If you’re looking for where to eat in Florence and want to know what to eat in Florence, these are the best restaurants in Florence that I ate at and what I ate while I was there.
Some of the best food I ate in Italy was during my stop in Florence (although Bologna is a real rival!). There are so many different restaurants, so many fantastically delicious local meats and cheeses to try.
There are a few things you may want to consider when planning your meals in Italy.
Dinner starts much later in Italy than it does in places like the US. Most restaurants don’t even open until 7 or 8 p.m. If you are feeling peckish, head into a bar for some aperitivo – a drink with some snacks to get the metabolism going.
Once you’ve had a drink or two and some meat and cheese, you’ll be ready to eat dinner by about 8 or 9 p.m. alongside the locals.
If you find a restaurant that is open and busy at 6 p.m. it’s likely catering just for tourists and may not be as good as some of the others that cater more for the Italian locals.
Explore the Best Restaurants in Florence by Tour
If you are visiting Florence for the first time or you want to sample a lot of great Florence restaurants in a short period of time, taking a food tour is a fantastic option for you.
There are so many great tours to choose from depending on what you want out of your experience. These are some of our top picks:
- Florence Food Tour: This is a really nice tour with a maximum of 10 people that tours around on foot to 4-5 different restaurants in Florence. You will sample one dish in each place and wine or beer is also included in some of the stops. The guides are knowledgeable and bilingual in Italian and English. Read more about the tour and book it here.
- Street Food Tour: This is one of the best options in Florence if you are on a budget or want to keep costs down. The tour is less than $40 per person and includes some of the most popular foods from Florence and the Tuscan region in general. The guides are knowledgeable and most importantly, the food is delicious. Book that street food tour here.
- Food and Wine Tour: If you want to combine sampling local wines with local foods, this is the tour for you. They’ll show you where to eat in Florence for the best food. You will visit a traditional Enoteca and learn about wine from the Tuscan region and sample meats, cheeses, and traditional dishes as well. Book that tour here.
Where to Eat in Florence
My Airbnb host in Florence gave me these words of wisdom alongside her restaurant recommendations: don’t eat anywhere near the Duomo or the Basilica di San Lorenzo.
They are the most touristy parts of the city and the restaurants there are notoriously overpriced and not great.
She said instead, take a walk a bit further from those places and you’ll likely find great food.
She promised that you will almost always find a good meal near Santa Croce. Head into a market and eat where the locals eat in Florence. One of the most popular places for lunch is Sant’Ambrogio Market.
There are tons of places inside making fresh sandwiches or little meat and cheese platters.
Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 5R
Opening Hours: Daily 9am-11:30pm (closed the entire month of August)
This is perhaps one of the most famous restaurants in Florence. It comes up on most lists of “best restaurants in Florence” and was recommended to me on several occasions.
Try to make a reservation the day before if you can or ask your hotel or Airbnb host to call ahead of time for you if you really want a reservation on the weekend (unless you speak Italian, in which case go ahead and give them a call).
The thing I like about this place is that in addition to having their fancy restaurant, they also have a more casual trattoria with a very similar menu right next door.
If you don’t want to spend a ton on dinner or you simply want to enjoy great food in a casual environment, head to Cibreo bar and trattoria.
Both the trattoria and the restaurant serve up classic Tuscan dishes and have a really nice selection of wines.
Largo Pietro Annigoni, 9
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 7:30pm-midnight
For some seriously great Napolitan-style pizza, get yourself to this popular spot near Piazza Santa Croce.
It was perhaps one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. They have tons of different toppings including ones with fresh local tomatoes, anchovies, local cheeses, and beautiful slices of cured meat. Not to mention that the crust is truly glorious.
If you like a thick crust with not too much sauce getting in the way, you’ll love the pizza here.
It’s worth noting that unless it actually says sauce or tomato on the menu, then the pizza doesn’t have a red sauce on it.
