7 Must-Visit Traditional Restaurants in Florence

Traditional Florentine restaurants offer visitors a chance to sample the earthy regional cuisine with dishes that include bruschetta topped with white beans; Tuscan ribollita; pappardelle pasta with hare sauce; roast pork with garlic and rosemary; and, of course, bistecca alla Fiorentina, or Florentine steak, a vast T-bone cooked the traditional way over olive wood and eaten almost raw. Here’s where to find the best authentic home cooking in Florence.

Via Senese, 89/R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Family-run Ruggero is a bit of a hike from the centre of town, but in my mind, it is the best traditional trattoria in Florence, so worth the effort. You can expect textbook versions of Florentine classics from ribollita (a hearty bean-and-bread-based vegetable soup) to arista al forno (rosemary and garlic-spiked roast loin of pork), and an authentic, friendly atmosphere.
28 Via dei Girolami
Located a few steps away from the Ponte Vecchio in what was at one time a medieval palace, this restaurant serves a traditional menu of dishes made with regional ingredients. Their beef is sourced from a farm in the Maremma countryside and the wine list highlights Tuscan producers. Even the restaurant’s name is a nod to the local culture—orafo means “goldsmith,” and this neighborhood was where gold workshops were once located. Start with Tuscan white beans drizzled with olive oil, with a serving of fennel salami, then move on to the pasta course. (The taglierini ai piselli freschi, pasta with fresh peas, is particularly good in season.) For dessert, try the pear slow-cooked in wine or cantucci cookies dipped into vin santo, a strong sweet wine.
Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It’s in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt like we were all at a wedding. In our case, my boyfriend and I sat with another couple from Australia, who were beginning their tour of Italy, but it’s easy to meet locals at this spot, too. The waiters and the owner are very persuasive when it comes to traditional Florentine food. I requested half of a Florentine steak, but I am sure I was given a full one—one of the largest I have ever seen served. It was cooked rare, and was extremely tender and flavorful. However, I am not much of a carnivore, and as such, my favorite part of the dinner was the fresh sage ravioli. After our meal, the waiter kept bringing shots and wine, which appeared to be on the house. There are no exact prices, and the waiter determines your meal’s cost.
Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Cramped it may be, but rustic Da Mario, located at the back of the mercato centrale, serves up a menu of consistently reliable Florentine classics to a mix of stall workers, business folk and tourists, and it’s always packed. The choice changes daily, but look out for earthy zuppa di fagioli e cavolo nero and peppato, a kind of beef stew laced with black pepper.
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.
Piazza del Carmine, 18, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
A dependable neighbourhood trattoria with a loyal local following and a daily-changing list of seasonal specialities, Carmine is a regular haunt of mine. It serves one of the best beef carpaccios in town (topped with arugula and parmesan shavings), but you should also look out for tagliatelle with porcini mushroom sauce in the fall and risotto with fresh asparagus in spring.
Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Hidden away behind the stalls in the San Lorenzo market, Da Sergio turns out wholesome, unpretentious food to locals and tourists. Last time I was here I ordered tortelli di patate (potato-stuffed ravioli) with meat sauce and deep-fried calamari washed down with the cheap and cheerful house wine. It was all delicious!
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