No visit to Florence would be complete without sampling the city’s hearty cuisine. The good news is that you will easily find excellent traditional food in restaurants and shops in Florence’s historic centre. The bad news is there are so many delicious things to try that choosing a dish can be overwhelming. Fear not! Here is our brief guide to the best dishes to eat in Florence.
|Bistecca alla Fiorentina|
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
The Florence-style Chianina beef steak is legendary not only because of its deliciousness but also its gargantuan size. One portion can weigh up to two pounds and only die-hard Florentines would attempt to tackle it alone. Traditionally it is served rare, so you can soak up the juices with a slice or two of fresh Tuscan bread.
Crostini di Fegato
Even if you are not a big fan of liver-based dishes, give this one a try, you might be surprised how good it tastes. Chicken liver is lightly sautéed with onions and generously spread on small slices of bread. They are normally served as appetizers in traditional trattorias.
|Panini di Lampredotto|
Panini di Lampredotto
A popular street food, this one is for adventurous foodies: chopped up boiled cow’s stomach lining smothered with a parsley and basil sauce served on a bread roll. Florentines have been devouring this cheap hearty flavoursome meal since Renaissance times. You will find these sandwiches made by street vendors in kiosks and food tracks all over Florence. Watch the lampredottaio skilfully prepare the lampredotto and bite into it before it gets cold.
|Schiacciata with grapes|
Most typical Florentine dishes are loaded with history, and this flat bread is no exception. It has been made in the city for many centuries and comes in different versions: plain thick and soft, plain thin and crispy, with grapes, olives and there is also a sweet Schiacciata alla fiorentina cake made during the carnival period. You will find freshly baked savoury schiacciata flat bread in many good bakeries in the city. It is oily without being too greasy and is sprinkled with sea salt (unlike other Tuscan salt-less breads).
Photos via Flickr by: Joselu Blanco, Nicolas Mirguet, Eric Parker.