Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Rachel Budke5
Ada’s Florence Foodie Bucket-List
Get ready to find out about the best restaurants in Florence, Italy! Ada just studied abroad in Florence this summer. It seems like she completely fell in love with the city, and getting to see pictures of what she experienced has made me even more excited to go! Ada told me she had a list of restaurant recommendations that she wanted to email me, and holy cow, she went above and beyond my expectations! Super, super helpful.
Crazy story – Ada and I actually “met” through Instragram! We connected through a hashtag and started following each other because we were both headed to Florence. It’s so neat how technology can connect us to people! Even though she lives across the country, her recommendations are going to make my adjustment to Florence so much easier…and much more delicious! (With that being said, I think it’s important to mention…when it comes to talking with people online/through social media, be smart and always put your safety first!) I’m so glad that Ada let me share her list of restaurant recommendations on my blog. And if you’re headed to Florence, you’ll be glad, too! So without further ado, here is Ada’s Florence (Foodie!) Bucket List:
Address: Via Maggio, 46R, 50100 Florence, Italy
Gusta Pizza is located in front of the Santo Spirito Church. If you are looking for it for the first time, here is some help: cross Ponte Vecchio (away from the main city where the Duomo is located) and walk all the way straight until you hit the enormous Pitti Palace. When you see the main entrance for the Palace, right across from it is Via Michelozzi. Head down that street and when you hit the first street, Via Maggio, look to your left. In the corner with big letters you’ll see “GUSTAPIZZA” and you have reached heaven. Once you’re there, odds are it’s going to be packed and HOT.
What to order: “Margherita pizza with extra mozzarella, per piacere.” And get ready for a taste of heaven. One thing I did notice with Italy’s margherita pizza is that they’re really stingy with their basil. But when you do get a taste of the basil, an explosion of taste occurs.
Like many places in Italy, they close for a while at 3 pm. I would suggest either going earlier in the afternoon, or have it for dinner around 7:00pm.
Address: Via delle Terme, 19 /r, Florence, Italy
If you’re a social butterfly, you will have a great meal along with entertainment. It’s owned by two brothers who are absolutely hilarious if you engage a conversation with them. They are such a laugh when they tell you stories, it’s people like them that made me fall in love with Italy even more.
This place is kind of hidden in a small street, a lot of people pass it not knowing what amazing food there is. If you start off in Piazza della Republica (or as we liked to locate it as “the plaza with the carousel”), you head down the street (Via Calimala) towards Ponte Vecchio and when you pass H&M (yes, the H&M we have here in the US as well), look for the street Via della Terme which will be on your right. When you head down, you will see a big green neon sign on the building “Trattoria Nella”. You have arrived!
What to order: My first lasagna was at this place and it was, “OMG, FLIPPING AMAZING.” It was light and the taste is nothing like the usual lasagnas here in the states. I could go on about how amazing it was but, I will start to tear up. So, I recommend the lasagna and their gnocchi with gorgonzola (FLIPPING AMAZING as well). For desert, it is known as the best Panna Cota in town, you’ll have to try it for yourself! But overall, I believe everything in their menu is delicious and amazing. It will not disappoint.
They also close temporarily at 3pm, I recommend going for dinner (7-8pm).
TRATTORIA LE MOSSACE:
Address: Via del Proconsolo, 55/r, Florence, Italy
This place is a very traditional trattoria. From the moment I saw the neon sign outside, I knew amazing food was going to be served. I was already flipping out about the amazing lasagna at Nella’s, so you can imagine when my professor said that Mossace served an even MORE delicious lasagna. I didn’t believe him, so I had to go see for myself. And let me just tell you, the lasagna is a MUST at this place. On your map, locate the Duomo and on the side of the dome, going down look for the street Via del Proconsolo. Start walking down that street (away from the duomo) and Mossace is located on your left. You can’t miss the neon sign.
What to order: Definitely the Lasagne! It has a rich, soft texture to it and I believe it’s because they make the lasagna strips fresh every day. Anything else that looks good to you on their menu will do as well. All my friends got different plates and they absolutely loved it.
They also close at 3pm, I recommend dinner for this place as well.
OSTERIA DE’ PECCATORI:
Address: Piazza san firenze 14/r, Florence, Italy
This place’s staff is super friendly and the whole atmosphere is very relaxing. I went with a big group of people and at the end of our meals, they gave us a free bottle of champagne! It was absolutely delicious. Located in Piazza San Firenze, across from a huge building that I never found out what it was. You won’t miss it.
What to order: They have different variations of bruschetta and I ended up ordering one that had melted brie cheese drizzled with honey and topped with pine nuts. It was definitely a different twist to a traditional brusccheta but it was very delicious. Everything in the menu was delicious, you take a pick at what sounds good to you!
They are open every day from 9am – 1am, so you can go anytime you’d like!
