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Top 10 Most Popular Foods In Florence

Ajitsa A.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Ajitsa A.

Last updated : Dec 06, 20228 min read

Food & Drink

Italy is known worldwide for its food, with cities like Rome dominating the culinary scene. However, Florence takes the cake as the home of rustic fresh ingredients and simple yet robust flavors from the Tuscan region. 

This article celebrates the city's most popular delicacies, from salty street sandwiches to sweetened focaccia. So whether you're craving melons and prosciutto along the Piazza Della Signoria, or hungry for a bowl of hearty soup, our Florence private tours ensure you get the best of Florence's culinary side with the comfort of a Florence private guide who knows the city's ins and outs. 

Bistecca alla Fiorentina 

blog image

©Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Let's start things off with one of the most indulgent meals, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina -  and there's only one way to eat it. This traditional treat consists of fatty T-bone steak seasoned with salt and pepper and maybe some lemon. That's it. The flavor lies in the high-quality meat, which is often a young or unmated cow. That, coupled with some light grilling over hot coals or chestnuts until the cut is rare, makes it Fiorentina. 

Each serving is around 1 kg (2.2 pounds) and above, so it's a pretty hefty meal. It would make for a delicious dinner with some Chianti, cannellini beans, and a group of friends, but it might a bit too much for a mid-tour snack.

Cantucci

blog imageWhoever said Florentine cuisine made no room for desserts hasn't tried one of these crumbly, twice-baked cookies. Cantucci are globally referred to as almond biscotti, but in the city of lilies they're known as the best cookie ever. Filled with almonds and butter, cantucci has a flaky, light texture. Traditionally, almonds are used, but you can find pistachio and hazelnut versions around the city. 

Usually served with a thick, slightly syrupy dessert wine known as vin Santo, it's the perfect energy boost after shopping along the Ponte Vecchio or while hanging around a Piazza. Be sure to dip your cantucci in the amber wine for an authentic Florentine experience

Pasta Pappardelle

blog imageFlorence loves pasta as much as the rest of the country, with several variations of the Italian classic found in trattorias off the beaten path and on the tables of Michelin-star restaurants. This specific version, the pappardelle, is a broad, flat, egg-based noodle known for absorbing thick ragu. Each restaurant has its own pappardelle dish, commonly served with meat, cheese, or a seafood-based sauce. 

One of the most famous pappardelle dishes is the pappardelle al cinghiale, which features aged wild boar soaked in wine overnight and fried with the usual ragu trimmings. Less traditional options use rabbit, wild goose, or wild hare, which are seasonal delicacies. 

Pappa Al Pomodoro 

blog imageUp next is a soup that can be enjoyed cold during the summer and warm in the winter, Pappa al Pomodoro. Florentine cuisine often points to its peasant roots. This hearty tomato soup is a gem of the medieval era when residents would use seasonal vegetables, tomatoes, and beans to create a soup heavy enough to keep everyone full. 

Tuscany's classically plain bread, known as Pane Toscano, is added to the mix for extra thickness. The bread soaks up the stew, and a healthy drizzling of olive oil completes this rustic meal. 

Lampredotto 

blog image

William Held, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

While taking a street tour through Florence, you're bound to get hungry, which is why this famous street sandwich is a must. Lampredotto, or lean beef tripe, has long been a staple ingredient in Florentine meals due to its affordability and mouthwatering taste. The tripe is thoroughly cleaned, boiled, and seasoned to enhance its flavor. It's then chopped into fine pieces, scooped into toasted flatbread, and enjoyed on the go. 

There are several Lampredotto sandwich vendors in high-traffic areas, such as the Mercato Centrale or the Santa Maria Del Fiore cathedral, which can be confusing at first. Having a local guide with you whose taste tested the best of the best is like having a personal cheat code!  

Cornetto

blog imageIf you thought croissants were exclusive to France, think again. Not to be confused with the ice cream of the same name, Cornetto, also known as brioche is Florence's answer to the fluffy, flaky breakfast pastry, and they're just as good as their French counterparts. Typically filled with chocolate, cream, fruit jam, sautéed fruits, and nuts, these pastries can be indulgent at times, but they're still a great breakfast option. 

On a crisp morning, Florence's streets are filled with the aroma of baked pastries from cafes vying for your attention. Most cafes offer decent cornetto, but you can grab a handmade one and a hot cup of coffee at Caffe Paszkowski, or Caffe Gilli, both located in the Piazza Della Repubblica. 

