These food and restaurant pages are part of Paradoxplace (about Paradoxplace).  In addition to its restaurant and food pages, Paradoxplace contains over 7,000 photographs covering much of Italy. Spain and Portugal, France, and Britain, and other places as diverse as Constantinople, and Mughal India.  Paradoxplace also contains extensive illustrated chronologies, maps etc featuring  the interesting movers and shakers and places in the worlds of history, art and thinking - from the end of the Western Roman Empire (about 500AD), through the boomtimes of the high middle ages (1200s) and the  Italian Renaissance (1400s) to the entry of the Nation States of Early Modern Europe (around 1600AD).  Wherever possible, looking, eating and story telling are combined - apart from the special food pages linked above, many of the other pages have food photos and restaurant and hotel notes.

 

We are not commercially sponsored (but have nothing against this in principle!), and we make no charge for any of the listings and recommendations - the only criteria are those of interest and that we or our friends have enjoyed them.   Feedback is encouraged, as there is only so much one person can eat and photograph in a lifetime - email afletch at paradoxplace dot com.

 

These guides were researched in the early 2000s .... not much has changed for many of the restaurants except many now have websites, which makes it easy to check information about them.  We can't vouch for up to date accuracy, so you should check first.

 

 

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Quick Restaurant Locator

(click on the restaurant name)

Trattoria Mario (Lunch)

Il Latini

Trattoria al Trebbio

Osteria Delle Belle Donne

Cantinetta Antinori

North West (San Lorenzo)

Inner West

North West Central

North West Central

North West Central

Trattoria le Mossacce

Il Gatto e la Volpe

Trattoria Anita

Trattoria Baldovino

Ristorante Dino

Enotica Pinchiorri

Inner East

Inner East

Inner East

Mid East

Mid East

Mid East

 

Giubbe Rosse

La Grotta Guelfa

Trattoria Antico Fattore

Central

Central

Central

La Baraonda

Il Cibreo

Dei Fagiole

East

East

East

 

 

Osteria di Santo Spirito

Santo Bevitore

Trattoria del Carmine

South of the River Arno

South of the River Arno

South of the River Arno

 

 

 

Trattoria Mario

PHOTO PAGE

A crowded energy filled room at the corner of the "real" food markets behind San Lorenzo (go there to see what butchers in the capital of meat look like).  Be prepared to wait outside (no booking), and then sit knee to knee with new friends whilst trying to locate the blackboard menu on the wall!  But it's well worth it (better ambience and food in our view than the similar modus operandi Belle Donne below) and certainly much better value than the surrounding restaurants.  "Cucina Casalinga" - "homely cooking" (literally "cooking of the housewife"). 

 

Most lunchers have a pasta followed by a meat dish.  For our last visit we chose ravioli with a chopped mushroom and butter sauce followed by Peposo di Manzo - large chunks of beef in a red wine pepper sauce.  Returning later in the week, the subtle pasta and bean soup followed by Trippa Fiorintino (thinly sliced tripe in a deep deep red tomato sauce) proved equally irresistible.  Reduced wait for seating if you are on your own or a couple, or get there early (say midday).  In 2007 it was noticeable that there seemed to be many more Americans competing for space than there were earlier in the decade when it cost much less than a Dollar to buy a Euro (remember those days?).

Top lunch spot Lunch only.  Closed Sun.  No bookings. 

 

via Rosina 2, close to San Lorenzo food market - it's actually on the other side of the road to the location shown on its card below - the blue dot is where the queue is!

 

Website

Il Latini

Top place for a fun evening with friends in Florence

 

Three large barrel vaulted whitewashed rooms, in an earlier life the stables of a City Palazzo, where Narcisco Latini & Son do Cucina Toscana.   The many refectory tables are always full.  The best logistical approach is to get there at 7.30 at the latest (don't worry about booking for any time before 9 - they'll take bookings but you will almost certainly be kept waiting for half an hour or more if you're not in the first wave of customers!!).  It's a fun place, full of Italians (in October anyway!).  Not much seating scope for singles!!
  Closed Monday.   "Bookings" 055 210 916 (but the only real booking is to get there early!).  email info@illatini.com   web www.illatini.com

 

via dei Palchetti 6.  From Pz della Repubblica (ten minutes' walk) go West down via Strozzi and cross via Tournabuoni into via della Vigna Nuova.  via dei Palchetti is a little street on the right after 200M or so. 

