Whether you’re one of the six thousand students studying in Florence this semester or are planning on a weekend visit to this beautiful city, you’re definitely looking forward to eating some fantastic Italian food while you’re there. Here’s your guide on what to eat in Florence, Italy.
Most travelers think that Italy is only known for its pizza, pasta, olive oil and wine, but each region and city has its own specialties that you should be sure to try.
Bistecca Fiorentina (Florentine Steak)
If you are a steak lover, you’re about to be in heaven. You’ll see signs all over town for it, but it’s worth it to find a good spot and spend a little more euros. We recommend The Clubhouse for a good classic Florentine steak, and for some variation and choice (blueberry steak anyone?), try popular spot Acqua al Due.
Crostini Toscani (Tuscan Crostinis)
You probably know what bruschetta is– now imagine those little pieces of toast used with other types of toppings, like meat, cheese, and vegetables. The most popular spread for crostinis in the Tuscan area is pate, which is either duck or chicken liver. Don’t knock it till you try it– you’ll be surprised how delish it is. Most food spots in Florence have Crostini Toscani in their antipasti section– two places to try are local favorite All’Antico Vinaio and table-service restaurant Osteria dei Baroncelli.
Lampredotto and Tripe
Feeling ballsy? Try one of those in a panino. You’ll be eating animal stomach and intestines. Find a street vendor and give it a shot.
One of Italy’s greatest inventions is aperitivo. Consider it like happy hour on steroids– head to a bar, buy one drink and you get access to a buffet of appetizers and finger foods. It’s a great way to get dinner and drinks for super cheap. Check out Moyo or Kitch for a lounge-y atmosphere and an average drink price of 7 euro.
Need a cheap option? You can’t go wrong with an Italian panino, and Florence has some great panino spots. If you’re near Piazza Signoria or Piazza Republica, hit up I Due Fratellini, a hole in the wall that makes yummy paninos starting at 2.50 euro. For a heartier sandwich that’s still only around 4.50 euro, visit Antico Noe, famous for its rose sauce and the cuties that work behind the counter.
Pizzas are served whole, not as slices, in Florence. You can get a large, personal pizza at the best pizza spot in town– Gusta Pizza— starting at 4.50 euro. If you’re only in Florence for a day or two, make sure you get there.
If you want to have an Italian meal served to you but don’t want to shell out a lot of cash, check out Il Gatto e La Volpe (translated into “the cat and the fox”). The food is decently priced and the fun waitstaff loves meeting international students.
More than Meatballs and Marinara Sauce
If you’re studying in Florence, there may be a few occasions that you’ll want to go to a restaurant where you’ll get the full Italian dining experience— such as when you’re parents come to visit or when you’ve got a hot date. There are some restaurants around Florence that may cost a pretty euro cent, but we think it’s worth the extra, as you’ll get to taste amazing, authentic Tuscan dishes in a beautiful atmosphere. Try the famous spot La Giostra, known for its celebrity clientele and complimentary Prosecco. We also love lesser-known Coquinarius, a small restaurant near the Duomo– its pear and pecorino ravioli is by far the most popular dish. Make a reservation before going to both!
Do you have a favorite place to eat in Florence? Let us know in the comments!