Florence is a haven for foodies. A place blessed with everything from cheap and cheerful trattorias to high-end Michelin starred restaurants and everything in between. Discover where you can find the perfect scoop of artisan gelato or a friendly cooking class. And how about a perfectly cooked Bistecca alla Fiorentina? Buon appetito…!
Florence for Foodies – Top Florence Food experiences
1. San Lorenzo Market
An obligatory stop for anyone who loves food. San Lorenzo Food Market was once the ‘popular’ market of the city, a couple of years ago it has been completely redesigned. Downstairs you have all sorts of food stalls, from veggies to salumi to fish, cheeses and bakeries. Some prepare sandwiches and have a few informal seating areas when you can eat cheaply, Florentine style fast-food. The second floor is altogether different with trendy design and lighting, big communal tables, and plenty of food offerings, from traditional dishes to pizza and gelato, and some restaurants where you can sit down for a primo piatto.
2. Lampredotto – Only for the daring
Lampredotto is one of Florence’s culinary symbols. It’s ingredients might not sound appetising, but it’s truly delicious if you are prepared to give it a go. It’ s made from cow’s stomach boiled with herbs and vegetables, and served on its own or in a bun (‘sèmelle’, the quintessential Florentine panino) soaked in hot broth and with pungent salsa verde. Soft, tender and with a similar taste to Trippa alla fiorentina – Florence’s other offal speciality. Simply irresistible.
3. Join a Walking Tour for Foodies in Florence
Eat your way around the city with a local guide who will lead you to discover the most delicious morsels. Try a truffle patè sandwitch at a historic delicatessen, learn about the roasting process of Italian coffee, see how Italians do their shopping at San Lorenzo Market, try local salumi and cheeses, and finish it off with some local wine.
Discover the gourmet delights of Florence on a 3.5-hour small-group Food Walking Tour that includes 8 Food Tasting Stops! Follow your expert guide through the city and eat and drink like the locals. Sip rich Italian coffee, browse a typical Florentine delicatessen, explore the San Lorenzo Central Market, visit a wine shop and sample the best gelato in town!
4. Find your favourite gelateria
Gelato is an institution in Italy and Florence shares this passion with conviction. We’ve tried many gelaterie around town, talked to locals, and made a list for you that is the embodiment of delight for every sweet tooth=> Where to find the Best ice cream in Florence.
Insider’s Tasty Tip: you must try the crema Buontalenti, also called ‘cream fiorentina’, the most Florentine of all flavours, made with fresh eggs and sugar.
5. Fine dining at a Michelin starred restaurant
Looking for the VIP’s of restaurants? The high-end “Enoteca Pinchiorri” has yet again been awarded with 3 stars – the highest accolade – by the Michelin food guide. This restaurant is an institution in Florence, and blends local tradition with innovation to offer the customers a unique culinary experience.
Other Michelin-starred restaurants in towns include: the refined Borgo San Jacopo near the Ponte Vecchio, the Bottega del Buon Caffè, La Leggenda dei Frati that has an impressive location up on the hills of Bardini Gardens, and the luxurious Il Palagio (Hotel Four Seasons).
6. Cooking classes with dinner
Learning to cook your own 4-course Italian meal in a Florentine kitchen might be just what you need to make your gastronomic experience complete. With this Cooking Class with dinner you’ll learn a few tricks and tips from a from a professional chef, and then taste the fruit of your labour at the end of the evening with a convivial dinner and delicious local wines.
7. Dinner with view of the Ponte Vecchio
Food with a view In Florence. There’s a special location that matches the view with good taste. Signorvino is a friendly restaurant-enoteca with lovely food and an extensive wine list. Excellent ‘taglieri’ (platters) with salumi misti and cheese, not pricey. In Summer they have a terrace overlooking the Ponte Vecchio, go there at sunset and… it’ll melt your heart.
8. Try coccoli – Fried heaven
There’s a magic word that every food lover must learn when in Florence: coccoli. You find this rounded delicacy – little balls of deep fried bread dough – in the city’s friggitorie (another word for your vocabulary meaning a place where they sell fried food), served piping hot and with plenty of salt or in restaurants, as a starter with stracchino cheese and Tuscan ham. Heavenly and sinful.
Insider’s Tip: ‘Il Coccolo’ is the traditional place to try coccoli – follow the scent to Via Palmieri, near the Arch of San Pierino.
9. Wine tasting dinner at a Villa
Escape the hustle and bustle of Florence and try some gorgeous Tuscan food on this 3.5-hour wine tasting and dining experience at a 17th-century villa. Nestled in the Florentine hills, this charming villa is the perfect setting for a romantic evening. You’ll discover the secret of winemaking and sample four limited-edition wines in the cellar, before rounding off the evening with a 4-course feast of tantalising local cuisine in the beautiful gardens.
10. Eat the real Bistecca alla fiorentina
The fiorentina steak is a T-bone steak, 6 cm high, cooked on a grill (wood) by expert hands and left bloody/rare inside. Just add a bit of salt and a dash of extra virgin olive oil at the end and it’s ready. Some favourite restaurants for the authentic bistecca are: Buca Lapi, Latini, Trattoria 13 gobbi, Buca dell’orafo, Trattoria Gozzi Sergio.
=> If you don’t eat meat, check out some delicious vegetarian dishes that you can try in Florence.
11. Try everything at a bakery
Any Florentine bakery is a dream come true for those who love food but don’t love to part with their money.
Enter one and you’ll” be swept away by the inviting scent of freshly baked bread, the salty schiacciata glistening with olive oil, handmade cakes and buttery biscuits, the traditional cantuccini with almond, small pizzette (as Italians say “una tira l’altra“). The perfect stop for a snack at any time of day.
‘Florence for foodies‘ Insider’s Tip => If you’re visiting Florence during the Carnival period in February you’ll have the privilege to try the unique Schiacciata alla Fiorentina. Not to be mistaken with the salty ‘schiacciata’, this is a flat cake covered in iced sugar, delicate, soft, divine. In the same period cenci and frittelle make their appearance in the pasticcerie, could be a good reasons to visit Florence in the February?
12. Procacci in via Tornabuoni – truffle sandwiches and plenty of style
Procacci is an historic and refined delicatessen that has been in this spot on luxurious Via Tornabuoni since 1885. Famous for its small soft sandwiches that come in various fillings, particularly the ones with truffle patè. Grab a quick morsel at the pedestal table and a glass of Prosecco or wine. You find sweet temptations too.