 

There are no menus that we saw - you choose from verbal options presented by your waiter.  In October 2003 our party of three diners just let it happen.  Firstly a meat antipasta mix - prosciutto (simply the best yet), crostini with chicken liver mousse, bruschetta (tomato tasting like tomato used to, with basilico and olive oil and garlic on toast), and insalata caprese ("salad from Capri" - mozzarella di bufala, tomato, olive oil, greenery) and a tonne of crusty Tuscan bread - oh and something had shaved parmesan cheese on it.  Then a Pasta course selection - a penne and a ravioli, and also two soups - the very Tuscan bean soup and even more Tuscan ribollita (bread) soup.  All this washed down with vino rosso di casa from a two litre fiasco (straw covered) bottle.  By the end of this there were only two takers left for the meat course - we chose roast chicken, and the house specialty - roast beef (there were other choices available).  The latter is a 3cm thick steak cut off a long roasted standing rib - as good as anything you'll get in America (to our mind the land of good beef).  "Basta!" we cried "Enough", gracefully declining offers of fish and / or pizza and / or dolci, but we chatted on whilst dipping biscotti into a vin santo (dessert wine), and then a bottle of muscat (fizzy) appeared - mostly in Italy this is pretty sweet as they stop the fermentation early at about 5% alcohol, but our bottle was really a pleasant (second) dessert drink.  Oh, and we had coffee.  All this and a bill for €110 (in 2003 Euros). Go there!

 

Website

Trattoria al Trebbio

Pleasant inside lunch spot Mid market (ie more upmarket (= you get your own table) than the Osteria down the road listed below - printed menus, table cloths etc).  Excellent food and wine list.
  Bookings: 055 287089
  via Belle Donne, 47/49 R

Osteria delle Belle Donne

Good value working lunch

Good casserole style food for a quick weekday lunch with Florentine workers in an energy packed, small crowded, downstairs, share-a-table trattoria with blackboard menu.   Throughput is their priority so its not a good place for slow food devotees, lingerers or lovers of quietness!  But that's true of all Florence city Osterias at lunchtime.

 

Closed Sat, Sun.   Bookings: 055 238 2609

 

via delle Belle Donne 16, behind Palazzo Antinori which is at the top end of via Tournabouni.  Look for a low entrance down some steps under a window box towards the bottom of the East side.

Cantinetta Antinori

 

Antinori estate wines available by the glass with excellent (but not cheap) Tuscan style food.

North end of via Tournabuoni - outstanding wines

An up market Trattoria - formally dressed waiters, but it's easy to pop in for a (no longer reasonably priced) one course meal and a glass of wine.  Good food and a quiet place away from the rush to have lunch even though it's nearly always full.  There's a more formal restaurant on the mezzanine level.

 

Closed ?  Bookings Phone No 055 292 234 (in season either get there at 12 for lunch or book!).

 

Palazzo Antinori is at the top end of via Tournabouni.  The Cantinetta is a vaulted wood panelled room on the ground floor of the Palazzo - worth peeping in just to see it!  One sightseeing strategy is to go to San Marco in the morning, then have lunch here before strolling down to the Uffizi for a (prebooked) mid afternoon visit.

 

Antinori is one of the leading Italian wine producers.  A good place to try a "super Tuscan" wine or one of their Chianti Classico Riservas (or both) by the glass.  They also have a restaurant next door to their major vineyards at Badia in Passignano.

Giubbe Rosse

PHOTO PAGE

Café on South side Piazza della Repubblica

Florence's cafe / bar with a literary history

Meeting place for the intellectual set "between the wars".  It’s nice to sit and drink outside in a piazza where there are usually more locals than tourists, and knowing that the drinks aren't such a rip off as those in the Piazza della Signoria.  Find time to have a look around inside (including the back part) - and even buy one of their books!

 

Piazza della Repubblica, Firenze

 

Described (inaccurately) by Mary McCarthy in "The Stones of Florence" as one of the least interesting piazzas in Italy, but we think that it's a pleasant place to sit away from the tourist throng and prices of the Pz della Signoria.

 

 

La Grotta Guelfa

Relaxed outside lunch / summer dinner near the historic city centre

Surprisingly untouristy outdoor / indoor restaurant close to the city centre at the bottom of via Pellicceria.  Good value for a restaurant and the menu includes good fish dishes.

 

Closed ?.   Bookings: 055 210042

 

At the bottom of via Pellicceria, S of Pz della Repubblica (opposite the Irish Pub!) - especially good for lunch if its a nice day and you are in the middle of town.

Trattoria Antico Fattore

  New entry - next door to the Uffizi but don't let that put you off
 

Closed Sundays

Tel. 055 288975

 

V.Lambertesca 1/3r

Between the Uffizi and the Ponte Vecchio

Osteria di Santo Spirito

South of the river, sitting outside in Florence's green piazza

Brasserie style food including fish.
  Outside seating in the attractive Piazza - one of the few green places in Florence.  There are also other eating options in the same Piazza.

 

Closed ? .   Bookings: ?

