It is a well-known fact that Florence is the capital of the ancient Italian region of Tuscany. From the gastronomic point of view, this region is one of the most attractive ones in Italy, since local people have remained faithful to the centuries-old culinary traditions.
Therefore, if you are going to spend your vacation in Florence, this article will help you to figure out what dishes are worth to try there, and what restaurants you should choose to not only enjoy the delicious and high-quality food, but also to save the budget!
Culinary specialties of Florence:
Bistecca alla Florentina
Florentine steak is often called the highlight of Tuscan cuisine. The dish represents a thick piece of beef with bone in the middle, which is roasted on the hot coals without an addition of salt, spices and olive oil. In the result, the meat gets crusty outside, but still has the blood inside. The blood is inevitable in this case, because generally there are only two types of the Florentine steak: with blood and with lots of blood inside. One portion of the Florentine steak is usually enough for two. The dish combines very well with classic Chianti wine.
This famous Florentine dish is made of cow’s stomach with addition of tomatoes, onions, parsley and celery. Afterwards, the mixture of meat and vegetables is used as stuffing for the traditional Tuscan bread or Panini. Today, this dish is particularly prevalent in Florence thanks to the numerous kiosks called «lampredottai».
This dish came from the time when Medici ruled Florence. The name of the dish is translated as “cooked twice”.
It includes the left overs of vegetables which are re-boiled, dressed with olive oil, and finally turn into a delicious and nourishing soup. Now the dish is sometimes sprinkled with pecorino and served with Chianti. Pay attention that ribollita is considered a winter dish, so you can hardly order it in Florentine restaurants in summer.
Pappa al pomodoro
The dish represents a tomato soup with slices of yesterday’s bread and an addition of basil, garlic, onion, pepper and olive oil. The soup is considered a lighter version of ribollita. Therefore, it is available in the local eateries not only in autumn and winter.
This is a traditional Florentine cooled cake with brandy and cream. The dish is made in the form of a pumpkin (zuccotto means “small pumpkin” in Italian). According to the legend, the creator of this cake was inspired by the shape of the dome of Florence Cathedral.
Cantuccini and Vin Santo
The Famous Tuscan Cantuccini biscuits with almonds or chocolate are so delicious that even those who keep to a strict diet usually forget about counting calories while eating them. The dessert combines very well with Vin Santo wine, which is always served in the restaurants of Tuscany as a digestive.
Now it’s time to check out some inexpensive restaurants of Florence, where you can get an excellent food experience:
Trattoria Lo Stracotto
This cozy restaurant is situated near Santa Maria Novella railway station. It is worth to try the famous Florentine steak there. The restaurant offers quite affordable prices – the main courses range from 8 to 16 EUR.
Address: Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 16
This is another establishment located near Santa Maria Novella railway station and Duomo Square. In Trattoria Mario you can try traditional Tuscan cuisine and local wines. All dishes are made of the freshest ingredients and cooked by traditional recipes. The establishment is renowned for the excellent preparation of beef, veal and Florentine steak. An average bill per person is 25-30 EUR.
Address: Via Rosina, 2r
Trattoria Palle D’oro
This inexpensive restaurant of the authentic Tuscan cuisine near San Lorenzo market offers a wide choice of chicken, meat dishes and pasta. If speaking about a dessert, it’s recommended to try the Italian chocolate cake or apple pie there. In the evening it’s very busy in the restaurant. So, come early if you want to have dinner in one of the best family restaurants of Florence. On average, the price for dinner with wine is 30-35 EUR per person.
Address: Via S.Antonino 43
Trattoria La Casalinga
This authentic trattoria with genuine Florentine cuisine, Italian atmosphere and cheap prices is a superb choice for a nice family dinner! The special atmosphere in the place is made up by waiters scurrying about, ringing sound of the crockery, the aroma, and expressive Florentines. Very often you need to stand in line to make an order, but the line moves up very quickly. An average bill per person is 12 EUR.
Address: Via dei Michelozzi, 9r
L’Osteria Di Giovanni
It is a small restaurant in the city center, which is not easy to find. But if you manage to, then get ready for wonderful impressions! This is one of the favorite restaurants of local residents. Ravioli with mushrooms and black truffles is one of the restaurant’s specialties. Among the recommended desserts is a creamy chocolate cake. Without a doubt, you will leave the restaurant full, happy and with free cantuccini in your bag!
Address: 22 Via del Moro
Of course, many dream to visit Florence because of its striking attractions. But local restaurants are another advantage of the city, and you should visit at least one of them! In addition, if you plan a long-term vacation in Tuscany, it’s always nice to explore the other towns in the vicinity of Florence, such as Pisa, Lucca, Pistoia, Arezzo and Siena.
The most convenient way to arrange such a trip is to rent a car at Florence Airport, which you can return whenever you want. Of course, there are lots of other interesting destinations in the outskirts of Florence, but if you are going to spend a week in Tuscany, visiting these cities will be more than enough for you!