The must-try spring dishes at Florence's best restaurants
Where to go and what to order to experience spring even at the table
Florence is a distillation of unique dishes and flavours that go far beyond the classics of steak, ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, tripe and lampredotto. This is food from the distant past, from a tradition of simple yet high-quality ingredients, now interlaced with the most delicious modern touches. Especially at this time to year, menus feature fresher, more joyful options that encapsulate the most authentic flavours of spring. From home-made pasta to meat-based mains that delight the eyes and the mind, fish so fresh it will take you straight to the sea for a moment, and timeless classics like properly cooked Florentine steak, the kitchens of the best-known restaurants wake up and magically produce dishes that are true masterpieces. But where to go? From famous fine-dining establishments to traditional trattorias, come with us and find out what to eat in spring at some of Florence’s top restaurants.
HERE our definitive guide to the city's best restaurants, HERE the trattorias not to be missed, HERE the best pizzerias, and HERE our gluten free selection!
Lasagnetta di “Nonna Isabella” - BUCA MARIO
In a 16th-century buca or cellar, you can enjoy the cuisine of Buca Mario. We recommend the Lasagnetta di “Nonna Isabella”: a traditional dish that’s synonymous with old-fashioned family cooking, prepared from a recipe handed down for generations and dedicated to the person who made the restaurant so special and welcoming (Piazza Ottaviani, 16r).
Bistecca alla fiorentina - BUCA LAPI
Opened in 1880 in the cellars of Palazzo Antinori, this restaurant preserves over a century of history thanks to a meticulous restoration, and is the kingdom of the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, cut at least four fingers thick. The meat is mostly from Italian white steers of the Chianina or Marchigiana breeds, cooked over the red-hot embers of olive wood (Via del Trebbio, 1r).
Eggs Florentine en cocotte with truffle - TRATTORIA 4 LEONI
With its classy convivial ambience, Trattoria 4 Leoni honours traditional Tuscan cuisine, without forgetting a touch of the modern. The dishes are guaranteed to impress, including Eggs Florentine en cocotte with truffle (Via de’ Vellutini, 1r).
Taglierini with fresh peas - TRATTORIA CAMMILLO
Whether it’s a working lunch or an informal catch-up, a break during a cultural visit or an intimate dinner, Trattoria Cammillo has welcomed guests in its timeless style for over 70 years. The food is the most authentic Tuscan, and at this time of year you absolutely shouldn’t miss the Taglierini with fresh peas (Borgo S. Jacopo, 57r).
Gnudi alla fiorentina - CANTINETTA ANTINORI
The ground floor of Palazzo Antinori is home to Cantinetta Antinori, the perfect place to sample the wines of the Antinori estates alongside typical Tuscan specialities. These include Gnudi alla Fiorentina (Florentine dumplings), made from a traditional recipe and flavoured with nutmeg and lemon peel (Piazza degli Antinori, 3).
Artichoke Tortino - TRATTORIA SOSTANZA
An authentic Tuscan inn where lunch can be a moving experience. Here you have to try the Artichoke tortino, a dish that looks and tastes like no other. Beaten eggs are cooked over the wood fire to line the edges of the pan, where they form a golden frame for the artichokes frying in the centre (Via del Porcellana, 25r).
Egg white fusilloni pasta - IL PALAGIO
Set in the ancient gardens surrounding Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, the one-Michelin-starred Il Palagio headed by chef Paolo Lavezzini is ready to offer you an unforgettable evening. How? With unparalleled dishes like Egg white fusilloni pasta, slipper lobster, grapefruit and Giaveri Osietra caviar (Borgo Pinti, 99).
Maccheroncetti alla rustica - OSTERIA DELLE TRE PANCHE
Elegant yet functional, Osteria delle Tre panche at Hotel Hermitage offers food inspired by the local area, with outstanding dishes featuring truffles and much more. At this time of year you can choose the Maccheroncetti alla rustica, on the menu since 1986 (Vicolo Marzio, 1).
Risotto with asparagus and spring shoots - HARRY’S BAR
Timeless style and grand tradition in a tasteful contemporary setting. Harry’s Bar is an elegant place to treat yourself to a fine dinner and a memorable experience. The spring dish to order has to be the Risotto with asparagus and spring shoots (Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci, 22r).
Midday & Midnight Spaghettata - OSTERIA GUCCI
A creative and elegant culinary philosophy with one foot in tradition and the other in constant evolution. At Gucci Osteria different worlds and flavours intertwine to create dishes that are innovative and always extraordinary, like the Midday & Midnight Spaghettata, with spaghettini, artichoke ceviche and mint (Piazza Della Signoria, 10).
The Carpaccio of beef - IL SANTO BEVITORE
The simple, convivial atmosphere of a Tuscan trattoria where you can enjoy the most flavourful of traditional cuisine, updated with more contemporary versions. A cult dish for spring? The Carpaccio of beef, ponzu, capers, marinated egg yolk and shoots… try it to believe it! (Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66).
Red Mullet in Saffron Bread Crust - SANTA ELISABETTA
The talent of chef Rocco de Santis at the two-Michelin-starred Santa Elisabetta is showcased in the beautiful Byzantine Pagliazza Tower inside the charming Brunelleschi Hotel. The food is pure, essential and minimalist, like the fabulous Red Mullet in Saffron Bread Crust (Piazza Santa Elisabetta, 3).
Il Carciofo - CIBRÈO RISTORANTE & COCKTAIL BAR
At Cibrèo Ristorante & Cocktail Bar in the Starhotels Helvetia & Bristol Firenze, the spring menu offers seasonal vegetable dishes that are irresistible. Among the stand-out dishes is il Carciofo, an artichoke heart vacuum-cooked, filled with a foam of pecorino romano and parsley and dressed with olive oil flavoured with roasted artichoke, creating a delicious sauce (Via dei Pescioni, 2).