The best places to eat in Florence 2020
Every year I try to make an updated list of my favourite places for food in Florence and it’s about time to share with you the best places to eat in Florence for the year 2020! With new stars rising and old ones disappearing there’s always something to explore in this city. Covid-19 has hit Florence hard and the food sector even more so. A big clientèle for Florentine restaurants, tourists, has disappeared and restaurants and bars are struggling. So more than ever I encourage you to go out and spend generously. Florence needs you, the amazing people that I know in the food scene need you!
Just make sure you bring your mask for when you move around in the restaurant, but as long as you sit at a table you don’t need to wear it.
Plenty of options
When you browse through Florence there’s tons of bigger and smaller restaurants and it can be hard to figure out what’s authentic and what’s not. Rule of thumb: do not follow guide books. I know many places that are in the famous guide books and that leave me puzzled how they ended up in there. Lots of them probably started as decent places, but with tourists flocking in quality has dropped and prices have gone up. There’s just very few exceptions to this rule. The one exception I know I have listed below!
Personally I love the Oltrarno area of Florence the most. It’s where I live and it’s where I go out for dinner the most. To be honest, especially on sizzling hot summer days, I barely cross the river. Most of the restaurants you’ll find below can be found in that area, but I have also added a few (very few…) options in the historical centre.
Best places to eat in Florence: My top picks
Here is a list of the best places to eat in Florence, Italy.
Burro & Acciughe
Address: San Frediano, Via dell’Orto 35/R (click for Google maps)
Still going strong and still one of my favourite places to go to. A great place if you fancy seafood. It’s fresh, simple and delicious. A good selection of wines, super friendly staff and a daily changing menu besides the regular delicacies they serve makes for a guaranteed great dinner.
Address: Santo Spirito, Via Sant’Agostino 11/R (click for Google maps)
This is where you’ll probably find me sipping a glass of prosecco on a hot summer day. You can combine little bites with a good glass of wine, an artisan beer or a cocktail. Both locals and tourists mingle here. One of the best parts: they have a beautiful little garden hidden in the back. Don’t forget to try the wild boar mortadella!
Address: Porta Romana, Via Senese (click for Google maps)
Fancy a really good, thin and crispy pizza? Make your way to Antica Porta and you will definitely not be disappointed. Fresh ingredients, traditional and more modern toppings and great staff make for one of the best pizza experiences in town. I love them for their pizza’s and for the fact that they always feed my dog little pieces of sausage. She loves them too 😉
Porta Romana Pizza & Grill
Address: Porta Romana, Via Senese, 17e (click for Google maps)
More or less my neighbours and I couldn’t wish for better ones! They do delicious pizza’s with different doughs and super fresh toppings. Either to eat there or take away. Lovely staff, a bunch of super happy guys who evidently love what they do. Besides pizza they also do other great dishes. My personal favourites include the Parmigiana pizza with fried eggplants and their simple but super delicious Margherita.
Djària American Bar
Address: Santo Spirito, Via de’ Serragli 100/R (click for Google maps)
American food in Florence? Yes! Because we all need a break from pasta sometimes and this happens to be one of the best places to get your fix of a great burger or (my personal favourite) a pulled pork sandwich. Also don’t forget to try Sarah’s fried Mac & Cheese balls (trust me, you need those in your life) and definitely let Nico make you one of his amazing cocktails. They’re some of the best in town (both the people and the drinks!).
Trattoria Da Ruggero
Address: Porta Romana, Via Senese, 89/R (click for Google maps)
Super good traditional trattoria tucked away in Via Senese, with a changing menu. Fresh, delicious ingredients, great staff and some of the best pasta in town. Make sure to call ahead to make a reservation as they are often packed with hungry locals.
Style: Wine bar
Address: Porta Romana, Via Romana, 129/R (click for Google maps)
A lovely new wine bar on Via Romana. It’s tiny, but that’s part of its charm. The owners can definitely recommend you a good wine either to bring home or to have there sat at one of the little sidewalk tables. They’ll also be happy to serve you some delicious bites to accompany them!
Address: San Frediano, Borgo San Frediano 145/R (click for Google maps)
Traditional dishes within a not so traditional concept; there’s no starters, mains and deserts. You can mix and match as much as you like. The staff is friendly and smiling and always happy to help you out.
Address: San Frediano, Piazza di Cestello 3/R (click for Google maps)
Want to really treat yourself? Go for a dinner at Essenziale! A modern presentation of Italian cuisine, daily fresh products in a spacious and modern restaurant. Dining at Essenziale is a real night out!
And on the other side of the river…
Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori
Address: Centro Storico, Via dei Magazzini 3/R (click for Google maps)
Neighbourhood: Centro Storico
This is the one osteria that has ended up in various guide books and is still one of the places I love to go too. First time I came to Florence 15 years ago I already went here and I still walk in for lunch or dinner every now and then. Throughout the years they’ve stuck to their mantra “No Pizza, No Bistecca, No Ice, No Cappuccino”, their menu is still hand written and changed daily and their food is just simply delicious. Try their tiramisu with rasberries and you’ll never want anything else in your life ever again!
Caminito Empanadas Argentinas
Address: Santa Croce, Via Ghibellina, 60 (click for Google maps)
Neighbourhood: Santa Croce
A new place that recently opened up and that’s perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner. Absolutely the best empanadas I’ve ever had outside of Argentina. Great if you fancy a little variation after too much pizza and pasta!
Address: Santa Croce, Lungarno delle Grazie, 18 (click for Google maps)
Neighbourhood: Santa Croce
The past few years many hip(ster) bars doing dito food have popped up throughout the city to cater the international crowd. And I have to say most of them just serve really expensive coffee for mind-blowing prices. Melaleuca however is the positive exception to the rules. During the quarantine I got hooked on their (to my doorstep delivered) cinnamon rolls, baguettes and croissants. They’re one of the very few places in Florence that really understand great pastry (sorry Florence, you have other talents) and their other food is equally amazing!
These are my favourite and best places to eat in Florence for this year. Do you have experiences with the places above, or feel like you know a place that really needs to be added to the list? Let me know!