There are many reasons why Florence is a city on every traveller’s bucket list, and food is one of the main ones. There are many places that could be listed as the best restaurants in Florence, as the food in the city is just so good!
There are some incredible places to visit in Italy, and I have personally experienced that no matter where you decide to go, food naturally plays an important role during your visit – Florence is no exception.
Top 15 Best Restaurants in Florence
Italy may not be one of the cheapest countries to visit, but it’s definitely one of the best countries there is for cuisine.
When travelling Italy it’s incredibly tempting to base your daily nutrition on gelato and pizza, but by doing that you would miss out on these 15 best restaurants in Florence.
Because there is an endless choice of really good eats in Florence, my selection will be based on the best package-value (food, service, ambience) for money combination, and broken down by time of day. Wondering what to do in Florence? Eat at one of the best restaurants!
Note: After eating all of the amazing foods in Italy, you’re probably going to want to walk off those calories! There are guided walking tours you can take, or, create your own self-guided walking tour of Florence.
Breakfast & Coffee from the Best Restaurants in Florence
In line with most Mediterranean countries, breakfast in Italy is not really a thing. Nonetheless, mornings are still incredibly important to locals and I find it absolutely fascinating to watch Italian men of all ages sipping their espresso with complete devotion before they start the day. Their body language says “First coffee. Then everything else.”
1. Shake Café
I visited the Shake Café on the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella every morning when I stayed in Florence and enjoyed watching people come and go while dipping my croissant into my cappuccino.
Just as amazing as the coffee and the location of this busy Italian café are the prices: €2 ($2.40) will pay for your breakfast if you like a decent coffee and fresh croissant in the morning.
Apart from coffee, the place also offers tasty sandwiches and fresh juices for about €3 ($3.50) to take away or to have on their little terrace overlooking the open space in front of the Santa Maria Church.
The Shake Cafe Information
Address: Via degli Avelli, 2/red, 50123, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 295 310Operating Hours: 7 am-7 pmMust-Try Meals: Coffee, smoothies, wrapsAverage Cost: €2 for breakfast, €3 for sandwiches and fresh juicesWebsite: www.shakecafe.it/en
2. Ditta Artigianale
Coffee snobs will fancy Ditta Artigianale for its award winning baristas and excellent coffee roasts which are being shipped internationally and can be purchased prepackaged for €6-16 ($7-19). Real coffee enthusiasts can take part in one of their barista courses and learn how to ‘pimp’ their cappuccino like a real professional.
For those who are in for something substantial in the mornings, there are also pancakes and maple syrup, or scrambled eggs and bacon from €5 ($6). Later in the day the café also serves warm and cold lunch snacks like soups and baguette-sandwiches for €6 ($7) and salads for €8 ($9.50).
A mix of hip and chic, the Ditta Artigianale is one of the best restaurants in Florence to spend a rainy morning chatting, reading, or working surrounded by the smell of coffee aromas.
Ditta Artigianale Information
Address: Via dei Neri, 30/32 R, 50122, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 274 1541Operating Hours: 7:30 am – 7 pmMust-Try Meals: Pancakes, Ditta Club SandwichAverage Cost: €5 for breakfast, €6-€8 for lunchWebsite: dittaartigianale.com
Lunch at the Best Restaurants in Florence
When you’re looking for the best restaurants in Florence for lunch, think paninis and other Italian specialties.
3. All’Antico Vinaio (Best Italian Panini)
Locals and tourists agree that All’Antico Vinaio has probably “the best panini” in the whole of Florence and people especially love it for the decent portions and unbeatable value for money. With their popular Italian sandwiches (panini), you can grab a quick but very satisfying lunch for only €7 ($9).
Situated in the centre of the old town close to the Uffizi Museum, this take-away place is the perfect stop for a hungry Florence explorer. Vegans and vegetarians will be happy to hear that ingredients can be chosen individually – there is a panini for everyone!
