Looking for the best restaurants in Florence, Italy? Even though the city center has a fair number of touristy spots, finding an authentic, top-notch restaurant in Florence doesn’t have to be hard!
Here is a list of our five favorite quintessential, Florentine restaurants—all bustling with local patrons, and serving up that taste of Tuscany we all search for. (Which one would you like to try? Let us know in the comments!)
Il Fiesolano: Our favorite restaurant in Florence for…bistecca fiorentina
Il Fiesolano has Florence’s best bistecca fiorentina and portabello mushrooms! Photo by Tiana Kai
Florence has its fair share of top-notch steak restaurants. But at Il Fiesolano, we don’t just love the juicy, tender bistecca fiorentina (Florence’s classic T-bone steak). We also love how it’s presented: With dramatic flair, the waiter quickly slices the steaming bistecca fiorentina in front of you on a wooden cutting board, then plates it on colorful Tuscan dishes.
Not a steak fan? No problem. The rest of Il Fiesolano’s menu is also excellent, Florentine cuisine. But no matter what you go for, don’t forget to order a bottle of the house wine, Il Re delle Carni, a Chianti Classico that captures that Florentine moment you travelled for!
You can enjoy lunch or dinner on either of their two terraces, or inside, under hanging, oversized garlic cloves and peppers. Just remember to arrive hungry: The bistecca fiorentina here weighs in at a serious 1.2kg, or 2.6 lbs, for two people!
Il Fiesolano is located in the hills just outside of Florence, in the town of Fiesole, at Piazza Mino 9r. Phone: (+39) 055 59143.
La Pentola dell’Oro: Our favorite restaurant in Florence for… medieval dishes
Pentola dell’Oro’s pappardelle sul papero is made with duck ragù. Photo courtesy of La Pentola dell’Oro
Get ready to be transported back in time… with your palate! At La Pentola dell’Oro, meaning “The Golden Cooking Pot,” each dish references a different era. Don’t miss the beef slow-cooked in chocolate—an unconventional, and unforgettable, pairing.
The restaurant is ample enough for large groups, but cozy in the downstair grotto (one of the few in Florence!). The wine list goes very well with the dishes, and the knowledgeable staff helps with any pairing. Don’t miss out on their tantalizing pasta dishes, and definitely leave room for dessert.
La Pentola dell’Oro is located near Santa Croce, at Via di Mezzo 24. Phone: (+39) 055 241808.
Il Magazzino: Our favorite restaurant in Florence for… traditional Florentine cuisine
Il Magazzino’s signature dish, ravioli di lampredotto. Photo by Tiana Kai
Il Magazzino might be located in the most charming piazza in Florence (complete with a handful of outdoor tables)—but the menu is as rustic as they come! Thanks to the super-fresh ingredients, you’ll feel like you’re eating just-picked produce straight from the farm.
This is the place to delve into classic Florentine dishes, like ravioli di lampredotto, tripe, and other pasta dishes. (Before you go, know what to order by checking out our list of local foods to eat in Florence and Tuscany!). If you have a vegetarian in your group, don’t worry; there are non-meat dishes, too.
Il Magazzino is located in Piazza della Passera 2/3. Phone: (+39) 055 215969.
Il Santino: Our favorite restaurant in Florence for… wine and snacks
Il Santino’s unforgettable cod and mashed potatoes. Photo by Tiana Kai
Ready for a wine bar? Me, too! Il Santino is one of the coolest little gems in Florence, with a nice mix of local patrons and a knowledgable staff of two. With its great wines, meats, cheeses, and other small plates, it’s the perfect place to settle in for a lovely, long evening in Florence.
If you sit at the bar, prepare to salivate: You’ll be facing the assortment of hanging meats and sausages, including prosciutto. (Keep your eye out for the shiny red meat slicer!). Or grab a petite table, set against the red-brick walls, to enjoy your top-notch wine and cheese.
We especially love their bacalao, which is cod whipped with potatoes. No one ever orders just one!
Il Santino is located just over the Arno at Via di Santo Spirito 60r. Phone: (+39) 055 2302820.
Caffè Dogali: Our favorite restaurant in Florence for…panini
Dogali panino, fully loaded. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor
There are endless panini joints throughout downtown Florence, but one of the most local—and best—spots is Caffè Dogali. A popular sandwich shop in the Campo di Marte neighborhood, it’s right across from the soccer and concert stadium.
The focaccia used as bread for the panini is bigger, and better, than any we’ve seen before. Choose from a variety of meats to pile on, but don’t stop there: Other accompaniments include cream of mushroom, cream of artichoke, porcini mushrooms, cream of ‘nduja… Are you hungry yet?