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Eating Out in Florence, Italy

As Florence is quite a small city, and its city centre is so compact, most of the restaurants around the city centre can prove to be quite expensive. In saying that, eating in an average restaurant isn’t as expensive as in other Italian cities.

Around the touristiest areas such as Il Duomo and Piazza della Signoria the choice is quite limited, with most restaurants imposing a service charge or dealing in set menus. The best selections of restaurants, many of which are still affordable, are on the south side of the river, around Via San Niccolo and Via Monte Alle Croce.

While they’re not as evident as in Venice or Rome, you can still find the odd fast-food outlet selling paninis, sandwiches, kebabs or other such convenient fare for around the €3. For the same amount you’ll get yourself three generous helpings of ‘gelato’ (ice-cream) from one of the numerous gelaterias around the city.

Finally, if you’re the type of person who likes to try local delicacies, get a snack from one of the few ‘trippai’ (tripe stands) which are dotted around the city. These traditional Florentine stands sell ‘lamprodettos’, or sandwiches filled with tripe (cow’s stomach). They may not sound too appealing, but as the phrase goes ‘When in Rome…’ (or in this case, ‘When in Florence).

Restaurants in Florence

  • The Oil Shoppe

    Via S. Egidio, Florence, Italy

    When you're looking for something filling but you've only got a few Euro to spare, this sandwich bar is the place to go. Choose from a wide selection of meats to fill huge sandwiches for only €3.

    Open from 9am-6.30am.

  • Osteria Antica Mescita

    Via San Niccolo 60/r, Florence, Italy

    This inexpensive osteria south of the River Arno is a favourite among locals and a great place to dine after catching a sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo. The ‘involtini’ for €8 is out of this world.

    Open Mon-Sat from 12 noon-3pm and 7.30pm-midnight.

  • 'Gelaterias' (ice-cream parlours)

    All over, Florence, Italy

    Florence is laced with ‘gelaterias’ (ice-cream parlours). Some of them have quite entertaining names like ‘Very Good!’ and ‘Tutti Frutti’. Three scoops will cost you around €3 and flavours include nutella, moose and kiwi. ‘Festival del Gelato’ is one of the more attractive (and cheaper) of all Florence’s gelaterias. It’s on Via del Corso in the city centre.

  • 'Tripe' stands

    All over, Florence, Italy

    If you’re the sort of person that likes to try local delicacies, then you should get a snack from a ‘trippai’ (tripe stand). These traditional Florentine stands sell 'lampredottos', or sandwiches with tripe (cow’s stomach) for €2.50-€3. It might not sound too appealing, but as the phrase goes ‘When in Rome…’ (or, in this case, 'When in Florence...'). There's one in Piazza Cimatori, two minutes from Piazza della Signoria.

  • Vini e Vicchi Sapori

    Via dei Magazzini 3/r, Florence, Italy

    Given the fact that this traditional osteria is just seconds from Piazza della Signoria, you’d think it would be a lot more expensive. But the menu is very reasonable with pasta dishes costing just €6. The selection of Tuscan meats is a real treat.

    Open Tues-Sat noon-3pm and 7pm-9.30pm, Sun noon-3pm.

  • Il Vegetariano

    Via delle Ruote 30/R, Florence, Italy

    The only vegetarian restaurant in the city, this place is constantly packed so be prepared have quite a wait – but it’s worth it. With an extensive menu that varies from day to day you’re in for a real treat.

  • Il Latini

    Via dei Palchette 6/R, Florence, Italy

    Another eatery serving up sumptuous local cuisine at very reasonable prices, the rustic ambience makes this restaurant particularly popular. Packed with tourists and locals all the time so make sure you’re not too hungry when you get there as you will work up quite an appetite in the queue.

  • Vivoli

    Via Isola delle Stinche 7/R, Florence, Italy

    And now for desert. Italian ice cream is regarded as the best there is and this place is the best gelateria in Florence. It is pretty expensive but makes a rather excellent treat while exploring the city.

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