Florence and Tuscany have some of my favorite food in Italy - and possibly in all of Europe. Between the wine, the pasta, and the cured meat selection, it's an Italian food-lovers dream. However, the abundance of food and restaurant options can often lead an unknowing traveler astray. Here is how to eat in Florence the Wright way.
The Mercato Centrale is essentially a three-in-one market for all things Italian. The ground floor is where you can buy an assortment of cheeses, meats, seafood, olive oils, and more from local vendors. The top floor is an extravagant gourmet food court with prepared meals and wine bars. Outside of the Mercato Centrale, from Tuesday to Saturday, you can find the San Lorenzo market which sells mainly leather and jewelry.
I am endlessly recommending this place to everyone who goes to Florence - Hell, I'm recommending this place to anyone who goes to Italy; it's worth the trip. On top of the best riesling I've ever had (I'm not usually a riesling girl), their meat and cheese tray changed my life. I'm not kidding - Sei Divino is out there serving charcuterie heaven. This is one of those meals that you'll think about for years after, dreaming about the next time you can visit Florence to try it again. Also, if wine's not your thing, but you don't want to miss out, they have a full bar and serve an array of awesome cocktails.
This a great place to stop in if you're looking to step away from carbs for an afternoon. They have a delicious menu with smoothie, salad, and wrap options along with a full bar. The eatery has a relaxed atmosphere with to-go style serving, but still makes you feel like you're at a restaurant with greenery hanging from the ceilings and modern, clean wall decals. We stopped by and enjoyed mimosas and salads on their beautiful outdoor patio.
They have three different locations, but their San Marco location on Via Cavour is their largest.
Gnocchi in a creamy truffle sauce paired with white wine? Yes, please. This place is full of Florentine charm, with outdoor seating and unique bruschetta appetizer options.
Also, don't skip on the house wine here. Not only is it cheap, but their proximity to Tuscany makes it some of the best six euro bottle of vino you'll ever have.
This is another great dinner place to load up on some of Italian's finest in an authentic laid-back atmosphere with awesome prices. Their menu offers a wide variety of pasta, pizza, steak Florentine, and an array of desert options.
While ordering, we asked our waiter to have the chef make his favorite pasta concoction. I love doing this at restaurants overseas, because the locals always know what products are the freshest and pair well together. He served me a homemade spaghetti in a delicious red sauce with fresh burrata on top. It was hands down the best pasta dish I had in Florence.
As the oldest café in the city of Florence (opening their doors in 1733), Caffe Gilli reigns supreme when it comes to pastries. This place was right next to our apartment and made it the perfect place to stop for a night-cap cocktail and chocolate truffle. Next to Anker't in Budapest, this place serves my favorite cocktails in the world, garnishing each drink with some kind of mint, fig, or berry decoration. In addition to their desserts, cocktails, and coffee, they also offer a full restaurant serving lunch and dinner.
What are your favorite Florence restaurants? Share below!