Dining in Florence


I was told, when growing up, that Alla Florentine meant there’d be spinach.  Which led me to believe there’d be spinach laced throughout this wonderful city. Not so.  As it turns out, when Catherine De Medici was shipped off in 1533 to marry the Dauphin, she packed spinach seeds.  So there you have it!  And, in fact, spinach is not nearly as important a player in Florence as are thick Chianina steaks, dried beans, soups that have simmered for hours, cured meats including prosciutto, and little toasted crostini, the Tuscan version of bruschetta.  I do start craving all the vegetables that are so abundant in Rome and Naples.  But when in Florence, well, you get it.  Eat what they eat!  Also, a note about the bread:  it is usually made without salt, the result, some say, of a heavy salt tax levied during in the middle ages.  

 Below, are restaurants I know firsthand along with a few recommended by people I trust.

All in the historic center.

 Buca Lapi 

This very old restaurant (1880) in the wine cellar of the Palazzo Antinori has excellent grilled dishes, prime wines and delicious Florentine cuisine. Known for decades for its genuine offerings and décor, which has remained the same since 1950s. It’s frequented by visitors and fashionable society. Specialties of the house are scampi alla griglia and lombatina di vitella “all lapi” (veal). Moderate

Via del Trebbio 1, on side of Palazzo Antinori

Tel: 055 213 768; Closed Sundays


Quattro Leoni 

Similar to Buca Lapi though NOT in a “buca,” or underground hole, and a bit less expensive.  On the far side of the Arno, a cozy restaurant that serves all the Florentine specialties.  Great Bistecca!  Moderate.

Via de' Vellutini, 1

50125 Florence, Italy                    

Tel.:  055 218562. Open 7 nights a week.


Osteria di Giovanni

This is a spin off of the famous, and now perhaps too famous Il Latini. Classic Florentine fare in an informal setting.  Moderate.

Via del Moro, 22

Tel.:  055 284 897 Open every night for dinner.


Il Latini

Via dei Palchetti 6/r (Palazzo Rucellai)

Tel. (+39) 055 210 916


Ever popular, very typical Florentine trattoria. Highly recommended though possibly crowded and they don’t like to accept reservations.  Moderate.

Via dei Palchetti 6/r (Palazzo Rucellai)

Tel. (+39) 055 210 916  Closed Mondays.



Cantinetta Antinori

Restaurant of the famous wine-producing family, located in their 15thcentury palace.  Moderate.

Piazza Antinori, 3 (Via Tornabuoni)

Tel.: (+39) 055 235 9827  Closed Sunday.



"Mozzarella bar" - menu based on dishes featuring different kinds of mozzarelle. Everyday from 6:30 pm till 8pm Italian Aperitivo

with little mozzarella "bocconcini" and tastings.

Via Tornabuoni, 16

Tel.: (+39) 055 277 3526



Since 1885, Procacci has been serving elegant pannini tartufati, small truffle sandwiches that you may enjoy with a glass of wine.  Famous and gorgeous interior.

Via Tornabuoni 64 

055 211656  Open every evening until 9; until 8 on Sundays



On the opposite side of the Ponte Santa Trinita, this is a lovely old-world restaurant:  quiet, dignified, and with all the local specialties done very nicely.  Moderate to expensive.  

Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r, Firenze, Italy

Phone:+39 055 212427  Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

On the way home, you’ll pass an excellent gelateria by the Ponte Trinita. 


Le Antiche Carrozze

This is a simple Florentine restaurant not far from our hotel that serves dinner salads (!), pizza and a host of other dishes.

 Borgo Ss Apostoli, 66. 

Tel:  055 265 8156 Inexpensive.


For a very special dinner, consider Il Cibreo or the Enoteca Pinchiorri. Both places you will long remember.