By Kelsey Gibson
Discover Some Amazing Local Eats in Florence
“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.” – Elton John
When I think of Italy, Italian cuisine is the first thing that pops up in my head. Pizza. Pasta. Wine. Olive oil. What else do you need in life?
But it is so much more than just a cuisine in Italy. The ‘al dente’ cooked homemade pasta, thin and crisp pizza, and flavorful wine perfectly paired with each course is sure to make you believe you are in Heaven. Italians make it more than just a simple and quick meal; each meal becomes an event with family and friends.
When traveling to Italy, you need to try real and authentic Italian food…these are normally not the restaurants located in the main tourist paths. Below you can find some of our favorite local Italian eats in Florence!
Starting off with my favorite restaurant in Florence. I am a bit biased since this is where I worked last summer, but it truly is a restaurant full of Italian authenticity and quality. It has traditional Italian foods with a modern 'touch' to them. Touch is co-owned by Matteo, Max and Stefano, all friends that had a similar vision and passion for sharing Italian history, culture, and food with people from around the globe.
The restaurnt is a great place to grab a nice dinner with a few courses and a bottle of wine! While 'Selfie Carbonara' is a crowd favorite and stays on the menu, Touch updates their menu often in order to keep the freshest ingredients in all of their dishes. They are able to update often with their iPad menus! Definitely worth a visit when in Florence.
Via Fiesolana 18/r Firenze
Trattoria 4 Leoni
This restaurant is definitely more off the beaten path in the Oltrarno neighborhood not too far from Santo Spirito. Easily books up for dinner, but lunch is the same menu and easier to go on a whim! The menu is in Italian, but the wait staff is very open to give suggestions.
I got the fiocchetti alle pere con salsa di taleggio e asparagi, which consisted of some amazing pear filled pasta with asparagus and a really yummy sauce!
This restaurant is well-known to locals and tourists and the food won’t disappoint! You can even sit outside on a beautiful day and afterwards enjoy a taste of authentic gelato at Gelateria della Passera across the way.
Via de' Vellutini 1r Firenze
On the same side of the river as Trattoria 4 Leoni, this local restaurant is always full of locals. If you are looking for the classic Florentine bistecca, this is the place to go! This restaurant is closed on Monday nights, like many other Florentine restaurant, and is recommended that you call to make reservations before going.
You will not only get the real Tuscan feel through the food, but also simply being in the restaurant. This place will go far and beyond your expectations.
Piazza piatellina 10-11/r
Another local favorite, located once again in the Oltrarno neighborhood (are you catching the local trend on the other side of the river?), is Trattoria dell’Orto. This restaurant is simple, rustic, and fantastic.
Its ambiance will make you feel as though this is one of the most authentic in Florence…and it is! This restaurant has a wonderfully cooked Florentine bistecca and Tuscan wines to accompany it. Closed on Tuesdays and takes reservations!
Trattoria dell' Orto
Via dell'Orto 35
Obicá Mozzarella Bar
This restaurant is an upscale mozzarella bar on Via Tornabuoni next to many designer stores. Its menu is filled with a few different kinds of mozzarella, cold plate starters, a few salads, and, my personal favorite, the pizza!
This pizza is one of the best I have had in Florence. Its fresh flavors and ingredients lets you taste the heart of Italian culture and will keep you coming back for more!
Via de Tornabouni 16
Have you ever been to any of these? Share some of your favorite Florence eats with us!
Kelsey is the Part Time Assistant Travel Consultant for Travel Italian Style and is a student at the University of Mississippi studying Hospitality Management with a minor in Spanish and Business Administration. Kelsey took part in an exchange program in Argentina in high school which created a flourishing passion for travel and learning about other cultures. From then on she took every advantage to study abroad and backpack through Europe. This past summer, Kelsey interned for a local restaurant, Touch, in Florence, Italy and fell in love with the Italian culture. She was able to have a real local experience by making friends with coworkers and locals. She wants to make it possible for everyone who travels to be completely immersed into the culture in order to gain another perspective and to be able to enjoy life even more.