Florence is a food city! I have eaten my way through Florence and was rarely ever disappointed. However, there are, as always, a few places that are especially good and hence worth sharing here with you.
GELATERIA = ICE CREAM STORE
Florence serves some of the best ice cream I have ever had. (And I should confess here that I have a serious weakness for ice cream and have hence eaten cette deliciousness wherever I can find it.) While there are countless options, the truly delicious ice cream you want is across the Arno River at Gelateria La Carraia (Piazza Nazario Sauro). They have a good selection of flavours, ranging from classics to some more unusual ideas (and they even serve very good mousse au chocolate.) Each and every one is perfectly creamy and simply delicious!
Another option I found myself returning to, though not with the same gusto as to La Carraia, was Venchi in the centre of town (Piazza del Mercato Nuovo). This is a chain well known for it’s chocolate…hence, the chocolate ice cream is particularly good.
TRATTORIA = PLACE TO FIND DELICIOUS LOCAL FOOD
Italian food is truly delicious. I could eat Italian all day, every day. And the one place in Florence that always satisfies my need for really good Italian food was Trattoria Cammillo (Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r). This place is always busy and frequented by Italians, which is always a good sign. The menu has a lot of options including changing daily specials – my favourite is the homemade pasta. All the action is overseen by one formidable Italian woman who keeps the whole place running smoothly.
If you’re looking for something less trattoria-like and more elegant, I suggest you simply go a little further down the street to the Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant (Borgo San Iacopo 62/R – 50125 Florence). The cuisine is refined Italian, delicate and extremely good. One desirable quality this restaurant also has is a terrace overlooking the Arno, which is a rare find and true treasure in Florence.
If you’re just out for an Italian lunch that does not require an afternoon nap after, I recommend Cantinetta dei Verrazzano (Via dei Tavolini 18/20). They have a bakery, serve focaccia, and offer a small but tasty lunch menu. The atmosphere is easy, busy, and Italian. Perfect for a delicious lunch!
After weeks of pasta I was craving something fresh and green. Thankfully, I found just the right places…in fact, two of them. The first is 5ecinque (Piazza Della Passera); all the produce is organic, the food is healthy and very good, the interior is smart and laid back and during warm weather you can sit outside on the lovely piazza.
The second is Libreria Brac (Via dei Vagellai 18), which on top of serving great vegetarian food, also functions as a bookstore, exhibits art and offers Wi-Fi. This place is definitely hip and artsy. There is a bar you can have lunch at, a courtyard where you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea, and a restaurant for lunch and dinner. It has a great vibe with the possibility of buying a cool book or piece of art, and all the while serving something fresh and vegetarian.
And finally, amblé (Piazzetta Dei Del Bene, 7a)this unusual place serves delicious sandwiches, (you can create your own or choose from their daily menu) and sells the tables and chairs you sit on. It’s perfect for a quick delicious bite.
And now, buon appetito!!