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24 Best Places to Eat in Florence for Authentic Italian Cuisine

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As one of the most beautiful and most-visited cities in Italy, the list of best places to eat in Florence is a mile-long. After a year and a half spent living in Florence’s city center, I’ve visited more than my fair share of Florentine restaurants. Italian food is not for the carb-conscious or the traveler on a diet, but it’s for pretty much everyone else.

Let’s be honest…

Italy has definitely earned its reputation as one of the world’s top foodie destinations. Keep scrolling for my ultimate list of the best places to eat in Florence…and some bonus hidden gem restaurants in Florence that only the locals know about!

🍷 The Best Places to Eat in Florence: Top 5 Ranked

  1. BEST OVERALL: Trattoria Marione ⭐️
  2. BEST PANINO: All’Antico Vinaio 🥪
  3. BEST PIZZA: Gustapizza 🍕
  4. BEST BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA: Trattoria 13 Gobbi 🥩
  5. BEST PASTA: Osteria Santo Spirito 🍝

Explore Restaurants in Florence Italy by Guided Food Tour

The Best Places to Eat in Florence Organized by Neighborhood

If you’ve arrived in Italy, unpacked your bags and are now wondering where to eat in Florence…you’ve come to the right place. After I graduated college from the University of Madison Wisconsin in 2018, I accepted a remote job coordinating tours for study abroad students in the heart of Florence.

I’ll level with you…I was low key terrified. But I packed up my things, booked a one-way flight and moved to Florence solo – for the adventure of a lifetime.

Since I spent a full year and a half living and working in the Santa Croce neighborhood, you can be confident that I’m here to guide to you towards the best food in Florence. I hope you’re hungry, because some seriously good restaurants in Florence are waiting just a flight away!

🍝 Places to Eat in Florence in Santa Croce & Sant’Ambrosio Neighborhood

1. Il Gatto e la Volpe

Conveniently located right around the corner from my old apartment in Santa Croce, Il Gatto e La Volpe is definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in Florence. Il filetto di manzo, or beef tenderloin, is covered in a savory, creamy cheese and walnut sauce*. My suggestion: order it rare. But really, is there any other way to order steak?

Even if you’re not in it for the red meat , Il Gatto e La Volpe offers a large menu with tons of homemade pasta, pizza and lots of tasty Italian options to chose from. You’ll always be greeted with a basket of warm, homemade focaccia and the best balsamic crema in the city!

*As of 2023, this particular steak dish is no longer available 😭. However, there are plenty of other steak options to choose from – all of them equally delicious!

2. Trattoria Anita

Trattoria Anita is tucked away in the windy alleys of the Santa Croce neighborhood and is a bit of a hidden gem on the Florence restaurant scene. It’s very affordable and, although you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, I’d suggest ordering the homemade pasta!*

On their last visit to Italy, I brought my grandparents to Trattoria Anita to try it for the first time. After a weeklong trip, my grandma still says it was the best meal she’s ever had in Italy.

*Try the pici with sausage and mushrooms and penne with sausage and pecorini.

Petto di pollo alla Guelfa from Trattoria Anita
Petto di pollo alla Guelfa and Ravioli with butter and sage.

3. La Buchetta Food & Wine Restaurant Florence

Pici pasta…served in a wheel of melted parmesan???? Say no more.

Nowhere else would I spend €30 on a pasta dish, but, with a thick layer of shaved truffle on top, it’s almost justifiable. The cacio e pepe wasn’t the only star of the show at La Buchetta Florence. Their cheese gnocchi was another crowd favorite, covered in a mix of edible flowers and spicy peppers. Talk about an advanced palette.

The La Buchetta Food & Wine Restaurant menu includes tons of Tuscan favorites like Bistecca alla Fiorentina, homemade pasta, liver pâté, wild boar ragù and more.

Pici pasta served in a wheel of melted parmesan from La Buchetta Food & Wine Restaurant in Florence
Pici speciale, melanzane e insalata greca e gnocchi con fiori.

4. Cucina Torcicoda

It only took me a year of living in Florence to finally try out Cucina Torcicoda.

The restaurant has two sides: a budget-friendly pizzeria and the much higher end “Michelin Recommended” restaurant. Although the restaurant side is much pricier, the food is fantastic and so is the service. We ordered two of their fanciest steaks, both cooked to perfection, and two bottles of delicious Piedmont wine.

For those history buffs out there, the basement dining area of Cucina Torcicoda was actually part of the prison of a Roman amphitheater. 

