Top Three Favorite Restaurants in Florence
During the five years we lived in Italy, we couldn’t get enough of Florence. The art, architecture, food, and wine, is simply amazing. Below we’ve included three of our favorite restaurants in the city. These restaurants consistently delivered world-class dining experiences, often in simple settings, and were the restaurants that we returned to again and again.
Il Cibreo is THE restaurant that you have to go to in Florence; it ranks as one of our favorites in all of Italy. We prefer the trattoria, over the more formal ristorante and café across the street (the formal ristorante & café are very good, but very expensive, and a little stuffy); in any case, they all use the same kitchen, the only difference being that the trattoria menu is more limited. Il Cibreo’s menu is based on traditional Tuscan cooking, before the introduction of pasta. The menu sticks by classic dishes — e.g., polenta, minestra di pane, pappa al pomodoro — but they are typically done with concentrated flavors in a more sophisticated way than your typical Italian restaurant. The secondi are also highly recommended, including their collo di pollo ripieno (stuffed chicken neck), polpetti di vitella (veal meatballs), and salsicce con i fagioli (sausage and beans) Note that the Trattoria does not take reservations, so keep this in mind, because you will likely have to wait for a bit to be seated.
Il Cibreo Trattoria: Via dei Macci, 122R; Ristorante: Via dei Macci 118r; Telephone 055 234 1100; closed Sundays and Mondays.
Antica Trattoria Tre Soldi
A cozy little restaurant (only 40 seats) that has been run by the same, convivial family for several generations. It is also Slow Food-approved. We highly recommend trying the Prosciutto di cinto senese (salt-cured and air-dried whole pork leg) that comes from a local variety of pig that has a distinctive stripe across its belly, the gnudi in a simple, but delicious sauce of butter and sage, and the cinghiale (wild boar, pronounced chin-ga-lay) with rosemary. It’s a true authentic Tuscan restaurant and you won’t be disappointed.
Antica Trattoria Tre Soldi: Via D’Annunzio 4a/r; Telephone 055 679 366; closed Saturdays (also closed Friday evening in summer)
Another one of our favorites, this home-style trattoria is filled with locals enjoying traditional Florentine dishes like crostini, pappa al pomodoro, ribollita, and trippa (tripe). Along with these regional favorites, Al Tranvai will also serve very tasty fish dishes, typically on Fridays. The menu here is only in Italian, so we recommend picking up our Italian Food Guide, which includes an Italian – English food glossary and will help you identify the local specialties. The deserts here are also delicious and are all made in house. A note for gluten-free travelers, Al Tranvai will provide gluten-free (senza glutine) menu upon request.
Al Tranvai. Piazza Torquato Tasso, 14/r, Telephone 055 225197; closed Saturdays and Sundays.
BONUS: I Due Fratellini
While technically not a restaurant, this is another one of our favorite experiences. Cheap and cheerful, simply walk up to the counter, choose a sandwich and eat standing up on the side of the street. You can even do like the locals and get a glass of wine. It’s the perfect mid-day break from sightseeing.
I Due Fratellini. Via dei Cimatori, 38; open everyday.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Florence? Email us your favorites; we would love to hear your recommendations!
Reservations in Italy
We have definitely found that it is necessary to make reservations for dinner. Walk-ins are not as welcome. A reservation, made even a couple hours in advance, goes a long way and usually gets you a better table. Also, locals eat dinner around 20:30 (8:30 pm) in a city like Florence; however, dinner times may vary in small towns, so it is always best to ask someone what is typical for the area. For more information on what to eat in Florence, check out our Approach Guide to Italian Food.