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Best places to eat?

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Charlotte
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Best places to eat?

What are your must go-to restaurants in Florence? Heading there for the first time and am looking for some options that are away from tourists! Thank you!

albuquerque
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1. Re: Best places to eat?

There are many great places in Florence and everyone will have there own favorites. The first rule is to avoid the places right on the main piazzas (around the Duomo, P. Signoria, P. della Repubblica.). They are definitely tourist places and most have mediocre food.

I like Cantinetta dei Verrazzano(for lunch), Sostanza (especially for a Florentine Steak), 4 Leone (Oltrarno, lunch or dinner), and the wine bar Coquinarius (dinner, Via delle Oche, a side street near the Duomo).

It's fun to try I Fratellini for lunch (very small take out or stand up and eat hole in the wall near Orsanmichele Church). Try the anchovy and butter sandwich. Really. And don't forget a gelato at Perche No!

Thessaloniki, Greece
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2. Re: Best places to eat?

"It's fun to try I Fratellini for lunch (very small take out or stand up and eat hole in the wall near Orsanmichele Church). Try the anchovy and butter sandwich. Really. And don't forget a gelato at Perche No!"

+1

3. Re: Best places to eat?

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Bedfordshire...
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4. Re: Best places to eat?

Elizabeth - unless your apps are free, you should not be advertising them on TA.

north carolina
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5. Re: Best places to eat?

I recommend to not worry too much about dining in Florence. In my opinion/experience,Florence is the greatest town we have ever visited for dining. However, I will say that the only two places that we didn't like were pizzerias that were widely publicized - both of them were crowded, noisy, with careless service.

We always ask the hotel staff for recommendations after telling them what kind of place we would like, and they have always (100%) come up with suggestions that were fully satisfactory. For example if you stay at the Hotel Silla, our favorite, there are many restaurants with a fifteen minute walk where you may see/hear no/few tourists.

If you stay in the most heavily touristed areas, then this may become more of a challenge.

Florence
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6. Re: Best places to eat?

Here are my purely idiosyncratic responses to suggestions above:

I agree with the high ratings for Sostanza – I’ve been eating there with pleasure for over 50 years. In all that time, the one significant change was the retirement of one waiter – whose place was taken by his son – who’s much more pleasant.

I also like the Cantinetta dei Verrazzano – for breakfast, lunch, or for a mid-afternoon break when you’re in the belly of the beast. Their breads, sandwiches, house-made wines, and on and on are superb. It is frequently packed to the gills at lunch with locals and savvy visitors from Rome, Milan, etc.

I do not agree with 4 Leoni. They frequently do not respond to efforts to make reservations - or honor them when they are made. The food is mediocre, and the service can be really bad. (Their signature dish of pasta with gorgonzola and pears is the simplest thing to make at home. Don’t be overly impressed by it.)

Perche No? doesn’t come close to the top of my list of gelaterie. I much prefer the Gelateria alla Carreteira, Vivoli, and Badiani – just to name three.

Bedfordshire...
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7. Re: Best places to eat?

anywhere that is 'must go to' will also attract lots of tourists and restaurants often lose their cachet when they realise that they don't have to try too hard once they get honourable mentions in the guide books.

You are likely to find better choices 'over the river' in Oltrarno. Amongst my personal favourites are Il Santo Bevitore, Il Guscio, Trattoria Pandemonio di Casa Brogi and Enoteca le Barrique. Try also Pitti Gola e Cantina and Le Volpi e l'Uva, which are great wine bars

Edited: 2:10 am, September 24, 2012
Montepulciano, Italy
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8. Re: Best places to eat?

I think my taste in ice cream must be very similar to Tomaso's because I too rate alla Carreteira as my favourite and very much like Vivoli too. I find the ice creams at Perch No far too sweet but accept that's a personal thing. In order to find a restaurant away from tourists, you'd have to hit a part of town outside the main tourist areas. I often eat with a Florence based girlfriend in a very simple trattoria in a street going east off Piazza Beccaria and I've never seen any other foreigners there. And there was another place we used to eat at at the back of San Frediano in Cestello near the city walls that, again, was entirely local but that area's changing a bit so perhaps visitors are making it there now.

Edited: 4:45 am, September 24, 2012
Florence
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9. Re: Best places to eat?

lastraniera,

You describe the taste of the gelato at Perche No as "sweet".

I would use the less friendly word "artificial".

Charlotte
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10. Re: Best places to eat?

Thank you for the great recommendations!