5. Acqua al 2

The original Acqua al 2 was opened in Florence in 1978. 30 years later, another location was opened in Washington DC. Around the corner from Piazza di Santa Croce, Acqua al 2 was a popular hangout for Bus2alps employees (where I used to work). Their burrata and proscuitto is hard to beat and there’s something on the menu for everyone, even if it’s slightly on the pricier side.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after eating at Acqua al 2…it’s that it has definitely earned its spot on the list of best places to eat in Florence.

The front door at Acqua al 2 in Florence

6. Note Di Vino

Note di Vino is a tiny enoteca in the Santa Croce neighborhood with a killer antipasto and no shortage of tasty vino!

It was my favorite place for afternoon drinks and a quick bite to eat, but mostly in the summer months. They have a small inside seating area, but most of the tables are outside. Their antipasto is stuffed with sweet berries, cured meats, creamy cheeses and homemade bread, washed down with an ice-cold Aperol Spritz.

A gorgeous antipasto tray with wine and an Aperol Spritz from Note di Vino – one of the best places to eat in Florence

7. Pino’s Sandwiches

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious lunch in the heart of Florence, look no further than Pino’s Sandwiches.

Right around the corner from Piazza di Santa Croce, their panini are served on fluffy focaccia and stuffed with the freshest meats, cheeses and Italian veggies. Pino owns the store with his family so the shop has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere! Pino’s also earns a spot on the list of the best cheap eats in Florence, since the paninoteca is extremely affordable.

A fresh Italian panino from Pino's Sandwiches
Homemade panino with brie, truffle, proscuitto, eggplant, tomatoes and lettuce served on toasted focaccia.

8. Il Vivandiere

Another hidden gem of Florence, Il Vivandiere is a great place for a light dinner or some yummy appetizers and vino. They serve the best charcuterie boards in Santa Croce that are filled with the typical local cheeses and cured meats, but also some atypical ingredients – like shaved pumpkin and wild boar.

The best part of Il Vivandiere? Wine. On. Tap. Need I say more?

Pici pasta with boar is a typical Florentine dish

9. Il Teatro

During my time working in Florence, Il Teatro was one of the company’s favorite restaurants to frequent on Via Ghibellina. Since a portion of the company was from Italy, you can definitely trust this Florence rec.

Although I’ve moved on to working remotely as a digital nomad, Il Teatro remains one of my favorite Florence food places. I’ve tried many different dishes on their menu, and have never been disappointed!

One of my favorite dishes is the coccoli antipasto. Coccoli is a fried dough ball, basically a savory doughnut, served with proscuitto and stracchino cheese sauce. Coccoli are so filling you may not need to order an entrée at all!

🍕 Places to Eat in Florence in Santa Maria Novella Neighborhood

10. Trattoria Marione: My Vote for the Best Restaurant in Florence ⭐️

In my experience, the one sure sign that a restaurant is going to blow your mind is when the waitlist is all Italians. Walking up to Trattoria Marione, whether it’s a Monday or Saturday night, there’s always a crowd of locals smoking and waiting to be seated. Only a few blocks from Piazza del Duomo, the handwritten menu* is full of homemade and heavenly Italian dishes.

My visiting friends were head over heels in love, and the reviews definitely agree that Trattoria Marione serves some of the best pasta in Florence! You can find exquisite meals and amazing experiences at any of these restaurants, but Trattoria Marione is, in my opinion, the best traditional Florentine spot on this list.

*You think I’m a sucker for a viewpoint? You should see me with a handwritten menu.

Trattoria Marione tops the list of the best places to eat in Florence – chicken and potatoes and penne with meat sauce
Chicken with roast potatoes and penne with meat sauce. And check out that decorative tableware!

11. Trattoria 13 Gobbi

Trattoria 13 Gobbi was where I had my first taste of Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Florence’s famous steak dish. Not only is this dish famous in the region, but it’s also famously expensive. Thankfully Gobbi 13’s prices were some of the best I’d seen, at around €80 for three people. They also serve the best chocolate cake in Florence, so make sure to save room for dessert!

The restaurant itself has a great atmosphere and the staff are very friendly and helpful. As with many of the top restaurants in Florence, it’s best to make a reservation at Trattoria 13 Gobbi or it’s likely you won’t get seated.

Rigatoni and bistecca alla Fiorentina from Trattoria 13 Gobbi which is one of the best places to eat in Florence
Rigatoni with bufala & tomatoes, Bistecca alla Fiorentina cooked rare.