All’Antico Vinaio Information
Address: Via dei Neri, 65r, 50122, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 238 2723Operating Hours: 10 am – 10 pmMust-Try Meals: L’Italiana paniniAverage Cost: €7Website: www.allanticovinaio.com
4. Semel (Best Street Food in Florence)
In a classy wood and brick stall, Semel serves up sandwiches with a wide variety of options, some unusual. The curious or adventurous can try wild boar, donkey, or sardines. Any of them go great with a glass of wine.
You’ll have to take it standing, however, as the small stall only has a few stools and they’re usually occupied. Prices are good too, with sandwiches starting at €5. Also, it’s next to the local Sant’Ambrogio market, which is well worth exploring and a great way to work up an appetite (or work off a meal).
Address: Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, 44/r, 50122 Firenze, ItalyPhone: N/AOperating Hours: 11:30 am – 2:30 pmMust-Try Meals: Salami and fig panini, donkey meat stew sandwichAverage Cost: €5Website: N/A
A family-run restaurant, Zeb used to be a grocery store until the current owners Alberto and his mother Giuseppina transformed it into a place where tradition and lovely cooked meals bring people together. All meals are made with local Tuscan ingredients and according to memory based recipes of the family.
Zeb stands for their most popular and traditional Tuscan dish, a delicious soup with soft-boiled meat. Their selection of local wines is also impressive and you can’t go wrong when asking the owners for a recommendation.
Prices for a main meal like the superb Taglierini with fresh black truffles range between €15-20 ($18-23).
Address: Via S. Miniato, 2r, 50125, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 234 2864Operating Hours: 12:30-3:30 pm, 7:30-10:30 pmMust-Try Meals: Zeb (soup), Taglierini with fresh black trufflesAverage Cost: €15-20 per main mealWebsite: zebgastronomia.com
6. Il Giova
If you’re looking for lunch off the tourist track, Il Giova is the spot for you. This locals’ favorite has a revolving menu based on fresh ingredients from the nearby San Ambrosio market.
It’s also open for dinner, but lunch is when it’s really popular. This small, unassuming space has the genuine feel of an Italian cafe. I love spending a long lunch there with a glass of wine or two.
Il Giova Information
Address: Borgo la Croce, 73R, 50121, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 248 0639Operating Hours: 12-3 pm, 7:30-11 pmMust-Try Meals: Tagliatta, fried mushroomsAverage Cost: €10-18 per starter, €15-20 per mainWebsite: N/A
☞ Planning to travel to other parts of Italy after Florence? If you’re traveling to Rome, make sure you check out our where to stay in Rome article for the best neighbourhoods and accommodation. And, have a look at our travel guide to Rome as well!
Aperitivo at the Best Restaurants in Florence
To escape the heat of the day, dinner usually takes place late in all Mediterranean countries and some restaurants open no earlier than 9 pm. If you’re coming from any other part of the world, these late eating hours can seriously challenge your stomach, especially after a long day of walking and sightseeing. Fortunately for those who are struggling, there’s Aperitivo-Hour!
Kitsch is an absolute gem for budget travellers and probably the most authentic Italian aperitif experience you can get in Florence. Between 6.30-9.00 pm, €10 ($12) will get you one drink of your choice (including cocktails, wine, and beer) and access to a buffet filled with a flood of Italian snacks, every single one home-made and delicious.
For warm summer evenings there is outdoor seating, which is wonderful if you can find a free seat. I went back to Kitsch twice during my stay in Florence, simply because there is no better place for tasting some amazing antipasti, Italian cheese and meats, olives, fresh veggies and fish dishes, all with your drink of choice and for such a good price.
Address: Via S. Gallo, 22r, 50129 Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 328 903 9289Operating Hours: 5:30 pm – 2 amMust-Try Meals: It’s a buffet so you can try it all!Average Cost: €10 for buffet with a drinkWebsite: facebook.com/kitschfirenze
8. Se-sto on Arno
The high-end restaurant Se-sto on Arno is one of the more expensive places in Florence, but the views from their roof top terrace are worth every penny. Looking out over the renaissance city and gorgeous river (while enjoying an Italian aperitivo) will make you travel back in time. From this view point, it is easy to picture some members of the influential Medici family proudly overlooking the beauty of their countryside.
