Florence restaurants

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Cibreino

Price guide: Mid-range
#3/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

The casual offshoot of posh Cibreo serves the same superb food at a fraction of the price.

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Le Volpi e L'Uva

Price guide: Budget
#4/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

My favourite enoteca serves unusual wines and interesting snacks.

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'Ino

Price guide: Budget
#8/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

A contemporary sandwich bar and deli in the shadow of the Uffizi.

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Fuoriporta

Price guide: Mid-range
#9/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

A classic Florentine enoteca with an impressive wine list and a charming terrace.

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Il Guscio

Price guide: Mid-range
#10/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

A new-generation trattoria in the nether reaches of the Oltrarno.

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Da Ruggero

Price guide: Mid-range
#12/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

The city’s best traditional trattoria lies off the beaten track.

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Bibé

Price guide: Mid-range
#13/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

A family-run country restaurant a stone’s throw from Florence.

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Da Burde

Price guide: Mid-range
#14/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Authentic Florentine cooking in this historic, off-the-beaten-track trattoria.

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Nerbone

Price guide: Budget
#17/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Best for Cheap eats -
Expert overall rating:4.3 (out of 5)

Budget food and bags of atmosphere in the heart of the Mercato Centrale.

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Da Mario

Price guide: Budget
#19/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.3 (out of 5)

Simple home cooking and great prices at this lunch-only San Lorenzo trattoria.

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Povero Pesce

Price guide: Mid-range
#20/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.3 (out of 5)

A lively, unpretentious fish restaurant near the football stadium.

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Trattoria del Carmine

Price guide: Mid-range
#22/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

A reliable neighbourhood trattoria with good, homely food.

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Vico del Carmine

Price guide: Mid-range
#23/25
expert-rated restaurants in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

Noisy, crowded and fun, this Neapolitan restaurant serves one of the best pizzas in Florence.

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I’ve been eating out in Florence for nearly 30 years during which time the food scene has evolved considerably. Once dominated by very traditional places, today there is a much wider variety of eateries: modest, family-run trattorie, new-generation osterie, ethnic joints, gastrobars, trendy pizzerie, hole-in-the-wall wine bars and smart, Michelin-starred restaurants. As a visitor, you will find plenty to choose from but do be aware that this city is geared towards tourism and too many restaurants are inclined to rest on their laurels allowing standards to slip. To avoid disappointment (or being fleeced), follow my advice or ask a local. And avoid anywhere with a menu fisso in six languages.

For the best possible eating in Florence, bear the following in mind.

Where to eat

Full meals can be expensive affairs in Florence; even in the most unpretentious trattoria, you are unlikely to get away with a bill that comes in at less than 25 euros per head, and given the euro exchange rate these days, that’s quite a hefty sum if you have to do it repeatedly. Cheaper alternatives include pizzerie, rosticcerie (rostisseries), bars which serve a small selection of hot and cold dishes at lunchtimes and the market for the makings of a picnic.

The bill and tipping

The bill will usually include a cover charge (pane e coperto) which ranges from 1.50-5 euros per person. This covers bread and should reflect the general standard of the place. Service is not usually included in the bill, so feel free to leave a modest tip (between 5-10% is plenty).

Mealtimes

Florentine mealtimes normally run from 12.30-2.30pm for lunch and 8-10.30pm for dinner. Pizzerie generally stay open later.

Eating out with kids

Italy is a very child-friendly country in general and the Florentines are no exception. Children are welcome even in the poshest restaurants, and if there’s nothing on the menu that appeals, a chef will always be happy to produce a plate of pasta al pomodoro (with tomato sauce) and a bowl of ice cream.

What to order

Once upon a time, eating out here meant being obliged to tuck into at least four courses. That’s no longer true although it won’t go down very well if you just order an antipasto and coffee in a place that serves full meals. Two courses, however, is generally acceptable. If you do want to go the whole hog, however, a traditional Florentine meal starts with antipasto, moves on to a primo (either pasta or soup), secondo (meat or fish main course) plus contorno (veg) and finishes off with dolce (dessert). Phew!

Set focus

For starters, I can guarantee that I’ve eaten in every one of the places that I’ve listed here. I’ve tried to include a good range that will cater for all tastes and every budget and I would happily go back to any of them at any time. Indeed, I do quite often. However, restaurants have off-nights, chefs and staff change and eating out is very subjective, so I am always glad to have your feedback, both positive and negative. Of course I wouldn’t pretend to know about every restaurant in Florence, so if you’ve had a great meal at a place that’s not listed here, let me know; I’ll go and try it out. Buon apetito!