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When travelling in Italy, there are some staple dishes that you simply have to try and finding the best regional cuisine in Florence is no different.

Of course, indulging in authentic pizzas and fresh pasta will be on your list, but what about trying something that's special to the locals? Each region of Italy has something spectacular and different to offer when it comes to gastronomic delights, along with rich food history.

The Best Regional Cuisine in Florence 1

The Best Regional Cuisine in Florence

If you happen to be spending time in Florence, then discovering the marvels of its regional cuisine is one of the most wonderful ways to experience the city. Here, we explore the best regional cuisine that the Tuscan capital has to offer.

What is the history of Florentine cuisine?

Florentine cuisine refers to any food that originates from the Florence area of Tuscany - and the modern idea of Florentine food was largely formed during the Renaissance. At this point in history, the way in which food was prepared and presented became increasingly refined for both lavish banquets and daily meals.

During this time, Florence’s pecorino cheese became especially renowned, being a favourite of the artist Michelangelo. A modern earmark of Florentine cooking is creamy white sauces, with the chicken dish Biancomangiare epitomising the artistry of the time. Biancomangiare is now better known as a dessert called blancmange - though the white sauce itself is what gives it its name.

This style of cooking, which was beautiful but created without pretension and could almost be called “comfort food”, is something you can see in Florence to this day.

What is typical Florentine food?

Food in Florence has a focus on using fresh and local ingredients, and you will often find dishes that centre around plain bread, meat such as venison, beef, rabbit or boar, and generous use of extra virgin olive oil and wine. Chianti wine is especially common due to its origins in the area.

Soups also feature heavily on Florentine menus, using fresh bread and vegetables, making the most of the local produce.

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What pasta is Florence known for?

Of course, we can't discuss the best regional cuisine in Florence without getting to know the most delicious pasta. Italy is world-famous for its pasta, and in Florence, this can be an indulgent treat. Tagliolini is served with plenty of butter and truffles, which can be easily sourced in the forests of Tuscany in the later months of the year. The white truffles are shaved onto the buttery pasta to create a decadent experience.

The forests are also home to wild boar, which is why Ragu al Cinghiale (or wild boar ragu) is another beloved regional meal. This pasta sauce highlights the deliciousness of the game, giving an insight into all the Tuscan landscape has to offer gastronomically. Served with pappardelle pasta, which originated from this region, it's a very rich meal.

What is the most popular food in Florence?

Moving away from pasta, Florence has many other regional dishes on offer. As we mentioned, soups are popular, such as the Ribollita (reboiled), which uses bread and local vegetables to create a warming bowl. It can be made in a variety of ways, but generally features cannellini beans, cabbage, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, carrots and bread.

Lampredotto is a very common dish in Florence, using the cow’s fourth stomach to create a sandwich of sorts. You can find it at street food vendors who will layer the meat into bread with some vegetables and sauce, or look for it served as a stew in local eateries.

Don’t miss out on Antipasti Florentine - especially Crostini di Fegato. This antipasto uses croutons with a meat-based spread, anchovies and sharp onions.

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For meat lovers, Bistecca alla Fiorentina presents a t-bone steak from the Chianina cattle that make Tuscany their home. Served with minimal seasoning to bring out the natural flavours, the steak is lightly grilled and served rare beneath a caramelised outer crust. This steak is often shared between diners due to its large size and is the perfect way to share a meal with your fellow travellers.

If you're seeking a lighter bite, you won’t want to miss a Tuscan salad. Panzanella is not exactly what you might imagine a salad to be, as it is created with stale bread. The bread is then left to soak up tomatoes and water, and you might find your Panzanella has added herbs, olive oil or onions. Bright and summery, this dish will be all over Florence when the warmer months hit.

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is a traditional cake for those with a sweet tooth. The spongy cake is made with the zest of an orange and may be filled with your choice of added extras.

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Where do the locals eat in Florence?

Traditional Florentine sweet treats can be found in pastry shops all over the city, as well as at the Mercato Centrale market hall. There are plenty of local-approved locations where you can sample regional cuisine. Residents of the city, as well as tourists, can enjoy handmade pasta and gnocchi with truffles at Osteria Santo Spirito, or head to Gatto e la Volpe and Trattoria Zà Zà for classic Florentine fares such as Tuscan steaks and the famous pappardelle pasta, served with rich wild boar sauce. At Trattoria Zà Zà, you can even indulge in some delicious tiramisu.

Experience the Cuisine of Florence with tabl.

The regional food in Florence is quite varied, and you will want to experience as many of these popular regional dishes as possible. If you're looking for an easier way to find and enjoy the best food in Florence, then tabl. is your perfect companion.

You can let a local show you their favourite delicacies or stroll the city on a morning street food tour with one of our amazing experiences. Either way, you will truly taste everything that Florence has to offer.

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