The food is possibly the best thing that Florence has to offer (aside from the sightseeing of course), and there are endless restaurants and cafes to choose from. My time living is Florence was mainly spent trying delicious Italian restaurants and exploring the cobblestone alleyways for new places to eat.
My second instalment of ‘First timers guide to Florence’ lists my favourite places for food and drinks (and yes, I did try all of them, multiple times). Here are my top picks!
Okay so I may be a little biased, but personally, this is one of the best pizza shops in the whole of Florence. Not only does the pizza taste amazing, but you get to see it made from scratch right in front of your eyes. The range of flavours to choose from is limited but the prices are so so cheap. Did I mention how delicious the pizza is? Even better, the staff often get creative and make heart shaped pizzas for their most loyal customers. Just make sure you get there before the lunch time rush to avoid lining up out the door.
Osteria dei Baroncelli
This place is tucked away in a small alley away from the city centre. However, for the price and the size of meals, it is worth searching for. The menu features traditional Italian pizza and pasta as well as it’s famous Florentine steak with steamed vegetables and rosemary potatoes. Serving sizes are very generous so pick a smaller dish if you want to save room for dessert.
San Lorenzo Food Markets
If you like to have plenty of options, the San Lorenzo Food Markets are the place to go. San Lorenzo is one of Florence’s oldest markets and with two stories of fresh food and produce, it does not disappoint. On level 1 you can find ingredients to cook meals at home from local butchers, bakers and fruit and vegetable vendors. The second level features endless stalls of delicious freshly made pizza and pasta, sushi, arancini balls, beef burgers, chips, soups and literally anything else you can think of. This place has everything, and all for a good price!
Amble pride themselves on their fresh food and old furniture and this description is perfect. The quirky decor provides a fun setting, perfect for a meal with friends. The alternative cafe mainly serves salads and sandwiches that can be custom made according to your tastes. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the location is optimal for a quiet lunch or afternoon snack.
Trattoria La Cassalinga Amorino
Located near the Pitti Palace, this restaurant is possibly my number one favourite. The menu offers a large range of choices featuring some of the finest traditional Italian dishes and desserts. The serving sizes are quite large but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to save room for Panna Cotta afterwards. The menu is written entirely in Italian so be prepared to translate. However, the staff are lovely and more than willing to explain each dish on the menu. The delicious food makes the resturant extremely popular so reserving a table in advance is highly recommended.
If you’ve visited Italy before, you’ll be familiar with the gelato stores that seem to be placed on every. single. corner. Generally, stores will have similar flavours, but the quality of the ice cream varies. Every time I ate gelato in Florence I told myself “this one is the best gelateria I’ve been to”. Most times I was very wrong until I came across Amorino.
Not only does Amorino Gelatoria produce amazing quality ice cream, but the range of flavours is never ending. The store even has a featured flavour that changes each season. Even better, Amorino creates gelato flowers that not only look great for your Instagram page but taste amazing too.
Amble makes it into the list for both food and drinks! This place is hard to stay away from, especially for evening cocktails. From a quiet cafe by day Amble transforms into a hip cocktail bar by night. It is particularly known for its Aperol Spritz (and trust me they are delicious) but serves just about anything you want! Can’t see the cocktail you like on the menu? Just ask the bar staff to mix up a drink of your choice! More often than not, they’re more than happy to tailor drinks to your liking!
May day club
Yet another bar known for its amazing cocktails. May Day has a great atmosphere and some of the friendliest bar staff I came across during my time in Florence. Here you’ll find cocktail combinations you have never heard of in your life (but they taste absolutely amazing). The unique decor adds to the experience with funky lights, world globes and records hanging from the ceiling. If you ever want a quirky bar to relax and have drinks of an evening, this is the place to go.
Do you have any favourite resturants or bars in Florence? I would love to hear your recommendations. Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,