🥖 Places to Eat in Florence in San Lorenzo & San Marco Neighborhood

12. Trattoria La Madia

Florence is full of great food just waiting to be discovered. Trattoria La Madia is an adorable, family-owned restaurant that I happened upon on my walk to the train station. I brought my grandparents here during their visit and everyone loved their dishes! I would definitely recommend trying the pesto gnocchi, it’s fluffy and rich at the same time and covered in a nutty, homemade pesto sauce.

Chicken and pesto gnocchi from Trattoria La Madia in Florence
Petti di pollo panna & fungi and gnocchi with pesto and parmesan.
Pasta and lasagna from Trattoria La Madia
Pici with porcini mushrooms and lasagna.

13. Trattoria Zà Zà

Did someone say truffle?

Trattoria Zà Zà has an entire menu dedicated to the extravagant Tuscan ingredient! Located only about a 10 minute walk from the city center, Trattoria Zà Zà’s popularity definitely warrants a reservation. There’s plenty of alternatives to chose from if you’re not the biggest fan of truffle oil, but if you are, get ready to be in flavor heaven. They pour it on everything, from bruschetta to pasta to chicken.

Trattoria Zà Zà is well-known to first-time visitors as one of the best restaurants in Florence Italy. Pro tip: the house red is the best on the wine list. It’s affordable and unbelievably delicious!

14. Trattoria San Lorenzo

Tucked away on a side street off the Duomo di Firenze, Trattoria San Lorenzo is the perfect spot to grab lunch or an aperitivo and do some people watching! Since it’s in the heart of Florence, the prices aren’t quite as cheap as some of the restaurants on this list, but it’s still by no means expensive. You’ll also be only a short distance away from Florence’s famous San Lorenzo leather market, so go do some shopping after lunch.

Meatballs and mashed potatoes from Trattoria San Lorenzo in Florence
Polpette e pure.
A delicious lunch from Trattoria San Lorenzo
Pollo alla cacciatora con funghi, peperoni & olive and crostini with sausage and stacchino.

15. Mercato Centrale

On the first floor of the San Lorenzo Market is Mercato Centrale Firenze. This iconic market is from the time of risanamento, when Florence was the capital of Italy in the late 19th century. 

Mercato Centrale is the perfect spot to browse and taste plenty of Italian street food, Tuscan cuisine, and international eats all under one roof. You can find traditional Tuscan dishes like crostini, pecorino Toscana, cannoli, truffle oil, Tuscan wines, and more in this historic Florence market, so be sure to arrive hungry! 

🍷 Places to Eat in Florence in San Frediano & Santo Spirito Neighborhood

16. Trattoria La Casalinga

Another great find across the Arno, Trattoria La Casalinga is just steps from Piazza Santo Spirito. The interior is spacious, perfect for larger groups, and the staff is very friendly.

Our meals were delicious. my half chicken was roasted to perfection and my friend’s filet was grilled with just the right amount of pink in the middle. The prices were affordable as well! A bottle of wine, appetizer, two entrees, one dessert and two aperitifs only set us back around €60.

17. Osteria Santo Spirito

After hearing raving reviews from multiple coworkers on multiple different occasions, I finally decided it was time to cross the Ponte Vecchio and try out Osteria Santo Spirito for myself.

Honestly? It lived up to the hype.

Although it may not be the place to go on a diet…Osteria Santo Spirto serves hands down the best gnocchi in Florence. Actually, the cheese and truffle gnocchi has to be overall one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had in Italy. They pile so much bubbling cheese on top that it browns into its own creamy layer by the time they bring it to the table.

If you’re planning on trying out Osteria Santo Spirito, make sure to call and make a reservation. They can fill up very quickly, especially on the weekends.

The legendary four cheese and truffle gnocchi from Osteria Santo Spirito
Gnocchi with cheese and truffle oil, cacio e pepe, spaghetti with garlic and tomatoes and spaghetti with garlic and chili peppers.

18. Trattoria 4 Leoni

Across the Arno near Santo Spirito, Trattoria 4 Leoni had been on my restaurant bucket list for months. The menu is a bit expensive, but reasonable enough that it’s possible to dine there on a budget. The appetizers were delicious, although they were a bit small for the price. Make sure to order the burrata and proscuitto, it was our favorite dish on the menu!

