(http://www.lazdorafirenze.it), piazza del mercato centrale, 14r. very tasty and cheap food.
A cozy self-service restaurant at the corner of Via de' Pecori and Via de' Vecchietti. About 2 min walk from Duomo. Although there is a menu at the entrance, it is better to go straight to the restaurant, see what they have on their counters and pick what you like. You can also order Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
Via s. egidio 22r, (http://www.oilshoppe.com/). this quaint deli has affordable €4 hot and cold sandwiches made with a variety of meats try the meatball sandwich, sauces and fresh vegetables. you can get a meal deal with chips and small drink for €6.50. it is open from 10.30am to whenever the bread white, wheat and sub rolls runs out, which is usually between 6 and 7 in the evening. during the peak period of february to june, it can get very crowded in the day with students, but their love for the sandwiches there is apparent in their loyalty. a good mid-day meal to take with you on the go as you explore florence, via s. egidio is not too far off the beaten track. the oil shoppe also sells its own extra virgin olive oil, which they generously use in their sandwiches.
Via delle ruote, 30 r. (http://www.il-vegetariano.it/). ☎ +39 055 475030. a welcoming budget restaurant that serves delicious and healthy food to a nice mix of locals and tourists. one can sit in the more formal front room, the eclectic middle room, or the peaceful outdoor garden in the back. daily changing menu with vegan and gluten-free items clearly marked, many luscious desserts on display, salads, soups, hearty brown bread, and a good selection of coffee, tea, wine, beer, and liqueur.
A very nicely decorated restaurant with many vegetarian choices. You can choose to sit inside or outside in the piazza. The menu is huge, lots of choices, and the prices are fair. Service is outstanding, they really cater to your needs. Make sure to try the chianti house wine. Highly recommended. Beware: between the two doorways for Za Za, there is another, far more touristy trattoria. At first glance, it looks like part of the same place. Don't be fooled!
This is THE place to eat a panini in Florence. Salumeria Verdi is referred to as "Pino's" by locals because the owner, who also happens to be extremely friendly, is named Pino. It is always filled with locals eating pasta and college students grabbing a cheap, yet mouth-watering panini. Pino has named several of his favorite sandwiches which are displayed on a board with the 2 most popular being “The Best” with roast beef and “Springtime” with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. If those don't interest you, you can even build your own. The sandwich shop is also famous for it's sauces which are spread onto warm, fresh out of the oven squares of schiacciatine or rosette bread. The sauces are usually either pesto or picante hot red sauce but a lot of people order both for an explosion of different flavors!
There are numerous caffè and pasticcerie where you can find excellent sandwiches.Pizza sold by weight is an equally excellent solution for budget dining vegetarian and vegan options are almost always available, as is any caffè displaying a "Primi" card in its window where you'll find pastas and other dishes at low reasonable prices. The delis rosticcerie are very affordable and the food is often quite good, and some also have dining tables if you don't want to take away.
You can buy the makings for a picnic or snack at the Mercato Centrale. This large market has everything you might need, often at more affordable prices than supermarkets. The stalls will also sometimes vacuum seal whatever you buy so you can take it home with you.
To save some money instead of buying breakfast and lunch at a restaurant or shoppe, visit the local supermercatos. There you can buy breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages all under 20 euros and can feed many. The supermercatos are equipped with alcoholic beverages, as well; so save yourself some money at the bar by buying a bottle of wine for under 5 euro!
A general rule: the closer you are to the historic old town, the higher the price.
Osteria L'Antico Noe
This restaurant is right under the arch of San Piero and usually has a line trailing outside of it's doors. This whole in the wall is a hidden gem and word about Antico Noe's delicious panini's travel fast. The menu is very extensive providing a wide variety of fresh meats and vegetables. You can also eat dinner here but the restaurant is usually flocking with people trying to grab a quick bite before heading off to other tourist attractions.
