I was lucky enough to get the inside scoop on where to eat in Florence from a local Florentine. Artist Francesco Giannini has lived in Florence for most of his life and he knows where to go to get the best food.
Giannini paused from his work, hand decorating papers with frogs, and wrote down his favorite places in the city to eat. Here, for you to enjoy, are his top 4 picks.
Via del Proconsolo
Right around the corner from the Duomo yet sometimes difficult to find. Locals come here for lunch and dinner. Just don’t try visit on a weekend, Le Mossacce is closed. The restaurant is cozy inside and serves traditional Florentine food.
Piazza di San Lorenzo
This local spot is unusual because it is only open for lunch. When the stalls of the San Lorenzo market used to cover the street, the restaurant was hidden and only workers went there. Today, the stalls don’t quite cover the restaurant, but it’s still a local lunch spot. “Don’t order pasta, get their soups,” Giannini said.
Via del Porcellana
This is the place to go for a good dinner. The tables are long and on one side of you “there’s the plumber, on the other, Steven Spielberg.” It seems that all socioeconomic classes share the tables for a bite of Florentine steak or, Giannini’s favorite chicken breast cooked in butter. “You will thank me if you order it,” Giannini said.
Via dei Tavolini
Perché no, literally “why not”, is a gelateria that has been in business since the 30s. “My mother took me here when I was a kid,” Giannini said. They have delicious peach and mixed fruit flavors and “their pistachio is not green,” proving it is made from scratch and is thus a cream or yellowish color.