We didn’t realize that would be the case, but the toppings were so fresh and the dough so wonderfully cooked that the pizzas really didn’t miss the sauce.
Santarpia is also nice because they have a nice wine selection and a couple of locally brewed beers on draft. Of all of the cities we went to, I think I liked the craft beer in Florence the best. It’s worth noting that they also make gluten-free crusts if you ask.
3. Osteria Il Gatto e la Volpe
Via Ghibellina, 151/r
Opening Hours: Daily 11:30am-11:30pm
We ate here on our last night in Florence and that’s probably for the best because otherwise, we would have eaten every single meal here.
The food was out of this world good. The staff was friendly and attentive. The wine was delicious, the pasta was perfectly cooked and so fresh. The sauces, the meats, the cheese, the tiramisu.
I could go on and on about this place.
It was actually recommended to me by a follower on Instagram and I’m SO grateful for that recommendation because our meal here remains one of the best that I had during my 10 days in Italy. You don’t need to make a reservation, there is plenty of seating.
4. Che Ti Garba
Borgo la Croce, 87R
Opening Hours: 10am-1am
This was one of the best places for a bowl of fresh pasta that we found. It has tables out in the street.
When you sit down they bring over a glass of prosecco and a bowl of freshly made potato chips (on the house!). I really like their tagliatelle as well as their ravioli.
We tried both their pasta and their pizzas and I can confirm that both are delicious. Just steer clear of the pannacotta. It’s not delicious.
Another nice thing about Che ti Garba which was perfect for those hot summer days was that they had nice light Italian lager on draft.
You would be surprised at how hard it is to find a nice cold lager on draft in the city center. While I love a bit of craft beer, sometimes you just want a cold, crisp Peroni.
5. Osteria All’antico Vinaio
Via dei Neri, 74 R
Opening Hours: Daily 10:30am-11pm
Ask anyone, locals, expats, or frequent visitors to Florence, where you should have lunch in Florence and almost everyone will mention Osteria All’antico Vinaio.
A simple stroll past this restaurant and the line of people wrapped around the block will tell you that they’re making something worth waiting for.
The most popular thing to have here are the panini. The meats and cheeses are all locally sourced. The bread is baked fresh every day.
It’s all toasted and melted and crisped up to perfection. Try to get here early, as in, way before you’re hungry. Do not show up here when you’re already ready for lunch because by the time you get to the front you will be hangry. Expect to wait about 20-30 minutes at lunch time.
Via de’ Ginori, 58/red
Opening Hours: Daily noon-11pm
We stumbled upon this place by accident and I’m so happy that we did.
Everything here, from pasta to meat, to pizza, cheese, and even the wine is bio or as we say in English, organic. The pasta is made fresh in-house. The wine is mostly local and very, very tasty (also relatively inexpensive).
The meats that they served with the pasta dishes were so perfectly cooked, so juicy. The sauces were packed with flavor.
The wait staff were incredibly helpful. We overheard our waiter speaking English to us, Spanish to the table next to us, Italian to the table inside, and French to the guests that arrived when we were leaving.
If you’re looking for a place that’s not too far of a walk from the Duomo and all of the sites in the center, but serves amazing food at a reasonable price, I highly recommend Simbiosi.
Just note that the entrance can be confusing because there are several spots with outdoor seating. The entrance is on Via de’ Ginori.
7. Osteria dè Benci
Borgo Santa Croce, 31r
Opening Hours: Daily 12-3pm and 7:30-11pm
We were recommended this spot by our Airbnb host as THE spot to go for Bistecca Fiorentina – Florentine steak.
So that’s exactly what we ordered.
It was a solid 1.5kg of steak that Luke and I shared between us with some bread, a half a liter of wine, and a side of potatoes. It was utterly divine.
Don’t you dare tell the waiter how you want your steak to be cooked.
