Blog @ CH
-- places on the same side of the river as Casa Howard's Florence Guesthouse --
Florence Restaurant: Birreria Centrale
Specialties: "scamorza al tartufo e funghi porcini", "stinco di maiale affumicato", "involtini di Praga", "Wurstel con crauti e patate lesse", "il piatto delliamicizia"; special beers.
Address: Piazza dei Cimatori, 2/r; tel. 055-211915 .
Note: it is a very inviting place, quite small and often full of customers; the atmosphere is a mix between a pub and a mountain osteria, full of all different wooden tables and benches. Closed Sunday.
Florence Restaurant / American Bar: Harry's Bar
Specialties: Bellini; "tartare", "filetto di sogliola al curry", "filetto".
Address: Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci 22/r; tel. 055-2396700 .
Note: this elegant Bar in Florence has been open since 1953 (the original Harry's Bar was created in Venice); it has a warm and cosmopolitan atmosphere and is visited by many locals, who have become friends with the exquisite and impeccable staff. Closed Sunday.
Florence Restaurant La Giostra
Specialties: "carpaccio di branzino con vinagrette", "ravioli di caprino alla zingara", "carbonara di tartufi bianchi sulla chitarra", "gnocchettini verdi di spinaci alla tirolese", "filetto con fegato d'oca e Kalvill, sfumato all'Armagnac", "Sacher Torte Imperiale", "crepes di castagne con crema chantilly e cioccolata".
Address: Via Borgo Pinti, 12r; tel. 055-241341 .
Note: its name comes from the place where it is located, a historic place which used to host the "giostra" (joust) of Piazza Salvemini. The place, the ambiance, the food and the hosts (princes Soldano and Dimitri DiAsburgo Lorena) make a perfect match. This is one of the best, intimate and discreet restaurants in Florence.
Florence Trattoria: Le Mossacce
Specialties: "ribollita", "fiorentina".
Address: Via del Proconsolo 55/r; tel. 055-294361 .
Note: a typical trattoria where the client may exchange his bottle of wine with the customer on his side; where the host used to talk to the customer with his typical florentine direct manners ("mossacce" literally means "bad gestures"), but, instead, service is friendly; where there is always place for everybody, the service being quick Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Florence Osteria: De' Macci
Specialties: "gnudo fiorentino tradizionale con tartufo di San Miniato", "pappardella al rag? di carni bianche e bacche di ginepro", "braciola fritta con salsa fredda di pomodoro piccante e insalatina di sedano", "bistecca alla fiorentina"; the "cucina creativa" is very good.
Address: Via Dei Macci 77; tel. 055-241226 .
Note: a typical Florentine osteria with a variety in the traditional cuisine, which only sometimes offers other special Florentine dishes, such as "cervello fritto", "pentolone di gran bollito", the typical "brodino", "fegato" and others. Closed August.
Florence Restaurant / Wine Bar: Baldovino
Specialties: colourful salads, pizzas and "grigliata di carne mista"; the menu varies according to the changing seasons, in order to always offer fresh ingredients.
Address: Via San Giuseppe, 22r; tel. 055-241773 .
Note: this restaurant / wine bar offers varied Tuscan dishes and also pizzas and "focacce". Also snacks at any time of the day are nice to match with a good wine or beer. Closed Monday.
Florence Restaurant / Wine Bar: Beccofino
Specialties: fish dishes, especially "capesante".
Address: Piazza degli Scarlatti, 1r; tel. 055-290076 .
Note: it is a nice, modern place. Closed Monday.
Florence Restaurant / Wine Bar: Angels
Rating: everything trendy and minimalistic
Specialties: "zuppetta di fave con noci di capesante alla griglia servita con bruschette e tartufo", "pici senesi al rosso di granchio fresco", "nodino di vitella con punte d'asparagi al parmigiano gratinate al forno".
Address: Via del Proconsolo 29/31r; tel. 055-2398762 .
Note: a unique place in Florence within the medieval area of Florence; intimate cosmopolitan ambiance; they serve dinner also at midnight. The Cantinetta is another fine section of this restaurant / wine bar. They also serve sushi and ethnic "aperitivi" twice a week.
Florence Restaurant Alle Murate
Rating: enchanting historic place
Specialties: "tortelli di ricotta di bufala in salsa di paprika", "stufatino di polpo in guazzetto su pure di patate gialle".
Address: Via Ghibellina, 52r; tel. 055-240618 .
Note: this restaurant offers a contemporary and original Italian /regional cuisine, but it is special for its location - inside the Palazzo dell'Arte dei Giudici e Notai, it is a precious museum of frescos and for its cantina. Closed Monday.
