Where to Eat in Florence

SDItalyFlorence › Restaurants
Updated: April 25, 2022
By Santorini Dave

See Also

My Recommendations for Food & Wine Tours in Florence

My favorite food and cooking tours in Florence, Italy.
Note: Book early! These tours are great and get fully booked months in advance.

My Tips for Eating in Florence

  • Most restaurants charge a cover for table seating, listed as “coperta” on the menu and receipt. This is typically €1-2 per person, including children, but in touristy areas, the cover charge can be higher. This fee is just for occupying space; it does not cover the bread, water, or services, so skipping the free bread they bring will not reduce the fee. The coperta must be listed on the menu; if it’s not on there, you may have it waived.
  • If you sit at a table, you may also incur a service charge or “servizio.” This increasingly common charge is found in areas like Florence that cater to tourists, but is rare in other parts of Italy (except for large parties; almost every restaurant will charge a servizio for groups). The 10-15% servizio charge does not take the place of a tip. Instead, it goes to the restaurant to help offset the cost of staff.
  • It is not customary to tip at every meal in Italy. That is if you are Italian. In major tourist cities, including Florence, it is beginning to be expected that Americans will tip. Whether you do or don’t is ultimately up to you, but it is a good idea to tip if you have received outstanding service or if your table has been particularly demanding. If you choose to tip, though, the amount is not based on a percentage of the overall bill. It is usually just a few €1-2 coins or rounding the bill up to the nearest 0 or 5. There is usually no tip line on the receipts, so bring cash if you plan on tipping.
  • Restaurants generally serve bottled water with table service, and it is considered poor form to ask for a glass of tap or filtered water. Though a few restaurants are beginning to offer filtered water by the glass, it is not the norm.
  • In Italy, it is considered disgusting to add milk to your coffee after 11:00 a.m. – Italians will cringe in their souls if they see it. Cappuccinos are considered a breakfast drink only, while straight espresso is preferred for afternoons. Exceptions are made for the espresso macchiato, a shot of espresso with a dollop of milk foam on top, and the marrocchino, a shot of espresso with chocolate and a little milk (basically a mini-mocha). Coffee is typically ordered, served, and consumed standing at the bar; sitting at a table with your coffee with usually incur a coperta.
  • Italians eat dinner late, usually around 8:00-9:00. To quell any hunger before dinner, they go for an aperitivo at a bar or enoteca (wine bar). This is similar to, but not quite the same thing as a happy hour. Many bars offer a complimentary snack buffet, usually cured meats and cheeses, to guests ordering wine or cocktails to tide them over until dinnertime.

The Best Restaurants in Florence

1. Pensavo Peggio – Santa Maria Novella • $$

Best restaurant near Santa Maria Novella train station
+39 055 230 2987
With rustic Italian fare, charming ambiance, and a staff that feels like family, this restaurant is a popular spot for local Florentines and traveling Italians. Pastas are handmade in their open kitchen, with the pici (Tuscan fat spaghetti) and lasagna standing out as their best dishes. The meat-centric menu highlights tender Tuscan beef stew, ossobuco, balsamic steak, and wild boar when in season. This small restaurant fills up quickly; reservations are recommended.

2. Trattoria Mario – San Lorenzo • $$-$$$

The best place in Florence to try lampredotto
+39 055 218550
A Florentine institution for 60 years, this humble restaurant specializes in Tuscan cuisine, including ribollita (cannellini, veggie, and bread stew), lampredotto (tripe sandwich), giant cuts of Florentine steak (always served super rare), and Chianti. Diners will also find familiar pastas and fresh game, especially rabbit and wild boar, prepared in a variety of ways. With a casual, slightly chaotic air, this is the best spot to try the region’s rich, traditional flavors. Only open for lunch, Mario’s is always packed with diners crammed side by side at long communal tables. They do not take reservations; just sign in when you arrive and wait to be called.

