Trattoria Sostanza

Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

A reservation is an absolute necessity at this very traditional and very popular Florentine trattoria. The white-tiled walls are hung with photographs and prints; hard wooden benches and tables run along the perimeter, and more tables are squeezed into the center. The menu is decidedly Tuscan with highlights like finocchiona (a fennel-flecked salami), slow-cooked beans, tortino di carciofi (artichoke in swirl of whipped eggs), and butter chicken, which is served sizzling in the pan. Save room for the house dessert: heaped layers of cream and meringue surrounded by tiny wild strawberries.

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Buon appetito! We discovered this hole-in-the-wall trattoria 15 years ago, and we were delighted to find everything to be the same and the food as good. Not an upscale gourmet place, but popular with locals, and a place to practice my rusty Italian.

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