Favorite Local spots:
L’osteria di Giovanni: This moderately priced local favorite was well worth the visit. Always busy, L’osteria di Giovanni offers wonderfully crafted traditional Tuscan foods and wine and excellent service. This was our favorite meal in Florence. Reservations recommended.
Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori: Although this tiny little hole-in-the-wall restaurant doesn’t have a website, I think the Trip Advisor review will speak for themselves. This awesome little restaurant is always, always packed full of both locals and tourists and is sure to leave you full and happy. Reservations recommended.
Brew Dog: If you’re a craft beer lover, be sure to visit Brew Dog, centrally located in Florence’s historical city center. The bar tenders are very friendly and knowledgeable and are more than willing to make suggestions based on your beer preferences. This is a “must” for any beer lover visiting Florence.
We loved this place! Be sure to read more about our trip.
Lion’s Fountain Pub: This Irish pub is another great spot for beer lovers. They offer predominantly Irish, Scottish, and English ales. Want to catch a football match or an American football game? Look no further. This place has got you covered.
King Grizzly’s Pub: Another great spot for craft beer. King Grizzly’s has rotating taps offering beers from local breweries.
Duomo, Cathedral, Basilica: You just have to go. This is a must-see when in Florence. It’s beautiful from the outside, but you can access all three sections for only 10 euros. Make sure you go early. The views from the top of the bell tower (470 stairs up) are phenomenal and make for a beautiful photo opp. There’s a ton of history between the three establishments.
Vinaino: This place is adorable, tiny, and super authentic. Glasses of wine range between 5-8 euros, and the bar tenders insist on offering you a tasting of 4-5 wines before you decide so that you can choose a wine you really love. They offer filling sandwiches for only 5 euros with any toppings you’d like, and all toppings and foods are local: jams, cured meats, and cheeses are top-of-the-line.
Uffizi: This historical gallery is one of the most famous in the entire world. Formerly offices for the Medici family and the city of Florence, the Uffizi is now a world-renowned gallery containing works from many famous painters and sculptors dating back as far as 300 BC.
Piazza Signoria: This piazza is one of the most famous in all of Florence. Off of Piazza Signoria is the Uffizi Gallery, the city hall, and the old palace. Located within the piazza, you will find famous statues of Michelangelo’s David, the Equestrian Movement of Cosimo I, and the Fountain of Neptune.
Free Tour Florence: The guides who work with Free Tour Florence are incredibly knowledgable about the city and they do a great job. Free Tour Florence offers two tours, the Medici tour and the Renaissance tour, each two hours long. Tours are free and the guides only work for tips. Five to ten euros as a tip is appropriate.
Mercato Centrale: Food, wine, food, wine, food, wine. Like those things? You have to go. The ground floor of the market offers typical local products, meats, fish, fresh produce, dried goods, truffles, wines, and beers, and much more. It’s only open until 2 PM Monday through Friday, though, so make sure you visit the ground floor before then! The first floor is open from 10 AM until midnight every day and is full of restaurants and stalls offering delicious Florentine food and wine.
You can find plenty of local Tuscan dishes at the market. Read more about local cuisine HERE.
San Lorenzo Market: This outdoor market offers all types of typical Florentine products, from jewelry and purses to souvenirs and leather jackets. This would be a great place to do some gift shopping.
*Updates* – We’ve been back to Florence a few times and have found some more local favorites!
All’Antico Vinaio: This restaurant is a local and tourist favorite. Located between Piazza Signoria and San Croce, All’Antico Vinaio serves up the best take-away porchetta and vino in town. They also have a sit-down restaurant that serves reasonably priced locale wines and massive platters of salumi, cheese, and other delicious local delicacies.
Piazza Michelangelo: This beautiful piazza was created in the style of Michelangelo’s work, although it wasn’t created by him – it’s much more recent. Enjoy the 20 minute walk from Ponte Vecchio up to Piazza Michelangelo for the best views of the entire city. If you’re not overly enthused about the incredibly uphill climb to the top, just hop a bus or the metro 🙂
Mostodolce: Like craft beer? This place is a local brewery that has rotating taps of tasty craft beers. Even better? Their food is great. Try the truffle cream pizza with goose sausage and brie cheese. De-lish-ous!
Be sure to find useful information here before you head to Florence!