3. All’Antico Viniao – Santa Croce • $

The best sandwich shop in Florence
+39 055 238 2723
This simple sandwich shop was so popular they opened a second location next door to their original, then a third one directly across the street. Specializing in schiacciata sandwiches, made with traditional Tuscan seasoned flatbread, cured meats, fresh veggies, and house-made sauces. They do have a full menu, but it is all in Italian, so most people order off the simple menu near the door which lists their most popular sandwiches. Among them are L’Inferno with porschetta and grilled vegetables, Favolosa with Tuscan salami and pecorino, and La Boss with Tuscan ham and truffle cream. The original location has no seating, and you’ll see tons of people chowing down standing in the alleyway or sitting on the sidewalk. Their second and third locations have larger menus and some seating, but tables are incredibly limited and the wait is long. Cash only, around €5 for a sandwich, no reservations.

4. Acquapazza – San Marco • $$$$

Acquapazza restaurant in San Marco, Florence
+39 348 919 7665
Fine dining seafood restaurant featuring fresh Tuscan fish, seasonal produce, and homemade pastas, all presented with care and artistic flair. Their curated wine list features Italian sparkling wines, alongside a range of Tuscan reds and whites, and imported French and German bottles. Though their most popular dishes feature shellfish, fish, or octopus, they also serve a brilliant Florentine steak and market fresh selections of duck and guinea fowl. Reservations are recommended.

5. Essenziale – San Frediano • $$

+39 055 247 6956
Hip warehouse restaurant in San Frediano where young chef Simone Cipriani reinvents Tuscan cuisine with an international edge. Intriguing dishes change daily based on the season and market availability. One server takes orders and serves wine; all dishes are served and explained by the chefs. Reservations recommended.

6. La Leggenda dei Frati – San Niccolò • $$$$

+39 055 068 0545
The chicest dinner-with-a-view in Florence, perched on a hill in Giardino Bardini. The cuisine is Michelin-starred gastronomic Italian, while the wine list features the finest Tuscan varieties available. Cooking workshops are also offered in their Coach Kitchen. Reservations strongly recommended.

7. Trattoria Giovanni – Santo Spirito • $$-$$$

Florence rustic restaurant Santo Spirito
+39 371 194 0715
This refined yet unstuffy restaurant offers traditional, regional dishes skillfully prepared with top quality, seasonal ingredients, and served with Tuscan wine. Specializing in elevated versions of rustic favorites, this where to go to try local favorites, such as pappa al pomodoro, larda di colonatto, butter and sage gnudi, and rare Florentine steak. Be sure to finish off with the traditional cantucci almond cookie dipped in Vin Santo sweet wine. Reservations are recommended, especially during the high season.

8. Gustapizza – Santo Spirito • $

Best pizza in Florence near Santo Spirito
+39 055 285068
Casual spot for brick-oven pizza in a fun environment. The menu is small with seven types of pizza, a couple of pastas, and wine served in plastic cups. Seating is limited and family-style, with a few long tables and wine barrels used in lieu of tables. The staff is constantly cracking jokes with each guest and each other in the open kitchen. Lines are long during the lunch and dinner rushes, but service is efficient, and the wait is short. Order in Italian, even if you’re nowhere near fluent, and they will make your pizza heart-shaped.

9. Trattoria dall’Oste – City Center • $$

Trattoria dall Oste in Florence's City Center
+39 055 213142
Small, local chain of high-end steakhouses offering 12 types of beef (6 Italian and 6 international), including Chianina, an ancient Tuscan breed. All meats are sourced from environmentally sustainable farms and served in a range of cuts and preparations. Aside from meat, the menu features brilliant pastas, excellent wines, and a surprisingly broad choice of vegetarian dishes.

10. Le Vespe Café – Sant’Ambrosio • $$-$$$

American-style breakfast in Florence
+39 055 388 0062
Heaven-sent breakfast and brunch spot serving delicious, hearty American/Canadian and English-style breakfasts, and perhaps the only place in Florence that serves drip coffee (hot or iced). Portions are hefty, eggs are cooked beautifully, and their spins on mimosas and coffee cocktails are on point. Le Vespe’s meat cuts are amazing, but they also offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

11. Trattoria da Ruggero – Porto Romana • $$-$$$

Best restaurant near Porto Romana, Florence
+39 055 220542
This rustic, family-style restaurant is a local favorite, sitting just outside of the tourist zone. Food is traditional, simple, Italian fare, such as Florentine steak and ribollita, along with classic pasta dishes. Their seasonal menu is handwritten in Italian, though the waiters are happy to translate or make recommendations for your meal. Standout dishes include the arista (roast pork), bollito misto (stew with tender beef, veal, cotechino, and more), and spaghetti alla carrettiera (spicy spaghetti with breadcrumbs). It’s a small restaurant, open for lunch and dinner. It’s pretty easy to grab a table during lunch, but for dinner, it’s best to make reservations.