For the best pizza in Italy, one must have Il Pizzaiulo! This local favorite is home to the original pizza from Naples. Although the restaurant itself is small and crowded the menu is reasonable, has a large variety, and the food has a mouthful of flavor. Definitely make a reservation because the seating is minimal and the line is long. If you don’t feel like eating out, Il Pizzaiulo offers take out, as well!
Il Giardino di Barbano
This restaurant just on the edge of the center offers a great way to escape the tourist restaurants and enjoy a good pizza between the locals. This restaurant offers great wood oven pizza's try the O' Sole Mio that you can enjoy in the garden in summertime or take-away and friendly staff that recognize you on your second visit.
Trattoria Le Mossacce
A local eatery that has been well-reviewed by multiple publications. Local produce and meats are prepared simply using traditional recipes and time-honoured tradition. Some pastas are made fresh daily, so ask for the daily special. If you want to experience Bistecca alla Fiorentina Florentine-style steak, they do it amazingly without breaking your wallet. They sell and cut the steak from a larger rib slab in increments of 100g with a minimum of 500g per serving.
Very authentic florentine restaurant with good wines and very well cooked italian food. Starter 'Tagliere di Prosciutto Crudo, Stracchino e Coccoli' and soups are highly recommended. Lunch for two with a bottle of wine - around 50 Euro.
Piazza t.tasso, 14 r. ☎ +39 055 225197 (http://www.altranvai.it/). an excellent restaurant for authentic tuscan fare away from the tourist centre. this place gets very busy around 8pm with the locals so be there a bit before. very traditional tuscan food at decent prices. 1st courses at €7 and 2nds at about €10 to €16. vino at €4/0.5l. the rabbit, asparagus souffle and fiori fritti are excellent and the service very welcoming and warm.
"Il Latini" Restaurant
Via dei palchetti, 6r. ☎ +39 055 210916. you actually are seated at a table with other people and that is the fun of the restaurant. the owner visits each table and everyone is in a great mood. it is the combination of all that is mentioned above plus the personalities of the waiters make it a fun place to eat, visit and enjoy the whole florentine experience. at 7:30pm when it opens, you will see a crowd outside the restaurant trying to be first in line. the restaurant is bigger than it looks. even if you do wait, they bring you wine and cheese to those in line. the line is worth it. you might try and ask the owner if you could see the cellar because that is where there is a small private dining area for wine lovers group party and the wine is stored there.
Three generations of the same family have managed the restaurant, started as a wine seller they have also been producing wine. They specialize in Tuscany traditional food. Quality of food is excellent, since they are not only good cooks, but also use very good quality ingredients. They had a fixed price meal for €13 choice of 1st course, 2nd course, side and mineral water. Decent house wine for €2/0.25L. Closed for dinner but still open for lunch Tuesday - Thursday as of June 2012.
For the best steak in Italy take a walk to Piazza Santo Spirito to Borgo Antico. This fairly pricey restaurant has by far some of the best food in Florence! The steak, served by the ounce cooked anyway you like, is brought to the table on a cutting board with knives. For sides make sure you try the four cheese and zucchini risotto, as well as, the roasted rosemary potatoes. This restaurant also serves salads, pastas, fish, and pizzas all worth trying!
Hard Rock Cafe
If you are in the mood for your typical American food like burgers, nachos, chicken clubs, or you miss condiments like ketchup and mustard take a stroll to the Hard Rock Café located in Piazza della Repubblica. As the tourist safe haven, the Hard Rock’s wait can get up to 2 hours.
Via ghibellina, 87. ☎ +39 055 242777 (http://www.enotecapinchio...). situated in the center, near santa croce, perhaps the most expensive and exclusive winery and restaurant in florence. you will choose from a selection of the best italian wines. expect to spend more than €100 each, but according to your wine taste, it can easily reach much higher prices. you will be presented with separate bills for the food and for the wine.
Via san niccolo 39/r. ☎ +39 055 2001397 (http://www.filipepe.com/). settled in the quarter of san niccolo, under the hill that hosts the famous piazzale michelangelo, filipepe is a fish and seafood restaurant offering oysters, lobsters, shellfish and fruits de mer. wide range of sparkling wines.