Tagliere

blog imageThe Spanish have tapas, the French have charcuteries, and the Florentine have Tagliere. This simple assortment of cured meats, cheese, and toasted bread is served at most parties and restaurants as an appetizer. On each board, you'll find thinly sliced cured ham, Italian sausage, and Tuscan cheeses like smoked mozzarella, pecorino Della Garfagnana, or pecorino baccellone. 

A tagliere display isn't complete without a glass of rich, red Tuscan wine. Chianti is the most favored option, as it enhances the subtle flavors of the cheese. 

Ribollita

blog imageNo dish shows off the inventive spirit of Florence's residents like this vegetable soup. Ribollita, which translates to "re-boiled," was created to inject new life into stale, already-cooked food like kale, beans, carrots, and potatoes. The reinvented leftovers were beefed up with bread and broth to create this comfort meal. 

Ribollita is often slow-boiled, much like pappa al Pomodoro, so the ingredients melt into one another, enhancing the simple flavors. You'll find ribollita on most menus during the winter months when kale is in season, but some restaurants offer it year-round. 

Schiacciata All'uva

blog imageDessert might not be the first thing that comes to mind when dreaming of Florence's food. Still, you'd be surprised at the traditional selections, like this grape-infused focaccia, also known as Schiacciata All'uva. Sweetened with Tuscan wine grapes, locally known as canaiolo, and baked like focaccia bread, it pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee and some dessert cheese. 

The schiacciata, or "smashed" bread, is best enjoyed during the fall months, especially September, as Tuscany's wine harvest begins. If you're lucky enough to visit Florence in the fall, you must take a full wine tour at least once! 

Gelato 

blog imageLast but never least is the sweet treat this city is known for, gelato. Though this delicious ice cream can be found all over Italy, there's something special about getting a scoop in the place rumored to have birthed it. Florentine gelato doesn't need extravagant toppings, bright colors, and mountains of sugar, although you can find those versions in the city center.

Simple flavors like pistachio, vanilla, chocolate, fruit, and a slow-churned milk base are what make gelato a creation of its own. Lighter than ice cream and naturally sweetened, it's a great way to cool off during Florence's warmer months. To experience traditional gelato, ask Florence tour guide about homemade gelateria spots commonly visited by locals.

Conclusion 

Are you hungry for more of Florence's fabulous food selections? Book your private Florence tour with one of our Florence private tour guides and taste your way through the cobblestoned streets of Tuscany's pride and joy.

Florence Tour Guide - Mila L.

Mila L.

Italy

Hi! I am a licensed Tour Guide of Florence and its district, with a M.A. in English and French Literatureo. I have been working for over 30 years in Tourism, also as an International Tour Manager, organizing and guiding customized tours for English and Spanish speaking guests. All my tours are private and LGBTQ friendly. It would be fantastic to become one of your guides.                                                                                                                                 

Florence Tour Guide - Eva G.

Eva G.

Italy

Hi, I'm Eva! I've been living in Florence since 2012 and I've become a professional licensed tour guide in 2016, since then I did a lot of private tours around Florence and in Tuscany, working with families and small groups of friends. I'm still very curious and constantly learning new things about local history and artists, and Florence always gives you an opportunity to discover something interesting. I'm in love with my city and I live quite an active life, so I can tell you a lot of things not only about history, but also about modern life of Florence. During pandemic period I have finished the Wine Courses, so now I'm also professional sommelier, working in wine industry, and I can share my experience with you. We also have a nice wine cellar in the city center, where you can join one of our wine-tasting evenings. My concept of exploring Italy is doing it with taste and style. So during our tour we will have no rush and you will have an opportunity to really enjoy Italian style of life. Yes, I give a lot of historical information, but I'm very flexible and I always put your needs and wishes at the first place. So every tour is adopted to the client's preferences.                                                                                                                                 

Toscana Tour Guide - Giacomo C.

Giacomo C.

Italy

Giacomo is a travel operator based in Tuscany. He specializes in private food and wine tours in Tuscany. All his itineraries include visits to organic or biodynamic farms and wineries. He is able to customize departures from almost any accommodation in all of the provinces of Florence and Siena.                                                                                                                                 

Florence Tour Guide - Simona T.

Simona T.

Italy

I started riding by chance when I was about 20, I never stopped and enjoyed show jumping, cross country and the country trail riding with my horses. Today it is my life and I share my experience and my emotions on horseback with my guests and in the beauty, the history and the flavors of the Tuscan hilly countryside surrounding Florence.                                                                                                                                 

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