6 of the Best Places to Eat in Florence

by Jessica on November 14, 2011

by | November 14th, 2011  

I love hearing from people who have information to share about eating in Italy – especially if it comes in the form of a list packed with practical stuff like addresses that can be printed out and brought on a trip. Enter Beth Smedinghoff, who sent me this list of some of her favorite places to eat in Florence. Thanks, Beth!

Choosing where to eat in a country as passionate about food as Italy can be nothing short of overwhelming. There is so much to eat and so little time, so where do you start?

If you find yourself in Florence, make the most of your dining experience by trying some of the top eats in Firenze. There’s a map at the end of the post with each spot marked.

Key to Price Notes:
€ = €10 or less
€€ = €10-15
€€€ = €15+
Price estimate includes one course & beverage, plus coperto

Gelateria Santa Trinita

When it comes to gelato it’s all about Gelateria Santa Trinita. Located a bridge from the Ponte Vecchio, this delicious establishment is off the highly traffic tourist path in Piazza Frescobaldi. Santa Trinita serves all the classics but it is their original flavors that will change your life. Flavors you must try include: Santa Trinita, buontalenti al mascarpone, and my favorite – cookies.

Location: Piazza Frescobaldi, 11-12/r (Ponte Santa Trinita)
Phone: +39 055 2381130
Price:

Acqua al Due

The hardest part about eating out in Florence is deciding what to order. You salivate as you read over the menu and you begin to feel the pressure of choosing just one dish as the waiter approaches. Acqua al Due understands this problem and offers the ultimate solution – the assagio which, translates to “sampler” in English although I choose to think of it as tastes of heaven. Available for each course, the assagio is a series of small mouth-watering dishes and the menu changes from night to night. If you’re someone who likes to commit to their dish, I would recommend: insalata caprese, rigatoni alle melanzane, and their signature blueberry steak – fileno al mirtilio.

Location: Via della Vigna Vecchia 40r
Phone: +39 055 284170
Price: €€ – €€€

Trattoria Dante

If you’re looking for an enjoyable and tasty meal, Trattoria Dante is the place to be. Always crowded (so be sure to make a reservation!) Dante’s has an amazing wait staff and even better white wine. Open until 1am every day, this trattoria is the perfect place to enjoy the true Italian experience of spending time with good friends over great food. The striped macaroni and gnocchi are two personal favorites and be sure to save room for some tiramisu!

Location: Piazza Nazario Sauro 12r
Phone: +39 055 219219
Price: €€

ZaZa

When shopping fatigue strikes you after a day at Mercato Centrale, head over to ZaZa to refuel. This pizzeria is very American-friendly and has a great outdoor patio perfect for those warm Firenze nights. ZaZa’s menu has a wide selection of entrees but it mostly known for its ‘za – you know, pizza – get it?

Location: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26
Phone: +39 055 215411
Price: €€

Trattoria 13 Gobbi

Off the beaten path, Trattoria 13 Gobbi is absolutely worth the trek. This trattoria offers an authentic Italian experience you won’t get at a restaurant a block from the Duomo. A smaller restaurant, 13 (tredici in Italian) Gobbi offers an intimate and cozy setting to enjoy a meal. If you’re looking to try true Florentine steak (bistecca fiorentina), you’ve come to the right place.

Location: Via del Porcellana 9R
Phone: +39 055 284015
Price: €€ – €€€

Oil Shoppe

Sure, you’re only in Italy for a limited amount of time and you want to devour as much authentic Italian cuisine as possible – but no trip to Florence is complete without a trip to the Oil Shoppe. Not far from the Duomo, this little shop serves incredible sandwiches with a side of French fries – which can be a homesick American student’s dream! A small store front, the Oil Shoppe has counters with a few stools to sit at, but their sandwiches are perhaps best enjoyed outside in a nearby piazza. Also be sure to arrive early, there is usually a long line by noon and once they run out of bread for the day they close up shop. If you can’t decide which sandwich to try, the meatball is always a great bet.

Location: Via S.Egidio 22/R
Phone: +39 055 2001092
Price:


View Best Eats in Florence in a larger map

About the Author
Beth Smedinghoff considers herself an honorary Florentine after living in Firenze in 2010. When she isn’t daydreaming about cookies gelato, she is helping others pack for their Italian adventures by writing about travel essentials.

photos of Acqua al Due and Gelateria Santa Trinita by the author (and may not be used without permission), all others from the restaurant websites


{ 5 comments }

Kathy McCabe, Dream of Italy November 14, 2011 at 9:28 am
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Acqua al Due now has a sister restaurant in Washington, DC — so if you can’t make it to Florence, try DC. It is on Capitol Hill – great!

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Edith levy November 14, 2011 at 11:19 am
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We ate at Aqua al Due when we were in Florence this past summer and it was a slice of heaven. The blueberry steak is not to be missed. The best I ever had….ever!

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Eric November 16, 2011 at 9:55 am
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We unfortunately did not hit any of the restaurants listed above, but 2 really good places we did have the pleasure of dining at was Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco on Borgo San Japoco. A bit pricy, but a great staff and they fit us in on a busy Sunday night without a reservation. The 2nd place was La Casalinga. Homey, casual atmosphere & classic Tuscan food. Menu is only in Italian, but easy to navigate and the staff was here for any questions we had. Great Ribollita and Bistecca alla Florentina along with a bottle of Chianti. Would recommend either or both on your next venture into Florence

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Jessica November 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm
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Thanks for the recommendations, Eric!

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Jessica November 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm
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I’m going to have to make a note of all these Acqua al Due locations – blueberry steak just sounds extraordinary. :)

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