Eat Like a Local – Florence

The Italians love to indulge themselves at the table. They enjoy their food – often dining for hours on end.  And it’s true – you can eat your fill, even in Florence, without breaking the bank.

Florence Marco Polo Guide

Local Specialities to try on your visit to Florence:

Arista alla fiorentina – grilled fillet of pork with rosemary and garlic

Baccalà alla fiorentina – stockfish in tomato sauce with basil

Biscotti di Prato (cantucci) – almond biscuits to be dipped in vin santo, a sweet dessert wine

Bistecca alla fiorentina – a 3.5-cm (1 1/2 in) thick T-bone steak

Carciofi fritti – fried quartered artichokes

Cinghiale (coniglio) in umido – wild boar or rabbit in tomato sauce

Crostini toscani – toasted bread spread with a paste made of chicken liver, capers and fresh herbs

Fagioli all’uccelletto con salsicce – white beans in tomato sauce with sage and pork sausages

Fettunta – toasted slices of white bread: in summer with tomatoes and basil; in winter with garlic and drizzled with freshly pressed olive oil

Lesso (bollito misto) con salsa verde – boiled meat (beef, tongue, chicken) with green herb sauce

Minestrone/zuppa di verdura – thick vegetable soup

Panzanella – a summer salad served on soaked white bread and tomatoes

Pappa al pomodoro – luke-warm tomato and bread soup

Pollo al mattone – chicken, pressed flat under a brick and roasted over a wood fire

Ribollita – re-heated vegetable soup with white beans and bread

Tagliata – steak, stripped from the bone and cut into strips

Tagliatelle alla lepre (al cinghiale) – ribbon noodles with hare or wild boar ragout

Trippa alla fiorentina – calf tripe with tomato sauce


Restaurants serving traditional Italian cuisine:

Expensive (if you sit down at a table), but in a class of its own. Don’t leave town without trying a cioccolata calda con panna (hot chocolate with whipped cream); the Rivoire is as much a part of Florence as the Palazzo Vecchio opposite. Tue–Sun 8am–midnight | Piazza della Signoria 5r

It’s practically impossible to eat well and cheaply in the centre of Florence – but here’s the exception to the rule! Freshly prepared pasta dishes at lunchtime, followed by delicious fish in the evenings. Mon–Sat | Via del Moro 51r | Tel. 0 55 28 54 86

If your palate calls for a glass of good white wine and an exquisite truffle pâté sandwich, rather than sweet snacks, and if you favour a slightly genteel atmosphere, you’ll go crazy for this place! Mon–Sat 10am–8pm | Via Tornabuoni 64r |

At this pleasant cantinetta (wine bar) in the Palazzo Antinori, you can not only sample the famous wines from this winegrowing dynasty, but also try the appetising foods produced on the Antinori estates. This has long been a favourite meeting place for Florentine movers and shakers. Mon–Fri | Piazza Antinori 3r (Via Tornabuoni) | Tel. 0 55 29 22 34 |

For years now, one of the places to be. Florentine society people squeeze into the cramped interior to enjoy superlative cuisine. Closed Sun and Tue evenings | Via del Parioncino 26r | Tel. 0 55 28 71 78 | Moderate |

Mimmo is committed to using only fresh ingredients for his excellent dishes – one more reason to come for a meal at this beautiful 17th-century theatre! Closed Sat lunchtime and Sun | Via S. Gallo 57–59r | Tel. 0 55 48 10 30 | | Moderate

Let Paolo spoil you with a few Florentine delicacies, including the typical bistecca alla fiorentina! Tue–Sun | Via dei Lavatoi 3r | Tel. 05 52 34 48 80 | Moderate

The Florentine clientele have been descending at lunchtime on this Mercato Centrale stand since 1872. Typical dishes at reasonable prices. Mon–Sat 7am–2pm | Mercato Centrale | Via dell’Ariento | Budget


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What’s the best thing you have ever tasted in Florence? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

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