Food Finds in Florence

You don’t have to go far in Florence to find excellent food, whatever your budget is. Moving away from the centre of town around Duomo means you’ll find more local, authentic experiences. Just crossing the Ponte Vecchio can mean a world of difference.

Some of the best restaurants can be found around Piazza di Santo Spirito, in the Oltrarno neighbourhood. At Osteria Santo Spirito, take a seat outside overlooking the church and order a plate of truffle gnocchi or ravioli in walnut cream sauce. You’ll find many authentic gelato shops around here as well.

For a local market experience, you can’t beat Sant’Ambrogio. This sprawling stretch of market stalls has everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to vendors specialising in meats and cheeses. Usually you can ask vendors for sample sizes, so don’t miss the aged Parmesan or wild boar prosciutto. For a sit down meal, go to Rocco’s inside the market. The owner has been running this place for decades, and his cold bread salad, known as panzanella, is a must-try.

To drink wine like the Italians do, head to an enoteca. This is a typical wine bar, where locals often come to fill up their own bottles from large wooden barrels. Alla Sosta dei Papi near Santa Croce piazza is one of these places, and you can also sit and order some crostini topped with olive paste and other treats while you sample various wines. Most places will let you ship wine back home if there’s a bottle or two you particularly like.

If you love coffee then Florence has some excellent options. Coffee & More in Oltrarno is a contemporary bar serving some of the best coffee in the city, and it also turns into a cocktail bar in the evenings. Remember that often in Italy you must pay an extra fee to sit at a table, so many people stand to drink their espresso at the bar. If you’d prefer to sit down and relax, however, try Gucci Caffe in Piazza della Signoria.