Florence’s best aperitivo bars

An evening out in Florence often kicks off at around 7pm with an aperitivo and there are plenty of great bars in the city to choose from. The drink of choice for many Florentines is a Spritz, a refreshing mix of prosecco and either Campari or bright orange Aperol, a similar but sweeter concoction. In many bars, a serve-yourself buffet of hot and cold snacks is included in the price of your aperitivo setting you up for your evening entertainment of choice.

5/red Piazza Santo Spirito, Florence, Italy
When the sun sets, Piazza Santo Spirito wakes up and the large square fills with college students and young professionals. Volume is where they gather for strong cocktails and live music. Located in the former workshop of Alfonso Bini, a woodworker who specialized in carved hat forms and later more-creative pieces, the space retains the warm vibe of the local craft studios. Small tables and chairs are set up alongside shelves crowded with books, tools, and art. Seating outside affords a view of the after-dark action on the piazza as well as the striking Santo Spirito church.
Via de' Bardi, 58/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The name says it all: this sleek bar is set right on the south bank of the Arno, just east of the Ponte Vecchio and the sunset views of the bridge as dusk falls are indeed golden. Bag a table in the window, order a cocktail and help yourself from a great selection of snacks laid out on the bar counter. If you want dinner, move to the restaurant next door where there are regular live jazz sessions.
Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If a stay at The Westin Excelsior in Florence may not be in your budget, but the aperitivo menu may be. Stop by their posh bar and for 12 Euros get the house wine and all sorts of goodies—a cheese plate, a meat plate, flat bread, and samples of peppers and olives. The menu is titled “Happy Moments” and, at the time I visited, from 7 to 9 in the evening. The attentive service and elegant bar made it a very happy moment, indeed.
Piazza Santo Spirito, 4r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Cabiria is an Oltrarno classic with a terrace on Piazza Santo Spirito that is often packed. Once a grungy pre-club haunt, it’s quite sophisticated these days with moody dark walls and atmospheric lighting. The cocktails are good (although the wine selection isn’t, frankly) and there is a great buffet laid on after 7pm with pastas, roast meats, salads and veggies. DJ sets and the occasional live music turn complete the picture.
Via de' Tornabuoni, 64R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The recipe for the delicious, tiny truffle-cream sandwiches at atmospheric old Procacci is a guarded secret but, oh boy, are they good, especially when accompanied by a glass of prosecco. Smart Florentine ladies-who-shop flock here for a pit stop between purchases, but it’s also popular for an early-evening aperitivo. Procacci is additionally one of the few places to buy just-harvested truffles in Florence: look out for them in November and December. Heap truffle shavings over fresh, buttered taglierini pasta or a simple scrambled egg—after only one bite, you’ll understand the attraction to these precious, musty-smelling delicacies.
Via dello Sprone, 16r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Located on one of the prettiest little squares in the Oltrarno, this caffè has a few tables on the sidewalk, a tiny bar area, a room in the back for sit-down meals and snacks and a cosy, Bohemian atmosphere. It’s a great place for either breakfast, lunch or evening aperitivi and offers a laid-back, typically Santo Spirito vibe.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
National Parks