Some of the best things to eat in Florence are always going to be pizza, pasta and gelato. However, across Italy, each region has hidden delights, with Tuscany and Florence being no different.
Italian food is well-known around the world, with food and drink tours in Tuscany attracting international foodies from far and wide. Florence is at the centre of many discussions about Italy and it’s love of all things food-related.
The city is well-positioned inland, albeit easily accessible for fresh fish deliveries from the many ports along the coast. However, traditional and authentic Tuscan cookery often makes the most of its surroundings and local produce.
In particular one-pot cookery is a popular choice. Whereby the wonderful Italian tomatoes and cannellini beans are combined with seasonal vegetables.
With mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and aubergines in abundance in Tuscany, vegan and vegetarian foodies are also well catered for. Although, that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of meat dishes also available on the menu!
5 of the Best Foods to Eat in Florence
- Papardelle al Cinghiale
- Bistecca Fiorentina
- Schiacciata Fiorentina
Papardelle al Cinghiale
While trying to stay clear of the obvious food choices, it would be near impossible not to mention at least one pasta dish. As such, we’ve chosen Papardelle al Cinghiale as one of the best foods to eat in Florence.
There are so many different varieties of pasta on the market, however, Papardelle is recognisable as being in long, wide strips. Similar in appearance to the more widely available Tagliatelle. However, what makes this Florence favourite special is it’s a very luxurious course.
Served with Cinghiale, a wild boar native to the region, the accompanying pasta sauce isn’t made with your standard list of ingredients either. As it is often a rich Ragu, yet one made with wild hares, rabbit or even goose.
Where to eat: Antica Trattoria da Tito.
Possibly even more authentic to Florence than pizza and pasta is the ever-popular Florentine steak.
Although, this isn’t any old steak, as it is usually a more expensive cut of beef from veal or heifer. It can be found on almost any menu in and around Florence, although quality can vary greatly. As such always be careful if your chosen eatery is in a tourist area, the best meals can often be found in the back streets.
Traditionally cooked over a BBQ flame, along with roasted chestnuts for added flavour, expect the meat to be more towards rare than medium. You may be used to being asked how you want your steak cooked, but for best results leave it down to the chef to decide.
Where to eat: Osteria di Giovanni
This is another Tuscan favourite, one of the best foods to eat in Florence if you’re welcomed into a family home.
It’s a rustic dish, that often makes the most of left-overs or ingredients that are past their best. Stale bread, tomatoes, beans and vegetables. It’s mainly served cold, although can be adapted accordingly to what’s available.
As a complete dish, it may not be the most glamorous but it’s good old fashioned comfort food. One that originates from poorer times yet remains a staple on any Tuscan diet.
Where to eat: Trattoria La Casalinga
Another treat that stems from Tuscany’s medieval past is Lampredotto. While you may not find it in many restaurants, it’s certainly one to keep an eye out for while on a street food tour in Florence.
Street vendors and sandwich bars take pride in its preparation, while even the locals are left divided over its popularity. After all, when you list tripe/intestines as a local delicacy, it’s only going to be the most dedicated of foodies.
It is, however, exactly what Lampredotto includes. Cooked up in a well-seasoned broth, the tripe is then served in a sandwich, along with a spicy sauce for dipping. At some market stalls the bread will already be soaked in gravy, so a good idea to always ask for extra napkins!
Where to eat: Da’ Vinattieri
Not to be confused with the savoury bread, this is a popular Florentine dessert. Traditionally cakes and sweet puddings are served up at celebrations or during carnival season, however, times have changed.
As such, you can find Schiacciata Fiorentina in bakeries, cake shops and at market stands all over the city. The soft cake is the perfect way to end a light lunch or with a coffee in one of Italy’s many street cafés.
Covered in icing sugar and filled with cream, if you’re a foodie with a sweet tooth, then this one is most definitely for you.
Where to eat: Pasticceria Giorgio
Food and Drink Experiences in Florence
If the idea of a food and drink tour in Florence tickles your taste buds, book online with Tabl ready for a unique experience of Italian hospitality. Where we have a selection of food and drink tours, experiences and activities available. Such as street food tours, cookery classes, wine tasting and much more.