RISTORANTE IL TEATRO:
Address: Via Ghibellina, 128-130/R, 50122 Florence, Italy
Now, first thing about this place is don’t be intimidated by the tall, skinny italian with a deep voice. He can’t speak english well but once you get to an understanding, he is very funny. We ended up naming him the Italian Dracula. You’ll understand why when you hear him talk. This place was the first restaurant I went to on my first night in Florence. The food is absolutely delicious. My friends and I ate here about five or six times and every time it did not disappoint. It’s a pizzeria too and they are delicious as well. It’s located on Via Ghibellina, across from Teatro Verdi.
What to order: Anything! Literally, every time I went I ordered something different and every time it was absolutely delicious. For desert, be sure to try the cheesecake with fruit on top. I’m not a big fan of cheesecake but when I had that one, it was so light and creamy, I loved it.
They close at 3pm as well and open at 7pm. Dinner is recommended for this place.
RISTORANTE BUCA POLDO:
Address: Chiasso degli Armagnati 2/r, 50122 Florence, Italy
This place was adorable, nice and quiet. If you dine inside, they take you down stairs and the atmosphere is beautiful. It is located in a small alley near Piazza della Signoria, the street name is Via Chiasso degli Armagnati. I went there for lunch and had roasted chicken with potatoes, which the potatoes were to DIE for, and it is also where I had my first taste of chicken liver pate. It was good, didn’t think I was going to like the pate, but I did!
What to order: Anything on the menu for this one as well! Make sure you get some roasted potatoes in there, they are seasoned and roasted to perfection. This place closes at 3pm and opens again at 7pm. Panini’s in Italy are completely different than the ones here. In Italy, they just make it simple and slap things on it. But, it still has a great taste and a sandwich place that was amazing.
Address: Mercato Centrale, 50123 Florence, Italy
This place has a certificate of excellence and you should definitely check out the reviews on tripadvisor. It’s located inside the central market (which I listed as a place you must check out, below) and the lines get ridiculous sometimes. The place has a lot of history because it’s been in business since 1872. A local once told me that it was the place to go for a delicious, reasonable lunch, and it sure was! I got the pork sandwich and just thinking about it as I write this, my mouth waters. Order anything you’d like here! I recommend the pork which is simple, yet so amazing. A place that you cannot miss while in Florence:
Address: Piazza dell Mercato, Florence, Italy
The central market. My goodness, this place is beyond amazing. It’s an indoor market and I wish someone would have told me that when I first went looking for it. It’s very tricky to find but what you have to do is just locate Piazza San Lorenzo on the map and run your finger up, It should say “Mercato Centrale” on the map. Once you’re in Piazza S. Lorenzo, you can ask where the market is and they’ll point you to it. Just don’t get sidetracked by all the vendors! You’ll see what I mean. But the indoor market is beautiful, it’s big but you won’t get lost. If you do, just go with the flow!
LA CARRAIA 2:
Address: Via dei Benci 24r, Florence, Italy
La Carraia has two locations in Florence, one across the Arno on the other side of town, and one next to Santa Croce. The one next to Santa Croce is La Carraia 2, and that is the one I got my daily gelato fix from. I cannot find words to describe the gelato from this place, heaven? Amazing? Beyond this earth? They are all understated. I haven’t found a word that defines this gelato and don’t think I will! It’s super creamy and rich and any combination that you get is amazing. You can tell right away that they put a lot of effort and time to making their gelato. Since I did what I called “my gelato run” everyday at this place, the employees remembered me half way through my trip! In the beginning, I would order different variations but my quest was to find the best pistachio gelato, and boy did I find it! So pistachio was all I would get. So, when I was half way through my trip, the man would take one look at me and say right away, “Pistachio?” and I would yell out, “SI PER FAVORE!” The second to last day of my trip, I had a conversation with him (in italian, he doesn’t speak english well) and it turns out, he’s the owner of both places. It was an amazing experience getting to know him, he is so friendly and funny that I wished he was family.
The location: If you’re facing Santa Croce Church directly from Via de Benci, keep walking down Via de Benci to your right. You should pass the street Borgo dei Greci and just keep walking straight until you see a sign on top of the place that reads “La Carraia 2″ and it is going to be on the left side of the street.
What to order: “€2,50 copa (or a cone), solo pistachio per piacere!” Trust me, €2,50 is enough in a cup! That’s another thing I loved, their prices are very inexpensive, where as gelaterias located near areas with a lot more tourists are so expensive and the gelato is crap. You’ll love this place. If it’s one thing I missed about Florence, it’s definitely La Carraia. Over all, just roam the streets and get lost because those are the best places you will find in Firenze. You must try the pistachio if you’re a fan!
Grazie, Ada, for all of your great restaurant recommendations! I can’t wait to try all of them out!