Where to Eat in Florence

In September, I went to Florence for a week. As well as being a beautiful city rich in culture, history and art, the food was one of the highlights, and I recommend a trip to Florence for the food alone. Here are my recommendations of where you should eat in Florence.

Why Tuscan Bread is Saltless

Florentine cuisine is just as rich as the city itself. Although the cuisine features many meat dishes, there is also an emphasis on fresh, seasonal vegetables and bread-based dishes. One thing which I find interesting, though, is that Florentine bread is salt-less. Apparently, this was due to the historic rivalry between Florence and Pisa, and a trade dispute where the Pisan army blocked the River Arno to prevent the Florentines from importing salt. Florentine bakers continued to bake bread, just without the salt.

Whilst the salt-less bread is quite bland on its own, it is featured in many typical Florentine dishes: panzanella – a salad made using stale bread, fresh tomatoes, basil, red wine vinegar and lots of good quality extra virgin olive oil; pappa al pomodoro – a thick tomato soup, which, again, uses stale bread for the texture; and ribollita – another classic Tuscan dish using cavolo nero, white beans, vegetables, and stale bread. Florentine bread also makes excellent crostini.


We had daily crostini and vino at Casa del Vino, a small and unassuming wine bar next to the Mercato Centrale at Via dell’Ariento 16r. The crostini were only €1 each, but the quality and flavours were perfection. The crostini ai fegatini (chicken liver pate) was the best chicken liver pate I have ever had – the texture was quite coarse and rustic, and the flavour was rich with anchovies and capers. The acciughe e burro (anchovy and butter) was another favourite – so simple, but so flavoursome!


The best panino I had was at Il Cernacchino – it was filled with Tuscan fennel salami, pecorino and fig mostarda. A great combination! Il Cernaccino was recommended by Emiko Davies in her article The 11 best panini in Florence that aren’t *that* panino | Emiko Davies

In my opinion, the panini at Il Cernacchino were way better than standing in an hour-long queue at the TikTok famous All’Antico Vinaio (which has taken over the entire street and even has security to control the queues). Il Cernacchino has some delicious, authentic and typical Florentine flavour combinations, including peposo (beef stew with black pepper and wine) and lampredotto (tripe with salsa verde). It is very centrally located at Via della Condotta – perfect during a day of exploring or after visiting some of the nearby art galleries. 

Eat in Florence: panino
Panino filled with Tuscan fennel salami, pecorino and fig mostarda.


Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco features in Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy”. Cinghiale Bianco is located on the ground floor of a thirteenth century tower in Borgo San Jacopo, described as one of the quaintest streets of medieval Florence, among art galleries, antique shops and boutiques. We had crostini to start (of course) and I then had the pappardelle with wild boar ragù – it was absolutely delicious; the sauce was flavoured with black olives which added a real depth to the rich flavour of the wild boar. We then had cantuccini biscuits with Vin Santo – a typical Florentine way to end the meal.

Eat in Florence: Pappardelle with wild boar ragù
Pappardelle with wild boar ragù

Il Santo Bevitore (located on Via di Santo Spirito) was another highlight. Listed in the Michelin guide, Il Santo Bevitore serves typical Tuscan flavours in a more refined and elegant way. I had the wild boar ravioli with parmesan cream, which was a lovely twist on the classic wild boar ragù. 

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

If you go to Florence, it goes without saying that you need to try a bistecca alla fiorentina – a t-bone steak, which is usually at least 1kg. We ordered a bistecca to share at Trattoria 4 Leoni in Piazza della Passera. It was the perfect balance of being smoky and crisp on the outside (it is cooked on the grill) but melted in the mouth. The waiter cut it at the table, which made it a lot less daunting to tackle. We had it simply with Tuscan white beans, which was a nice combination. 

Bistecca alla fiorentina

Il Mercato Centrale

I also have to mention Il Mercato Centrale – the central food marked in Florence. It has a number of food stalls upstairs, which use ingredients from the stalls below to make their dishes. We had tagliolini al tartufo (truffle pasta) from one of the stalls and I would highly recommend trying it, or some of the other food stalls at Il Mercato Centrale – there is a great variety, to the extent that it is difficult to choose where to go! One of the best things about visiting Florence in September was the abundance of truffles. It is the best time of year to go truffle hunting in Tuscany – something that is on my list for a future trip. 

