Since my recent trip to Florence, friends are asking me for recommendations regarding “best” places to eat and drink. Unfortunately, Italy is slowly becoming a distant memory and instead of remembering names of places I’m remembering mostly the ambiance and what I ate, “The ragu is the best I ever had! The resto is in the cutest street just near Ponte Vecchio… what was the name again?”. Not very helpful as you can imagine. So this afternoon I find myself rummaging through both my desk and make-up bag, checking the interior of my high-heels, and turning over cushions, all in the attempt to find missing business cards of restaurants and bars we visited in Florence.
Before handing over my list, I should mention the goal of this trip was to track down Nonna food, meaning places that are as close as you can get to an Italian grandmother’s cooking, but of course Florence has its list of chic/trendy/stylish restaurant + bars which I’ve included in my list.
Via delle Oche, 11r
(traversa di via Calzaiuoli)
Tel: +39 055.23.02153
Loving the decor here! Very chic and casual with delicious food, and great wine selection thanx to wine expert, Nicolas. Mon Cheri felt the portions were just a little too small (compared to the rest of our Northern Italian eating adventures).
Via Porta Rossa, 58/R
Tel: +39 055.29.488.22
Loving being seated up at the bar, you have front seats to all the action of pizza making. We went back for a second time.
La Bottega di Rosa
Via Del Campidoglio 8/14r
Tel: +39 055.26.70.423
It’s not Nonna food nor Nonna prices, it’s a contemporary restaurant with a fancy chef.
Via Palazzuolo 69/7R
Tel: +39 055.23.82.673
Nonna food! Local atmosphere. Loved the ambiance here.
Golden View Open Bar
Via dei Bardi 58r (around the corner from Pont Vecchio)
Tel: +30 055.21.45.02
It was our morning bar for coffee and pastries, and in the evening for apero + tapas style food.
Osteria del Porcellino
Via Val di Lamona 7r
Tel: +39 055.26.41.48
This restaurant was recommended to us by a local. It’s proof that locals know where the good stuff is.
Via de Michelozzi, 9R
Tel: +39 055 21.86.24
Talk about local place. Labourers still in their overalls, students, old folks and us. Nonna food, Nonna prices.
Piazza dell’Olio, 15
Tel: +39 055.23.96.616
You walk past this tiny tiny place and you think there’s not much here except a little antipasto and coffee coffee bar …. huh !.. Surprise surprise, Nonna’s restaurant is down stairs! Hidden gem. Hidden from tourists.
The St. Regis Florence
Piazza Ognissanti 1
Tel: +39 055.27.161
During a midnight walk along the River Arno we couldn’t help but be pulled into the St.Regis for a couple of cocktails at the bar.
Note: most of these restaurants don’t have English translations on their menu. I like that, it’s more local that way. But as romantic as the idea sounds it makes ordering a challenge, it’s okay if you like surprises.