The entrées were delicious as well, but I wouldn’t recommend ordering the Chianti. Although it was DOCG, it had a strong and not-so-pleasant aftertaste. The house wine was much better (and much more bang for your buck).

19. Gustapizza

During the four months I spent living in Rome, I took a day trip to Naples to enjoy authentic Neapolitan pizza. Long story short…I fell head over heels. 

Looking for the best Neapolitan pizza in Florence? Look no further than Gustapizza. A tiny little shop with a few rickety tables and a short, handwritten menu, Gustapizza has a solid reputation for their amazing, fresh-from-the-oven pizzas. My personal favorite is the Calabrese topped with melted mozzarella, crispy, spicy salami and fresh basil. If you’re looking for an extra kick, ask for the spicy oil to drizzle on top.

Because it’s so popular, Gustapizza can sometimes have a bit of a wait. Trust me, it’s worth it. Gustapizza definitely earns its spot on the list of the best places to eat in Florence!

💡 Did you Know?

There are tons of different types of pizza around Italy! Naples is famous for Pizza Napoletana with thin crust in the middle and thick crust on the sides (or pizza fritta – fried pizza). Rome’s street style pizza is square-cut with thick crust and lots of toppings. On the other hand, Milan offers a mixture of Italy’s pizza types! 

Diavola pizza from Gustapizza, one of the best places to eat pizza in Florence
Calabrese-mozzarella, spicy salami and basil.

🧀 Places to Eat in Florence in San Niccolo & Piazzale Michelangelo Neighborhood

20. La Beppa Fioraia

In the Piazzale Michelangelo neighborhood, La Beppa Fioraia is definitely worth the trek. Make sure you arrive hungry because their antipasto is to die for. Their appetizer trays are piled high with local cheeses, meats, fresh fruit, mixed crostini, jams and honeys, grilled vegetables and much much more.

Check out the amazing presentation below. Everything La Beppa Fioraia serves they serve with a flair!

💡 Pro Tip:

After a delicious dinner, head over to Piazzale Michelangelo with a bottle of wine to enjoy some live music and some of the best views of the Florence skyline.

A gorgeous antipasto tray from La Beppa Fioraia – one of the best places to eat in Florence
Antipasto tray with cheese, sun dried tomatoes, pastries and grilled vegetables.
Sesame crusted tuna from La Beppa Fioraia
Sesame crusted tuna with blackened onion.

🥪 Places to Eat in Florence in the City Center

best places to eat in florence

21. All’Antico Vinaio

You may have heard the name All’antico Vinaio before. This little sandwich shop is famous, not only in Florence, but all over the world! Tourists and locals alike wait in hour-long lines just to try one of their extraordinary creations. Take my advice: you’ll have much better luck if you try it at a random time (I went at 10A:00M and only had to wait a couple minutes).

So is the hype worth it? The answer is a resounding YES.

I tried La Claudiana stuffed with sausage, truffle cream, tomatoes, spicy eggplant, and mozzarella (I substituted gorgonzola for fresh mozzarella). I can honestly say I’ve never had a panino as delicious or as fresh as All’antico Vinaio. It’s definitely the only panino I would stand in line for more than an hour for. 

I would go as far as to say that All’antico Vinaio serves the best lunch in Florence!

22. Ristorante La Grotta Guelfa

La Grotta Guelfa is another trendy restaurant in the city center. A few blocks down from Piazza della Repubblica, they serve a long list of heavenly Italian wines, creamy pasta dishes and thick Florentine steaks. I would definitely suggest ordering the pasta with bleu cheese*, there are plenty of variations on the menu.

*Try the Ravioli au gratin with bleu cheese and the bleu cheese risotto.

The front of Ristorante la Grotta Guelfa in Florence Italy

23. Tavernetta Della Signoria

Homemade pasta? Sign me up.

Although you would assume that all pasta served in Italian restaurants is homemade, unfortunately this is not always the case. Tavernetta della Signoria has a whole menu dedicated to homemade pasta dishes and, believe me, you can taste the difference.

The tiny restaurant is located a few blocks away from Piazza di Santa Croce on Via dei Neri and, in addition to serving mouthwatering dishes, has a very affordable menu.

Delicious homemade pasta from Tavernetta della Signoria
Cacio e pepe and gnocchi al gorgonzola, rucola e noci.

