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Florence Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


mogsob
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Ilike Mario, right next to ZaZa so right next to the Mercato Centrale. It used to be authentic and non-touristy. I hear it's been more than found, but that the food still is the same -- bowls of brown gloppy stuff that are unimaginably good. (Ribolitta, risotto, panzanella -- although not brown! -- etc.) Go for lunch and get there BEFORE noon or you won't get a seat.

I also like I Che C'e C'e near the Piazza della Signoria.

Cheers

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I like Le Moussache on Via Del Proconsolo near the Duomo. Beware it is closed on the weekends! Granted there are some tourists but also regulars (locals) who go there for daily meals, I'm jealous. I went here 3 times on my last trip to florence, I believe its been there since the 40's. I first went in 93.

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/restaurants/...ossacce&s=duomo

The above is a link to multiple good reviews from a very nice travel site where I post obsessively. It's addicting. RR

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Go to Divina Cucina's guide to Florence for some excellent recommendations.

Last summer, we had excellent meals at the following restaurants she suggests (I don't have my notes with me to call up meal specifics):

Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori was fantastic. Rustic food served in a casual place that is decidedly non-touristy though it is in the heart of tourist country. Fresh white beans with sage and the pappa al pomodoro were both excellent.

Al Tranvai was a great meal off the beaten path oltrarno. Warm service and great trattoria fare.

Pepó had burrata on the menu the evening we dined there and it was lovely What was going to be a quick, light meal turned into a lazy meal with a bottle of wine. Good, solid food.

And don't miss Zanobini near the market for a glass of wine.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/restaurants/...ossacce&s=duomo

The above is a link to multiple good reviews from a very nice travel site where I post obsessively. It's addicting. RR

Since it's hard to judge reliability of the people who post recommendations on this site, let me urge you to trust what Dean has to say about Florence. He's a former wine buyer for Whole Foods who started a successful neighborhood restaurant close by (me) modelled on his favorite kind of unpretentious, good little place he's encountered in Italy. His standards are high, knowledge extensive and personal taste is to be respected. Click on "Dean on Tuscany" to find his observations on Florence towards the bottom of the list. When he refers to his friend Judy, it's divina whose personal web site has already been recommended above.

You'll find further information, if as you note, not recent, pinned above in this forum. Divina's web site has more recent news.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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It's tough to pull them apart, a characteristic of tourist city restaurants. I have a tough time finding any that stand alone, or almost alone. Consensus, in other words, is hard to come by. Therefore you should try to eat in the environs. I had a very nice meal at Arnulfo in Colle de Val d'Elsa. It's no secret in that it's a two-star Michelin restaurant. The same goes for La Tenda Rossa in San Casciano in Val de Pesa. These are expensive, but not as costly as a comparable restaurant in France.

I haven't been to Enoteca Pinchiorri in years, but the gastronomes I know don't like it. Il Cibreo seems to be everyone's favorite. It's very good, but hardly world class. You'll find the cuisine much more adventurous in the two restaurants above.

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Pierre's inquiry is brief, yet if he is spending eight full days in Florence, his priorities may include getting to know the city really well or spending time in museums, churches, libraries or archives without necessarily going on a culinary pilgrimage. It sounds as if he may simply want to enjoy his meals, avoiding the many mediocre tourist spots. Certainly, it's wonderful to get out of the city, especially with a long-time resident who knows the dintorni. The original post does not mention a car or degree of familiarity with the destination.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Pierre's inquiry is brief, yet if he is spending eight full days in Florence, his priorities may include getting to know the city really well or spending time in museums, churches, libraries or archives without necessarily going on a culinary pilgrimage.  It sounds as if he may simply want to enjoy his meals, avoiding the many mediocre tourist spots.  Certainly, it's wonderful to get out of the city, especially with a long-time resident who knows the dintorni.  The original post does not mention a car or degree of familiarity with the destination.

Thank you for your responses.Hope to reciprocate if any of you visits Paris.Actually you may find many of my comments about paris restaurants on egullet.

I am using Florence as a base to get to know florence and to visit the nearby cities of sienna and lucca. I don't have high expectations when it comes to food and i am not seeking fusion or inventive cuisine but excellent tuscan cuisine based on high quality ingredients and skillfull food prep.and with out any exhorbitant charges.

I am hoping that the recommendations to date will fit the bill nicely.

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Pierre, it sounds as if Da Ruggero, on the southern edge of the city, might fit the bill well. It's a Slow Food-recommended osteria, with basic, high-quality Tuscan food (ribollita, bollito misto, etc.) I had a lovely meal there back in the spring. It's not tourist-free (this is Florence, after all), but it's far enough off the beaten path that non-Italians who eat there are pretty serious about food.