Every day between 6 and 9 pm the restaurant serves spectacular cocktail creations and also classic Italian aperitifs like Aperol Spritz along with a breathtaking panoramic view and some light snacks. During this time, reservations cannot be made, so you can join this seemingly exclusive circle whenever you are ready!
Se-sto on Arno Information
Address: Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 2715 2783Operating Hours: 12-2:30 pm, 7-10:30 pm; apertivos from 6-9 pmMust-Try Meals: Aperol SpritzAverage Cost: €38 for Gourmet apertivo, €55 for RoyalWebsite: www.sestoonarno.com
Dinner at the Best Restaurants in Florence
The best restaurants in Florence for dinner typically serve classic Italian cuisine. This is based on homemade variations of pasta and pizza but also includes some delicious steak and fish dishes as well.
9. Pizza Napoli 1955
As the name gives away, Pizza Napoli 1955 is one of the older, more rustic pizzerias with a long tradition in Florence. Some visitors would avoid it due to its popularity among tourists, but the food is excellent and the staff friendly and patient with international (non Italian-speaking) visitors.
The restaurant serves authentic Neapolitan pizza for under €10 ($12), perfectly oven baked with a thick and crunchy crust. Also very recommendable are the gorgonzola ravioli and the creamy Italian tiramisu for those who stay for dessert.
Pizza Napoli 1955 Information
Address: Via dei Neri, 73r, 50122, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 287815Operating Hours: 12-10:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday)Must-Try Meals: Margherita pizza, Verace pizzaAverage Cost: €10Website: pizzanapoli1955.com
10. Trattoria Zà Zà
Within walking distance of the main train station and next to the market, Trattoria Zà Zà is often crowded with people, locals and tourists alike. However, their delicious pasta dishes, like the ravioli fettuccine with truffles and gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese, are definitely worth the sometimes long wait for a table.
Once you have gained a seat, you will be dining in good company, with most people chatting and laughing while enjoying their classic Italian meals. The bill for a three course meal can be expected to be around €25 ($30) per person, single dishes however are priced under €10 ($12) and a bottle of the very recommendable house wine will only cost €18 ($21).
Trattoria Zà Zà Information
Address: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26r, 50123, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 215411Operating Hours: 11 am – 11 pmMust-Try Meals: Ravioli fettuccine with truffles, gnocchi with gorgonzolaAverage Cost: €25 for 3-course mealWebsite: trattoriazaza.it
11. Parione Restaurant
The classic restaurant Parione belongs to the higher end of the best restaurants in Florence for quality, as well as for price. For over 50 years they have been serving up some of the best Tuscan food in Florence.
The passionate team of energetic Italian chefs are dedicated to their traditional cooking that combines fresh Tuscan ingredients, the simplicity of intense natural flavors and finally a creative touch to round up their perfect dishes.
Address: Via del Parione, 74/76 r, 50123, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 214005Operating Hours: 12:30-3 pm, 7-11 pmMust-Try Meals: Bisteca, gnocciAverage Cost: €20-40 main coursesWebsite: parione.net/en/parione-restaurant
12. Le Volpi e L’Uva (Best Restaurant in Florence for Tuscan Wines)
Situated in the romantic countryside of the Tuscan hills, Florence is home to the popular grape of Chianti wines, which is enjoyed by wine lovers all around the world. Le Volpi e L’Uva wine bar is situated off the beaten track on the other side of the river and offers their guests a comprehensive introduction to Tuscan Wines.
You can stay for a glass between €4-5 ($5-6) or book a fully guided wine tasting that includes 4 half-glasses with a selection of cheeses and cured meats for €30 ($35) per person. Reservations can be made for between 12 am and 9 pm and the staff speaks several languages, English naturally being one of them.
Le Volpi e L’Uva Information
Address: Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 239 8132Operating Hours: 12-9 pmMust-Try Meals: Selection of cured meats, smoked trout filet with saladAverage Cost: €30 for wine tasting with cheese and meatWebsite: levolpieluva.com/home-english
13. Buca San Giovanni
Established in 1882, the Buca San Giovanni restaurant is part of the Association of the Historical Sites of Italy. It’s not only one of the best restaurants in Florence, but a tourist destination in its own right.