24. View on Art (Honorable Mention)

When it comes to the best restaurants in Florence with a view, View on Art is hard to beat. I’ve added their rooftop bar to this list of best restaurants in Firenze because they have a view of the most spectacular structure in the Florence skyline (and one of the best photo spots in Florence) – Brunelleschi’s Duomo di Firenze. 

I’ve never actually eaten at View on Art, but due to the location I would expect their menu to be very expensive. It’s the perfect place to stop by before dinner for a glass of wine or an Aperol Spritz with the best view of Florence. 

The Best Places to Eat Gelato in Florence

25. Gelateria La Carraia

Last but not least…gelato time! When it comes to gelato in Florence, the winner is clear. The La Carraia Gelateria cafe menu includes – by far – the best gelato flavors in town. All of them are sweet, creamy, and delicious. My favorites are peanut butter and cookies!

Whatever you do, don’t forget to add La Carraia to your list of places to eat in Florence.

A heap of peanut butter gelato from Gelateria La Carraia in Santa Croce Florence

26. Vivoli

Vivoli is an adorable little cafe/gelato shop located a stone’s throw from my old apartment in the Santa Croce neighborhood. Back when I lived in Florence in 2018-19, Vivoli was well-loved by the people in the neighborhood, as well as any passing tourists or visitors. Since COVID, Vivoli has blown up on social media for their extraordinarily delicious affogatos!

During my weekend trip back to Florence in 2023, I stopped by to try one of these famous coffee desserts. Let me just say – TikTok was right. This affogato was 100% worth standing in line for.

The Best Places to Eat in Florence FAQs:

Q: What food is Florence best known for?

A: Now that you know where to eat in Florence, you’re probably wondering what to eat in Florence.

One of Florence’s most famous dishes is the Bistecca alla Fiorentina – or Florentine Beefsteak. I tried Bistecca alla Fiorentina for the first time at Trattoria 13 Gobbi, however you can also find it at Cucina Torcicoda, La Grotta Guelfa and a few other spots on this list of Firenze best restaurants. 

Other things to eat in Florence include Ribollita (a hearty vegetable soup), Pappardelle al Cinghiale (ribbon pasta with wild boar), Tagliatelle Funghi Porcini e Tartufo (pasta with mushrooms and truffle) and Coccoli Prosciutto e Stracchino (fried bread with proscuiotto and cheese). My favorite spot to find coccoli is at Il Teatro on Via Ghibellina in the Santa Croce Neighborhood.

Q: What is the most famous sandwich in Florence Italy?

A: All’anticio Vinaio is the most famous sandwich in the city (see above under restaurants in the city center). Widely regarded to be one of the best places to eat in Florence, All’antico Vinaio has been featured in major publications like The New Yorker, Insider Food and The Wall Street Journal. In 2014, they were the most reviewed place in the world on TripAdvisor. 

Foodies from all over the globe wait in line for hours to try one of All’antico Vinaio’s famous creations and they’ve now expanded to 11 locations – including New York and LA. 

Q: What time do Italians eat dinner in Florence? 

A: It’s common to eat a late dinner in Florence, usually around 8:00-10:00PM. Many people will go out for an aperitivo before dinner, which includes drinks and appetizers. 

Q: What do Italians eat for breakfast in Florence?

A: Sweet breakfasts are very common in Italy. Most Italians will grab a cafe (which Americans would call an espresso) and a cornetto (croissant) for breakfast at one of the many cafes sprinkled on every street corner. Savory breakfast is not so common in Italy, but you can find it if you look – especially in touristy areas. 

Q: What cheese is Florence known for?

A: Florence is known for having the best pecorino cheese in the world. Pecorino is a hard, white cheese made from whole sheep’s milk between September – June. Be sure to order some during your trip to Florence, it’s delicious!

Q: Should you tip at restaurants in Florence?

A: Tipping in Italy is not mandatory or expected. However, if you feel the service was exceptional, it’s a nice gesture that the waitstaff will always appreciate. 

Final Thoughts

Florence isn’t just about the art…it’s also about the FOOD. These are only a few of the thousands of incredible places to find mouth-watering Italian food in Florence. Most of the places on this list are great options to fill your belly with tasty Tuscan cuisine, without emptying your wallet (although there are a few bougie options that made the cut). 

Living in Italy and testing out the best places to eat in Florence truly was an experience to remember. I’m already itching to get back! If you enjoyed my guide to best places to eat in Florence, check out my related posts linked below. As always, thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow my adventures on Instagram @madisonsfootsteps.


The best places to eat in Florence pin
The best places to eat in Florence pin

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