Quick note on this post: It was updated in August of 2016 after the original pictures were deleted with a theme update (noooo!). The pics in this post are from Instagram posts taken from the trip, so I apologize for the grainy quality
This is a highlight of all the best restaurants in Florence that we ate at, and that doesn’t include all of them!!
I probably ate a year’s worth of carbs in one week. I loved every second of it (all this while I’m channel surfing and come across a TV show called Extreme Weight Loss—oops). Anyway, I can’t attribute the massive success of my eating in Florence without crediting Hungry Girl Florence aka my friend Sarah (best Florence host in the world). She had 6 days worth of lunch and dinner reservations set up, showing me all the best food Florence has to offer. Rather than wallow in a carb coma all by myself, I will share with you the magnificent places that Sarah introduced me to. That way, if you decide to go on a Florence adventure like I did, you’ll be able to enjoy some pretty freaking delicious food.
Make sure to enjoy their prosciutto and parmesan plate, along with their mindblowingly delicious rigatoni. I love how simply they serve their food (see the clear bowl above), and the ingredients they use are also simple, but so full of flavor.
Perhaps one of the best pizzas you’ll ever eat, this place is known for the best pizza in Florence. How awesome is it that you can also watch how the pizza master quickly makes pizzas?
Two words: truffle gnocchi. I cannot believe how much flavor is on this plate. All this plate is is pillowy gnocchi, hot, creamy grated cheese, and the most aromatic truffle oil—boom! One of the most memorable dishes I’ve ever had (and beautiful by the way).
*Interesting facts about many of these great restaurants: they in many cases will serve you a complimentary glass of prosecco to welcome you to the restaurant :D. Also, you can’t go wrong ordering a bottle of the vino da tavola rosso, or red table wine. Many restaurants have their own table wines, with their own labels, and they’re pretty good (and relatively cheap). Last but not least, ask if they have limoncello, especially after dinner (if you like it). In a lot of places, they will graciously leave the bottle of ice cold limoncello at the table for you to enjoy ;).
Mmm. This was my first introductory dinner to Florence, and set the precedent for the rest of the trip’s dinners. Must haves are the fresh melon, basil, and mozzarella antipasto (the menu changes seasonally), the delicious velvety risotto with creamed shrimp, and creamy tortellacci with flavorful gorgonzola cheese and peppery arugula.
The restaurant is owned and run by the descendants of the Hapsburg empire, and the restaurant resides in an old 16th century red brick building. You feel like royalty dining here, first being presented with a complimentary glass of prosecco, then being able to enjoy an antipasto plate on the house. Their osso bucco here is to die for, along with their incredibly creamy burrata mozzarella (not pictured). Don’t forget to ask for limoncello when you’re finished with dinner!
This place is not only a restaurant, they offer cooking classes too. My favorites from this dinner is their pistachio pesto strozzapreti, and the seared chicken breast served with a creamy asparagus and grainy mustard sauce—yummy!
Oh man—I fear I may never be able to taste this deliciousness again unless I come back to this restaurant. I’m talking about the fiocchetti stuffed with pear and taleggio cheese, OMG it was heavenly. We also ordered the steak, which was a huge hunk of juicy, perfectly seasoned, flavorful meat cooked medium rare. I’m not a huge meat person (I try to eat a variety of different things), and I’m still thinking about this steak.
This place is an absolute must. Sarah told me she saved the best for last, and it surprised me that the main dish we had been waiting on and she had been looking forward to all week was chicken. Oh, but what a chicken it was!! This chicken is tossed in flour, then egg (so it can get browned and crispy), then seared and cooked in a skillet with butter that has been browning. It’s served with a squeeze of lemon to brighten it up a bit, and it’s heavenly. Sarah told me not to compare it to the sizzling plate from Ruth’s Chris, so I won’t (hehe), but if you’ve been and you’ve smelled that sizzling plate of butter….you have 1/326th the idea of how incredible this dish is. It’s called Pollo al Burro or Buttered Chicken. For dessert, we had a combination of what used to be two desserts that were melded into one. The cake part is meringue with whipped cream and chocolate chunks, and it’s served with dreamy wild strawberries with lemon juice and sugar—light and filling at the same time.
I hope this post has not only made you hungry, but made you hungry to visit Florence. How did I not gain 47 pounds on this trip with all these carbs and decadence? Well, the beauty of this city is that it’s small enough to walk everywhere (seriously, don’t think about getting a cab unless you’re in a huge hurry or going to the airport), but with so many things to see and eat that you end up walking for miles in the day. The only time we sat after leaving the apartment on a daily basis was when we had our meals. Other than that we were walking everywhere, standing in museums, walking through gardens, walking through cathedrals, walking to get a cocktail or aperitivo, etc. If I’ve missed any of your favorite places or if there are any other restaurants you recommend, please feel free to comment in case someone is planning on going and planning out their food (as I do for all my trips 😉