Favourite Florence Eats

{Updated 16 January 2020} One of the things I was keen to include in my first cookbook Florentine was a little address book of my favourite places to eat and shop for food like a local. They’re places I like to go to, places where you are guaranteed to find really typical Florentine dishes, at a good price, and eat well.

Florence - trattoria - sign IMG_0416Fragoline di bosco

For those who don’t have my cookbook yet, I wanted to compile a little list of some of my favourites, many of which I have written about before and which are still favourites, even after years. I like old places that don’t change much but new spots are constantly opening up lately in Florence, and for those I recommend you turn to the blog of my friend, Girl in Florence, who regularly posts about new openings.

I have a piece on some very special places to eat in Florence (a few in detail below too but here in one handy place) that I’d love to share with you that I wrote for Life & Thyme, The Art of Eating in Florence.

My Favourite Florentine Eats

Now that the summer is here, I’m getting more and more emails asking for advice on where to eat, ranging from full itineraries to the simple: if you had to choose one place, what would it be?

If it were one, ok maybe two, places only and I really wanted something comfortingly, traditionally Florentine, I would go to a classy trattoria like Burde (which is a little out of town but an easy cab ride) or, right in the heart of town, Sostanza, where you must try the butter chicken, it’s been their specialty for decades.

If you want something different, you can’t go past brunch at Teatro del Sale, run by the eccentric, infamous chef, Fabio Picchi, of Cibreo (or Cibreo itself, or it’s little sibling, affectionately known as Cibreino, the little trattoria to the left of the pricier restaurant. You can’t book, it’s small but wonderful). One of my favourite spots to take people to.

If you want something away from the usual tourist crowd, to explore neighbourhood markets and wine bars, this post on Florence’s Lovely Bits is for you.

If you’re eating on the cheap, Florence is a good place for it because street food and panini shops abound. Here you can find a thorough list of places that serve good Florentine fare, with some pit stops for a panino and a glass of wine, plus some typical trattorie where eating is no frills but full of character and economical.

Not into your hotel breakfast of fette biscottate? Head to one of these bakeries or pastry shops immediately for caffe e cornetto (or a schiacciata all’uva, pictured below, when in season) instead!

Want to eat somewhere outdoors and picturesque? Heading to Fiesole from Florence and a quick bus ride (number 7) or taxi ride away is Fattoria di Maiano. A great place to take the kids too, as you can visit all the animals while you’re waiting for your meal. Or take the number 10 bus to charming hilltop neighbourhood, Settignano (my neighbourhood!), where you can find a great selection of places to eat, including an excellent wine bar, a friendly pizzeria (they do good gluten free pizza too), some of the best bistecca in town and a romantic slice of Sicily.

schiacciata all'uva

Looking for other wonderful things to do while in Florence?

Molly McIlwrath is an historian and licensed guide of Florence, and one of the most passionate people I know. Book her for one of her artisan or family tours or if you need someone amazing to take you on a journey through the Uffizi Gallery.

Elizabeth Minchilli has an app on where to eat in Florence! And she has great taste.

And not too far from Florence, reachable on a train as a day trip, Juls Kitchen offers cooking classes as well as food photography workshops in her studio in the Sienese countryside.

Trattoria Casalinga


  1. TonyM says:

    We’ve been to Sostanza and LOVED IT! So much so that we tell any of our friends who are headed to Florence that they have to get there for dinner! I’m going to book mark this post for suggestions and pass them on to friends!

  2. Sharon McKain says:

    Buon giorno, What a treat to see you and your beautiful family in the RISD XYZ. I ordered your book and look forward to reading it and cooking it. You look beautiful! I have not been to Florence for ages, but to Ravenna a few times in more recent years. I tend to spend more time in Paris but the Italians beat the French for cuisine. I visited Randa in Rome when she was the chief critic and went on the WS tour with the students and Ezio. We had a dish in Matera–strachenatti? with spinach and ground pork? Do you know this dish?

    Hasta la vista, S

  3. Helen Bayley says:

    Hello Emiko,
    My name is Helen Bayley and I think, just think you are a RISD grad? I am too!
    I graduated in Painting in 1988, then MFA Indiana University. I have lived in Florence for 7 years. I paint and exhibit, in Florence and elsewhere and have been a licensed guide for 5 years. As a painter and with loads of experience in the arts, I taught Fine Arts at the university level in USA, for almost 20 years, I am suited to artisan tours and offering sketching tours in Florence etc. I see that Molly is a mutual friend. I would LOVE to meet for a coffee or a prosecco.
    Please, please let me know when you may be free. Check out my web site at~
    Hope to hear from you soon!

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