Right next to the church of Santo Spirito, you'll find Borgo Antico with its own pizza specialities and a great view of the facade of the church. Finding a spot here will take a reservation--it's a special favorite among the locals who like to have a view and high-quality pizza without compromising on price. The view itself is worth stopping by and having lunch or dinner, and you'll find a staff happy to help you with some of the questions you might have because the menu is written in Italian. Overall, it's an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
It's hard to find a quality restaurant located in the glorious Piazza della Repubblica, but Fiorino d'Oro provides heated outdoor seating and a way to get a glimpse of Florence at its most glorious. The soups here are especially worth checking out, and if you are visiting Florence in the off months, a cup of hot chocolate here is a necessity to get through the many tourist attractions. It's almost always possible to find a seat--even when the interior is busy, the outdoor seating provides not only a view but the chance to relax after rushing from sight to sight.
For a lively time, think about heading across the Arno for a night you won't forget at Osteria Santo Spirito. It's right next to one of the quirkiest piazzas in the city, and you'll find that there's a vibrant nightlife and something always going on during the week and weekdays. From the outdoor seating, you also get an excellent look at the Santo Spirito basilica--one of the most unique churches in Florence and the backdrop to local youth culture. Not only that, but the food here is cheap and delicious--you won't find a better gnocchi dish anyplace else throughout the city.
When you are planning on finding the place to grab a drink and a meal with a stunning view of the Ponte Vecchio, you'll want to spend a magical night here with a date or the people you truly care about. You won't find a better spot to enjoy the river at its finest. A reservation is absolutely necessary to eating here, but you will find a private spot that serves some great dishes. It's the perfect combination of eating outdoors without dealing with some of the problems facing eating outside--the glass walls provide and excellent view and allow you watch the sunset in peace.
For drinks and aperitivo, this bar has some of the best available located near the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. Finding some quality mixed drinks can be hard within the city center, but Brown Sugar serves as an oasis for those looking for a moment or two away from the crowds. They also have a fabulous view from their outdoor seating--you can sit and relax with your typical Florentine Negroni and enjoy a side of Florence that very few see. You'll find a mixture of locals and tourists, making for an excellent pre-meal spot with a glorious view that you find can't be beat.
Located near the Piazza della Signoria, you'll find a street with this hidden spot located there. In the middle of all the hustle and bustle and located next to one of the main tourist attractions, it's a nice break from the crowds and the many people looking to capture pictures. A reservation is a good idea, and don't be afraid to make some new friends--because this spot is so tiny, you might find yourself sharing a table with some new acquaintances. Take your time and enjoy--the staff is happy to have you around most the night, so don't worry about clearing out before you've tried some of the traditional recipes.
Tucked away from the rest of the main tourist sights, you'll find that this little haven offers some of the best pizza in the city, and you'll find some great outdoor seating offering an insider's look to the Santa Croce region. You'll get to try family recipes and sit outdoors while enjoying some quality house wine. You'll find a lot of young people within the area, and the small piazza where it's located is often crowded with a fun group of college students or those looking to have a good time. The service is also worth checking out this spot, and you can often enjoy the seating well into the evening without worrying about other customers looking for a meal.
One of the most beautiful churches in Florence also offers some great outdoor dining options, and Finisterrae is certainly one of them. When you have been busy touring the city and you want to sample several menu items, this is the spot to pick. Santa Croce serves as a glorious backdrop, and the piazza is always bustling with plenty to see and do. Finisterrae offers a look out onto one of the busiest and most lively parts of the city, and you'll be able to find some traditional, well-cooked Tuscan meals here for a more than fair price. Also, their pastries are delicious.
Perhaps one of the best views of Florence is along the banks of the Arno River. Lungoarno 23 is situated right there for a perfect view of the Ponte Vecchio and the passing crowds meandering over it throughout the day. You'll want to sit back and relax with a glass of wine while you take in the sunset. You'll want to book a few days in advance--because of the location, it's a good idea to have a reservation in place. It tends to be a popular spot and fills up quickly. Between the delicious, thoughtful pasta dishes and the view, you can't go wrong with this spot located close to the city center.
Located a little bit out of the city center in Fiesole, Terazza 45 has some high-class dining options and a view to die for. If you are planning on seeing Florence it its finest, think about booking a reservation well in advance here. It's also the perfect location for weddings dinners and any special occasions that you might be celebrating. Very few restaurants within Florence city proper can offer you the kind of view and meal that Terazza 45 can. Make an evening of it and hire a taxi to take you up the the top of the hill where you can sample some wines and some high-class Tuscan fare.