Italy in general, and Tuscany in particular, are famous worldwide for their delicious traditional cuisine. When you visit Tuscany you will surely also visit Florence, the capital of the region. The Renaissance city does not only offer magnificent palaces and museums; it is also home to many wonderful restaurants offering true Tuscan dishes. But, as you know, there is no fruit basket without a rotten apple. So, how do you stay away from bad restaurants and pick only the best restaurants in Florence? One way is stirring clear when you see a waiter calling you in the restaurant. I personally loath this attitude. It drives me into thinking: ok, you are one step away from Duomo in Florence and you still have available seating? You must be less than ordinary! But the best way is going straight to the good ones. When you are on holiday you should go for the best, even though the price is higher than average. Here are five great restaurants in Florence that will leave you more than happy. Be forewarned that these are not wallet friendly suggestions.
Five Great Restaurants in Florence
Perseus, located Piazza Mino 9/r in Fiesole
For meat lovers. The restaurant is located in delicious Fiesole, a historic town right above Florence, five minutes driving from the city center. The restaurant itself is drenched in history, as Garibaldi himself slept in one of its rooms during the unification of Italy. The large indoors are complemented by a delightful terrace to eat al-fresco during hot summer days. Here you can taste the most traditional Florentine cuisine made of Crespelle, Beef Peposo, Pasta with Chianti wine sauce, and of course the unmistakable Florentine steak, thick, juicy and butter-like tender.
Il Povero Pesce, located at Via Pier Fortunato Calvi 8r
Perhaps the most affordable among these restaurants in Florence, this is a place completely dedicated to fish. The ambient is welcoming and refreshing, decorated with seaside colors and fishing instruments that give it a relaxing and original look. All the fish is fresh, which is an uncommon privilege to have in the center of Florence. A rich cellar is the occasion for great food pairings suggested by the in-house sommelier.
Cibreo, located at Via del Verrocchio 8r
Since 1979 Cibreo serves food that comes from the immediate surroundings of Florence and other Tuscan localities. The chef changes his menu following the season and the weather. This relationship between nature and cuisine is the characteristic of Cibreo, where frozen and canned goods are banned, the fridge sparingly used and only fresh foods are allowed in the kitchen. Dining tables are dressed with class, and the ambient is very warm and appointed without being snooty.
La Giostra, located at Borgo Pinti 12r
The princes of Hapsburg Lorena are the owners and managers of this restaurant in Florence. They were able to bring the informal class of one of the most ancient Old-World courts on their dinner tables. Wine and olive oil come directly from the castle the family has near Barberino Val d’Elsa, few kilometers from Florence. The menu is the sapient result of modernized Tuscan recipes and ancient Austrian dishes, for a surprising set of new flavors rooting in a very ancient past.
Enoteca Pinchiorri,located in the Eighteenth century palace at Via Ghibellina Jacometti Ciofi 87
This is the restaurant with most prestige in Europe, and winner of multiple high-cuisine awards since its inception in 1979. You will find it incredibly overpriced and incredibly classy, yet it remains one of the must-go places if you want to spend a decadent night in Florence. The cheapest bottle of wine is around 300 Euros and a dinner for two ranges from 600 to 1,200 Euros. Needless to say a dinner here is a lifetime experience, which many can afford only once. The service, wine and food are superb, and the highly classy ambient requires you to respect the strict dinner-jacket dress code.
And, that’s it, 5 of the best restaurants in Florence.
Photo credit: Flip Florence