This is one of Florence's most popular spots for a reason. Between the delicious meals and the welcoming atmosphere, it's the perfect place to bring a date and to enjoy a night just the two of you. It is on par in almost every way: the wine is wonderfully chosen and the interior is comforting and invites you to return again and again. Consider booking a reservation because it is busy almost every night, and the staff's friendly and fun attitude is often the reason why. Make sure you order one of the antipasti, they have some amazing choices available.
When you are tired of the typical pasta and pizza options, make sure to think about Fuor d'Aqua. It's one of the nicer restaurants within the city center, and you are sure to find quality fish dishes chosen that day by the chef. Freshness is more than important to the staff here, so you'll find that your meal will have been either delivered that day or the day before--a majorly impressive feat considering Florence is quite a ways from the coast. Also, think about having a little dessert here--the choices are will worth making reservations and sitting down for a meal alone.
Located in the quirky and busy piazza of the Santo Spirito church, Osteria Santo Spirito is always open for those who love a quality Tuscan meal for more than a fair price. When you are imagining yourself drinking a glass of wine and enjoying yourself with your friends, this is probably the spot for you to call and make a reservation at. You can find some wonderful pasta options at this place, and the staff speaks English even though it does have a more local feel to it, so you don't need to worry about whether or not you will be able to ask about which specials are available--because the specials are usually to die for.
Located in the fantastic Santa Croce region, you'll find a crowd here of some study abroad students, locals, and a few expats. The recipes are unique but also classic, and you're sure to find something that will whet your appetite after a long day of walking through the streets of Florence. Make sure to ask about any recommendations that they may have--sometimes they have a special or two that is unlike any other of their dishes. You'll end up leaving this spot with a stomach that is more than full and feeling like you are a part of their family.
Pizza is an art in Italy, and few locations do it as well as Mastrociliegia located not far from both Santa Croce and the Duomo. Serving up some family recipes that date back decades, make sure to grab a table out in the square where you can watch the hustle and bustle of the Santa Croce area. You'll find delicious house wine, plenty of vegetarian options, and enough food to last you well throughout the evening. Make sure to ask your server if they have any recommendations. Because this is a family-run place, you're sure to get some good ideas on what to order family-style and what you might want to have all to yourself.
On the nights you are considering a more personal night out with friends and family, you might want to call in a reservation at Buca Mario--one of Florence's top spots for date nights and typical cuisine with a bit of a twist. You'll find beautifully presented dishes and a staff willing and waiting to help you with any decision that you might be having trouble with. Take your time and enjoy the night at this romantic getaway--it will be something you will most assuredly remember about your time in Italy. Also, if you are considering going local, the Florentine steak here is some of the best that you will find within the city.
When you are looking for a truly unique Florentine experience, this is the place to go. Between the feel inspired by the middle ages and recipes dating back to that time period, you will feel transported back to a time where everything was made by hand. Pentolla d'oro maintains the traditions and dishes of the nearby monks. You'll find deliciously roasted rabbit and duck, served up in individual roasting pots. Make sure you take the time to call and make a reservation--it's hidden away on Via della Chiesa, but it's a favorite among the Florence locals looking for a slightly different meal other than your typical pizza and pasta.
Acqua al 2 was so successful in Florence that the owners of the restaurant decided to take it to the States and open up two new options in San Diego and Washington, D.C. Fresh seafood is shipped in daily from the coast to this place near the Ponte Vecchio, and it remains popular for those who are looking for a break from pasta and bread. You'll find a classy atmosphere and plenty of seating and space while still enjoying an intimate setting that you'll love to take your family to. If you want enjoy something slightly different than regular Italian fare, this is the place.
L'Osteria di Giovanni is almost just as famous for its setting as it is for its food. Tucked underneath the rest of the city, it's easy to feel like you've stepped back to Renaissance times along with the murals on the wall and the gorgeous table settings. Plan to stay all evening at this spot--the staff makes you feel like family. You'll find that this unique environment might be one of the things you remember most about your trip to Florence. If you can, make sure to call ahead and see if you can get a table reserved--it tends to get crowded.
One of the great benefits of visiting Ostera dei Centopoveri is not only that it is within the city center, but is that you know you are getting an authentic experience for the price. There are a number of restaurants within the city center, but few remain true to their nature like this one does. Make sure to try some of the pasta dishes--most are taken from family recipes. Their specials should also be considered, and surprisingly, their seafood dishes are some of the best in the city. While you shouldn't need a reservation, you should arrive early to make sure that you get a table.