And of course, you have to go to Nerbone. This is required: there will be a test upon your return.

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ciao!

there are a ton of places on my dining guide online mentioned above..

but let me mention some secrets not on my site

I think if you are looking for REAL FOOD... Mario's for lunch.. or Da sergio...( both on my site) have been around for more than 50 years in the same families.

Da Caffaggio, on Via Faenza.. family owned forever .. fabulous food.

Dal Fagioli, corso Tintori

both open for dinner.

Sostanza.. on via porcellino... another oldie but goodie.

what happens though is that the food gets redundent.. roast pork and sugo!

but .... it is all tuscan soul food!

one step up is Da giovanni, giovanni Latini and his kids ( daughters) on via del Moro right around the corner from the original I latini , which his brother now runs.

I adore it!

Add Lucca and Siena.. and you are set!

I have some Siena on my site too ( Chianti)

in my newsletters are a winebar guide..and gelato too!

Enjoy!

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ciao!

there are a ton of places on my dining guide online mentioned above..

but let  me mention some secrets not on my site

I think if you are looking for REAL FOOD... Mario's for lunch.. or Da sergio...( both on my site) have been around for more than 50 years in the same families.

Da Caffaggio, on Via Faenza.. family owned forever .. fabulous food.

Dal Fagioli, corso Tintori

both open for dinner.

Sostanza.. on via porcellino... another oldie but goodie.

what happens though is that the food gets redundent.. roast pork and sugo!

but .... it is all tuscan soul food!

one step up is Da giovanni, giovanni Latini and his kids ( daughters) on via del Moro right around the corner from the original I latini , which his brother now runs.

I adore it!

Add Lucca and Siena.. and you are set!

I have some Siena on my site too ( Chianti)

in my newsletters are a winebar guide..and gelato too!

Enjoy!

Merci milles fois Divina.Bientot ca va etre la cuisine toscane.Soul food de la regione comme vous dites.

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Sounds like you need to try Bettola. Authentic, welcoming and utterly fortifying. No nonsense, great food, but don't drink the coffee. I'd place several notches ahead of Mario, if a little further from the very centre (a pleasant 20 minute stroll).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vecchia Bettola is owned by the same people that have Nerbone in the market and Nerbone in Greve in chianti. Good Tuscan food!

It is just beyond Piazza Tasso, ( where Tranvai is located, another favorite of locals)

Pandemonio is on via del leone.. as is Enoteca la Barrique ( fab wine bar)

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Hello all,

On Friday I'll be leaving to spend 4 days in Florence. I'm a student and am looking for CHEAP reccomendations for restaurants--mostly for dinner. If a thread already exists on this topic, please refer me to it. Thanks!

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Hello all,

On Friday I'll be leaving to spend 4 days in Florence. I'm a student and am looking for CHEAP reccomendations for restaurants--mostly for dinner. If a thread already exists on this topic, please refer me to it. Thanks!

Not cheap specifically, but the pinned thread above has info and Via Michelin lists two Bibs gourmands.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I wast there about four years ago, but one great, lower priced place is Cafe Santo Spirito/Borgo Antico on the Piazzo Santo Spirito. Great pizza and other dishes. (Cross Ponte Santa Trinita to the south side of the Arno and to Santo Spirito plaza)

My favorite ice cream place which I've mentioned on a few other threads was Carabe (Via Ricassoli 60R, north of hte Duomo)

We really enjoyed eating at the trattoria Da Il Latini for traditional Tuscan food. I remember the prices as very reasonable but if you're on a stufent budget this may work as a reasonable "nicer" meal. Via dei Palchetti 4, just off Via del Mora) northwest of Ponte Santa Trinita.

Go to the Mercato Centrale (the main market) east of the railroad station. There are a bunch of stalls selling food ready to eat on the ground floor. For lunch I always had good luck buying a panino from almost any random place and wound up getting an excellent sandwich.

We didin't get to this place but I had researched it as a less ezpensive option.

Trattoria La Casalinga Also in Oltramo (between Pitti Palace and the river) neighborhood trattoria with Tuscan food

Via del Michelozzo 9r

Have a good time and let us know where you end up eating. It would be great to have more budget recommendations for this thread!

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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A few quickies:

Alla Vecchia Bettola, Piazza Torquato Tasso

The business. Trad, friendly, my favourite restaurant in Florence. Great value, great atmosphere, better food than Mario or I Latini.

Nerbone

Owned by the same people. A bar/stall inside the Mercato Centrale. Good, solid dishes. Also does sandwiches of bollito (beef) or tripe.

But for the best lampredotto sandwich, which you simply have to try, for my money the finest of all comes from the stall on Via dell'Albero. Get the chilli oil, salsa verde, and ask for the bread bagnato. Superb.