12. Boccadarno – San Niccolò • $$

Boccadarno restaurant in San Niccolò, Florence
+39 055 386 0860
Friendly seafood restaurant and wine bar family-run by a brother and sister. Most of the seating is indoor, thought there are 4 outdoor tables facing the bustling heart of the San Niccolò neighborhood. Open daily from 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., reservations strongly recommended, especially if you plan on walking down from Piazzale Michelangelo after sunset (the restaurant sits just below the popular viewpoint).

13. Forno Becagli – Santa Maria Novella • $$

Forno Becagli bakery in Santa Maria Novella, Florence
+39 055 215065
Prize-winning, family-owned bakery popular with locals and known for their fresh breads and tarts, though they also offer excellent sandwiches, pizzas, pastries, and more. There is no seating, so plan on grabbing your food to go. Open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Closed Sundays.

14. Trattoria Pandemonio – San Frediano • $$-$$$

Best Florence restaurant for Florentine steak
+39 055 224002
Family-run restaurant serving Florentine and regional favorites, along with some modern proposals and an extensive wine selection (over 260 labels with an emphasis on Tuscan reds). This is one of the best spots in the city to try the Florentine steak, though the beef sliced with porcini is also a superb choice as is the citrus and shrimp ravioli. Reservations are highly recommended, though if you arrive around opening at 7:30, you may be able to squeeze in for two.

15. Enoteca Pinchiorri – Santa Croce • $$$$

+39 055 26311
Santa Croce boasts Florence’s finest table, the only 3-star Michelin restaurant in Tuscany. Chef Annie Féolde uses French techniques to create sophisticated Tuscan-based cuisine – think pigeon in a cocoa bean crust, risotto with sea scallops, and roasted veal marrow.

16. S. Forno – Santo Spirito • $$

S. Forno bakery in Santo Spirito, Florence
+39 055 239 8580
Truly artisanal bakery in San Frediano. Their flour is locally sourced and slowly fermented, and the resulting schiacciata, breads, cakes, and even bagels are to die for. Owned by the same group as Il Santo Bevitore restaurant and Il Santino wine bar, both next door.

17. Bottega del Buon Caffè – San Niccolò • $$$

+39 055 553 5677
Michelin-starred, designer-chic restaurant serving farm-to-table dishes with spices to make the local ingredients shine – vegetables come from just outside Florence and meat from nearby farms. The wine list is unmatched with over 1100 labels featuring local Tuscan, regional Italian, and international varieties.

18. Brac – Santa Croce • $$

+39 055 094 4877
Arty, hidden vegetarian/vegan bookshop/kitchen near the Uffizi. Browse the shelves, enjoy a glass of wine, and feast on delicious, organic food.

19. Il Cantuccio di San Lorenzo – San Lorenzo • $$

Il Cantuccio di San Lorenzo in Florence
+39 055 290034
The best biscotti in Florence. This tiny bakery specializes in soft, Tuscan cantucci (almond biscotti), with about 10 different types on offer, along with cakes, scones, cookies, and more. Items can be bought individually or packaged in bulk, great for souvenirs.

20. Libreria Caffé La Cité – San Frediano • $$

Libreria Café La Cité in San Frediano, Florence
+39 055 210387
Cool and eclectic café/bookshop/jazz lounge in San Frediano with a young crowd. Great for a low-key coffee in the day, a lively cocktail at night, and deep conversations any time.

21. Irene – City Center • $$$$

Florence fine dining Piazza della Repubblica
+39 055 273 5891
Fine dining and superb wines in the Hotel Savoy, right on the Piazza della Repubblica. Irene’s contemporary menu is inspired by Tuscan traditions, prepared with skill, and delivered by professional, friendly, and knowledgeable servers. Request a seat outside for views of Florentine life in the piazza with its antique carousel, musicians, and street artists. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially for al fresco dining.

