To discover Florence is to discover the cradle of the Renaissance. The Florentines are famous for their Duomo, David, Pontevecchio, and one of Italy’s most prized leather markets. But until you’ve tasted true Tuscan cuisine you haven’t really experience Florence at all. Famed for its melting pot of authentic and innovative cuisine, the authentic Italian food of Florence is founded on simple ingredients and long-lost recipes that have been around for centuries.
Jump forward a few hundred years, Florence is now one of Italy’s most visited cities, and is no stranger to tourist traps and meals that can leave any traveller a little jilted. To make the task of finding authentic Italian food in Florence less daunting we’ve put together a list of the best restaurants in Florence where you can enjoy some true Tuscan fare.
Paolo and Andre Gori are the fourth generation of restaurateurs at the helm of this historic establishment. One of Florence’s best restaurants off-the-beaten path, it’s hidden location tucked away from the main tourist areas let’s you enjoy your meal in peace without the distraction of the usual tourist crowds.
To try: the “ribollita”, this is an authentic Italian dish composed of vegetables simmered to perfection. Accompany it with the “stracotto”, meat slow cooked in chianti wine, this is the perfect melt in your mouth dish that every meat lover should order on their trip to Tuscany. Oenophiles can rejoice knowing that this best restaurant in Florence is also home to an exceptional Tuscan wine list that will satisfy even the most trained palates.
Price tag: 23-45€ per person a la carte
If you are in a hurry or just want a quick bite this would be the best restaurant in Florence to get your most authentic quick eat. The restaurant’s name means house of wine and this tiny store was born in the 1920’s as a place to try different varietals of vino. The philosophy behind this small eatery is simple. Three small tables, a tasty little menu and a big selection of wine by the glass. The menu changes with the season, a sign of any good Italian restaurant.
To try: Go for one of the classics: crostini and pair it with some local vino.
Price tag: small plates starting a 4€ each
Have you sworn off pasta? No problem, this is the best restaurant in Florence where you can skip the carbs and enjoy your fill on authentic Zuppe (Soups) and amazing vegetarian pates spread on freshly baked bread.
To Try: Farro and bean soups are a must eat and a classic combo of typical Tuscan flavours. If you feel more adventurous order the minestrone made with red rice, its nutty flavor it will conquer you. Leave a little space for dessert and order the locally loved chocolate cake.
Price tag: menus from 25€ to 30€, dessert included
Not actually one of the best restaurants in Florence, but Florence’s best food truck for authentic Italian food. You will find the Pollini food truck parked in one of the busy areas in Florence’s center 6 days a week. For only a few euros a pop you can enjoy one their delicious sandwiches, making Tripperia Pollini also one of the best spots in Florence to enjoy authentic Italian food on a budget.
To Try: The panino with lampredotto or tripe which is a must for anybody wanting to go back home and say they tried a Tuscan classic.
Price tag: starting from 2€ a panino
Feeling spontaneous? This is Florence’s best restaurant for impromptu dining. No reservation is needed, just line up at this authentic trattoria, which is open only for lunch. There are no antipasti (appetizers) on the menu which means all the chef’s attention goes into the first and second dishes including one of the best ragù pastas you will ever try in your life.
To try: Ossobuco (oxtail) is a must eat that is perfect for sharing. For dessert try an Italian classic: Cantucci from Prato. Don’t forget to order it alongside the local “Vinsanto”, and be sure to dip the biscuit in for an extra sweet finish.
Price tag: menus from 25€ to 35€
Are you looking to take the guesswork out of enjoying authentic Italian food on your next trip to Italy? Then check out our itineraries where we visit Italy’s top restaurant for traditional cuisine.
Headed to Roma? Check out where to find authentic Italian food in Rome.