Certainly there is no lack of good food in Florence. There have been grumblings in recent years that the quality of the cuisine has gone downhill but I disagree. Some of my old standbys like Taverna del Bronzino do not fail to impress and newcomers like Ora D’Aria feature the talents of one of the best young chefs in Italy. Here are a few others that would make my list.
1. Cantinetta di Verrazzano, via dei Tavolini This casual and cozy spot is a perfect stop in the middle of your touring day. Located just a block from the Piazza della Signoria, it serves fabulous filled focaccia, salami and cheese plates and other goodies that hit the spot for a casual lunch.
2. Ristorante Accademia, Piazza San Marco - located just a block from the Accademia (which houses Michelangelo’s David), this restaurant is often missed but should not be overlooked. The owner is from Puglia and the kitchen puts out delicious, homemade food that is a true pleasure in this area that is filled with mediocre cafes and lunch places.
3. I Maledetti Toscani, Via dei Cerchi – looking for the basics – bread, meat cheese? This is your place . The name of the translates to “The Cursed Tuscans” but there is no black cloud hanging over this place. Choose your type of cured meat (prosciutto, salame spiced with fennel and hot pepper, mortadella) and pair it with a cheese and pickled vegetables or sauted greens. If you can’t decide, take a recommendation from the guys behind the counter – they won’t steer you wrong!
4. Trattoria da Mario – Mercato di San Lorenzo - Incredible bistecca alla fiorentina in a very unassuming trattoria. Try their fries as well – sounds basic but they are to die for. Be prepared to share a table with someone and then sit back and enjoy the chaos!
5. Gucci Café – not to be outdone by those pesky Ferragamos, the Gucci brand has opened a café in the Piazza della Signoria and it is lovely. The menu is creative, the décor is obviously stylish and the staff shows not a trace of pretension that one might expect. If you want to feel uber-hip, try this place for a meal or for an aperitif.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Florence? Tell me about it here in the comments. I always love learning about new places to try!