Tagliolini al tartufo


I would highly recommend visiting Caffè Rivoire in Piazza della Signoria for a hot chocolate. It’s a great way to take in the atmosphere and views of the busy piazza, whilst avoiding actually being in the crowds. 

We were staying in the Oltrarno quarter (the ‘other side of the river’) and discovered Sbrino, an artisanal gelateria on Via De’ Serragli, with a small number of seasonal flavours. My favourite combination was the pear and dark chocolate. 

Where is on my list for my next trip to Florence?

Without a doubt, I will be making a reservation at Trattoria Sostanza on my next trip to Florence. My parents had visited here in the 90s and it seems that not much has changed at this Florentine institution, located on Via del Porcellana. Recommended by Russell Norman, Emiko Davies, Georgette Jupe from the blog ‘Girl in Florence’, and lots of other foodies and critics, Trattoria Sostanza’s most famous dish is the chicken in butter sauce. The dishes are simple, authentic and very Florentine.  But don’t make my mistake, and make sure to book in advance if you would like to try here.

All photos courtesy of Natalia Bell @buonappetitotutti

Natalia Bell

Contributing Food Editor

Natalia is a lawyer who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for and enjoying food with the people she loves, and travelling. She has a particular interest in Italian cuisine and culture, having been fortunate enough to travel there every year whilst growing up. She speaks Italian, but is continually trying to improve her skills to a fully proficient level. She would love to live in Italy one day - but, in the meantime, she posts about food and Italy on her Instagram @buonappetitotutti

  1. That was a such nice article, so many tips. Definitely I’ll comeback here to check when I visit Florence again!

    Thanks Natalie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Build your authentic life in Italy! Live in Italy Magazine is an experiential lifestyle news site dedicated to anyone who has or will make Italy their home away from home. Read stories from expats and Italians. Named the Best Italy Magazine by Feedspot!

We feature in-depth articles and interviews covering:

  • Expat Life
  • Food & Wine
  • Travel
  • Lifestyle
  • Design, Art, & Culture
  • Real Estate, Hotels/Resorts & Long-Term Rentals

We are committed to creating great content. Please consider becoming a Sponsor by donating on Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Our Contributors:

Lisa Morales, Editor-in-Chief (Miami)
Christine Cutler, Travel Editor (St. Petersburg, FL)
Lorenzo Diamantini, Food and Wine Editor (Gubbio)
Adriana Suarez, Top 8 Editor (Miami)
Bel Woodhouse, Contributing Editor (Cozumel, Mexico)
Giulia Marchetti, Contributing Editor (Viterbo)
Angie Kordic, Visual Arts Contributing Editor (Stockholm, Sweden)
Feuza Reis, Breaking News Contributor (Miami)
Patrizia Vigolo, Contributing Wine Editor (Vicenza)
Natalia Bell. Food Contributor (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Emma Prentice (Ferrara/UK), Contributor
Justin Patulli (Ottawa, Canada), Contributing Editor
Annalucia Scotto Di Clemente (Rome), Contributing Editor
Sandra Diaz-Velasco (Miami), Interior Design & Architecture Contributor
Carrie Convilli (Venice), Veneto Events Correspondent

Al Esper Graphic Design: Digital Edition Art Director (Tennessee)
SQLHardhat: Aaron Morales, Website Design and SEO (Miami)
Visual Popcorn: John Craven, Video Editor (Miami)
Colls Fine Art Photography: Armando Colls, Contributing Photographer (Miami)
Sabrina Negro, Translator (Piemonte)
Giulia Ferro, Subtitler EN/IT (San Michele all’Adige)

Sales: sales@liveinitalymag.com

Submit Your Press Release: lisa @ liveinitalymag.com

Guest Contributors:

Guest Contributor applicants should have a good understanding of WordPress. Email links to recent articles along with your social media handles to: lisa @ liveinitalymag.com.