Florence draws people in for its art and architecture, but leaves its mark on the average visitor’s memory for the centuries-old Tuscan traditional food culture. If you are staying in the city for an extended period of time, chances are that your wallet will not always run to a succulent bistecca della fiorentina and your taste buds will be crying out for something other than pasta al pomodoro or panzanella. Here is our guide to some of the best international restaurants in town right now. Just don’t tell nonna…
Pint of View
Don’t be deceived by this backstreet addition to the Oltrarno’s food scene. Tucked behind piazza Santo Spirito, Pint of View is a beer lover’s dream with 12 craft beers available on tap at any one time, as well as a takeaway drink service. The buzz surrounds chef Yejin Ha’s inventive menu, enticing a hip crowd with a curious palate with her tantalizing prepared Korean-inspired dishes from bone marrow with bokchoy to man-du pork-filled dumplings. Read the restaurant review here.
Borgo Tegolaio 17r, Florence
Stay posted for upcoming events, including the Pint of View Challenge, a The Florentine community event on February 12, 8pm. 28 euro, includes 2 mains, 6 beer tastings, dessert + 1 creative cocktail. Book now to avoid disappointment: firstname.lastname@example.org or at the gastropub 055 288944.
If you can handle the heat, Florence’s oldest Mexican restaurant is up for the challenge with its fiery hot sauces, indicated by incrementing skull and crossbones on the menu. The first tortilleria of its kind in Italy, Tijuana’s assortment of Tex-Mex dishes are all homemade without preservatives with the use of cornstarch providing an abundance of gluten-free options. The via Ghibellina location is dotted with Mexican statuettes, posters and artisan crafts, while via il Prato vaunts an outdoor patio for hotter months: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
Read the restaurant review here.
Via Ghibellina 156R + Via il Prato 57-59R, Florence
When the trattorie are still shut and you’re in need of a hearty meal, think hash browns and when was the last time you saw them on a menu? Stefano and Martha’s The Diner comes to the rescue with their all-day brunch served until 11pm, including a full English breakfast, bagels and eggs benedict a plenty. With a menu inspired by the couple’s trips to the United States, sweet-tooth cravings are also catered for with pancakes and French toast served with 100 per cent maple syrup and toppings galore, paired with super creamy milkshakes. Wi-Fi is free for diners at The Diner.
Via dell’Acqua 2, Florence (Update November 4, 2022: Now permanently closed)
Red Garter Florence
For a taste of real Americana in Florence, pop by the Red Garter steakhouse a stone’s throw from piazza Santa Croce. This American institution has been running since 1962 when a Bostonian decided to open a bar for homesick American youths visiting the city. Now Italy’s oldest American bar, the saloon vibe as well as its popularity with U.S. tourists have remained much the same down the years. With regular live music nights and maxi screens broadcasting NFL and live sports, the steakhouse offers authentic American cuisine using the finest Italian meat. Our tip: the BBQ chicken wings and nachos always hit the spot.
Via dei Benci 33r/35r, Florence
There’s been a noticeable rise in Asian restaurants run by Italian chefs, leading to the recent coining of the Tuscan-Eastern cuisine concept. One such place is Koto Ramen, the brainchild of group of internationally minded youngsters. Each dish is made Japanese style using typical Italian ingredients, such as the shoyu ramen with Piedmontese truffle cream and kakuni with Tuscan bacon. The restaurant’s no-frills setting (and strictly no reservations policy) makes sure that the focus is strictly on the food.
Via Verdi 42R, Florence / A second location is set to open this spring in borgo San Frediano
La Cova Tapas Bar
If the ‘sharing is caring’ mantra rings true to you, then you are no stranger to the delights of a tapas bar. Walking into La Cova Tapas Bar with its ceramic tiles and exposed brick walls fills you with Spanish sunshine as you sit at the bar or scattered tables. Located on sdrucciolo de’ Pitti, the bar’s informal setting is ideal for those looking for a quick lunch or light supper with friends. The ever-changing seasonal menu, with jamon and chorizo imported from different regions of the Iberian Peninsula, ensures the freshest of produce with every bite.
Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti 19R, Florence