Florence

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You will of course find pasta and pizza, but it's Tuscan fare that rules the kitchens here (think bean and bread soups, steak, wild boar, duck, rabbit, and tripe). And if you think that Florence's culinary repertoire has something of a French flavor . . . that's because it was Caterina de' Medici who wanted her Florentine cooks to follow her to Paris when she became Queen of France in the 16th century.

Top Restaurants in Florence

Amon

This cheap yet delicious Egyptian, Greek, and Turkish take away shop has been in business since 1987, so one might well say it pioneered training traditionally distrusting Florentine taste buds toward ethnic food, effectively paving the way for today's invasion of kebab joints. Try the tasty veal kebabs or go for the falafel and hummus served in pita bread.

via Palazzuolo 26/28r, Tuscany, 011-39-055-293-146
Tags: budget | middle eastern | greek

Borgo San Jacopo

Book one of the four tables on the tiny riverside terrace of this exclusive restaurant inside the Hotel Lungarno: the stunning views of the Ponte Vecchio will make this the meal of a lifetime. The yacht-club décor heralds a seafood menu featuring lobster, scampi, sea bass, turbot, mussels, and fresh tuna. As a consequence, the wine list is strong on white wines.

Borgo San Jacopo 14, Tuscany, 011-39-055-27-261, www.lungarnohotels.com
Tags: seafood | expensive | smart splurge | views

Cantina Barbagianni

An intimate cellar with innovative Tuscan cuisine and a rotating menu featuring dishes like pheasant in white-wine sauce with pears.

Via Sant'Egedio 13r, Tuscany, 011-39-055-248-0508, www.cantinabarbagianni.it
Tags: moderate | editor pick | italian

Cantinetta Antinori Florence

The perfect place to round up a shopping spree on via Tornabuoni. Antinori is the equivalent of Armani in the wine world, and a relaxed lunch in the classy Cantinetta on the ground floor of their own noble palace is a must in your Florentine portfolio, even though it may turn pricey depending on your choice of food and wine.

Piazza degli Antinori 3, Tuscany, 011-39-055-292-234, www.antinori.it
Tags: expensive | smart splurge | italian | wine

Carabe

For some truly original ice-cream flavors – like fennel, raisin, artichoke, or tomato – you can't beat this Sicilian-owned parlor. Coffee and other confections are also served.

Via Ricasoli 60r, Tuscany,
Tags: budget | editor pick | ice cream

Cibrèo

Creatively revisited Tuscan classics – including stuffed pigeon, one of their most celebrated dishes – are the main attraction at this superb restaurant. The candlelit setting is basic but charming, with wooden furniture and Tuscan paintings. If you fail to secure a table, try their adjoining Trattoria Cibreino, where the food is virtually the same, but at a fraction of the price.

Via del Verrocchio 8r, Tuscany, 011-39-055-234-1100, www.fabiopicchi.it
Tags: expensive | italian

Enoteca Pinchiorri

This is one widely regarded as one of Italy's epicurean temples, and the prices are in the same stellar league. You can order à la carte, but the seasonal set menus are better value and will let you taste a wider variety of dishes. With 80,000 different wines, Giorgio Pinchiorri's wine cellar is considered one of the world's greatest. This is one of the few restaurants in Florence where dress code is strictly enforced.

Via Ghibellina 87, Tuscany, 011-39-055-242-757, www.enotecapinchiorri.com
Tags: expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | italian

Il Latini

Locals and visitors dine side by side at the communal tables of this busy eatery, popular for its excellent Florentine specialties and decent house red (with unlimited wine refills). Vegetarians had better steer clear of the place, whose steak and meat dishes are the delight of any carnivore.

Palazzo Antinori, Piazza Antinori 3, Tuscany, 011-39-055-210-916, www.illatini.com
Tags: moderate | trendy | italian

Ino

This classy deli and sandwich bar has carved for itself a devout niche among local gourmands. Formerly a fashion executive, owner/chef Alessandro Frassica is constantly on the lookout for specialty cheeses, cured meats, unusual preserves, and other delicacies. Ask any Slow Food enthusiast: 'Ino is not just any panino.

Via de' Georgofili, 3, 50122, Tuscany, +39 055 219208, www.inofirenze.com/
Tags: budget | trendy

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco

You'll find authentic Tuscan cuisine at fair prices, and a warm welcome. As the name implies, wild boar (cinghiale) is the specialty here, served in a variety of forms: from sausages to a sweet-and-sour stew. When they are in season, porcini mushrooms and truffles may also be worth splurging a few extra dollars. Closed Wednesdays.

Borgo San Iacopo 43r, 011-39-055-215-706, www.cinghialebianco.it
Tags: moderate | italian

Pitti Gola e Cantina

Opposite Palazzo Pitti, this is the perfect stop for some refreshment after an art overdose. Prices are higher than you might expect of a wine shop, but the location is priceless and you'll have a rare opportunity to taste the unusual “Tonno del Chianti," which despite the name is not tuna but pork marinated in wine.

Piazza Pitti 16, Tuscany, 011-39-055-212-704
Tags: moderate | wine bar

Ross' Restaurant

A new entry on Florence's culinary scene, this grill restaurant serves Chianina, Argentinian, and Irish Angus beef. This is also one of the few restaurants in town to offer a child-friendly set menu at about $10. For the restyling of the premises, the new management consulted Alain Mertens, interior designer to Madonna and Sting.

Via il Prato 57-59r, Tuscany, 011-39-055-287-247, www.rossrestaurant.it
Tags: moderate | steakhouse

Ruth's

Located by the Synagogue, this reasonably priced Jewish restaurant (the only one in town) serves kosher vegetable and fish dishes with a distinct North African and Middle Eastern flair: vegetable couscous, falafel, and cheese-filled burekas figure prominently. It’s a favorite with vegetarians.

Via Luigi Carloe Farini 2a, Tuscany, 011-39-055-248-08-88, www.kosheruth.com
Tags: budget | seafood | vegetarian | kosher

Salamanca

For good tapas and fun times, this Spanish bar/restaurant is hard to beat. Iberian specialties include bocadillos, sopas, and verbenas. Drinks range from beer and sangria to fine Spanish wines, and there are live shows featuring Spanish and Latin American music on Mondays.

Via Ghibellina 80r, Tuscany, 011-39-055-234-5452, www.salamanca.it
Tags: budget | bar | small plates

Terrazza Brunelleschi

The roof garden of the Grand Hotel Baglioni hosts this restaurant and bar which in summer becomes an alfresco nightclub. The panoramic views over the city are unrivaled and the refined menu features Italian classics like tortelli with broad beans and ricotta and duck breast. International specialties are also served.

Piazza dell'Unità Italiana 6, Tuscany, 011-39-055-23-580, www.hotelbaglioni.it/en/restaurant.htm
Tags: expensive | views | italian

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