 

Corner of Piazza di Santa Spirito "the garden piazza" South of the river, an attractive grassed Piazza close to the action but also off the tourist drag.   A good spot for lunch after a morning visit to the Brancacci chapel and Santa Spirito.  Not such an attractive area at night (edge of the red light district).

Santo Bevitore

South of the river, spacious cool atmosphere

Wine bar type restaurant with some excellent hot dishes of the day - also wins the award for spacious table positioning in a delightful space !  Big recommendation here.

 

Closed ? .  

Tel: 055 211 264

 

Via di Santo Spirito 64/66r

 

Thanks to Robert Veel for this one

 

Trattoria del Carmine
Good little trat near the Brancacci Chapel Attractive little south of the river trattoria with a fairly standard menu and blackboard specials.
  Not a warm weather place - Most of the seating is inside and there is only a cramped little area outside which is often full.
  Closed Sundays.  Tel 055 218601
  Piazza del Carmine / Borgo San Frediano
 

Trattoria Le Mossacce

Down to earth table sharing trat

Excellent value for money on both the food and wine fronts

 

Tuscan cucina casalinga

 

Closed: Sunday.  Tel: 055 294 361 but it's not the sort of place you book at!

 

via del Proconsolo 55r

 

Between the Opera dell Duomo and the Bargello (and near what remains of the original Badia or Abbey of Florence, which once used to own everythging in sight and more).

Il Gatto e La Volpe - Ristorante Pizzeria

Excellent value pleasant eatery (including very good pizzas) in an area where not many exist!

Excellent value on both the food (including good pizzas), wine and atmosphere fronts.

 

Closed: Monday,    Tel: 055 289 264,     Website

 

Via Ghibellina 151/r (just to the East of the Bargello)

 

Luciano, Fabio & Fatjon - Photos: Nick Fletcher

Trattoria Anita

An old style Florentinian Trat in a narrow back street behind the Uffizi

More working locals than tourists patronize what must be the best value for money table sharing casalinga trat in Central Florence

 

Closed: Sunday,    Tel: 055 218 698 (but we doubt that anyone actually books!)

 

Via del Parlascio 2/r (/ Via Vinegia 16/r)
 

Trattoria Baldovino

Lunch after a visit to Santa Croce Surprising to find a reasonable value good food trattoria right next door to Santa Croce.  No outside area.
  Tel: 055 2347220
  via San Giuseppe 18r (near North East corner of Piazza Santa Croce)
 

Il Cibreo

The trattoria of the "No 2" Restaurant in Florence

Consistently excellent ratings for Tuscan (particularly stuffed meat) food.  They don't do pasta.

 

Go to the trattoria rather than the restaurant and get to know other diners at your table over the same food as the restaurant but much more reasonably priced.

 

Closed: Sun, Mon and all of August.   Bookings: (Restaurant only) 055 234 1100

 

via Andrea del Verrocchio 40 / via de’ Macci.  Walk west from the city centre to the via Pietra Piana.

 

There is also an expensive Cibreo restaurant, which competes with Pinchiorri for the top Florentine restaurant spot, a café and food products shop.

 
Ristorante Dino

Another option at the Santa Croce end of town

A good value "Ristorante Enogastronomico" in a low pedestrian traffic area. 

 

Closed Sun, Mon Lunch.   Bookings: 055 241 452  website

 

via Ghibellina 47r - note that close to the east end of the via is a new multi storey underground parking station - Parcheggio Beccario
Enotica Pinchiorri

Top end luxury

The top end in quality, price and formality

 

A "grand restaurant" in all senses.

 

Closed Sun, Mon, Wed Lunch.   Bookings: 055 242 777

 

via Ghibellina 87

 

Florence’s "Michelin Stars" restaurant with a renowned wine list.  Also No 2 in Italy in the 2003 Gambero Rosso guide to the top 2,000 Italian restaurants.  (Guess what was number one ...... the Gambero Rosso Restaurant in Livorno .... No relation, they say ....)

La Baraonda

 

Good moderately priced food

 

Closed   .   Bookings: 055 234 1171

 

via Ghibellina 67
Dei Fagiole

 

Go there for the steak!

 

Traditional Trattoria

 

Closed Sun Bookings 055 244285

 

Corso dei Tintori 47

 

Go East from the Uffizi or South from Santa Croce

 

 

Link to Paradoxplace Truffle Festival pages

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Florence Museum Information

Gallery Bookings (inc Uffizi) 055 29 4883,  Vasari Corridor 055 265 4321

With the Uffizi (closed Monday) you can buy tickets at the gallery the day before you want to go.

Polo Museale Fiorentino, who administer all the Florence Museums

The Florence Tourist Information Offices (Pz Stazione, opp SMN Station, and elsewhere) have information sheets showing all of the places you can go to in Florence, and their opening times.

Link to what's on, maps and descriptions of the great galleries and buildings of Florence

 

 

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