Florence is awash with restaurants, though many in the most touristy areas (around the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Piazza della Repubblica, and Ponte Vecchio) are of low quality, charge high prices, or both. We point out a few that are worth a visit. The highest concentrations of excellent ristoranti and trattorie are around Santa Croce and across the river in the Oltrarno and San Frediano. Bear in mind that menus at restaurants in Tuscany can change weekly or even (at some of the very best places) daily. Reservations are strongly recommended if you have your heart set on eating anywhere, especially at dinner on weekends.
Florence has a fair claim to being the birthplace of gelato, and has some of the world’s best gelaterie—but many, many poor imitations too. Steer clear of spots around the major attractions with air-fluffed mountains of ice cream and flavors so full of artificial colors they glow in the dark. If you can see the Ponte Vecchio or Piazza della Signoria from the front door of the gelateria, you may want to move on. You might only have to walk a block, or duck down a side street, to find a genuine artisan in the gelato kitchen. The following are worth seeking out.
Carapina ★★ -- Militant seasonality ensures the fruit gelato here is the best in the center. Note: This branch usually closes at 7pm.
Via Lambertesca 18R. www.carapina.it. (tel) 055-291-128. Cone from 2.50€. Bus: C3 or D. Also at: Piazza Oberdan 2R ((tel) 055-676-930).
Gelateria della Passera ★★ -- Milk-free water ices here are some of the most intensely-flavored in the city, and relatively low in sugary sweetness. Try the likes of pink grapefruit or jasmine tea gelato.
Via Toscanella 15R (at Piazza della Passera). www.gelaterialapassera.wordpress.com. (tel) 055-291-882. Cone from 2€. Bus: C3, D, 11, 36, or 37.
Gelateria de’ Neri ★ -- There’s a large range of fruit, white, and chocolate flavors here, but nothing overelaborate. If the ricotta and fig flavor is on, you are in luck.
Via dei Neri 9R. (tel) 055-210-034. Cone from 1.80€. Bus: C1, C3, or 23.
Il Procopio ★ -- Come here for rich, elaborate concoctions, including signature flavor “La Follia,” a crema (cream) gelato with toasted almonds and caramelized figs, and Sachertorte, based on the spiced Austrian cake.
Via Pietrapiana 60R. (tel) 055-234-6014. Cone from 2.20€. Bus: C1.
La Carraia ★★ -- Packed with locals late into the evening on summer weekends—for a good reason. The range is vast, the quality high.
Piazza N. Sauro 25R. www.lacarraiagroup.info. (tel) 055-280-695. Cone from 2.30€. Bus: C3, D, 6, 11, 36, or 37. Also at: Via de’ Benci 24R ((tel) 329-363-0069).
Le Parigine ★ -- Nothing overelaborate here, just fresh, flavorful gelato made with seasonal ingredients such as hazelnut, strawberry, and lemon. Closes at 8pm.
Via dei Servi 41R. www.leparigine.it. (tel) 055-239-8470. Cone from 1.80€. Bus: C1.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.