Florence Travel Guide
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RESTAURANTS

The selected restaurants have been divided into five categories: Gastronomic, Business, Trendy, Budget and Personal Recommendations. The restaurants are listed alphabetically within these different categories, which serve as guidelines rather than absolute definitions of the establishments.

Restaurant prices are subject to IVA (value added tax) at 10% but this is always included within the prices given. A 15% service charge is usually added to the bill at the end. It is customary for patrons to round up the bill and leave a tip (maximum 10%) as well, if the meal and service have been good.

The prices quoted below are for an average three-course meal for one person and for a bottle of house wine or the cheapest equivalent. Prices include IVA but do not include service charge or tip.

Gastronomic

Alle Murate
The Campanian-born owner-chef of the intimate Alle Murate, Umberto Montana, is a huge wine lover – as testimony to this, the perspex floor near the entrance displays some of his bottles, embedded in the soil. With a complimentary glass of spumante in hand, guests can peruse the menu, which is a curious mix of invention and refinement. Diners should not miss the delicious bean soup, the tortelli stuffed with aubergine purée or desserts such as crostada di limone, a lemon cream on a pastry base, as well as Montana’s signature dessert, a monster chocolate torte served with whipped cream.

Via Ghibellina 52r
Tel: (055) 240 618.
Website: www.caffeitaliano.it
Price: €50 or €62 (set menu). Wine: €20.50.

Cantinetta Antinori
Housed in the family’s elegant palazzo near Santa Maria Novella, this refined restaurant pitches super-Tuscans and great Chiantis from the extensive Antorini estates at wine lovers. Subtle food flavours, often using ingredients grown on the same estates as the vines, predominate on the menu and accompany diners in their vinous deliberations. One example are the involtini (rolls) of glazed veal and artichokes cooked in white wine with spring onions. Seasonal ingredients are often used, while for dessert, diners can sit around the dark wooden tables, musing as they sip the sweet Vin Santo served with cantuccini biscuits.

Palazzo Antinori, Piazza Antinori 3
Tel: (055) 292 234. Fax: (055) 235 9877.
E-mail: antinori@antinori.it
Website: www.antinori.it
Price: €45. Wine: €11.

Da Stefano
For the best seafood, many recommend Da Stefano, located to the south of the city, in Galluzo, close to the classic Tuscan countryside of cypress-dotted hills. The restaurant is open in the evenings only and is especially popular in summer for al fresco dining on the terrace. The atmosphere is pleasantly casual and friendly – Stefano personally advises diners on the catch of the day. In fact, his motto ‘solo pesce, solo fresco, solo la sera’ (‘only fish, only fresh, only evenings’), says it all. Dishes include spaghetti all’aragosta (spaghetti with lobster) and il gran tegame, a huge saucepan of hot seafood.

Via Senese 271, Galluzo
Tel: (055) 204 9105.
Price: €45. Wine: €11.

Enoteca Pinchiorri
Immaculate linen and crystal glassware top the tables at Florence’s most famous restaurant, which boasts two Michelin stars. At the heart of the historic city, near Santa Croce, finely dressed diners expect to be impressed by French chef Annie Feolde’s haute cuisine matched with owner Giorgio Pinchiorri’s collection of magnificent wines. The uninitiated can select a menu degustazione to enjoy the sophisticated harmony of flavour, born of matchless French technique and Italian economy of ingredients, such as winter red cabbage ravioli served with pumpkin sauce. Portions are dainty, in true nouvelle cuisine fashion.

Via Ghibellina 87
Tel: (055) 242 777. Fax: (055) 244 983.
E-mail: enoteca.pinchiorri@pronet.it
Website: www.pinchiorri.it
Price: €125. Wine: €30.

Il Cibreo
In the buzzing markets of Sant’Ambrogio, Fabio Picchi’s renowned restaurant and trattoria, Il Cibreo, has made an art form of jazzing up rustic Florentine ingredients and has a legendary reputation. Diners are recommended to try the passato di peperoni gialli, a yellow pepper soup, and spiced candied fruit mostarda (a type of condiment) eaten with local cheeses. It is advisable for guests to reserve for premium service in the restaurant or take a chance at the Cibreino trattoria next door, where diners jostle for the marble-top tables and pay half the price. Closed August.

Via de’ Macci 118r
Tel: (055) 234 1100. Fax: (055) 244 966.
Price: €60 or €20 in the trattoria. Wine: €14.


Business

Incanto
Overlooking the Arno, in the large Renaissance-style dining room of the Grand Hotel, the gentle accompaniment of the piano at Incanto helps diners choose from a menu including caviar, lobster, fresh sea bass, turbot and prime Chianina beef. The premium ingredients, excellent wines and five-star service all make this the ideal dinner venue for important clients. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.

Piazza Ognissanti 1
Tel: (055) 271 6767. Fax: (055) 217 400.
E-mail: info@incantofirenze.it
Website: www.incantofirenze.it
Price: €65. Wine: €15.

Ristorante La Loggia
Diners can overlook the skyline and feast on Florencemade pasta in this historic loggia, built for the return of Michelangelo’s Roman sculptures, when Florence was briefly the capital of Italy between 1865-1871. Ristorante La Loggia is perfect for a business lunch and best enjoyed in summer, sitting outside under the elegant portico with a plate of tortellini stuffed with pumpkin.

Piazzale Michelangelo 3
Tel: (055) 234 2832. Fax: (055) 234 5288.
E-mail: booking@ristorantelaloggia.com
Website: www.ristorantelaloggia.com
Price: €45. Wine: €13.

Ristorante Sabatini
Angelo Sabatini’s historic restaurant was once poet Ugo Montale’s favourite Florentine restaurant. Daylight pours in from the large garden window, revealing an elegant spacious interior with wooden-beamed ceilings. A venue popular for business lunches, the crowd is international and includes many Japanese enjoying specialities like the bistecca alla fiorentina, Chianina beefsteak cooked on the grill or risotto with scampi. Ristorante Sabatini is closed on Monday.

Via de’Panzani 9a
Tel: (055) 282 802. Fax: (055) 210 293.
E-mail: info@ristorantesabatini.it
Website: www.ristorantesabatini.it
Price: €60. Wine: €14.

Taverna del Bronzino
Located west of the convent of San Marco, this old fashioned tavern, with terracotta floors and brick-vaulted ceilings, is unashamedly bourgeois. While guests sit in the former workshop of the painter Bronzino, a complimentary glass of spumante and fresh schiacciata bread presage the serious eating. The Florencemade pasta, with scampi, artichoke and broccoli, is recommended, followed by roast deboned rabbit stuffed with aromatic herbs. Fish dishes, such as steamed bass, are also served. Closed Sunday.

Via delle Ruote 27r
Tel: (055) 495 220. Fax: (055) 462 0076.
Price: €50. Wine: €18.

Terrazza Brunelleschi
The rooftop restaurant of the Grand Hotel Baglioni is an ideal venue for business lunches. During summer, the outdoor terrace affords stunning views of the cathedral and bell tower, while those from the large windows of the elegant top floor restaurant inside are equally impressive. The menus cater for a mix of Italian and international tastes, offering reliable fare, such as Parma ham with melon.

Piazza Unità Italiana 6
Tel: (055) 23580. Fax: (055) 2358 8895.
E-mail: info@hotelbaglioni.it
Website: www.hotelbaglioni.it
Price: €45. Wine: €13.


Trendy

Acqua al 2
This modern and cheery bistro fizzes with atmosphere. Diners encounter an intimate locale, where art, fashion and food draw a mixed late-night crowd of journalists, American students, actors and cognoscenti. The menu offers taster platters, such as strips of beef served with a choice of dipping sauces, and selections of salads, pasta, cheeses and excellent wines. Closed Monday

Via Vigna Vecchia 40r
Tel: (055) 284 170.
E-mail: info@acquaal2.it
Website: www.acquaal2.it
Price: €30. Wine: €9.

Gaugin
Florence’s first vegetarian restaurant draws just as many non-vegetarians as vegetarians. The smart, modern dining room dressed with objets d’art attracts young professionals, who are open to the inventive pairing of flavours. Cardoons, orange-zest ricotta-flavoured pastas and recipes from Sicily all feature on a menu that breaks the usual Tuscan reliance on Florencegrown, locally available produce.

Via degli Alfani, 24r
Tel: (055) 234 0616. Fax: (055) 234 0616.
Price: €40. Wine: €12.

Osteria Caffé Italiano
This Santa Croce trattoria is very much in vogue, drawing Hollywood stars and ambassadors with its old-world rustic charm. Osteria Caffè Italiano’s style is to serve simple Tuscan dishes … extremely well. Dark wooden cabinets groan with salamis and bottles of wine in the front room, while waiters – busy with platters of freshly sliced meats, lasagne, pork steaks, roasted vegetables and pecorino cheese – bustle about under the chandeliers in the large, vaulted dining room behind. Service can be slow. Closed Monday.

Via Isola delle Stinche 11/13r
Tel: (055) 289 368. Fax: (055) 288 950
E-mail: info@caffeitaliano.it
Website: www.florence-gourmet.it
Price: €35. Wine: €15.50.

The Robin Hood’s Tavern
There is nothing funnier than seeing young Florentines emulating English pub life, even if they do dress better. This is a great place for visitors to let their hair down, drink beer and tuck into the pub’s ‘specials’, such as swordfish and grana cheese (like Parmesan) with balsamic vinegar or traditional English pub dishes, such as chicken curry or chilli. There is a maxi screen for big sporting events and the location, 50m (164ft) behind the cathedral, makes this a popular spot for many of the city’s international students.

Via dell’Oriuolo 58r
Tel: (055) 240 224.
E-mail: davidenasti@katamail.com
Website: http://utenti.tripod.it/robinpub/
Price: €20. Wine: €9.29.

Yab
From May to September, Florence’s funkiest love to grab a late night bite in the restaurant and pay too much for their drinks at this city centre nightclub, located behind the main post office. Loud techno may encourage anonymity and discourage conversation but this is a popular choice for those wanting to strut their stuff in front of the mirrors. Bites include a bowl of penne pasta with tomato and basil sauce or crostini (toasted ciabatta topped with Tuscan liver paste). Early evening is the time to arrive, for diners who just want to eat rather than dance.

Via Sassetti 5r
Tel: (055) 215 160.
E-mail: yab@yab.it
Website: www.yab.it
Price: €35. Wine: €21.


Budget

Alle Mossacce
Situated between the cathedral and the Bargello Museum, this trattoria, the name of which roughly translates as ‘crude in manner’, cannot be beaten on value for money. There are no reservations and the owners pack in as many people as they can. Diners sit at wooden tables and all seem happy with the service and the simple jugs of red wine that accompany steaming plates of pasta. Variations include the firm favourites, such as spaghetti alle vongole and lasagne al forno. There’s a multi-lingual menu, advance bookings are not taken and the restaurant is closed on the weekend.

Via del Proconsolo 55r
Tel: (055) 294 361.
Price: €20. Wine: €6.

Antico Ristoro di Cambi
This family-run restaurant overlooking the Arno has 60 places outside and about the same amount inside. It is a very traditional Tuscan trattoria, with bare brick walls and a warm welcome from owner Fabio Cambi. The ribollita (a hearty Tuscan vegetable soup) and the bistecca alla fiorentina (a T-bone steak dabbed with virgin olive oil and cooked over glowing charcoal) are both excellent. This venue is always deservedly popular, particularly on a hot summer’s day.

Via San Onofrio 1r
Tel: (055) 217 134. Fax: (055) 217 134.
Price: €25. Wine: €10.

Il Pizzaiuolo
This extremely popular, rustic, pizzeria serves traditional Neapolitan pizzas – fluffy around the edges, rather than hard like Florentine pizzas. It has no-frills surroundings and meals are taken at communal tables. Around 20 different varieties of pizza are on offer. Credit cards are not accepted and the restaurant is closed in August.

Via dei Macci 113r
Tel: (055) 241 171
Website: www.fol.it/pizzaiuolo
Price: €15. Wine: €8.

Trattoria Borgo Antico
The location of this pizzeria, on the small square below Brunelleschi’s clean-lined church of Santo Spirito, draws a young and trendy crowd, especially during the summer, when tables are laid outside. The service can be slapdash and the music loud but the buzz and the great pizzas, served on brightly coloured plates, more than compensate. Diners should reserve a spot in advance, as the restaurant tends to get busy.

Piazza Santo Spirito 6r
Tel: (055) 210 437. Fax: (055) 214 175.
Price: €20. Wine: €8.

Trattoria La Casalinga
Situated on the Oltrarno, between Santa Maria del Carmine and the Pitti Palace, this authentic neighbourhood trattoria pulls crowds of young hungry art lovers, who tuck into bowls of ribollita soup, made from stale bread and cabbage drizzled with virgin olive oil. Basic but plentiful fare ensures this cheap-and-cheerful trattoria is always crowded. Diners might need to share a table.

Via del Michelozzo 9r
Tel: (055) 218 624. Fax: (055) 267 9143.
Price: €20. Wine: €8.

Trattoria Ruggero
Located just outside the southern city walls, at the Porta Romana, Ruggero’s is a popular lunchtime hangout, crowded with Italian clerks during the week and families at the weekend. Hearty soups and main courses of roast and boiled meats favour winter dining, as does the snug and sociable atmosphere.

Via Senese 89r
Tel: (055) 220 542.
Price: €25. Wine: €9.


Personal Recommendations

Cantinetta dei Verrazzano
This gastrodome near the Ponte Vecchio incorporates a deli offering wonderful sausages and cold meats, a bakery, a coffee bar and a sales outlet for the wines of the prestigious Chianti vineyards of Castello di Verrazzano. Solitary diners and those short of time will appreciate the Cantinetta dei Verrazzano’s convenience, as well as the delectable specialities, including savoury filled foccacia bread and a delicious array of crostini and cold meats, which can be sampled with the estate’s wines at the tables. The decor is warm and inviting, with rustic yet elegant terracotta floors, marble surfaces and dark wood furnishings.

Via dei Tavolini 18-20r
Tel: (055) 268 590. Fax: (055) 268 590.
E-mail: cantina@verrazzano.com
Price: €30. Wine: €9.

Enoteca Pane e Vino
Set one block back from the Arno, Pane e Vino is known as the poor man’s Enoteca Pinchiorri (see above). The surroundings are rustic and atmosphere relaxed. The creative set menu has tempting offerings, such as fried courgette flowers, pecorino cheese flan and herb stuffed chicken, on a menu that changes daily. Otherwise diners can tuck into plates of cold meats, sausages and cheese with wine, served by the glass or bottle, from the excellent list. Open evening only and closed Sunday.

Via San Niccolò 60-70r
Tel: (055) 247 6956. Fax: (055) 247 6956.
Price: €35. Wine: €8.

Il Latini
Under hams dangling from the rafters, waiters run between packed, long tables and the walls are crammed with photos of writers in this old-fashioned, refectory-style trattoria. The Latini family encourages the sense of fun with helpful service and Florence cooking of hearty bean soups, stews and hand-cut salumi (cold meats).

Via dei Palchetti 6r
Tel: (055) 210 916. Fax: (055) 289 794.
E-mail: info@illatini.com
Website: www.illatini.com
Price: €25. Wine: €11.

Osteria Santo Spirito
The informal atmosphere, red walls and spot lighting might give the impression that this is a trendy wine bar but the emphasis is firmly on the traditional food. The spinach and ricotta gnocchi with melted butter is particularly good, while the seafood and fresh salads are excellent.

Piazza Santo Spirito 16r
Tel: (055) 238 2383. Fax: (055) 219 785.
Website: www.santospirito.firenze.it
Price: €25. Wine: €10.

Relais Le Jardin
This exclusive restaurant, attached to the five-star Hotel Regency, is ideal for romantics. There are barely more than a handful of tables, set with candles in a small room overlooking the pretty garden. During summer, dining spills into the garden as well. Chef Rino Pennucci’s refined and inventive menu favours delicate flavours and seasonal ingredients, with creations including stuffed rolled swordfish with Pachino tomatoes or saddle of rabbit with rosemary and pomegranate seeds and sautéed spinach. For dessert, guests could try the green-olive iced mousse and almond crush with caramel and cream sauce or the rather less complicated but equally tempting, three-chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream.

Hotel Regency, Piazza Massimo d’Azeglio 3
Tel: (055) 245 247. Fax: (055) 234 6735.
E-mail: info@regency-hotel.com
Website: www.regency-hotel.com
Price: €70. Wine: €18.

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