Restaurant Terrazza Brunelleschi
Piazza unità italiana, 6. ☎+39 055 235 80 fax +39 055 235 888 95. (http://www.hotelbaglioni....). from the panoramic "terrazza brunelleschi" restaurant you can catch all of florence in a glimpse: the dome of santa maria del fiore designed by brunelleschi and giotto's famous campanile, the roofs of the age-old buildings of the historical center and the green hills that surround the city on the horizon.
Via dei tavolini 19. freshly made daily from quality ingredients. the pear will be made with real pears and will taste of pears. typically fruit flavors will be made with seasonally available fruits. chocolate flavor will taste of cocoa rather than chocolate milk-powder. if you are a chocolate fan, this is the place to go. specialties are "sorbetto" (ice cream made with water rather than milk, both with fruit and standard flavors, and "mousse" ice creams. ask for the "special" taste of the day.
Via isole delle stinche, 7/r. ☎ +39 055 292 334. close to piazza santa croce. vivoli has a good gelato fruit selection, so definitely try the fragola, or strawberry. make sure that you ask for the cream on top as well, because it adds another element to an already great dessert.
Good handmade ice cream
Remember that restaurants have separate prices for food to go or eaten standing up versus sit down service; don't try to sit at a table after paying for food or coffee from the restaurant's to go booth. Also ask always beforehand for the price if you want to sit at a table. Otherwise you might be uncomfortably surprised. Cappuccino al banco i.e. standing up might cost €1-3; but at a table €4.
Florence's food can be as much of a treat to the palate as the art is a treat to the eye. There is good food for any price range, from fine restaurants to take out food from window stands. The best price/quality ratio you will find outside the historical center where normal Italians go to eat. The worst ratio is probably in the neighbourhood of Mercato di San Lorenzo where there are a lot of tourist restaurants, while many of the best restaurants in the city are found in the Santa Croce district. In some, requests for pizza may be met with a rebuff. For local pizza look for small shops near the Duomo.
The best lunch places don't always turn out to be the best dinner places. Dinner in Florence really starts sometime between 7PM and 9PM. If a place looks like they're preparing to close before 8PM, it might not be the best option for dinner. Reheated pasta is not very tasty.
Typical Tuscan courses include Bistecca alla fiorentina which is huge t-bone steak weighing from 500g to 1,500g. It has always price given per 100g, e.g. €3.5 etto an etto is a "hectogram" or 100 grams-ettogrammo. Crostini toscani are crostini with tuscan liver paté.
There is also a uniquely Florentine fast food with a 1,000-year history - lampredotto, a kind of tripe cow stomach, or calf for preference, but a different part than the more familiar white "honeycomb" kind, dark brown in color; the name comes from its wrinkled appearance, which apparently reminds locals of a lamprey fish. The trippaio set their carts in the public squares in the center, dishing out the delicacy straight from the cauldron in which it is being boiled with herbs and tomatoes, chopping it and slapping the portions between halves of a Tuscan roll; the top is dipped in the broth. A mild green parsley- or basil-based sauce or a hot red one goes with it.
For an authentic tuscan experience, try dining with local chefs at their own homes. Learn true Italian cooking from the locals themselves, eat great food, enjoy the company of new friends and see a different side of the city. BonAppetour is a great site to discover unique dining experiences in Florence.
There are many gelato Italian ice cream stands; some connoisseurs consider the better Florentine gelato the finest in the world. Often gelato is made in the bar where you buy it. Because of this there are many exotic flavors of ice cream like watermelon, spumante or garlic. It's hard to find a gelato place open very late, so after dinner might not be an option. Near the Duomo though, there are a few places open after 10PM.
Tuscany is also the wellspring of cantuccini, also called biscotti di Prato. Please note that in Italian, the singular of biscotti is un biscotto. It's traditional to enjoy them after a meal by dipping them in Vin Santo "Holy Wine", a concentrated wine made from late-harvested grapes, but you can also buy bags of them in stores throughout the city and eat them however you like.