Sweet, creamy gelato. Mouth-watering pasta. Crumbly Pecorino. Tuscany is a food lover’s paradise. In a region filled with delicious produce, it can be overwhelming deciding where to dine. When eating out in the beautiful city of Florence, follow our tasty insider guide to the best places to go for quintessentially Italian flavours.
Go go Gelato!
For an ice-cold, sweet treat, the family-run Florentine Gelateria la Carraia is loved by locals and renowned for its perfectly smooth and creamy gelato in classic flavours like hazelnut, pistachio, crème caramel and seasonal fruits.
Vivoli is Florence’s oldest gelateria, serving up scoop after scoop of deliciousness since 1930. Made fresh every day, sample their ‘Pear & Caramel’ or ‘Dried Fig & Nuts’ flavours.
A centuries-old deli dating back to 1885, Procacci’s interior is as divine as its artisanal delicacies. Pop into the Via Tornabuoni store to pick up sublime local extra virgin olive oil, truffle sauces, and sticky honey. Stay for an aperitif at the wine bar and a luxurious truffled anchovy panini.
Stuffed to the gills with tempting Tuscan hams hanging from the ceiling, the characterful La Prosciutteria is a must-visit for incredible antipasto. They’ll layer up your selection of salamis, cheeses and pickles on a giant wooden board, ready to be devoured.
Like many Tuscan cities, when eating out in Florence you’re likely to be served a sensational meal whether dining in a humble trattoria or an upscale ristorante. At the top end of the culinary scale, Enoteca Pinchiorri is a triple Michelin star wonder. Headed up by chef Annie Féolde (the first woman Chef to earn three stars in Italy), it’s grandiose, elegant and serves exquisite fine-dining Italian food. Eat your way around Tuscany with its seven-course tasting menu.
Fuoco Matto’s décor may be understated but its food is generous on flavour and quality. A rustic, homely spot in the heart of Florence, they specialise in grilled meats (try the beef filet from Maremma) and simple wood-fired pizzas made with PDO mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil.
Florentine tradition doesn’t come much more authentic than at Dino Ristorante. Housed within a historic 15th century Renaissance building, it’s minimally decorated but resolutely all about the local flavours. You’ll find panzanella, a classic Tuscan dish with basil, tomato, onions and croutons and zuppa di faro, an ancient recipe of pureed beans, spelt and fiery chili. Wash everything down with a rich bottle of Chianti.
To sample and buy fresh Tuscan produce, make a beeline for Florence’s best food market, San Lorenzo Food Market. Located near to the railway station, it’s a two-floor foodie haven. On the ground floor look for cured meats, dried porcini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to bring home. If you’re travelling from the USA, they’ll even vacuum pack them for you. On the next floor is a fabulous food court where you can pull up a stool and sip a cappuccino while watching how bufala mozzarella is made from scratch.
With Trafalgar, feast your eyes on the vibrant colours and bustling stalls heaving with fresh produce at a local Florence food market where you will join a Local Specialist for a memorable introduction to Italian cuisine from a professional chef. Learn how to cook like only an Italian mamma can, selecting your fresh produce from the market and preparing lunch which you will enjoy with a delicious glass of local wine.