Diving into the 10 Best Things to Do in Florence will leave you awestruck. Our list of 10 traditional dishes of Florence will probably also leave you quite hungry! While the city’s art, history, and architecture will satisfy curious minds, the best foods in Florence will satisfy a curious palate. Above all, it’s an enticing mix of flavor and culture.
As with anything in Italy, behind each Florentine recipe stands centuries of tradition, skill, and passion. That being said, the Florentines have packed the local food full with the best fresh ingredients from the Tuscan region. meaning you should keep your eye out for anything with truffles, mushrooms, tomatoes, wild boar or hare. So much so that, there’s a lot of information we could share. Admittedly, it’s hard to narrow down. Yet, we did it!
1. Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine Beefsteak)
Photo by: Andrew Gospactic
The first of the traditional dishes of Florence on our list is, Bistecca alla Fiorentina. It’s a simple dish that highlights the quality of Florentine ingredients. The large “T-bone” steak comes from Tuscany’s famous and ancient breed of cattle, the Chianina. That being the case, it’s extremely flavorful and doesn’t need a lot of seasoning. Humbly with salt and pepper, the meat is grilled briefly on all four sides. In doing so, leaving the outside beautifully caramelized, while the center remains rare and tender.
However, if you want to eat Bistecca alla Fiorentina the Florentine-style, you could share it. Not least because of its size, but locals have enjoyed this dish for centuries as part of a communal meal. It brings friends and family together over a delicious feast.
2. Ribollita (Reheated Vegetable Soup)
Ribollita is a warming winter dish that the Tuscans love. Very authentic and an absolute must-try in Florence. Full of with healthy beans, loads of greens, rustic country bread, and a generous helping of Parmesan cheese. Without a doubt, this tomato-based stew combines the best of Florence’s ingredients into a hearty meal.
A development from the Tuscan style of cocina povera or “poor cooking”, Ribollita is a result of adaptivity, as people tend to make it with what’s at hand. As a result, there are as many recipes as there are chefs. So, it’s always worth checking the menu to see what’s different at each Florentine restaurant you visit!
3. Pappardelle al Cinghiale (Ribbon Pasta with Wold Board)
Photo by: Wei-Duan Woo
Pappardelle al Cinghiale is a ribbon pasta dish full of Tuscan-style. Cinghiale is wild boar, which is native to the region of Tuscany. The boar hunting season is between September and February, producing very fresh and organic meat. Therefore, it’s a local food that you have to eat if you’re in Florence around that time.
Traditional Florentine and Tuscan Cinghiale is dry-aged for a short time and then marinated in a wine sauce overnight. This gives the meat a delicious and truly unique flavor. Subsequently, the Tuscans cook it alongside the wide Pappardelle pasta. In short, mouthwatering!
4. Tagliatelle Funghi Porcini e Tartufo (Pasta Noodle with Porcini and Truffle Mushrooms)
Photo by: Armando Borges
Tagliatelle with Porcini and truffle mushrooms is a dish you’ll find on nearly every street in Florence. Still, there’s an art to creating a balance between this dish’s simplicity and depth of flavor. Handmade tagliatelle wraps around locally foraged ingredients to deliver a dish characteristic of the culture and lifestyle in Florence.
You’ll likely be offered Tagliatelle Funghi Porcini e Tartufo in different varieties, with recipes utilizing other vegetables to create different textures and styles for each creation. However, they all deserve a spot on our list of traditional dishes of Florence!
5. Schiacciata al Uva (“Smashed” Bread with Grapes)
Photo by: Ore Lievitazione
This traditional dish of Florence is called Schiacciata, meaning ‘smashed’. In fact, it’s much like Foccacia, yet with more generous helpings of salt and olive oil. Locals mostly use the bread for sandwiches, dipping or enjoying it on its own. Traditionally, however, at the beginning of the grape harvest workers would trade some of the salt for sweet, ripe grapes. In order to make Schiacciata al Uva.
This beautiful sweet dish from Florence has a crunchy crust and soft inner. There is a long-running debate between con semi and senza semi (with or without grape seeds), but we’ll let you decide which you like best!
6. Lampredotto (Beef Tripe)
Photo by: Nike Gunawan
A fundamental part of Florentine cuisine, Lampredotto is a local dish made from the fourth stomach of a cow. This may only be for the more adventurous eaters, but it’s a street food that packs flavor and history —usually — into a sandwich.
A sure-fire way to find the best Lampredotto in Florence is to explore. Indeed, many street vendors specialize in this dish, and the best tend to be surrounded by the biggest crowd!
7. Coccoli Prosciutto e Stracchino (Fried Bread with Prosciutto & Spreadable Cheese)
Photo by: Gogofirenze
If there would be a competition for the most delicious-sounding sentence, it might well be this: Bitesize balls of deep-fried bread, stuffed with stracchino cheese and prosciutto.
The youngest dish on the list, locals began eating Coccoli as a street snack, and it quickly became one of the best foods in Florence. Although creative minds have made many different versions, the original Prosciutto e Stracchino is our favorite.
8. Crostini Toscano (Tuscan Canapés)
Photo by: Giulia Scarpaleggia
A bitesize version of bruschetta, crostini is a Florentine antipasto; the perfect sharing food for a pre-dinner snack in Florence. Crostini Toscano is a traditional crostini with chicken liver sauce topping.
Light bites like these can be the perfect way to delve into the different flavorings and styles of all the best dishes Florence has to offer.
9. Gelato (Ice Cream)
Photo by: Katie Smetherman
Although people adore it internationally, the locals from Florence will be quick to confirm the gelato was created here. There was a famous Italian banking family who ruled Tuscany from the 15th to the 18th century —The Medici family. Their architect, Bernardo Buontalenti, whipped together a bergamot, lemon and orange ice cream 500 years back.
Today Florence thrives on gelato, mixing traditional flavors with local ingredients. Look out for crispy truffle shavings as a topping!
10. Cantucci con Vin Santo (Almond Biscuits with Sweet Wine)
Photo by: Salvadonica Borgo Del Chianti
The last dish on our list of traditional dishes of Florence, you may be familiar with cantucci; However, most of the world calls them biscotti. Cantucci are small, twice-baked almond cookies. But, some make them with with hazelnuts or pistachios instead of almonds. Served throughout Florence, locals eat them at the end of their meal, dipping them in a glass of amber Vin Santo, a s.weet dessert wine
Cantucci con Vin Santo is the perfect way to end a dinner. Namely, cleansing your palate while people-watching at the end of a perfect day in Florence.