As first timers in Florence we were open to any and all food recommendations. We’re both fans of stumbling upon places to eat, but time was a luxury since we didn’t have too many days to spend wandering around. We were ok with looking into places near our apartment through apps like Yelp. Two of our favorite lunch meals were right around the corner from our apartment. The first place we decided to try was La Prosciutteria. The space wasn’t too big so it’s not ideal for large groups of friends if you want to eat inside. Brad and I found a small table and enjoyed our fresh sandwiches while surrounded by fresh ingredients and decor with lots of character.
Across the way a crowd gathered outside another sandwich shop called All’antico Vinaio. We returned for lunch the next day and stood in a short line before the lunch rush began. There wasn’t any seating so people were either sitting on the sidewalk or taking their food to go. We chose to sit on the side walk and watch the world go by. Brad’s favorite part was the self-serve wine station right outside. For 2 euros you could pour yourself a cup of wine to enjoy with your sandwich. I couldn’t choose between the two sandwich places since both were delicious (and I’m not a huge meat eater)! I’m glad we used yelp to find a spot that we might have missed otherwise. I’m also glad I’ve gotten into the habit of using the app to check into restaurants abroad so that I can keep a log of places I’ve eaten at. I used to keep business cards and receipts of restaurants I’d visit abroad but those get lost or fade in time.
We didn’t just rely on Yelp for new places to eat. Our tour guides at Cinque Terre recommended a lovely sit-down restaurant called Osteria Santo Spirito. When we arrived for dinner, there was an hour long wait. Several people on the waitlist left but we stayed and were seated within 20 minutes so our patience paid off. The outdoor seating area was very romantic and lively. Our meals were delicious and I still think about the appetizers we had that night.
Another lovely sit-down restaurant we visited based on a recommendation from a family member was Buca Mario . We were advised to make reservations but we didn’t call ahead of time. Instead we waited until we arrived into the city and once we got settled in we walked over to the restaurant to make reservations in person. We arranged for it to be our anniversary dinner a few nights later. When the night arrived, we waltzed right by the large line and it felt great. We ordered off of the a la carte menu. Brad finally had his Florentine Steak and nearly teared up from joy upon the first bite! I was still so full from our delicious pasta class with Love x Italy earlier that day so I ordered the fish. Everything we ate was amazing and we even received a free apron to bring home.
I’ve already mentioned our experience with the pasta making class we found on Airbnb Experiences, but that was not the only class we took. We signed up for a pizza making class with The Pizza Makers, also found on Airbnb Experiences. The class took place at a restaurant called Toto during the restaurant’s closure between their lunch and dinner hours. The class was very intimate with about 8 other people and we each got to prepare our personal pizzas from scratch with the guidance of the head chef. The end product was so filling and delicious. We were also treated to wine, coffee and a variety of desserts. For my dessert I chose Vin Santo and biscotti to dip it in. It was a little too potent for me but I’m glad I tried it.
Florence was an absolute paradise for meat and pasta lovers like ourselves. I look forward to the day we can return to this amazing city and try a new set of restaurants and dishes to eat.