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Off the beaten path and most authentic Italian dinner in Florence?

I will be in Florence with my boyfriend for 2 nights and we're looking for a very authentic, Italian dinner that is delicious! Definitely something not touristy and off the beaten path. No set price; just looking for recos! 

11 Answers

top answer by
Caterina from Florence

Dear Laura,

I'm a Florentine and let me tell you that is quite difficult to answer your question; Florence is crowded with tourists and most of the restaurants are always full. You wrote that you will spend 2 nights in Florence so I will give you a list of my favourite downtown restaurants (mainly frequented by locals) and some ideas for a dinner in the surroundings.


1) You can have an authentic Tuscan dinner at Alla Vecchia Bettola that is located in the Oltrarno district near the old walls; the food & wine are absolutely great and is everything a traditional Florentine eatery should be. It is not very romantic because sometimes you are asked to share your table with other people but if you want to try this place anyway I recommend you to make a reservation and get some cash before taking a seat because they do not accept debit & credit cards (there is a cash-point just outside the entrance anyway).

2) One of my favourite places in Florence is certainly Napoleone (website), that gives you also the opportunity to enjoy a candlelit dinner with a view of the Piazza del Carmine in a much more intimate atmosphere; they serve meat, very good fish and pizza + the decor and lights are honestly perfect.

3) Ristorante Alle Murate (website) is just amazing (archaeological finds from the Roman era + a series of frescoes from 1300 included) but is surely one of the most expensive restaurants in Florence (I only went once! ;-) ) so have a look at the menu and make your decision... if you don't have budget related problems then JUST GET IN and you won't be disappointed.

Other restaurants I really like are: Acqua Al 2 (website), I' Vinaino, Enoteca Fuori Porta (website, particularly for lunch) and Il Santo Bevitore (website) all located between the Bargello, Stazione Firenze Santa Maria Novella, the Giardino delle Rose and Via Santo Spirito.


If you have the possibility to drive out of the city then go to Fiesole and choose Vinandro (website, tiny but delicious) or La Reggia degli Etruschi (website, the best restaurant with view)... three other places I really love are Giogoli rossi (between Scandicci and Galluzzo), Trattoria La Baracchina (website, near San Casciano in Val di Pesa) and L'hosteria Di Mosciano (near San Martino Alla Palma).

I hope you will find this message useful, when you come back to San Francisco tell me if you picked any!



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Oltrarno (neighborhood)
  2. Ristorante Alle Murate (restaurant)
  3. Acqua Al 2 (restaurant)
  4. Enoteca Fuori Porta (attraction)
  5. Il Santo Bevitore (restaurant)
  6. Bargello (attraction)
  7. Stazione Firenze Santa Maria Novella (attraction)
  8. Fiesole (attraction)
  9. La Reggia degli Etruschi (restaurant)
  10. Scandicci (city)
  11. San Casciano in Val di Pesa (city)
  12. San Martino Alla Palma (attraction)
  13. Alla Vecchia Bettola (restaurant)
  14. Napoleone (restaurant)
  15. I' Vinaino (restaurant)
  16. Giardino delle Rose (attraction)
  17. Via Santo Spirito (attraction)
  18. Vinandro (restaurant)
  19. Giogoli rossi (restaurant)
  20. Galluzzo (attraction)
  21. Trattoria La Baracchina (restaurant)
  22. L'hosteria Di Mosciano (attraction)
11 thanks

answered first by
Tina from Bainbridge Island

For local color, try Trattoria La Casalinga, Via dè Michelozzi, 9R 50125 Firenze. The food is reasonable and delicious! The last time we were in Florence, we ate there twice. The second time we went, we recognized customers from the first visit. Clearly the locals like it there. One of the servers gave me a t-shirt with their logo on it. They were all very nice. Great place to practice your Italian. Try to get a reservation. It gets busy.

For a truly romantic evening, Ristorante La Giostra is my all time favorite. It has a great history and the atmosphere is perfect for a relaxed, intimate meal. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for something with some romance! Make a reservation for this one, too!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ristorante La Giostra (restaurant)
  2. Trattoria La Casalinga (restaurant)
8 thanks

answered by
Jesse from New York City

Great (but can be somewhat touristy) food Ristorante La Giostra -- the pear and pecorino ravioli is amazing!

Baldovino has the best pizza in Santa Croce (and chocolate cake!)

Boccanegra on via Ghibellina has a small menu but is very authentic

Osteria De' Pazzi on via giuseppe verdi is a great family owned place -- the owner and waiters are always chatting with everyone and singing, best lasagna ever

or if you're looking to do aperitivo Kitsch Firenze, Moyo, Art Bar, Caffè Gilli and Cafe Giacosa are all great! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ristorante La Giostra (restaurant)
  2. Baldovino (restaurant)
  3. Boccanegra (restaurant)
  4. Osteria De' Pazzi (restaurant)
  5. Kitsch Firenze (attraction)
  6. Moyo (attraction)
  7. Art Bar (attraction)
  8. Caffè Gilli (restaurant)
  9. Cafe Giacosa (restaurant)
7 thanks

answered by
Kevin from Philadelphia

Recommend Il Latini - just off the touristy areas and they have a wine cellar. Also nice location for a walk after dinner by the river. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Il Latini (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by
Shauna from Vancouver

You must try Florentine steak..I am so glad I had several there as it's hard to find something similar back home. Trattoria Pallottino was my favorite place for it. It was a farmhouse style tables and very casual, friendly service with giant portions at decent price. We walked around and checked out quite a few restaurants as we're real picky eaters and tired of falling for tourist traps..quite many there.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Trattoria Pallottino (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by
Janine from Toronto

Acqua Al 2 is my favourite in Florence.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Acqua Al 2 (restaurant)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Marco from Bergamo

my fave is Fiaschetteria Trattoria Mario. You should try the potato dumplings, fiorentina steak, and trippa/tripes (if you like that kind of stuff). Another insider tip, if you fancy some unusual streetfood ask around city center for a "lampredotto".

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fiaschetteria Trattoria Mario (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Jessica from Wyckoff, New Jersey

Osteria Santo Spirito is one of my favourite restaurants in Florence. It is in Piazza Santo Spirito, often considered a hidden gem of the city. Definitely get the gnocchi with truffle oil and spaghetti with tomato basil and garlic. You can get half or full portions which is nice because it allows you to try more! The house wine is pretty good too! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Osteria Santo Spirito (restaurant)
  2. Florence (city)
  3. Piazza Santo Spirito (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Rahul from Fremont, California

Ristorante La Giostra is amazing. One of my favorite meals ever.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ristorante La Giostra (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by

Not for dinner, but check out Fiaschetteria Trattoria Mario at Via Rosina, 2 off the Mercato Centrale for lunch (only open for lunch, not sure the days). The always delicious menu changes every day and they seat you next to locals. I'd suggest going earlier than you would like to eat in case you need to put your name on a waiting list, then wander through the market while you wait. 

Check out Buca Mariofor a delicious dinner

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Buca Mario (restaurant)
  2. Fiaschetteria Trattoria Mario (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
veronica from Italy

Hi!!!I would go to  Osteria de' Benci: the food is delicious and the osteria has a very long tradition!For the lunch, enjoy the La Ghiotta, it is also take-away food ,open from 12pm and it is great if you like traditional and "mama cooking" food, moreover not turistic at all and very good price.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Osteria de' Benci (restaurant)
  2. La Ghiotta (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (2)

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