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ph. Dario Garofalo


ph. Dario Garofalo

January 12, 2021

The 15 best Florentine steaks in Florence

Our definitive selection of restaurants where you can eat the most famous Florentine dish

What is Bistecca alla Fiorentina? Fiorentina is an adult Tuscan beef steak cut 3-4 fingers high in the loin and cooked rare on the grill. 

The first official document is from the Accademia della Crusca in 1750, but you can go back to 1624 and the Uffizi, in the Dispensa by Jacopo Chimenti called l'Empoli who, with his 16th century Florentine reformed painting, depicts a rib-eye steak with lucid naturalism. Then we come to Science in the Kitchen (recipe 556).

In Florence, it is now common knowledge that under four fingers it is not steak but carpaccio. In reality, tradition calls for a height of about three fingers "otherwise it won't cook inside", confirms Vasco Tacconi, Grand Master Butcher of the Steak Academy.
Secrets and anecdotes that you can find in the book sold in all bookshops and online, La Fiorentina, osti butchers e vini della vera bistecca, edited by Aldo Fiordelli.

But where can we eat the best Bistecca alla Fiorentina in Florence? After careful tastings, we have our final selection.

Trattoria Al Fresco - Four Seasons Hotel Florence
Borgo Pinti, 99
055 2626460
MATURATION: 55 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3 FINGERS
The meat is the Chianina of Fracassi del Casentino, one of the best and healthiest on the market. Not without abundant maturing to increase the flavour. It is cooked in the Josper oven, which has become a cult among chefs all over the world. So the steak is cooked both directly and indirectly, served high without exaggeration and rare even for tourists.

Antico Ristoro di' Cambi
Via Sant'Onofrio, 1r
055 217134
MATURATION: 15/20 DAYS
HEIGHT: 4 FINGERS
At the Cambi counter there are traditionally steaks in full view, complete with a foreign stamp on the rind. If you love Fiorentina steak, you'll find great meat here. Soft and barbecued and four fingers high in today's fashion. 

Buca dell'Orafo
Via dei Girolami, 28r
055 213619
MATURATION: FROM 20 TO 30 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3 FINGERS

Here Giordano, the innkeeper, is a character. You can recognise him by his well-cut shirts and gruff look. But the real respect for the customer can be seen on the plate and here on the quality. Today, the kitchen is equipped with the Josper, the oven most coveted by chefs in recent years. It has replaced the griddle, giving the Fiorentina steak a definite smoky flavour. 

Buca Lapi
Via del Trebbio, 1r
055 213768
MATURATION: FROM 20 TO 30 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3 FINGERS
One of the most powerful symbols of true Florentine cuisine. At Luciano's, under Palazzo Antinori, the real Fiorentina is cooked in fillet steak, almost to the point of exaggeration, usually from white Italian veal, mostly from Chianina or Marche. One of the secrets is cooking over hot, sweet and fragrant olive wood embers. The Fiorentina comes to the table on heavy wooden cutting boards and is "split" into two or three pieces, depending on the diners, not really cut.

Buca Mario
Piazza degli Ottaviani, 16r
055 214179
MATURATION: 14 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3/4 FINGERS
Here the Fiorentina is priced according to price and not by weight: 39 alone, 78 for two etc... Cooked on lava stone, we are still in a Buca, but with excellent raw material. And, above all, "cooked only rare", so be careful. The wine cellar is also good, not only with the usual labels. 

La Giostra
Borgo Pinti, 10r-18r
055 241341
MATURATION: 11 DAYS
HEIGHT: 4 FINGERS
The food at 'Principe's' is so good that you should arrive at the Fiorentina after at least tasting Signora Liliana's homemade ravioli with cacio cheese and pears with butter and sage. The Fiorentina, cut 4 fingers thick, of high quality and cooked on the grill, must always be accompanied by the legendary sautéed potatoes. 

Osteria delle oche
Via delle Oche, 21r
055 2396244
MATURATION: 15 DAYS
HEIGHT: 2/3 FINGERS
Here we eat Angus, not exactly typical for the short supply chain, but when it arrives on the table raw, with that heart shape instead of a T shape, it conquers all. A tender and fragrant meat, easy to appreciate, imported by the Gerini sisters of Pontassieve and cooked on a lava stone grill. A gem for being just a stone's throw from the Duomo. 

Perseus
Viale Don Giovanni Minzoni, 10r 
055 588226
MATURATION: 28 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3 FINGERS
Who better than a butcher to serve a proper steak... The style is softer than savoury and lightly matured. A steak for everyone.

Regina Bistecca
Via Ricasoli, 14r
055 2693772
MATURATION: 20 DAYS
HEIGHT: 4 FINGERS
The idea of opening a restaurant in a former antiquarian bookshop has produced one of the most charming restaurants in the centre of Florence in recent years. The steak here is mostly Marchigiana or Chianina. It is cooked on charcoal embers in full view, even on the bone to keep it hot. Accompanied at the table on beautiful chopping boards and with Scarperia knives to complete the chain.

Frescobaldi
Piazza della Signoria, 31
055 284724
MATURATION: 20 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3 FINGERS

As well as being a very nice but informal English café type place, it offers an excellent Fiorentina from Maremma meat. One of the best we tasted on our trip. With side dishes or other dishes frankly more haute cuisine than trattoria. 

Trattoria 13 gobbi
Via del Porcellana
055 284015
MATURATION: FROM 14 TO 28 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3/4 FINGERS

The steak is served with leaves of lettuce and lemon in dishes of a style between Vietri and majolica, already cut and always in the fillet to respect the tradition of Fiorentina. The breed can vary, giving preference to meats that tend to be soft and cut almost with a fork.

Trattoria Baldini
Via Il Prato, 96r
055 287663
MATURATION: 20 DAYS
HEIGHT: 2/3 FINGERS

Straightforward, well-kept indeed in the kitchen. Just look at the suppliers. The Gerini sisters of Pontassieve have some of the best meat around. At 40 euros per kilo, for a Piemontese, it borders on the best value for money. Accompany it with the "fritto di stagione". If you were to divide trattorias into special and everyday, Baldini would be the everyday one. With some exceptional wines to drink with it. 

Trattoria Coco Lezzone
Via Parioncino, 26r
055 287178
MATURATION: 20 DAYS MINIMUM
HEIGHT: 4 FINGERS
Coco Lezzone is one of the most famous trattorias in the centre, named after the old owner Corrado. What's really nice about it is an old wood-burning stove on which the steak itself is cooked, opening the plate and laying the Fiorentina on a grill. A couple of fingers high, the old-fashioned way and drizzled with oil. 

Trattoria da Burde
Via Pistoiese, 6r
055 317206
MATURATION: 21-28 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3 FINGERS
In Via Pistoiese they make Fiorentina 'on wheels' because in the blink of an eye you can say: "I'd like a steak", and the brothers Andrea and Paolo Gori have already brought it to the table sizzling. Hot, measured to the heart until it sees 60 degrees. Small attentions that demonstrate the culture for steak of the new Burde generation.

Trattoria Sostanza
Via del Porcellana, 25r
055 212691
MATURATION: 23 DAYS
HEIGHT: 3-4 FINGERS
This is the most literary address in town. Here Piero Annigoni had his table across from the kitchen. There is still the economical kitchen, without a cooker, with wood embers where the best artichoke pie in town is cooked. The steak, Croatian, is first beaten and then cooked by splitting the bone to favour heat absorption.

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