Magazzino, Piazza della Passera

If you get the taste for tripe then this is a great well-priced restaurant on Piazza della Passera, next to the famous Quatro Leoni.

Caffe Italiano, Via dell'Isola delle Stinche

Great pizza. Evenings only, of course. Queues likely, but hang in there. It's worth it. Drink the beer.

Sabatino, Via Pisana

Very trad, very basic, but reliable. And pretty good too. Right by the Porta San Frediano. Pop straight over the road for a great microbrewery experience too.

Il Santo Bevitore, Via di Santo Spirito

A little (only a little) pricier, but excellent wine and more modern cuisine. Great service and a vibrant atmosphere.

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I used the last two recommendations in this thread when I went last week. God, I can't believe it's been a week since I had those sandwiches. Seems like an eternity. After I had first had them, I was sold on Nerbone as being the slightly better sandwich. Upon further reflection, I enjoyed the I Fratellini experience more. There's nothing like leaning up against a wall 20 feet from a main thoroughfare but in an otherwise quiet alley, munching on a delicious sandwich that took 20 seconds to make, drinking a glass of a wine sitting on a wooden rack affixed to the wall behind you, overhearing an accordian player from a couple of streets over. It was my favorite experience in my 10 day trip to Italy.

That said, neither is to be missed. Nerbone rules, too. I had two sandwiches at each place for lunch.

Also, I would say Vivoli is the best gelato in Firenze. I had gelato maybe 10-12 times in my 9 days In Italy, and I would say Vivoli's only real competition for best gelato that I had would be Roma's Giolitti.

If you have some extra money in your pocket one night, ask for a place that serves good Bisteca a la Florentina. One of the top three steaks I've ever had in my life.

Edited by Voodoo (log)
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I always make a point to go to Trattoria dei Quattro Leoni,on via dei vellutini.

Last October I went for lunch and made dinner reservations on the way out the door, for an equally great experience.

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Thanks so much for these reccomendations, everyone! I got back from my trip last night, and, needless to say, had an amazing time--and, thanks to you all, ate well. The places I visited were:

-Nerbone. For our first meal (lunch) in Italy, we got the incredibly cheap boiled beef sandwiches and they were filling and delicious.

-Borgo Antico. Great scene, very lively, with big plates of 7 euro pasta and great house wine. I had gnocchi with a Mediterranean sauce (a vegetable ragu).

-Trattoria Sabatino. My favorite stop of the trip. No tourists whatsoever, just big Italian families enjoying a leisurely lunch. I had a slice of roast pork loin stuffed with a paste of garlic and rosemary, followed by a homemade pinenut/vanilla cake served with macerated strawberries. Yum!

-Carabe, for gelato. I had gelato all over Florence and this did happen to be my favorite. I had stracciatelli and almond in a cone.

Another food highlight worth mentioning is procuring a picnic lunch at the Mercato Centrale to bring on our day trip to Siena. Hearty Tuscan bread, two types of cheese (cacciocavalo and tomino), a carton of tiny, sweet wild strawberries, and a selection of dried fruits and nuts fed us well and was extremely cheap!

-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a run down of the various restaurants in florence that we ate at recently..Many are based on the recommendations that i have received.

The order of the listing is based on merit.

-Beccofino.The best in terms of cuisine ,service and space.The food is modern tuscan.Tasty and somewhat sophisticated.Prices only 10% higher than a regular trattoria.

-Sostanza.Unbeleivable florentin steak,juicy,cooked as specified(med rare).tender .Puts NY's Luger to shame.Pastas also were wonderful.

-Da caffagio.An old family run tratoria that provides very tasty pastas .Best value in Florence .Appetizer and main for 17.5 euros.Decent montepulciano rosso at 12 euros

-Il santo Bevitore.Popular with locals.Tasty pastas and excellent cold cuts

-Camillo.Excellent for fried food such as squash blossom,calf brain ,etc

-Osteria del cinghiale bianco.Wild bear dishes is the thing here.Quite good

Overall food is simple but quite decent in Florence despite the dominance of the tourists.ITs wall to wall people everywhere ,even in March.But the city takes you back to the Italian Renaissance period ,just like time travel.

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I have spent many summers in Fiesole (outside of Florence, highly recommended for a visit) and avoid Enoteca Pinchiorri at all costs. I really do not get it. My first time was bad, the second time we asked for the check during the middle of our meal, paid and left. The only time that has ever happened to me in my life.

I would recommend you (I do not know what your budget is) to go out to Villa San Michele for dinner. It is one of my fav. things to do in my life (long list). The restaurant is a cloister overlooking Firenze....order a Negroni and a bistecca alla fiorentina. Glorious.

l

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