borgo San Frediano, a small gem in the artists’ quarter. With just 20 seats, we recommend you book a table in advance if you want to taste one of their magnificent classic or seasonal pies. (Borgo S. Frediano 57/R)
5. La Cité
This charming literary café becomes a live music pub in the evening. The ambiance is colorful and welcoming, the shop sells books from independent publishers, and the beer and organic wine are accompanied by cold meats and cheese, bruschettoni and very generous salads. (Borgo S. Frediano 20/R)
From breakfast to dinner, Caffè degli Artigiani offers such delicacies as brioches, homemade Tuscan cakes, excellent cappuccinos, salume and cheese plates, bruschette, soups, snacks and sandwiches to suit every taste and fancy. The pleasantly vintage ambiance on the upper level is complete with lamps, antique and modern pieces, old signs and board games. The cafe also holds dance evenings and live concerts. (Via dello Sprone 16/R)