Florence Type: Yellow Bar
Rating: good, informal atmosphere
Specialties: pizzas, first dishes, hamburgers and big salads, all tasty.
Address: Via del Proconsolo, 39r; tel. 055-211766 .
Note: it is a loud, friendly place, with lots of light, very well known and visited by Florentines since the 1970s. Closed Tuesday.
Florence Bar / Cafe: Danny Rock
Rating: good, unique menu structure
Specialties: "crepes", either salted or sweet, prepared by a French crepier; pizzas, pastas, hamburgers, salads, all tasty.
Address: Via Pandolfini, 13r; tel. 055-2340307 .
Note: even though this name may lead to think this is a pub, it is not: it has a cocktail bar with a screen satellite, and a counter with stools where one can drink but also eat in front of the crepier; tables for two to eight people, in four areas. The atmosphere is warm, lively, full of people of almost all ages all the time. Very well known among different generations of Florentines. Closed 2 weeks in August.
Florence Restaurant: Osteria Dei Benci
Specialties: "spaghetti alliubriacona", "eliche del profeta"
Address: Via dei Benci, 13r; tel. 055-2344923 .
Note: in our opinion it is one of the best "osterie" and very pretty in an ancient structure with arches; well known among Florentines who like a warm, lively place and good food to eat in the evening with friends (wooden tables and chairs; menus made with recycled paper), after an aperitivo and before going out; it has inventive Tuscan dishes; it is open for lunch with the same menu; it is always full at lunchtime and dinnertime. Closed Sunday.
Florence Caffe Italiano and Osteria del Caffe Italiano
Rating: good, special
Specialties: among the best and most interesting coffee in Florence; the traditional and refined liquors, such as china, alkermes and rosolio; light lunch; a beautiful wine bar atmosphere and a good osteria of simple regional ingredients.
Address: Via della Condotta, 56r; tel. 055.289020, and Via dell'Isola delle Stinche, 11/13r, respectively.
Note: the elegant traditional caffee. Closed Monday.
Florence Vinaino: "i fratellini"
Specialties: sandwiches and wine.
Address: Via dei Cimatori (at the top, from Via dei Calzaiouoli).
Note: this vinaino is a very famous and very small wooden "hole" in the wall with a small counter, behind which stands the person who prepares and sells; you eat standing on the street; very nice Florentine way to eat quickly.
Florence Restaurant Al Lume di Candela
Specialties: "straccetti di sfoglia fresca con code di mazzancolle al pepe rosa", "scampi giganti al dragoncello".
Address: Via delle Terme, 23r; tel. 055-294566 .
Note: a refined, quiet and intimate place; both sea and earth food are good. Closed Sunday and Monday morning.
Florence Restaurant Da Carmine - Il Pizzaiuolo
Specialties: the best "pizza napoletana" in Florence.
Address: Via dei Macci, 113r; tel. 055-241171 .
Note: it is a very noisy (full) informal place. Closed August and from late December to early January.
Florence Restaurant and Wine Bar: Frescobaldi and Frescobaldino
Specialties: "ovoline di mozzarella di bufala con alici al tartufo", "spaghetti cacio, burro, pepe e rigatino", "sformato caldo di radicchio rosso con fonduta di formaggio", "maialino da latte arrotolato al forno con crema di patate", "semifreddo al vin santo con crema calda di gorgonzola dolce"; "tartufo" menu and salads with wine dressings.
Address: Via dei Magazzini 2/4r; tel. 055-284724 .
Note: this place is elegant but has a light atmosphere. It serves, of course, very good wines from the renouned Frescobaldi family. The menu is made from fresh Tuscan ingredients, and changes according to the seasons. Closed Sunday and Monday at lunch.
Florence Wine Bar / Cafe: Cantinetta del Verrazzano
Specialties: "schiacciate", "sformati", salads.
Address: Via dei Tavolini, 18; tel. 055-268590 .
Note: this very nice place used to be a forno and still keeps its structure and its technique for different types of breads; it has a library and wroght iron tables and chairs; it serves a light lunch to accompany the good variety of wines. Closed Sunday.
Florence Restaurant Coquinarius
Specialties: "raviolini ripieni di pere e formaggio", "tortino ai carciofi", all tasty and varied salads (with names).
Address: Via delle Oche, 15/r; tel. 055-2302153 .
Note: Coquinarius, a quiet former enotheque, is a place where you can eat tasty, lightly creative simple dishes. Closed Sunday and for dinner.
