It is easy to be caught up in the touristy trattoria’s in Florence, of which there are many, however for those who make the effort there are some amazingly good dining options within 400 meters of the Centrale Markets. I always follow the locals and if they are lined up outside a hole in the wall, chances are its going to be worth the wait. At the bottom of this page I have listed a few of my favorites in Florence.
Florence also has some great Aperitivo hangouts, you cant help but notice them from about 5pm onward, and its an economical way to have a few drinks and some substantial local “bites”
The traditional country cuisine is based on agricultural and peasant life, and uses simple ingredients such as bread, olive oil and vegetables.
Typical starters are cured meats, such as the renowned finocchiona and sanguinaccio salames, as well as crostini with chicken liver and veal spleen.
Among the pasta dishes, ample space is given to pappardelle in hare meat sauce, panzanella (a type of bread salad), various types of soups, in particular pappa al pomodoro (bread and tomato soup) and ribollita.
The most characteristic meat dish is the famous Florentine steak: good quality beef grilled and then served with olive oil, salt and pepper. Other common dishes are boiled meat, game and pork (bolliti), especially pork loin and liver, wrapped in lace fat and cooked on the spit.
Other local specialties include tripe in sauce and bread rolls with lampredotto, a particular type of tripe, which can be bought from outdoor stalls and kiosks.
Some side dishes that stand out are boiled white beans or beans cooked all’uccelletto (with tomato and sage), small sweet-and-sour pickled onions and spinach.
Desserts that stand out are the traditional castagnaccio, made of chestnut flour; the schiacciata alla fiorentina (flat orange-laced cake) and the famous cantucci (almond cookies also known as biscotti).
The excellent wines include Chianti Classico DOCG, Pomino DOC, Bianco dell’Empolese DOC, Colli dell’Etruria Centrale DOC, Toscana IGT, and Vin Santo DOC.
There are so many places to eat and drink in Florence, so many to choose from, however these were my favorites in
1 Trattoria La Burrasca very local close to Centrale amazing prices and totally Tuscan. I had rabbit and white bean in pomodoro. Tiny maybe 30 covers , hard to believe its half a block from Centrale markets, but still local inside.
2 Sergio Gozzi highly rated by Slow Food, lunch only.
3 Winebar Zanobini. One of the oldest wine bars in Florence. just off centrale wines for 3e Mix with locals. This has become my favorite watering hole whenever I am in Firenze. A great place to meet locals and the owners of the local trattoria. Huge range of wines by the glass.
4 il Santino . Another Slow Food endorsed , old world charm, great menu.
5 Del Fagioli superb, definitely try it, its rated as Slow Food”s No. 1 in Florence. Just off Piazza Santa Croce, friendly staff, always busy and only seats 50.
6 Mario. a wonderful simple trattoria right opposite Centrale market, always packed with locals (and tourists in the know). Highly awarded by Slow Food and a great experience.