What is Florence famous for? It is a feast for the senses on every level. Art Masterpieces can be found just about everywhere in this compact city, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
But art is by no means Florence’s only attraction. Eating in Florence is an undisputed delight. The food in this city is just as creative as the paints and marbles of its museums. Of course, Florence is the ideal location to visit if you want to explore authentic food from the hills of Tuscany, but this Renaissance city also has a thriving international food scene too.
You’ll discover more of the city and gain a deeper understanding of its influences as you enjoy the best food in Florence. So if you’re asking yourself what is Florence famous for, we want to assure you that the food is in a class of its own.
Ready to follow us on a food trail through Florence? Let’s go!
Craft Beer & Korean in Florence
Florence’s Renaissance past has a rich history of absorbing ideas and influences from elsewhere. Today, this same spirit can be found at Pint of View, which is found in the Santo Spirito zone of the city. One of Florence’s newest eateries, Pint of View started out as a place for friends to meet and spend time while drinking beers from the local Archea Brewery.
Within a short time, additional Italian and European craft beers were added to the eatery’s offering, and the next logical step was to develop a food menu. And so a new concept was added to Florence’s dining scene, that of Korean food.
Immensely popular with locals for its exciting and well-priced menu (that upholds the Holy Trinity of Florentine cooking - seasonality, locality, and sustainability), Pint of View’s ever-changing offerings are an exciting introduction to Florence’s global food scene.
Two Mexicans in Florence
We all develop a craving for salsa at times, and the perfect place to satisfy your craving is at Tijuana (on Via Ghibellina) or Tijuana 2 (on Via il Prato) in Florence.
As the first tortilleria opened in Italy, Tijuana has a proud pedigree in the Renaissance city. Fresh produce is the standard here, with not a frozen ingredient in sight. Typical Tex Mex dishes and an extensive drinks list keep the punters happy.
Part of the fun of enjoying a meal at one of the Tijuana restaurants is seeing the decor that immediately puts you in a Mexican state of mind. The owner and his wife are proud of their mission to not only introduce authentic Mexican food to Tuscany but authentic Mexican everything! From the margarita glasses to the barrel tables, courtesy of Jose Cuervo, more than 10,000 kilograms of Mexican objects have been couriered to Florence for a wholly unique experience.
American dining in Firenze
American menus sit comfortably alongside the many other international options in Florence.
Hash browns, French toast with maple syrup, pancakes, and milkshakes that have to be seen to be believed are just some of the temptations diners have enjoyed (and raved about on review websites) as they satisfy their hunger at The Diner on Via dell’Acqua.
Open from 8am to 11am seven days a week, The Diner provides a delicious option when most of the restaurants and trattorie in Florence are still closed. The all-day brunch lives up to its name and really is available all day, but hamburgers, fried chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches will also compete for the attention of your tastebuds.
For a real American steakhouse option, the Red Garter, close to Piazza Santa Croce, is a perfect choice. This restaurant houses the oldest American bar in the whole of Italy and has a warm and generous history. Opened in 1962, the Red Garter was started by a Bostonian who wanted to set up a meeting place for young Americans in Florence who were feeling homesick.
Today, American tourists, travelers from other countries, Italians and Florentines make their way to the Red Garter for the old-school saloon vibe, live music, NFL sports - and the steaks and onion rings. (The rest of the varied menu is pretty fabulous too.)
Tapas in Tuscany
Tapas may be of Spanish origin, but these small morsels of food have packed a global punch for many years now. With Italian cuisine lending itself naturally to tables full of people, the “sharing plates” concept of tapas was always going to be an easy fit in Florence.
For a brilliant meal where you put the “sharing is caring” principle to the test, a visit to La Cova Tapas Bar, found close to Palazzo Pitti, is well worth your time.
The prevailing vibe here is informal, making La Cova Tapas Bar the ideal location for a meetup with friends or a light lunch while you go about your sightseeing. The menu is seasonal, considered and authentic, with specific cuts of meat imported from various local artisan producers in Spain. As is the norm with eateries in Florence, no matter what cuisine you’re trying you’ll only be offered the freshest of produce.
Japanese food in Florence
There’s no need to limit yourself and your Japanese food appetites when you’re in Florence. From sushi to ramen to tempura, the city has you covered. But it’s worth calling out Koto Ramen, on Via Verdi, as a brilliant example of the Asian food scene in Florence.
Koto Ramen, part of the Tuscan-Eastern concept whereby Asian food is made by Italian chefs, is the product of a group of internationally-minded founders. The menu is authentically Japanese, and all food is prepared in the Japanese style, while the ingredients are typically Italian.
Determined to place the food as the focus, the restaurant follows a no-frills and no reservation policy. Well worth grabbing a table for the lip-smacking food.
Our day trips in Florence provide you with plenty of opportunities to experience the best of Tuscany - both the art and the food!