It has been two years since I moved out of my beloved Florence and ended a beautiful adventure with Erasmus, which was full of amazing experiences and wonderful friendships. Florence isn’t a perfect city – you can say a lot about it. In the first place, I would list crowds of tourists who definitely take away the charm and magic of this amazing place.
However, there are few cities in the world that I know so well and which become so close to me. In the end, when I’ll come back to Florence, I’ll never be a typical tourist, even though I’m not a resident. Strolling along the streets I knew so well, I got the impression that I had never moved out.
This’s amazing when you don’t have to turn on the navigation to get to the favorite places in the city, you don’t have to do a few-hour research to find out where to eat and in the favorite bar you visited regularly, the same nice guy is still working!
I came back for only two days and spent them very intensively visiting my favorite bars / restaurants. Living in the capital of Tuscany, I created a guide about the Florence which will be perfect for you, where I described the best pizzerias, ice cream , cafes and places worth seeing.
I’d like to pick the biggest “pearls” from all this places and prepare for you a food-tour plan for an intensive two days, in which I’ll divide all the places into various categories. I guarantee that following my footsteps, will ensure an unforgettable weekend. I was delighted. :)) Let’s start!
Maybe you’ll be surprised, but the first and most important thing that you MUST eat in Florence will not be pizza, but…
Schiacciata from All’antico Vinaio – for lunch or dinner
This is an absolute must-go, must-eat and must-see in Florence. The place is really amazing – it surprises with the freshness of ingredients, delicious compositions, fast and cheerful service and, above all, high-quality, phenomenal product. Schiacciata (because that’s what the “base” of this Italian sandwich is) is nothing more than a Tuscan “bread”, which in a way reminds you all well-known focaccia. And from here it’s quite close to the pizza, right?
All”antico Vinaio is a cult, legendary place, which usually leads very long queues. But you have to trust me – it’s really worth to wait, no matter how long it lasts. In addition, the service works really fast! And if you want to plan the visit more strategically – go there during the hours when most tourists rest after sightseeing and lunch, that’s between 18-19.
My favorite sandwich is L’inferno – I’ve described it more HERE. The cost of this undoubted pleasure is only 5 euros. Remember that since 2018, on some streets in the center of Florence (Via dei Neri – where is the All’Antico Vinaio, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna), eating meals sitting on the curb or stairs is forbidden (here more details).
And after taking quite a lot of calories, it’s worth to do something to speed up your digestion!
Enoteca Alla Sosta dei Papi – for a glass of wine
The perfect place for an evening, if you like buzz and a relaxed atmosphere, good wine and Italian snacks. This place is right next to Piazza Sant’Ambrogio and quite close to Santa Croce.
I paid only 3.50 euros for a glass of fine wine, which is rather rare in Florence! With a low probability you’ll meet tourists there, this place is mainly local.
There is an extremely positive atmosphere there. You can sit inside, although most people decide to have a fun feast outside, sitting on the curb or stairs.
And if we are near to Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, then we must go to…
Il Pizzaiuolo – for a pizza
Almost two years have passed since I lived in Florence and during this time I tested a lot more places with a delicious pizza, and my taste has evolved somewhat. And although I thought differently before, I come to the conclusion that at Il Pizzaiuolo you’ll eat one of the best pizzas in Florence!
This place is really adored and visited by Florentine locals. In the evening, usually long queues led to this delicious pizzeria! You can get around them by ordering a takeaway and eat this for example, on the church stairs in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio.
Just like I did, but I know that from last year there’s a ban on eating “on the street” (sitting on curbs or stairs) in public places. You can find more information here. It’s probably not about this place, but keep up to date with this information because the penalties are high.
Caffetteria delle Oblate – for a perfect Italian breakfast
For breakfast, I decided to go to one of my favorite places in Florence – to the Caffetteria delle Oblate. At the very top of the library there’s an amazing cafe with one of the most beautiful views of the Duomo. You’ll meet many Italian students who are catching up in this charming seclusion.