The Bistecca Fiorentina is only cooked one way, medium rare (and basically blue once you get near the bone. It’s a T-bone steak that is charred to perfection on the outside. It was tender, very well seasoned, and really just one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.
If you’re looking for a place to get this local dish, I highly recommend Osteria de Benci.
The wait staff weren’t particularly attentive, but they were nice and spoke a bit of English. It’s also incredibly reasonably priced considering the quality of the meat. For half a liter of wine, the 1.5kg steak, a side of potatoes, bread, and sparkling water, we paid less than $100.
They also serve up plenty of other local dishes.
Tables next to us were enjoying fresh pasta, beautiful platters of meat, and they also have a few pizzas on the menu. They are very family-friendly and there were several families in when we were there using booster seats and high chairs provided by the restaurant.
8. Trattoria Da Rocco
Mercato San Ambrogio, Piazza Ghiberti
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday noon-2:30pm
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try this little restaurant since it was closed for the August 15th holidays (seriously, don’t go to Florence in August). However, it came highly recommended by several people and is supposed to serve up some seriously good local eats.
It’s solely a lunch spot, so be sure to get there early so you don’t miss out on the delights like we did.
You can get the famous Florentine tripe sandwich, Lampredotto. If that’s not your thing (it’s not my thing), you can try the most delicious local cheese, stracchino and dip into with fried bread called Coccoli. They also make other types of sandwiches with locally sourced cured meats.
9. La Bussola
Via Porta Rossa, 56r
Opening Hours: Daily noon-3:30pm and 7-10:30pm
I visited La Bussola on my most recent trip to Florence (2022) and it was absolutely fantastic. It is definitely one of the best places to eat in Florence.
They have a fantastic wine list with plenty of local chiantis on the menu and their food menu focuses on local cuisine done impeccably well.
Be sure to try the spaghetti with chianti carbonara sauce. It was rich and cooked to perfection. The chianti cut through the richness of the pancetta and parmesan that coated the pasta.
They also make fantastic pizzas in a wood-fired pizza oven, the same one they’ve been using since the restaurant opened in the 60s. The dough is left to rise for at least 30 hours making it easy to digest.
They have a pizza that comes with local truffles on top that is decadent and should be shared with as many people as possible (so that you still have room for dessert).
10. Osteria Pastella
Via della Scala 17r
Opening Hours: Daily noon-2:30pm and 7-10:30pm
This local pasta restaurant was recommended to me by the host at an Airbnb that I stayed at recently.
It’s located just around the corner from the main train station away from the busy tourist area. It’s a family-run operation with homemade pasta and tons of local sauce options.
If you want to have traditional Tuscan pasta dishes with tons of truffles on offer and even more Tuscan wine options to choose from, this is the place you need to get yourself to.
If you are visiting on the weekend, you may want to consider making a reservation for the evening so that you don’t have to wait for a table. If you come for lunch, it shouldn’t be too busy.
11. Trattoria Sostanza
Via del Porcellana 25R
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 12:30-2pm and 7:30-10pm. Closed weekends
This family-run spot is only open during the week and only accepts cash, so be sure you head to a nearby ATM before heading here.
But the small effort is well worth the reward if this family operation that has been serving up Florentine steaks and chicken cooked in butter sauce for generations.
Trattoria Sostanza is the perfect example of simple and affordable Italian cooking done right. The menu isn’t large here, but the flavors are. The hospitality here is pretty exceptional as well.
Via dei Servi 112
Opening Hours: Daily 7:30am-8pm, opens at 8am on weekends
This cafe is an absolute must when you are near the Accademia Gallery. After fighting the crowds to find the David statue, you’ll need a place to rest and refuel.
The coffee and pastries here are the main event. They have pistachio, chocolate, and lemon croissants as well as a variety of even more decadent options available.
If you need something savory, they also have a nice menu with pizzas, traditional steaks, soups, and salads available. It’s also a nice stop in the early evening for an aperitivo (a drink and a light snack).
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