Now that the midsummer is upon us, the foods we crave are lighter, not so much pizza and pasta but salads and light bites, just enough to feel satisfied and restored. Take the crunch and swap the carbs for something a little fresher this summer with this list of perfect places for health and energy under one roof.
Via del Corso 26 or Via degli Avelli 2R
Serving a scrumptious selection of perfect summer salads, with combinations ranging from avocado, apple, orange, walnuts, brie cheese, tomatoes to shrimps, avocado, yoghurt sauce, tomato and lettuce, you will be sure to find the best option for you. Shake Café also provides healthy wraps and sandwiches as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Couple that with a fresh and fruity pressed juice or smoothie of your choice and you’ve got a winning summer dish. The Florentine’s editor in chief is a big fan of the centrifuga energizzante (carrot, ginger, apple and strawberry).
Via de’ Benci 23R
The diverse dining menu has everything from California to Greek salad as well as a classic Caesar option. If you don’t fancy salad but can’t stomach pasta in the heat, go for one of Moyo‘s sweet and sour stir fry dishes, high on vegetables to give you that much needed energy boost and help you through the summer struggle. The perfect place to rest your weary feet after walking the hallowed stones of the Santa Croce basilica .
Via dei Vagellai 18
This quirky, modern and chilled setting of a library cafe/restaurant combines good food and contemporary art decor. Get out of the sun and sit down to the innovative local menu of vegan and vegetarian gourmet cuisine. Whether you choose a simple, yet refreshing Sicilian salad or inventive avocado and sesame seed carpaccio, most ingredients at Libreria Brac come from local and organic production methods.
Via dell’Oriuolo 26R or Piazza Spadolini 6
With its philosophy of natural, fresh and easy care of food, Lovelife is a hotspot for food fanatics, especially at this time of the year. Whether it’s a vegetable tart, quiche or rice salad, the food has got everything you need for that all important health kick. Serving light bites at breakfast, lunch and dinner, those seeking gluten or dairy-free fare come back time and time again.
Borgo Santa Croce 15R
A quaint café tucked away near Santa Croce, Quelo Bar offers a wide variety of dishes perfect for the summer season. From a cappuccino at breakfast to a cocktail at aperitif and serving fresh salads and juices all day long, it’s a great place to escape that relentless heat. From 7pm, you can expect a refreshing buffet selection of freshly made salads, as well as reasonably priced Tuscan wine.
Via Matteo Palmieri 24-26R
Elegant yet casual and colourful, Gastone is a go-to favourite for many. Try the tartare made from Piedmontese Fassone beef or a tuna carpaccio with beetroot and spinach. Or just remain faithful to a summer salad. You’ll never get bored here thanks to the extensive leafy list featuring ingredients like swordfish and octopus, chicken and turkey. Gastone is the ultimate light lunch break in the Sant’Ambrogio neighbourhood.
Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore
Set in a tranquil, centuries-old courtyard, Quinoa is a 100% gluten-free restaurant and a big hit with vegetarians. Check out the wide range of veggie dishes or head over there for brunch. Priding itself on Tuscan tradition, together with taste and health, Quinoa offers everything you’d expect from a good summer menu and more near Santa Maria Novella station and two minutes from the Duomo.