The food experience in Florence was on another level especially after the disappointing and mediocre food we found in Rome. I was only in Florence for three days. My friend S is a foodie and it was her mission to find delicious eats for us there. We read reviews and local recommendation websites to find these restaurants.
Ps.This food post includes vegetarian and sea food options. I did not find any halal Italian recommendations.
Lunch in Florence
We only had two lunches in Florence. Both were at the market. We loved the variety and the ease of the location so we went back there the second day. The Market has two main floors. The ground floor is Mercato di San Lorenzo, which is old fashioned with food stalls and shops selling delicious balsamic, olive oil, truffle and honey. The first floor is known as the Central Market and it is like a food court with restaurants on the sides and tables in the middle. It was very crowded, so if you don’t like the crowed then this might not be for you. You can go to the market to only shop for Italian ingredients and gifts as well. I managed to get some delicious balsamic vinegar, honey with truffles and sun dried tomatoes.
We had some pasta downstairs from Nerbone. Their Pesto pasta was fresh and it was like a salad pasta, but the coolness of it made it taste like a light lunch. The caprese and artichoke starters were good as well. Two mains and two starters and drinks cost us 20 euros.
The second visit, we went to the Central Market upstairs and the pizza stall looked the most tempting, so we got some from there. There was only one pizza stall with the longest queue! It was very fresh and stone oven baked. It took 15 minutes and it was very yummy! The pizzas were 8-11 euros each. We treated ourselves to some Italian snacks and gelato from there too!
Of course right!! I had about two a day from most stalls. I don’t discriminate gelato. Most was nice and refreshing. Plus being there in the summer you need a few whenever you see a stall. I made a specific journey to a well recommended spot that I thought I will share with you.
Dinner in Florence
Simple and proper Italian Pasta (Osteria Santo Spirito)
I wanted to eat every possible type of pasta when I was in Italy and I really enjoyed this place! It was a 40mins wait, but the food was worth it. Simple, but GOOD.
Pizza with a twist (Berbere)
This pizza was the best one I have had hands down. I had a special one with mozzarella, tomato sauce and capers. The bread served in this pizza place is actually the best I tried in Italy. I also tried the cucumber and watermelon salad, which was just perfect for the weather!
They have a few branches around Italy, so you don’t only have to be in Florence for this pizza. Though, I can’t really vouch for the other branches.
Creative Dinning Experience in Florence
Leaving the best dinner for last! Garga was a feast for the stomach and the eyes. It was decorated with a number of very interesting art pieces. You can even draw your own art on the table too! They might keep it and even print it! The food was so creative and REALLY yummy! We also got complementary starter from the chef then he came and said hi at the end of the meal, which was really sweet. It's a pricey meal, but if you want to treat yourself a little I would recommend this. Not to mention that the spinach prawns I had there were the BEST! The dessert had an unusual mix of chocolate mousse with salt, olive oil and berries. Having all of them in one bite is SO GOOD!!