It’s a well-known fact that some of Florence’s best restaurants can be found in the most unlikely of places: the ones tucked away from the main tourist drag usually are the ones worth booking a reservation for. Osteria dei Centopoveri is certainly the perfect example of a favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
Boasting a plethora of dishes from the surrounding area, Osteria dei Centopoveri serves meals that are typical Northern Italian cuisine. However, you'll rarely find them so deliciously presented and for a more than reasonable price. Offering up traditional foods in a casual style, this is a spot to consider taking those nearest and dearest to you.
The atmosphere at Osteria dei Centopoveri is relaxing, and the wine is wonderful — Photo courtesy of Osteria dei Centopoveri
The restaurant's only a short walk away from the main train station of Santa Maria Novella – a location to keep in mind when you're planning on catching a train after lunch or getting on the last train of the day into the Tuscan countryside.
Where this place has garnered its fame among the locals is its hearty pasta and meat dishes. Ordering a primi will leave you more than satisfied, and there are a wide variety of pasta items on the menu to please even the pickiest of eaters.
If you're feeling a bit more adventuresome, consider looking into the meat dishes they have under their secondi list. These are the show-stopping items that will have you leaning back in your chair, too full to even think about glancing at the dessert menu.
Just when you think that you’ve accepted that reality, you might see one of the waitresses dashing across the restaurant with a chocolate torta, and your mind will quickly change.
Although the dessert menu is limited compared to the overwhelmingly long list of lunch and dinner options (The pizza list encompasses a good third of the handwritten menu.), you can find some choices that are great to split among your friends and family at the table. The staff is more than willing to help if you're having trouble deciding on how to finish the night.
This is a place to put on your best Italian and to live like a local. Authenticity is the main theme at Osteria dei Centopoveri, and when you want the true Italian sit-down experience for more than a fair price, you’ll want to reserve a table or stop in and see if they have one open.
The restaurant is open for lunch at noon to three in the afternoon and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner. It’s open every day of the week, and reservations are encouraged although sometimes unneeded, depending on which night of the week you're planning for. Weekends would be a good idea to call ahead and make sure you have a table reserved.