Trattoria Da Burde Firenze
Outside the historical center, Da Burde is one of the city’s finest family-run institutions for traditional Florentine food. Currently led by the youngest generation of the Burde ownership, the trattoria has an atmosphere that’s both old-world wine bar and homey banquet, where sincere family recipes are earnestly prepared from scratch. The trek to Da Burde is worth it for diners in search for true Florentine relics, passed-down specialties like minestrone, meatballs, chickpea farinata, and grilled meats, all with incredible wines to match.
Timeless restaurants like this make Florence special: Sabatino’s is a family-run, blue-collar joint that hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1956. Pasta dishes at this walk-in-only trattoria hover at a humble €4.50, while meaty mains like roast chicken clock in at a mere €5.50. Its simple homestyle cooking and bargain prices are a testament to Italy’s all-inclusive food culture: You don’t need to be well-off to eat well here.
Head to Piazza Tasso for a break from Tuscan fare: Culinaria Bitro features French and Moroccan flavors in dishes made with meticulously sourced ingredients. The restaurant is owned by De Gustibus, a slow-food organization hell-bent on promoting local producers that respect organic and traditional artisan practices. It’s easy to find something to like on the menu, which has everything from lemon and sesame chicken and couscous tagines to vegetable tartares to Tuscan cured meat and cheese boards, alongside rich desserts like wine-soaked biscotti tiramisu.
Located in the bohemian Oltrarno (“other side of the Arno river”), Cammillo is an old-school trattoria serving straightforward Tuscan fare with white-tablecloth service. The prices are above average for homestyle dining, but it’s worth the extra money for expertly prepared rustic classics like winter ribollita soup finished with proprietary olive oil, warm root vegetable salads, bistecca Fiorentina, and game meats. Trust the pasta offerings: The family that owns the place has roots in Italy’s pasta capital, Bologna.
Le Volpi e L’Uva
Tucked away off the Ponte Vecchio is one of the most revered wine bars in the country. Part shop, part bar and local hangout, Le Volpi pours and sells bottles that uniquely represent the Italian wine landscape, highlighting passionate producers. A crack team of winemakers, sommeliers, and wine educators staff the bar, and if they hook you up with a wine you love, you can join the wine club or ship bottles abroad. The bar serves choice meat and cheese plates and warm crostini toasts to accompany tastings. If you see wild boar fennel salami, snag a plate. And you can’t leave without having the crostino with melted lardo and asiago or the finger panini with cured duck breast and butter.
A refuge from the crowds thronging the nearby Duomo, Enoteca Alessi is an independent wine shop with a library-sized collection of wines, spirits, vermouths, amari, digestifs, chocolates, and other culinary treasures, perfect for souvenirs. Head to the wine bar for a glass of vino and an elaborate charcuterie board with fennel salami and various pecorino cheeses, or get crostini or a panini. Finish off the meal with the dessert wine flight and chocolate fondue.
The San Lorenzo market is mostly overrun by tourist groups, and a considerable percentage of the food there is of questionable quality. Baroni, however, is one of the few stalls worth wading through the tacky souvenir food stands to visit. The case holds a dizzying array of farmstead cheeses, cured meats, fresh truffles from vetted suppliers, and delicacies like bottarga. Apart from the fresh goods (which can be vacuum-packed and shipped), the stand has a culinary treasure chest of gourmet salts, olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, local craft honey, knives, and wine.
Casa del Vino Firenze
Florence has loads of wine bar hole-in-the-walls where locals squeeze in and stand while sipping prosecco and snacking on crostini slathered in chicken liver pate, slices of salty peppered prosciutto and sheep’s milk cheese, or perhaps a few chips and nuts. Casa del Vino is an institution for thirsty Florentines, easy to miss tucked behind the stalls of the touristy San Lorenzo souvenir market. Here you can find a mix of wines including terroir-driven vignerons, ample bubbles, boutique reds like earthy pinot noirs and bold Brunellos, and mineral-rich Sicilian wines from volcanic soil. The bar snacks are a must, and the made-to-order panini are some of the best in the city.