10 Best Bars in Florence
1. MAD – Souls and Spirits • San Frediano
Known for their serious drinks, irreverent vibe, and award-winning bartenders, MAD boasts a fantastic menu of original cocktails as well as fresh spins on the classics in a no frills space. The menu changes often, but some of their dangerously delicious standards include “Un Rabbino Mi Disse,” with gin, prosecco, apple cider vinegar, and wild berries, and their “Mezzo&Mezzo Nardini,” a bittersweet orange rhubarb cocktail. One of the most popular spots for locals and expats in Florence, Friday and Saturday nights will be standing room only, with the crowd spilling out beyond the sidewalk tables and into the street. Weeknights and early evenings on weekends, between 6 to 7:30 p.m., it’s usually pretty easy to grab a table or a barstool.
2. Manifattura • Santa Maria Novella
Manifattura’s mission is to revive the authentic Italian cocktail in the otherwise tourist-centric bar scene of Florence. All spirits and mixers served here are 100% made in Italy, with a huge assortment of aperitivi, vermouth, and bitters, especially amaro. The vibe is upscale and vintage ‘50s throughout, though totally unpretentious with affordable cocktails and wines for under €10. They also have a menu of small bites in the evening and an amazing Sunday lunch, with traditional Italian favorites, including pasta e fagioli, lardellato, and pasta with thistle in goat milk.
3. Rasputin • Santo Spirito
Atmospheric and romantic, Rasputin serves fine craft cocktails in a secret underground hideaway. This refined speakeasy, styled after an antique Russian parlor, serves an elegant menu of historic, Italian, and signature cocktails. The entry is hidden, with no sign marking the business; head to the Santo Spirito neighborhood and look for it on Borgo Tegolaio. There will be a small recess from the sidewalk that looks like a shrine, with candles, crosses, and icon portraits on the wall. Ring the buzzer for entry. Reservations are recommended (via Facebook), but not required.
4. Il Santino • Santo Spirito
The top wine bar in the city, Il Santino offers an impressive wine selection alongside freshly cut Tuscan cured meats, marinated veggies, and cheeses from Italy and across Europe (and marmalades to perfectly pair with). All wines by the glass are served with a free snack, usually a crostini with pate. This is an incredibly popular spot for aperitivo, pre-dinner drinks and snacks, though the food is so amazing here, from the pappa al pomodoro to the steak tartare, you might just eat here and skip dinner altogether. This is a cozy spot, the little sister wine bar to Il Santo Bevitore next door, with only four tables and bar seating inside, though in the warmer months they offer outdoor seating.
5. Bitter Bar • Sant’Ambrosio
A speakeasy style bar offering a gourmet cocktail experience. The décor, jazz music, and even the locked front door (ring the bell for entry; you may have to wait a minute or two) evoke the feel of the Prohibition era, while the bar itself is like a mad scientist’s lab, with innovative ingredients, like smoked mint, lobster, and maple syrup, and crazy preparations using blowtorches, beakers, smokers, and more. The menu features elevated versions of classic drinks, especially the negroni, as well as several original drinks. They also offer private mixology classes.
6. Gosh* • Santo Spirito
Fun, new cocktail bar in a vintage ‘70s Miami meets ‘20s Art Deco style. Most cocktails are familiar but well-made classics, some with a modern twist, along with a few originals. They have an extensive collection of gin, and an excellent menu of Moscow mules. Unique standouts here include “Oh My Hermano!” with smoky mezcal, Campari, lime juice, and agave and the Grande Gatsby, with vodka, lavender syrup, and black pepper. They offer a complimentary aperitivo buffet, a simple selection of cold cuts and cheeses, every evening from 6:00-8:00.
7. La Divina Enoteca • San Lorenzo
An amazing little wine shop, run by two award-winning sommeliers and featuring over 500 labels. The wine selection focuses on local boutique brands, with an extensive selection of Chiantis, spumanti, Super Tuscans, and grappas, along with exclusive, imported wines from all over Europe and the world. This is an exceptional spot for aperitivo hour, where guests can taste unique wines by the glass, paired with artisanal meat and cheese plates, bruschetta, or paninis. Since it’s a wine shop and not a nightlife spot, it keeps earlier hours from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
8. Antico Caffè Del Moro (aka Art Bar Firenze) • Santa Maria Novella
For a fruit-based cocktail, no one does it better than these guys. Drinks here are made with fresh ingredients, and loaded up with fruits and toppings like candied ginger, mint leaves, and herbs, making each drink into an artistic snack (though they also serve complimentary popcorn and chips). Though the bar is not much to look at, the drinks are strong and affordable (around €6), and the atmosphere is fun, lively, and casual.
9. Archea Brewery • Santo Spirito
One of only a handful of beer halls in Florence, Archea offers an excellent range of beers on tap, including four or five of their own brews, ten of other Italian and European microbreweries, and an extensive bottle list of craft beers from around the world. Their tasting flights area amazing, offering heavy pours of four of their own brews: a pilsner, bock, golden ale, and IPA. Though this is a popular night spot for locals and travelers alike, the vibe is usually pretty low key, great for a chill night out.
10. Fuk • Santa Croce
More than just a silly name, an acronym for Florence Unpopular Kafé, this bar features well-crafted cocktails, an excellent aperitivo, and super friendly bartenders. Though their menu is fairly extensive, they specialize in serving off-menu drinks. Guests describe flavors that appeal to them, and say “you choose!” to receive unique, custom-built cocktails with amazing ingredients, from passionfruit to fresh herbs to homemade tinctures, misted out of old-fashioned perfume bottles. Weeknights are usually relaxed here, while weekends get rowdier.
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