My favorite restaurants, markets, and cooking classes in Florence, Italy.
After having spent one month in Florence, Italy studying cooking, I made sure to document all of my favorite places to eat, shop, and learn about food across the city. I hope this guide will be helpful to you on your next trip to this Italian culinary gem.
General Notes on Eating Out
- Always make a reservation for dinner beforehand. Italians often take hours to eat, therefore tables can be hard to come by, especially on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
- While I was in Florence, I utilized Trip Advisor for researching places to eat. For many restaurants, you can make a reservation right online at tripadvisor.com, which I found extremely helpful.
- Restaurants usually open for dinner at 7:00 pm.
- Unlike in the United States, you have to ask for the check when you are ready to leave or else the waiters will not bother your table.
- A cover charge is often included, denoted as “coperto” on the check. If it is not, you can add a few Euros to the bill or up to 5% for service, but no more.
Every small cafe is good in Italy to stop in for a coffee and croissant, but here are two memorable spots I recommend.
Caffe’ Pasticceria La Loggia Degli Albizi
- Address: Borgo 37 50122, Borgo degli Albizi, 21, 50122 Firenze, Italy
- My favorite croissants in the city along with a wide variety of sweets
- Delicious coffee
- Outdoor seating (the sparrows make great company)
- Address: Via dei Neri 33, 50122, Florence, Italy
- Located near the Uffizi Gallery
- Not an Italian breakfast, (it serves croque madames and monsieurs) but it has a delicious breakfast and excellent coffee selection
- Address: Piazza Santa Spirito | Santa Spirito 1R, 50125, Florence, Italy
- In the square in front of Santo Spiritu
- Excellent paninis to-go if you are on the other side of the Arno
- Address: Piazza San Marco 9/b, 10, 50121, Florence, Italy
- Right around the corner from the Galleria Academia
- Great place to get a quick pizza or focaccia
- You can sit in or take it to go
- Pay after you order and finish your meal
Enoteca Bar Fuori Porta
- Address: Via del Monte alle Croci 10r, Florence, Italy
- A great place to go after visiting Michaelangelo’s Square
- Excellent crostini, cheese, salad, and wine options
- Beautiful outdoor seating
Ara: E Sicilia
- Address: Via Degli Alfani 127 R, 50121, Florence, Italy
- Very small inside
- Tasty lunch right near the Duomo
- Not a formal sit down
- Serves yummy rice balls (which I highly recommend), stuffed breads, and sweets
- Address: Via Lambertesca 10r, 50100, Florence, Italy
- Tucked away down a very narrow side street
- The owner is incredibly nice and all of the prosciutto comes from his son’s farm
- Excellent paninis made with fresh breads, cheeses, and meats
- Address: Largo Pietro Annigoni, 9, 50122 Firenze, Italy
- It’s hidden behind the Sant’ambrogio Market in a large square
- Best pizza and calzones in Florence
- Relaxed, fun, and casual atmosphere
- Address: Via de’ Ginori, 8, 50123 Firenze, Italy
- Modern, unique, and delicious food
- Beautiful interior
- Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Free Wifi
Konnubio Corso Tintori
- Address: Via dei Conti 8r, 50123, Florence, Italy
- There is another Konnubio in Florence, but this location is better
- Yummy and interesting dishes
- Comfortable and beautiful atmosphere
- Excellent service
Olio & Convivium
- Address: Via di Santo Spirito, 4, 50125 Firenze, Italy
- I ordered one of the fixed menus and it was delicious
- Italian food with a unique twist
- It is also serves as a gourmet shop
Trattoria 4 Leoni
- Address: 4 Leoni, Via de’ Vellutini, 1r, 50125 Firenze, Italy
- Tasty authentic Italian food (must order the pear ravioli, which they are famous for)
- The menu is all in Italian, but do not hesitate to ask the waiter what everything means
- Outdoor seating in a rustic square
Il Santo Bevitore
- Address: Via di Santo Spirito, 66r, Florence, Italy
- Excellent elevated Italian food
- Best restaurant dessert in Florence
- Overall very delicious
La Cucina del Garga
- Address: Via San Zanobi, 33r, 50129, Florence, Italy
- Beautiful restaurant that practically doubles as an art gallery
- Amazing authentic cuisine that is packed with flavor
Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
- Address: Lungarno Acciaiuoli 80r, Florence, Italy
- The location overlooks the Arno
- Delicious Italian food with classic flavors
- If you sit in the back of the restaurant you can watch the chefs at work
Dolci e Dolcezze
- Address: Piazza Beccaria 8/r, Florence, Italy
- Easy to spot because it is bright green on the outside
- Excellent coffee, cream filled croissants, tarts, and cakes
- Very pretty atmosphere to sit and have a mid afternoon pick me up
Gelateria La Carraia
- Address: Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25, 50124, Florence, Italy
- Two bridges over from the Ponte Vecchio on the other side of the Arno
- Green on the outside
- Easily the best gelato in Florence
- Wide variety of flavors and cones
- Address: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123, Florence,Italy
- The first floor hosts all different food stands and vendors, the second floor is an amazing open food market, and the third floor has two restaurants that can be reached through staircases from the second floor on either side of the market (they are hard to find, feel free ask someone who works there if you cannot locate them)
- Address: Sant’Ambrogio Market, Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
- Indoor food market boasting family owned, traditional vendors the sell everything from local honey to homemade pastas.
Best Cooking Classes
- Best school to learn the delicious basics of Italian cooking.
Cooking classes took place in the restaurant’s actual operational kitchen. Really interesting experience to work in a real commercial kitchen and see what the chefs do during normal hours.
- Classes take place in a Tuscan villa outside of Florence. Prepare yourself for a full day of delicious cooking (and eating!) in a beautiful setting.
- High tech kitchen and informative instructors. Best class for the beginners!
- Every student gets to work on their own state of the art cooking station. Very fast paces, so bring someone along to help out!