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Florence - Peasant Delicacies and Upscale Vintages

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Florentine cuisine derives from peasant dishes relying on homegrown ingredients and imagination. These dishes are prepared in traditional and innovative manners, and are on offer in the city's wealth of restaurants, trattorias, and enotecas (wine bars). Thanks to Tuscany's rich terrain and plentiful vineyards, Florence is home to some of Italy's most renowned wines.

Typical dishes

 

There's no escaping meat in Florence, where the bistecca fiorentina and tagliata alla fiorentina (steak sliced thinly on a bed of arugula and sprinkled with slices of Parmigiano) are its most famous local dishes. But don't miss out on hearty soups like ribollita, which uses beans and bread as prime ingredients, or lampredotto, a sandwich of thinly sliced tripe.

The Duomo's authentic Florentine restaurants

 

If you're looking for a place to eat in the historic center, keep your eyes peeled for discreet restaurant entrances tucked away in medieval stone nooks. These are the spots where you'll find tantalizing traditional dishes like bistecca fiorentina, pappa al pomodoro (tomato bread soup), and crostini with porcini mushrooms. For something more casual and wine-centric, you can look for a fiaschetteria, or wine bar, that tends to offer lighter fare like antipasti and pastas, with a wide selection of local vintages.

 

  • Ristorante Buca Mario, Piazza degli Ottaviani, 16r, Florence, 50123; Tel.: +39 055 214 179; Website: Ristorante Buca Mario
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  • Fiaschetteria Nuvoli, Piazza dell'Olio, 15, Florence, 50123; Tel.: +39 055 239 6616

 

The San Lorenzo food market

 

This is where you'll find Mercato Centrale, a 2-level indoor food market that offers a plethora of daily (excluding Sundays) fresh meats, fish, and vegetables. Frequented by locals who come here to do their daily grocery shopping, it's an ideal spot to grab a quick bite on-the-go, like a tramezzino, or sandwich, with freshly sliced wild boar prosciutto, a slice of creamy buffalo milk mozzarella, or a fresh bresaola (air-cured, aged beef) and arugula salad. You may also feel compelled to roam the aisles trying to locate the provenance of a tantalizing smell of oven-fresh pizza.

 

  • Perini Gastronomia, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell'Ariento entrance, Florence, 50123; Tel.: +39 055 239 8306; Website: Perini Gastronomia
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  • Pizzeria Sud, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Florence, 50123; Tel.: +39 055 239 9798; Website: Pizzeria Sud

 

Gelato and cocktails in Santa Croce

 

The Santa Croce neighborhood is one of Florence's most exciting downtown areas. It boasts a lively nightlife scene, and is especially noted for its plethora of bars where people flock to enjoy an aperitivo, or pre-dinner drink, and a happy hour buffet. If you happen to find yourself in this neighborhood during the day - perhaps you were visiting the famous Basilica of Santa Croce - you would be doing yourself a favor by popping into Vivoli, Florence's oldest ice cream shop, and indulging in a sumptuous dark chocolate gelato or fresh lemon sorbet.

 

  • Vivoli Gelateria Fiorentina Artigianale, Via Dell'Isola delle Stinche, 7r, Florence, 50122; Tel.: +39 055 292 334; Website: Vivoli Gelateria Fiorentina Artigianale
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  • Moyo, Via de' Benci, 23r, Florence, 50129; Tel.: +39 055 247 9738; Website: Moyo

 

Piazza Santo Spirito's cheap eats

 

This is the bohemian district of Florence, where artists, students, and locals from all over the city mix in the piazza for merriment at all hours of the day and night. Whether it's a fresh Neapolitan-style pizza or a hearty calzone made by a pizzaiolo straight from the Vesuvius region, or a typical trattoria serving up trippa alla fiorentina, Florentine-style tripe, this area will allow you to go easy on your wallet while filling your belly.

 

  • Trattoria La Casalinga, Via dei Michelozzi, 9r, Florence, 50125; Tel.: +39 055 218 624; Website: Trattoria La Casalinga
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  • Gusta Pizza, Via Maggio, 46r, Florence, 50125; Tel.: +39 055 285 068