22. Osteria Bruciategami – Bagno a Ripoli • $$-$$$

Best restaurant outside Florence in Bagno a Ripoli
+39 055 682 1276
Traditional restaurant with a focus on sourcing high-quality, authentic ingredients, including fresh truffles, hand-rolled pici pasta, organic cheeses, and Tarese Valdarno, a fine cured pork from Arezzo. The menu changes seasonally, highlighting the freshest available produce and meats during game-hunting season (the menu is filled with venison, wild boar, duck, and rabbit from September through February). Their curated wine list offers the best boutique wines from all over Italy but especially Tuscany.

23. Il Santo Bevitore – Santo Spirito • $$

Il Santo Bevitore restaurant in Santo Spirito, Florence
+39 055 211264
Enjoy classy modern Tuscan food by candlelight in this stylish, vaulted Oltrarno venue. Of course, “The Holy Drinker” has an exceptional wine list. Standout dishes include the wild boar pappardelle and riccioli with nduja (spicy pork sausage). Reservations strongly recommended; this place is small and popular.

24. Rooster – City Center • $$

Rooster Restaurant in the City Center of Florence
+39 055 264 5006
Contemporary Italian restaurant, steakhouse, and cocktail bar that highlights Tuscan tastes and locally-sourced ingredients. Expect a warm ambiance, friendly service, and a casually cool setting. An equally great spot to try a Florentine steak or one of their rich vegetarian dishes, like pumpkin gnocchi and herbed gnudi. Open nightly from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Reservations recommended.

25. #RAW – City Center • $$

+39 055 219379
Bringing raw vegan food and minimalist style to meat-loving Florence, #RAW is a real departure from the norm. Nourishing salads, gently warmed burgers, and tacos are on offer, to be washed down with cold-pressed juices or smoothies.

26. Ciro & Sons – San Lorenzo • $$-$$$

Ciro and Sons restaurant in San Lorenzo, Florence
+39 055 289694
Lively restaurant serving traditional pizza and pasta as well as award-winning, gluten-free versions. Food is spectacular, every item can be made gluten-free or lactose-free, and whatever they are doing to their gluten-free pizzas, pastas, and breads, you cannot taste the different between those and the real thing. Opt for the Vesuvio pizza with buffalo mozzarella, Tuscan ham, and truffle sauce, the spaghetti all’astice with lobster, or the lasagna alla Bolognese. Al fresco dining is available with shaded seating and fairy lights at night, but their indoor dining room is truly special with original frescoes on the walls and ceilings.

27. Vivanda – San Frediano • $$-$$$

Florence vegetarian and vegan restaurant
+39 055 238 1208
This organic restaurant specializes in vegetarian and vegan foods (though they do have a small selection of meats and seafood) made with local, seasonal produce, fresh handmade pasta, and paired with organic wines from the owners’ vineyards. The menu is seasonal, though there are a few amazing year-round standards, including polpettine, fried polenta, and saffron risotto, as well as plenty of gluten-free options. Vivanda also offers wine tastings and pasta making classes. The space is intimate, so do make reservations.

28. Martarè – Santissima Annunziata • $$

Martarè restaurant in Santissima Annunziata, Florence
+39 339 425 2115
Simple, elegant food and wine served in an intimate space with just 12 tables. The restaurant is run by a husband and wife team, and the dishes feature ingredients grown on the family farm. Order a la carte or take advantage of their well-curated and surprisingly budget-friendly course menu. Open for lunch (12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) and dinner (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations recommended.

29. La Cova – Santo Spirito • $$

+39 055 267 0076
Munch authentic Spanish tapas and pintxos and sip chilled cava at the bar of this cool Santo Spirito location. The menu changes regularly, so there are usually new delights to discover.

30. Ora d’Aria – Santo Spirito • $$

+39 055 200 1699
Elegant Michelin-starred Tuscan restaurant hidden by the Ponte Vecchio. Chef Marco Stabile balances tradition and innovation at ‘Hour of Air’. The lunch menu is a great selection of ‘Tuscan tapas’.

31. Leonardo – Santo Croce • $$

+39 055 013 2711
Family-run artisan biscuit shop in Santa Croce, specializing in amazing Florentine cantucci since 1960. Biscotti like none you have ever tried.

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio. Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loved Greece, travel, and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers on a mission to deliver the most helpful travel content on the internet. We specialize in Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece and recommend the best hotels, best neighborhoods, and best family hotels in top destinations around the world. We also make hotel maps and travel videos. I can be contacted at dave@santorinidave.com.