Florence Bistrot: Targa
Rating: very good
Specialties: "sformato di cavolfiore e lardo valdostano", "troccoli passati al cinghiale in burro di tartufo", "pere fondenti in salsa di lamponi"; the wine and liquor variety is excellent.
Address: Lungarno Colombo, 7; tel. 055-676493 .
Note: this restaurant with the atmosphere of a bistrot is romantic and refined. Closed Sunday, August and December.
Florence Restaurant Il Francescano
Specialties: "farfalle con totani freschi e zucchine", "insalata di farro con fiori di zucca e moscardini", "porcini fritti".
Address: Largo Bargellini, 16; tel. 055-241605 .
Note: a new small restaurant by the person who was responsible for the success of I Quattro Leoni; it offers traditional tuscan cuisine with a new interpretation. Closed Tuesday.
Florence Restaurant Paoli
Rating: good Specialty: "spaghetti alla carbonara", "rognone trifolato".
Address: Via dei Tavolini 12r; tel. 055-216215 .
Note: this restaurant has a gothic-revival structure and is usually crowded with Florentines; closed Tuesday and August.
Florence Enoteca: Dei Giraldi
Rating: good Specialty: interesting wines because they are lesser known; salads.
Address: Via dei Giraldi 4r; tel. 055-216518 .
Note: closed Sunday and holidays.
Florence Vinaino: Quasigratis
Rating: good Specialty: sandwiches with typical Tuscan bread and ingredients (e.g. "salame"), "uova sode", and a "rasino" (small glass filled to the brim) of red wine.
Address: Via dei Castellani 21r; tel. 055-264128 .
Note: closed Sunday and January.
Florence Wine Bar: Balducci
Specialties: "bruschette", pasta...
Address: Via San Giuseppe, 18r; tel. 055-234722 .
Note: ...for a nice light lunch in a friendly and refined place. Closed Monday.
Florence Enotheque / Restaurant Cantinetta Antinori
Specialties: very renouned wines; simple Tuscan and non-Tuscan dishes, for example "pappa al pomodoro" or "risotto agli scampi".
Address: Piazza Antinori, 3; tel. 055-292234 .
Note: this cantinetta used to be only an enotheque, where food accompanied the precious wines. It is a very well known place and among the best wine bars.
Florence Trattoria: Buca Mario
Specialties: very good grilled meats.
Address: Piazza degli Ottaviani, 16r; tel. 055-214179 .
Note: Closed August.
Florence Trattoria: Mario
Specialties: very fresh ingredients, genuine old cucina casalinga contadina.
Address: Via Rosina 2/r, corner of Mercato Centrale.
Note: noisy place, full of people who eat very close to one another enjoying their very good meal. Closed for dinner, Sunday and three weeks in August.
Florence Restaurant: Il Cibreo
Rating: very good
Specialties: the "sformati", "passati", vegetables, perfectly, intensely and refinedly tasty.
Address: Via dei Macci, 118r; tel. 055-2268410 .
Note: it is one of the best restaurants in Florence: a perfect match between a gastronomic taste and perfectly simple dishes. This is the first restaurant of the creator of Teatro Del Sale. Cibreo is the name of an ancient dish. Closed August and at Christmas holidays.
Florence Bar: Cibreino
Rating: very good, less expensive
Specialties: the same menu.
Address: Via dei Macci, 118r; tel. 055-2268410 .
Note: good frozen "cappuccino"...
Florence Enotheque: Gustavino and Canova di Gustavino Zupperia
Rating: good,very modern structure; good variety of wines
Specialties: its wines, and "tagliolini neri con polpa di riccio su pesto di basilico", "filetto di manzo con marmellata di cipolle rosse".
Address: Via della Condotta, 37r; tel. 055-2399806 .
Note: wine tasting at the zupperia Canova from Monday to Friday and its charcuterie which hangs from the ceiling. Gustavino: Saturday and Sunday also open at lunch; Canova always open. Trattoria-Teatro: Teatro del Sale Rating: good food & a very nice place too
Address: Via dei Macci, 111; tel. 055-2001492 .
Specialties: "zuppe", "ossobuco".
Note: closed Sunday and Monday; opposite is also a very nice place called Cibreo.
Florence Cafe-Bistrot: Cibreo
Rating: a nice place
Address: Via A. del Verrocchio, 8; tel. 055-2345853 .
Specialties: "collo di pollo ripieno", "calamari in inzimino".
Note: closed Sunday and Monday.
Florence Osteria: Ganino
Rating: good food
Address: Via dei Cimatori, 4; tel. 055-214125 .
Specialties: "risotto alle erbe", "tortino di carciofi".
Note: closed Sunday.
