Walk Florence Like a Local Gourmet

Florence, or Firenze as the Italians say, is where beautiful ancient architecture meets fine dining. Next to the charming trattorias, there’s also a ton of restaurants where locals would never even peek into, and often it’s hard to tell which is which! Fortunately, you’ve got TravelGeekery to guide you to the best local spots :) Read on!

Truffle lunch @ the Central Market

Truffle Central Market Florence
Delicious homemade pasta with grated truffle on it.. a real bliss! All that in a fun atmosphere of a big market.

Florence central market is opened every day, but gourmet locals flood it especially on the weekend. The market is a great place to shop where locals come to stock up on groceries and fresh produce as well as to have a great lunch. One of the best options there is a little truffle restaurant named Il Tartuffo Luciano Savini. Italians are crazy for their truffles, and you will be too! Taste their awesome homemade pasta in its beautiful simplicity seasoned with salt, butter and truffles. Black truffles are great to try, especially if it’s your first time. The more rare and expensive relative, the white truffle, is an excellent option for gourmets. Just order your plates full of awesomeness and while waiting, check out the real truffle on display (especially the price tags).

Tagliolini (spaghetti) with black/white truffle: 16/22 EUR 

Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze, Italy
www.mercatocentrale.it

[clear h=10]With your belly nicely full, walk the streets around the Dome and make your way to Piazza della Signoria, where our coffee stop is.

Stand-up coffee @ Bar Perseo

Perseo Florence Italy
Real Italian macchiato at the classy Bar Perseo

Named after Perseus, a mythical Greeh hero who beheaded the evil Medusa, this classy café is where both locals and tourists alike stop for a little cup of macchiato. Order that or a cappuccino and marvel at the fast work of professional waiters who look like they came from the past century. You’ll sip your coffee by the counter and watch the buzz. Why not sit down? This is how locals do it! Generally speaking, just standing to have a cup of coffee is significantly cheaper than sitting down. The difference can be as big as 3 EUR for a cappuccino!

Piazza Signoria, 16, 50122 Firenze, Italy

[clear h=10]There’s a lot to admire around Café Perseo. You can check out the picturesque bridge, Ponte Vecchio. Or perhaps do some shopping on Via dei Calzaiuoli. Eventually, wander towards Piazza Santa Croce with a majestic Basilica overlooking the square. In one of the streets that lead to it, there’s another hidden gem!

Wine and snacks @ Note di Vino

Note di Vino gourmet Florence
Friendly local atmosphere and fine gourmet snacks & wine @ Note di Vino

Note di Vino is a tiny wine bar owned by Lorenzo and Letizia. Locals keep this place packed as their selection of wines, snacks and light meals is of a supreme quality for a reasonable price. The owners are very friendly and you’ll always feel welcomed. That is, if you find a free spot! It’s no wonder this bar is so popular. If you like red wine, try out their Chianti. White wine fans can go for the smooth Pinot Grigio. In any case, make sure you try snacks from their menu! If your Italian speaking skills are rather non-existent, ask for help :) They have delicious meat & cheese platters, bruschetti and warm panini. Your sweet tooth can get satisfaction with some yummy Italian biscuits (cantuccini) and sweet wine. Their shelves are also stacked with goodies, so if you particularly love something you eat there, you can buy it and bring home. I can wholeheartedly recommend this authentic wine bar; the owners totally deserve your business!

Borgo dei Greci, 4, Firenze, Italy

[clear h=10]After taking a few days to explore Florence, I decided to revisit the places I loved the most. So I ended up at these three gourmet spots and the bliss lasted for hours…! Go check them out and let me know if you enjoyed this much too.

I didn’t pay that much attention to all the sights in Florence, sadly, but if you need inspiration, I found this 3-day guide well put together.

And of course, Italy is not just Florence! Read about the best places to visit in Italy.

If you’re struggling to decide between Florence and Rome, this post comparing both cities will help you with that!

Have you made it to Florence yet? What were the highlights of your trip?

If you love pinning, here’s an image for you:

Enjoy authentic local food (and coffee!) in Florence, Italy. We know where the locals go!

9 thoughts on “Walk Florence Like a Local Gourmet”

    • Agreed. We found a fairly cheap restaurant through our Rick Steves book that had the best pasta with meat sauce that I’ve ever had. We still talk about that place and I intend to go back. I think it was about 6€ for a plate of ecstasy, and 2€ for a glass of good red. Something that good in the states would cost $40, if you could even find anything as good which is doubtful.

    • On the tourist paths there are some not great places. But why anyone would bother paying twice as much for half the quality is beyond me. But I didn’t find any BAD food in Italy at all. Even their McDonald’s was great lol

  1. The first time I walked into Mercato Centrale, it brought tears to my eyes. And that smell! I could live in that place. I wish we had something similar in KY.
    I got slick with sampling and found the best of everything, and then went back the next day and bought the best bread, the best cheese, the best meats, etc and made sandwiches that were unbelievable for about $3 each. The olives are incredible. Got my first experience with cantucci e vin santo in there, from a sample that the shopkeeper offered up because I was looking at it. Bought it at restaurants several times after. Also tried my first 5 year old parm regg for free. Crystals galore! Can’t wait to go back some day. I really like Florence and I love that market.

  2. Veronika, I always wanted to go Florence just to taste wine and this post of your’s just made my vision more clear. Thanks a lot for sharing this post with such amazing sizzlings.

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