I'm very excited to share with you the foods I ate in Florence because it is a foodie's paradise. Unlike Rome, I found Florence to have better options for example, bigger steaks (yes the Florentine steak), superior gelato and great wines. Below are some of my favorite dishes!
1. Carapina- I am willing to declare this as the best gelato in Italy. The peach and three cheese Italian gelato is unlike anything you will ever taste.
2. Gucci Museo Caffé- You should definitely check out the Gucci Museo which holds decades worth of Gucci's signature travel luggage to his modern day gowns. However before you go up make sure to check out the museum's cafe. They have a delicious coffee shakerato, this delicious apple turnover with cream (pictured below) and it's all decked out in Gucci.
3. Le Volpi e L'Uva - Wine, cheese and meat plates is what Le Volpi e L'Uva specializes in and they have excelled in their craft. We had delicious full bodied red wines, a generous selection of semi and soft cheeses, unlimited bread and a great tomato and olive side salad. I am drooling just thinking of this meal.
4. 4 Leoni- You HAVE to eat a proper Florentine steak when you're in Florence. It is rich, cooked more on the rare side and giant. The sides are also worthy of praise. We had some delicious tomato bean cake to pair with the steak which added a nice acidity to the meal.
5. Mercato Centrale- Mercato Centrale is the best place to taste many foods in one place. It will remind you a lot of Chelsea Market but in my opinion Mercato Centrale offers more variety and has a better price. During the day time you only the first floor of the market is open and you'll find panini shops, pizza stalls and other lunch time vendors. At night they close the first floor and open the second floor where you can access bars, different restaurants than the day time shops and plethora of seating space. If I lived in Florence I could hang here with my friends A LOT. I was lucky enough to go to the market during the night and day and tried two different restaurants. The margarita pizza was from the evening and the risotto was from Nerbone during lunch time. The risotto is some of the best I've ever had in my life. The freshly grated parmesann cheese was also a great touch.
6. Golden View Open Bar- This cafe was right by our Florence apartment and we would frequently have breakfast there. I highly recommend getting the cappuccino there. They also have a nice selection of delicious pastries which are well portioned for a quick bite.
7. Vivoli- Many people regard Vivoli as one of the best gelato places in Florence. While it is delicious and I think you should try it because you may think differently, I still think Carapina takes the prize on best gelato.
8. Il Santo Bevitore- You'll eat plenty of authentic Tuscan food in Florence but if you're looking for modern Italian cuisine then this is your place. Il Santo Bevitore cooks traditional Italian food with a more modern flair- think oyster mushrooms and fried foie gras. Below is their duck confit which was a definite highlight of dinner!
9. Cantina del Gelato- On the Oltrarno side is the second best gelato place in Florence. Pictured below is salted caramel and pistachio gelato. Notice how generous the portion looks? That's not the zoom on my camera. For 2 euros you can get the same!
11. Carmen- On the night before leaving Florence I wanted to eat Italian food that was not too Italian. Does that make sense? Well Carmen serves up exactly what I had pictured in my head. Ravioli with porcini and sesame, smoked salmon and avocado crostini and gorgonzola with fig jam crostini was the craving that I didn't even know I had. The ravioli from Carmen is out of this world!
12. Ditta Artigianale- Ditta Artigianale has great coffee grounds, a more Americanized pastry and breakfast selection as well as smoothies! The decor is also very Brooklyn-esque.