When you enter, it’s easy to see why. This underground space was once the crypt of a church dating back to the 1300s. Today it’s a cozy vault decorated with classic photographs and religious images.
The quality of the food matches the ambiance, with classic Tuscan dishes such as risotto, ravioli, and sirloin. The menu changes often, so you can check their website to see what’s currently cooking.
Buca San Giovanni Information
Address: Piazza di San Giovanni, 8, 50122, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 287612Operating Hours: 11:30 am – 3 pm, 6:30-11 pmMust-Try Meals: Fillet of beef in puff pastry, boiled salami with lentilsAverage Cost: €11-20 main courseWebsite: bucasangiovanni.it/en-index.php
Dessert from the Best Restaurants in Florence
Did you know there is an unspoken rule for those who travel Italy? It basically says you have to have at least one gelato every day. Now that you know the rule, there is no excuse not to stop by at least one of these two places.
14. Gelateria la Carraia
I stumbled over the Gelateria la Carraia after a long day of walking through the old town and eventually coming across the second oldest bridge of Florence, la Ponte alla Carraia. The ice cream god must have led my steps that day, because a creamy mountain of cold, sweet deliciousness was exactly what I needed in that moment.
The Gelateria has home made gelato in all flavors, from fruity mango to the flavor-intense pistachio with real nuts in it. The Delizia Carraia flavor is a special creation of this place and consists of a soft tiramisu base with white chocolate chunks, topped with liquid pistachio sauce. Ice cream heaven!
You can get a very decent portion of ice cream (and calories) for €2.50 ($3) or a small taster cone for €1 ($1.20) that only comes with one flavor to choose.
Gelateria la Carraia Information
Address: Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, 50124, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 280695Operating Hours: 11 am – midnightMust-Try Meals: Caramello al burro salato gelati, tiramisu gelatiAverage Cost: €2.50Website: gelaterialacarraia.it
15. Vivoli (Best Gelato in Florence)
I know it is really not fair that Italians not only make the best pizza, but have also been creating some of the best ice creams – Italian gelato – for decades. Vivoli is the oldest gelateria in the city, opened as early as 1929, so make sure you get to taste some of that historic gelato while in Florence!
Popular amongst tourists for a reason, Vivoli offers traditional flavors next to a vast variety of intense and exotic flavors like Fantasia or Rice Flavor (unexpected and delicious, with little pieces of rice in it!). A cup of three flavors is €2.50 ($3), which allows you to try at least one of their more unusual creations.
Should you still be able to eat more sweets after that, the old café also has good coffee, cakes, and pastries.
Address: Via Isola delle Stinche, 7r, 50122, Firenze, ItalyPhone: +39 055 292334Operating Hours: 8 am – 11 pm Monday-Saturday, 9 am – 8 pm SundayMust-Try Meals: Fantasia gelato, rice flavor gelatoAverage Cost: €2.50Website: vivoli.it/en
FAQs About the Best Restaurants in Florence
Check out these FAQs if you still have some questions about where to eat in Florence.
In my opinion, some of the best restaurants in Florence are Zeb, Se-sto on Arno, and Buca San Giovanni. Of course, there are many more great places to eat in Florence, and wandering around the city is a good way to find them.
Italians tend to eat late, so dinner usually begins at 7 pm at the earliest and goes until 10 or 11. Some restaurants in Florence don’t even open for dinner until 9.
Lunch in Florence is usually 1-2 pm, and most restaurants start serving lunch at 11 or 12. If you prefer a later lunch, be aware that many restaurants close from around 3-5.
People in Florence typically eat breakfast between 7:30 and 10:30 am.
Tipping is neither required nor expected in Florence, but you can leave a little extra if you were pleased with the service or ate in a large group.
Now You Know the Best Restaurants in Florence
Of course this is just my personal selection of the top 15 best restaurants in Florence, Italy. There are at least 10 more gelaterias, restaurants, and cafés that I would have recommended, but as a passionate traveller I would like to encourage you to go out exploring yourself. You will be surprised how many hidden gems are still waiting to be discovered!
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