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Dining in Florence

When you eat in Florence you won't be disappointed. You'll find trattorias – very informal restaurants workmen go to – and fine dining, cafes and enoteche (wine bars).

The best restaurants serve simple food with very fresh ingredients grown in the nearby countryside and no rich sauces. The most important ingredient is a pungent green extra-virgin olive oil, cold pressed from the Tuscany olive groves. This is used as a dip for celery, artichokes, and other fresh vegetables, as well as a salad condiment and topping for bruschetta.


At Florence restaurants, taxes are built into the price of the food, and you'll see also a coperto, bread and service charge, of around 15% added to the price as well; if the service is good, an additional tip up to 10% of the meal price is customary. Patrons often simply round up the bill as well. And at the ristorantes, expect the seats to fill up at around 9 pm, the traditional dining hour in Italy.

Different type of dinner you can have in Florence

In the historical centre of Florence you will find plenty of fine restaurants offering typical Tuscan cuisine. Ask your hotel to point out the best Tuscan restaurants in Florence.

You should also definitely try out the enoteche. Once serving only wine, today they are light-meal restaurants in themselves, serving panino or bruschette alongside their excellent local wines. Once on a par with cafes, enoteche are now respectable eating establishments in themselves, adding world-class light foods to their already extensive wine lists as attractions.

Pizzerias also do not count as ristorantes – and what would Italy be without pizza? Florentine crusts are thin and crispy cracker-style breads, though you can get it Neapolitan style, with the doppia pasta (double crust) for a thick soft crust. Tuscan pizza focuses on freshness and cheese, so expect a garden-fresh sauce and wonderful soft cheeses. Often, Florentine pizzerias add sliced tomatoes or other local garden veggies to their pizzas, so ask what's available if you have a yen for one.

You may not think of Florence as a huge ethnic enclave, but as a world-class city, it holds a wide variety of peoples. If you're tired of Italian-style cuisine (far-fetched but possible), Florence holds world-wide restaurants, most commonly Chinese, but also Indian, Japanese, Jewish, Mexican, and Caribbean. There are several vegetarian restaurants as well serving international cuisine, but if you're a vegetarian you should not have any trouble finding good meatless fare in most ristorantes and enoteche.

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