After living in Florence for three months, I have become quite the expert on various aspects of Florentine culture – primarily the food. The way to any Italian’s heart is through a delicious homemade meal, but if you can’t cook, here are some restaurants to check out while you’re here.
1. Osteria dell’Enoteca
This place was recommended to me by a blogger, girl in Florence, for their famous florentine bistecca! If girl in Florence says it’s good, it’s good. I checked it out with my friends, where we shared a classic bone-in florentine bistecca, and each ordered a pasta entree for ourselves. The staff was so friendly, answering any questions we had about their intricate dishes. I really don’t think you can go wrong with this place.
2. Acqua al 2
Another popular steak establishment, Acqua al 2, offers one of the most exciting steak dishes in Florence. While it sounds crazy, their blueberry steak is to die for! Served with mashed potatoes, this tender steak is covered in a homemade blueberry sauce. If you are unsure about trying this fruity dish, Aqua al 2 also offers a tasting menu for either meats or pastas. With this, you are served various types meats, including the blueberry steak and a yummy balsamic steak, so you can try a bit of everything! For a group of 5 of us, we ordered two of each tasting dishes (meats and pastas) and it was the perfect amount of food. It’s great for a tapas style dinner with friends.
3. Gusta Pizza
When in Italy, you absolutely have to try an authentic pizza at least once. Gusta is a famous pizza shop with quick and friendly service, and some AMAZING pizza. Their menu is short and simple, but man is it good. If you make it to Gusta, I recommend ordering a pesto pizza from their “secret” menu. If they like you enough, they’ll even make your pizza in a heart shape. This place has been reviewed by some great food critics, such as Guy Fieri, and has never let me down.
4. Il Gatto e la Volpe
If you are a human being, you love gnocchi. If you love gnocchi, you will LOVE this restaurant. Il Gato e la Volpe has the best four cheese gnocchi I have ever tasted, and it’s super affordable for college students like myself. The food is fresh, portions are large, and prices are low. This is a great place to try new foods without spending a fortune, and I’ve never waited long for a table. This is a usual dinner spot for my friend and I, where we will split a caesar salad and carbonara or gnocchi.
5. La Giostra
If you’re looking to splurge a bit on a nice meal, this is the place to do it! La Giostra has a beautiful atmosphere, with lights covering the ceiling to look like stars. They have some pricier dishes, but you get the whole experience when dining here. La Giostra is known for their pear ravioli and truffle pasta dishes. People come from all over the world for these delicious pastas, so you definitely need to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. However, it’s worth the wait.