Via San Giuseppe 22R, Florence, 50122
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, First-time travellers, Stag / hen parties, Shopping, Sightseeing
Expert review of Baldovino
Scottish restaurateur and hotelier David Gardner’s first Florentine venture is still going strong after more than 15 years. I like Baldovino because I can eat what I want here; there’s no obligation to run the traditional four-course marathon and you can order anything from pizza to bistecca or even just a salad and a plate of cheese. It tends to fill up with tourists in season, but there are plenty of locals who eat here too. While you’re here, check out offshoots La Botte (a wine bar), just opposite and cosy, and tapas-style Baldobar, open for morning coffees, light lunches and cocktails.
The wide-ranging menu covers all bases, but the quality of the food doesn’t suffer for that. Carefully-sourced, seasonal ingredients go into pastas, risottos and main courses that include gnocchi with pesto, risotto with porcini mushrooms and tagliata (grilled sliced steak) topped with rocket and parmesan shavings. The Neapolitan-style pizza is good too. Gardner produces a fine Chianti Classico on the land surrounding his hotel near Greve in Chianti (www.villabordoni.com); we shared a bottle (€23) on our last visit and it was delicious.
For an indulgent starter, order a piping hot parmesan focaccia plus a plate of prosciutto and salame and eat them like an open sandwich. It's sinfully good.
Baldovino was one of the first restaurants in Florence to do something a bit different with its décor and the colourful paintwork and modern art have stood the test of time. The place is big and can get noisy, but it’s fun and upbeat.
Staff are young, smiling and enthusiastic.
It's just opposite the side entrance of Santa Croce, a few metres from the eponymous piazza in one of the city’s most lively night time neighbourhoods.
Pizzas start at just 6 euros, pastas at 7.50 euros and mains at 12.50 euros. Given that you don’t have to eat a full meal, Baldovino can offer a pretty cheap deal.
If noise is an issue, the quietest tables are immediately inside the entrance.
More information on Baldovino:
- Price guide:
- Restaurant, Tapas bar, Wine bar
- Italian, Pizza, Steak, Traditional
- Via San Giuseppe 22R, Florence, 50122
- 055 241773
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Daily noon-2.30pm, 7-10.30pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards: