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.
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.
Price: €50 or €62 (set menu). Wine: €20.50.
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.
Price: €45. Wine: €11.
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.
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.
Price: €125. Wine: €30.
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
Via de’ Macci 118r
Tel: (055) 234 1100. Fax: (055) 244 966.
Price: €60 or €20 in the trattoria. Wine: €14.
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.
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
Piazzale Michelangelo 3
Tel: (055) 234 2832. Fax: (055) 234 5288.
Price: €45. Wine: €13.
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.
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.
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.
Price: €45. Wine: €13.
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.
Price: €30. Wine: €9.
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
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
Via dell’Oriuolo 58r
Tel: (055) 240 224.
Price: €20. Wine: €9.29.
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.
Price: €35. Wine: €21.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Hotel Regency, Piazza Massimo d’Azeglio 3
Tel: (055) 245 247. Fax: (055) 234 6735.
Price: €70. Wine: €18.