How to get there? You have to enter the building, go through the reception, then go to the right, where there’s an elevator and go to the top. Later you’ll go through the room, where the students are studying, go out to the terrace and there’s a cafe. :))
The prices are rather standard – for a cappuccino we will pay 1.40 euros, for a cornetto 1.10 euros. You can also come to the Italian aperitivo in the evening – I wrote more about this great custom here. I recommend this place with all my heart! Are you looking for more climatic cafés in Florence? Check this article.
Gelateria Il Procopio – for a delicious ice cream
One of the best ice creams in Florence you can taste in Gelateria Il Procopio, located 5 minutes from Santa Croce. I came back there after two years and I must admit that nothing has changed! They still represent the same high level, and the flavors of cremino (with real nutella) and pistachio delight. You can find more ice-cream parlor here – check out this article and find out why I recommend Gelateria dei Neri so much!
Volume na Santo Spirito – for a coffee or a glass of wine
If you want to escape from very touristy places, go to the other side of the river and go to Piazza Santo Spirito. I really like this area – you’ll find a lot of beautiful street art and interesting bars and restaurants there.
My favorite is Volume, which has a very atmospheric interior, pretty music flies from the speakers, and the bartenders are really nice. Volume is the perfect place to relax and catch your breath before further sightseeing.
And so if we’re at Santo Spirito, then go to…
Gusta Pizza – for a pizza
This is definitely one of the best pizzerias in Florence. There is a beautiful pizza smell on the street, and when we’ll be some 20m from the destination of our trip, we realize that there’s something happening.
A typical buzz will come to us, and on the stairs of the church at Santo Spirito you’ll see unusually happy people who consume freshly pizza, which comes from Gusta Pizza (I also ate it like these, but remember what I wrote about eating “on the street” in Florence). The restaurant usually is full, but if we say we want to sit down, the waiter will find a place for us.
The service is very friendly and very efficient! Prices are low as for a Florence – Margherita 5 euros, Calabrese (with mozzarella, spicy salami, basil and olive oil) – 8 euros. Compared to the situation two years ago, prices have gone up by one euro, but they are still very bearable.
Mercato Centrale i lampredotto – for typically Florentine street-food
Well, maybe a sandwich with a boiled cow’s stomach? More precisely, his fourth part – a maw! I know that for many of you it doesn’t sound appealing, but lampredotto is a very well known, typically Florentine street-food. And in Da Nerbone on Mercato Centrale you’ll probably eat the most delicious!
I must admit that I’ve never dared to try lampredotto myself, because I have some kind of psychological barrier to eating this type of meat. However, I heard that it’s delicious and I really believe it!
Btw last year in Istanbul, I unknowingly tried the Turkish cocorec – typically Turkish street-food, more specifically, sandwiches with meat from lamb intestines. I took three additions, I liked it so much! My guess is that lampredotto is equally delicious. If you’ve ever tried them, share your impressions in the comment!
On the ground floor of Mercato Centrale you’ll find Da Nerbone and stands with fruits, vegetables and Italian products. On the first floor there are various restaurants serving dishes from different parts of Italy. I highly recommend you try TRAPIZZINO, which is delicious, typical Roman street-food, which was described in this article.
Practical information – how to get to Florence?
It’s best to search for cheap flights to Pisa or Bologna. I landed in Bologna in the afternoon and then got on the Appeninno Shuttle bus, which took me directly from the airport to the bus station in Florence. Maybe it’s not the cheapest option (the ticket costs 20 euros), but it’s definitely the most convenient when we have luggage with us and we are looking for a direct connection.
Then I went to the Veronique Hostel, which is located in the very center of Florence, two minutes from the Uffizi Gallery, five minutes from the Duomo. Typical hostel conditions, but if you are looking for a basic accommodation at a low price (for Florence) and in a great location, you can consider it (if you are really not requiring tourists!).
And you, what do you ate in Florence? Do you recommend any other places? Maybe you know where to eat the best bistecca alla fiorentina? Let me know in the comment!
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