If there was one place I could move to for the sole reason of eating and drinking, I would be on the next plane to Florence, Italy in a heartbeat! From fresh seafood pasta and melt-in-your mouth pizza, to gelato and charcuterie boards, Florence is a match made in heaven for any foodie. Plus, if you’re looking for the perfect aperol spritz or glass of Chianti, Florence is bound to make your heart skip a beat.
From the moment we arrived, I knew I was in love with Florence. At every corner, the smell of baking bread, Margherita pizzas in wood fired ovens, and handmade pasta overtook all of our senses. By nightfall, the piazzas were bursting with energy, alive with people young and old enjoying an aperitif. The atmosphere was so contagious, you couldn’t help but want to take part in the festivities.
Prior to our trip, I scoured Instagram, Pinterest and every travel blog imaginable to find the best restaurants, aperitifs and rooftop bars with views of Florence. My list of places to eat and drink may have been slightly larger than our stomachs, but we left Florence vowing to return — mainly due to the delicious food and drink. So, if you’re heading to Florence, don’t miss the opportunity to check out these hidden gems!
Best Rooftop Bar with a View: La Terrazza at Hotel Continentale
La Terrazza is hands down the best rooftop bar with views of Florence. Located on the top floor of a medieval tower along the Arno River, La Terrazza is the place to be. Arrive early, order a cocktail, and prepare to witness the most unforgettable Tuscan sunset.
Most Lively Bar near Pitti Palace: Bulli & Balane
Nestled away in Oltrarno, Bulli & Balane is a hidden gem for those seeking the perfect aperitif and cichetti. While the bar itself is absolutely adorable, I recommend taking your spritz across the street to the piazza to soak in Italian atmosphere. Bulli & Balane became a nightly spot for my mom and I — who could blame us when aperol spritzes are only 4 euro!?
Cutest Tuscan Courtyard: Serre Torrigiani
Serre Torrigiani is the definition of an Italian oasis. Nestled in-between large buildings, and hidden from the masses of tourists, Serre Torrigiani is the perfect spot to escape the crowds and enjoy an aperitif.
Most Delicious Gelato: Gelateria La Carraia
No trip to Italy is complete without gelato! If you read 36 Hours in Rome, I’m sure you were shocked by how many fake gelateries there are in Italy. Gelateria La Carraia — recommended by multiple friends — did not disappoint! The gelato was fresh, and the flavors were delicious!
Brooklyn in Florence: Ditta Artigianale
Ditta Artigianale was the perfect spot to start our morning — plus, it was only steps away from our AirBNB! Relaxed and trendy, Ditta Artigianale serves espresso in the morning, lunch by noon, and cocktails by night.
Most Authentic Italian Bakery: S Forno Panifico
This hidden bakery in Oltrarno is not to be missed! From homemade pastries to schiacciata and special breads, S Forno Panifico is delicious, charming, and authentic. I’m drooling just thinking about my pastry!
Perfect Afternoon Pick-Me-Up: Todo Modo
Part bookstore, part cafe, Todo Modo is a hidden gem in central Florence. Whether you’re in the mood for wine, tea, or juice, this is the perfect place to get lost in your favorite book.
Best Charcuterie Board: La Proscuitteria
If I could eat prosciutto and cheese for the rest of my life, I would die happy. La Proscuitteria is a hidden gem in Florence — for 5 euro a person, order a spread of Italian meats, cheeses, and spreads. The servings are generous and the food is delicious, but space is tight, so arrive early!
Freshest Seafood Pasta: Le Volpi e I’Uva
This small, unassuming wine bar next to Pitti Palace is home to some of the best wine and pasta you will ever taste. Whether you’re in the mood for an aperitif or dinner, Le Volpi e I’Uva is the perfect place to spend your evening — not to mention, you’ll be dining next to centuries and centuries of history!
Best. Pizza. Ever: Gusta Pizza
No trip to Italy is complete without pizza. And, if you’re looking for the best pizza of your life, absolutely do not miss Gusta Pizza. Not only is the environment crazy busy (there are maybe 3 tables with at least 20 people waiting in line), but the pizza is unbelievably good and the prices are insanely cheap. Grab your pizza to go, buy a bottle of wine, and enjoy these Italian delicacies on the steps of Basilica di Santo Spirito.
Italian Off-The-Beaten Path: Alla Vecchia Bettolla
If you’re in the mood for an authentic Italian dinner, look no further than Alla Vecchio Bettolla. Loud, boisterous, and full of locals, this is one of the best classic Tuscan restaurants in Florence.