-- places on the other side of the river Arno --
Cafe / Cocktail Bar: Zoe
Specialties: tasty salads, for example the "caesar salad"; "hamburger di manzo all'aceto balsamico", "cheesecake".
Address: Via dei Renai, 13/r; tel. 055-055243111.
Note: it is perfect for lunchtime and now also for brunch (they don't serve dinner). It is especially known for its aperitivo, which is one of the best in Florence; the ambiance is always dinamic, full of friends and locals; after dinner it always fills up.
Restaurant / Enotheque / Bar: Fuori Porta
Specialties: its traditional crostone; "crostoni" are covered up with different tuscan ingredients, such as cheeses, vegetables and different "salumi" (e.g. "brie speck e rucola", "gorgonzola miele e noci"), always accompanied by a good wine, which can be served in glasses or sold by the bottle.
Address: Via Monte alle Croci, 10/r; tel. 055-2342483 .
Note: this restaurant, which started as a bar tabacchi and enotheque, is in an old building right outside the Porta San Niccolo (a medieval entrance to the city) and has a lively warm atmosphere inside and fresh and inviting environment outside. Closed Sunday and 2 weeks in August.
From Enotheque to Osteria: Le Barrique
Specialties: "branzino alle mandorle in salsa di olive", "piccione ripieno con polpette di farro".
Address: Via del Leone, 40r; tel. 055-224192 .
Note: it is an intimate and relaxing osteria with a soft light. It serves Tuscan food revisited in creative dishes. Closed at lunch and Mondays.
Restaurant: Mamma Gina
Specialties: "insalata di mare calda", "penne strascicate alla fiorentina", "calamari in inzimino con bietolina", "filetto di manzo al Brunello".
Address: Borgo San Jacopo, 37r; tel. 055-2396009 .
Note: it is the typical tuscan trattoria in a XV century building and is very famous in Florence. Closed Sunday.
Bar / Restaurant: Ricchi
Specialties: fresh fish prepared in a fusion style and finely presented.
Address: Piazza Santo Spirito 8/9r; 055-280830
Note: it is a refined bar in one of the most dynamic and interesting "piazze" of Florence. Closed Sunday.
Restaurant and Pizzeria: Borgo Antico
Specialties: "piatti giganti" (giant plates) of first and second courses and of salads.
Address: Piazza Santo Spirito, 6r; tel. 055-210437 .
Note: it is always full of young and cosmopolitan Florentines in a lively ambiance. Good pizzas. Closed Monday.
Osteria: Santo Spirito
Specialties: "salsicce di cinghiale", "zuppa di cozze con pane agliato"; nice "merenda".
Address: Piazza Santo Spirito, 16r; tel. 055-2382383 .
Note: it is a very nice osteria with colourful walls and different and creative plates and dishes. Closed December 25.
Trattoria: Cavolo Nero
Specialties: "ravioli di ricotta con pesto al cavolo nero", "inzimino di seppia al cavolo nero", "controfiletto alle erbe".
Address: Via dell'Ardiglione, 22; tel. 055-294744 .
Note: it is a very nice, relaxing and subtly modern place, which offers florentine flavours. Closed at lunch and Sundays.
Osteria: Il Cantinone
Specialties: "crostoni" with wheat ground in old stones and made in a woodfire oven; "fagioli all'uccelletto", "ribollita", among other good Florentine typical dishes..
Address: Via Santo Spirito, 6r; tel. 055-218898 .
Note: it is an old osteria in an ancient building; it is in a cantinone with vaults and ancient walls. It is completely worth the experience because a visitor feels he is entering another age, and the genuine florentine food is perfect for the atmosphere. Closed Monday.
Trattoria: Al Tranvai
Specialties: authentic traditional food.
Address: Piazza Torquato Tasso, 14r; tel. 055-225197
Note: it is one of the most authentic trattorie in Borgo (area) San Frediano, which is full of restaurants, osterie and trattorie and has a dinamic nightlife. It is crowded with Florentines. Closed Saturday, Sunday and August.
Specialties: typical florentine food, its old "ribollita alla fiorentina", "gnocchetti gorgonzola e salsiccia".
Address: Via Santo Spirito, 36r; tel. 055-2398976
Note: it is an old late XIX century trattoria which was so popular that all artisans of the area ate there. It has kept its traditional characteristics and is visited everyday by many people. Closed Wednesday.
Wine Bar: Le Volpi e L'Uva
Specialties: besides a good variety of wines, cheeses (e.g. very good bries), "pates" and "torte salate" are good.
Address: Piazza dei Rossi, 1r; tel. 055-2398132 .
Note: interesting wines in a quiet square. Closed Sunday, holidays and August.