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Feels Like You're Home in Florence, Italy



There's nothing like feeling at home in a new place. Florence gives you access to plenty of restaurants throughout the city which make you feel as though you can relax and enjoy your time abroad while tasting some truly authentic dishes. The trick is to know which places to avoid as "too touristy" and which ones are the real deal.

Ristorante Paoli is one example of this. With an amazing atmosphere and gorgeous frescoes, it's one of the best places to sit and taste some homemade food while feeling like you're in the past. Located in the city center, it's the perfect hole-in-the-wall to experience true Italian culture and hospitality.

For delicious meats, you can't get past Perseus. It has some of the best cured beef and pork in the city, making it a hot spot for those who love sandwiches. Sit and enjoy, but remember to arrive early since it tends to be one of the most popular lunch spots.


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Gusto Leo is well-known around Florence for providing guests with plenty of food and plenty of room to consume it. It's the perfect place to ask for dishes served family-style--they'll be happy to make sure that you all can share some of the great options they have. With a fun environment that everyone in your family or your group will enjoy, you can sit and take your time sampling some of the great pizzas and pastas they have available. Also, make sure that you take some time and ask your waiter or waitress what they would recommend--you might get something a bit unexpected.




It might be hard to find an authentic restaurant so close to the Duomo and other main sights, but Trattoria remains a hidden gem amongst the throngs of tourist traps. The staff is wonderful and happy to assist, and the specials are always unique but true to the typical taste of Tuscany. Also, if you are thinking about experiencing a plate of gnocchi at its finest, this is the restaurant to try it out. They serve several different kinds, but the best is probably the simplest--you might want to consider the tomato and basil. Wine is also cheap and quite good, and the restaurant offers a relaxing atmosphere for guests.


The Diner
Photo courtesy of The Diner


Comfort food doesn't necessarily have to be Italian, and when you have been in Italy for a while and feel the need for a solid burger and fries, the Diner can deliver. Started as a response to the fact that there were so many American students in Florence, the Diner serves up a delicious breakfast or brunch, and you'll love the taste of their burgers when you grab lunch here. Sometimes, comfort means craving the familiar, and the location and staff make is easy to feel like you are back home again without ever having to leave Florence or Italy.


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Osteria del Gatto e la Volpe
Photo courtesy of Alex Schnee


Nothing is better than some classic Tuscan comfort food, and Osteria del Gatto e la Volpe does a great job of bringing some of the local flavors to their restaurant. If you are thinking about tasting some quality pasta, this is the place to order a dish or two and share with friends. They do not have a house wine, but the chianti available is very good and cheap--it's a fantastic accompaniment to the meal. This is also a great place for vegetarians who still want a filling meal without any meat involved. It's also the perfect spot for a gathering of friends and family.




Florence has plenty of restaurants that feel Tuscan in nature, but Perseus does a wonderful job of making it truly authentic with hearty meals and a great atmosphere. Their t-bone, Florentine steak is known as one of the best in the entire city, and you won't end up spending a lot of money for a large meal. It's a little bit out of the city center, and more of a favorite spot for locals, so you will want to make reservations to insure that they can accommodate a large group or your family if you are planning on bringing more than two people.


Osteria Nuvoli
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni


It's not always easy to eat cheaply in Florence, but Osteria Nuvoli is a great option for those on a budget or those planning on feeing a lot of people. Whether you decide to grab one of their warm sandwiches or you are thinking about sitting down and enjoying some of the traditional Tuscan cuisine that you can find around the area, this can be a great option. Be warned that it closes fairly early for an Italian restaurant (even as early as 9 pm some nights), so you might want to think about an earlier dinner here if this is a place on your list of eateries to try.


Yellow Bar
Photo courtesy of Alex Schnee


Located right in the center of the action, the Yellow Bar serves up some of the best pasta and pizza for those looking for something a bit heartier than some of the higher-end restaurants located in Florence. Kids will love being able to see their meals being made, and everything is made in-house--including the pasta and pizza dough. The staff is happy to help you with any concerns you may have or to recommend some dishes. Make sure to ask them about serving the dishes family-style so everyone in your group can get a bit or two of fabulous pasta and well-crafted pizza.


Le Antiche Carrozze
Photo courtesy of Alex Schnee


When you are looking for some delicious food and you want to make sure that you take the time to enjoy it, Le Antiche Carrozze is one of the best in Florence. Make sure that you ask for some recommendations--the specials are comforting, and the house wine is cheap. It's the perfect family restaurant, your kids should be able to find something that they will enjoy and that tastes good. It's also a great place to order some large plates of food for group of people, so when you want something familiar and that you know there will be a lot of it, it's worth the short walk from the city center.




Tuscany has hearty food to begin with, but Trattoria Marione truly brings those flavors to life. With both an antique atmosphere and plenty of seating, its location by the train station makes it an easy spot to find and stay the rest of the night. You'll find several tradition dishes here worth ordering, including the bread soup and the caprese. After a long day of sight-seeing and walking around the city, you'll love sitting in a restaurant where you feel like you're at home. You'll find some of the most authentic food around at this spot while enjoying a homey environment and great staff.




Ristorante Paoli has some delicious Tuscan food with fair prices. However, that's not the only thing this restaurant offers. It's worth it just to go and take a look at the interior and to grab a glass of wine. Located not too far away from the Ponte Vecchio, you feel like you're stepping back in time when you sit down at your table. Enjoy the beautiful murals while you munch on some anitpasti and you take a look at the wide variety of meals available. One of the best parts about visiting this restaurant is the large portions and the friendly service.


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Meet Alexa Schnee

Currently residing in Florence, Alex is a travel writer and author. She is addicted to coffee, reading, and seeing new places. She has been to near fifteen different countries in Europe, all...  More About Alexa

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