hand holding a piece of schiacciata wrapped in brown paper outside a bakery with red arch and name above door on street.
Home » Italian Food » 10 Foods You Must Try On Your First Visit To Florence (Italy)

10 Foods You Must Try On Your First Visit To Florence (Italy)

Last updated on June 22nd, 2024

One of the best things about visiting Florence is all the amazing food, local produce and famous wine right at your fingertips. But how is one to fit it all in? You certainly can’t spend your entire trip eating!

I have been traveling to Florence for 20+ years and am lucky enough to call Florence my home for the last 12 of them. After guiding countless friends and family through first trips in Florence, I am confident in sharing with you my top foods to try in Florence for first time travelers.

In this article, I will list and describe the must try foods on your first visit to Florence and my personal favorite spots to eat them at. 

I will also include my top picks for the most adventurous eaters out there looking for something really far out plus what local wine to order with your meals.

For travelers with more time in Florence and Tuscany, read Traditional Tuscan Food – A Local’s Tips on Food In Tuscany You Must Try for a more comprehensive list.

Crostini Neri 

side view of a small black sign reading crostino toscano with price with jars of liver pate.

Where To Eat It: Fuori Porta 

Also known as crostini al fegatino or crostini toscani, this popular appetizer is made from toasted bread topped with chicken liver patè. Order them individually or better yet, opt for an antipasto misto, a mixed appetizer plate that will certainly include these with fettunta, local charcuterie and cheese

Schiacciata

Close up side view of sliced schiacciata stacked up.

Where To Eat It: One of my picks for Where to Eat Schiacciata in Florence

Schiacciata is the Tuscan version of focaccia, a leavened flatbread characterized by an oily, crunchy, salty crust and a pillowy center. 

Schiacciata is a popular snack or merenda and oftentimes used to make sandwiches with various fillings such as prosciutto crudo and pecorino (one of my favorite food souvenirs from Florence and Tuscany.

Craving a Panino? Check out 7 Off-the-Hook Sandwich Shops in Florence.

Pappa Al Pomodoro

top view of white plate filled with a thick red stew garnished with a basil leaf on wooden surface.

Where To Eat It: Trattoria Casalinga

Pappa al pomodoro is a first course made with stale bread and tomatoes. It’s a think and hearty vegan soup that is particularly good in the summer when tomatoes are in season. 

Pappa al pomodoro is also very good in the fall when the olive oil is freshly pressed and is used to enhance the pappa al pomodoro before serving. It actually doesn’t look very appealing but it’s one of my favorite Tuscan dishes because I hate throwing away leftovers, and also because of its simplicity.

More Veg Please: Check out my list of Vegetarian Dishes to Try in Italy.

Ribollita

top view of hand holding a white bowl with ribollita.

Where To Eat It: Buca dell’Orafo

Ribollita is my favorite hearty winter dish from Tuscany. It’s a thick stew made from cannellini beans, stale bread, leafy greens and lots of other winter vegetables like carrots, potatoes, celery and cabbage. 

Keep in mind you can only order ribollita in the late fall to early spring when all the ingredients are in season to make their warming and hearty vegan soup. 

Pregnant Travelers: Ribollita is one of my top suggestions for pregnant women traveling in Tuscany. It’s full of vegetables and very healthy. 

Panzanella

Close up from above of white plate with fresh panzanella salad.

Where To Eat It: Trattoria del Carmine

Panzanella is an ancient Tuscan dish created to use up leftover bread combined with fresh summer produce. This bread salad combines pane toscano (Tuscan bread) with onions, cucumber, tomatoes, basil, a splash of vinegar, salt and plenty of extra virgin olive oil to finish. 

Good To Know: You will only find panzanella in the summer time in Florence. 

Pappardelle Al Sugo Di Cinghiale

Where To Try It: Trattoria Camillo 

Pappardelle al sugo di cinghiale is a wide ribbon egg pasta dressed in a wild boar ragù that is stewed for hours. 

Wild boar are common throughout Tuscany and in Florence during the winter months you will see a large increase in cinghiale dishes. I think pappardellle pasta with wild boar sauce is the best way to taste the meat, showcasing its unique flavor without being overpowering. 

Bistecca Alla Fiorentina

side view of several bistecche sitting on bone straight up over a grill on hot coals outdoors from side view with grass in background.

Where To Try It: Regina Bistecca

Bistecca alla fiorentina is the most iconic Tuscan food to try for first time travelers in Florence. Walk down any street and see windows showcasing the aged steaks ready for the grill. 

Order Bistecca alla fiorentina anyway you like but ask any local and they will tell you it’s sacreligious to eat it any way but rare. 

Try It: Visit one of my Favorite Places for Bistecca Fiorentina in Florence.

Fagioli All’Uccelletto

Where To Try It: Antica Trattoria Il Barrino

Fagioli all’uccelletto is a traditional contorno or side dish made from white cannellini beans stewed in garlic, tomato and olive oil, often accompanying grilled meat courses such as the bistecca fiorentina. 

Tip: Fagioli all’uccelletto are great for vegans and vegetarians visiting Florence. Look for them under the contorno section of any menu. 

Cantuccini E Vin Santo

side view of a round cutting board with cantuccini with a fork and a small glass of vin santo to the side on a white table cloth.
Cantuccini with Vin Santo I ordered in Florence.

Where To Try It:  

Also known as cantucci, these small, twice-baked, crunchy almond cookies originated in Prato, just North of Florence but have become iconic here as well. 

Cantuccini are always served with the local sweet wine Vin Santo to dip the cookies in, softening them up.  

Schiacciata Alla Fiorentina

birds eye view of a schiacciata alla fiorentina decorated with the giglio in cocoa powder on a wooden board.

Where To Eat It: Antica Forno Giglio or Forno Ghibellina 

Schiacciata alla fiorentina is a light and airy cake made only in Florence for the Carnival celebration from January through February. Topped with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar and sometimes filled with pastry creamor chantilly cream, this is a true treat. 

Try ordering it for breakfast or order it by the slice at a bakery in Florence.

Bonus: Food For Adventurous Travelers

view of food stall from street in florence with lots of people gathered around eating sandwiches.

These two foods are not for the faint-hearted but they really speak to the culinary traditions of Florence, which is why I must include them! 

Trippa

Where To Try It: Trattoria Da Rocco in the Sant’Ambrogio market, my favorite of Florence’s food markets

Trippa in Tuscany is prepared by slow cooking the rumen and omasum parts of the cow stomach for long hours with tomato and soffritto, creating a tender and juicy stew. Trippa is always served hot with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and pane toscano per fare la scarpetta (to mop up all that delicious sauce).

Lampredotto

Where To Try It: Sergio Pollini food truck next to the Sant’Ambrogio open air market. 

Lampredotto is one of Florence’s most famous street foods made from stewed cow stomach that is slow cooked and served as a sandwich on a roll with salsa verde, a green sauce made from capers, anchovies, parsley, lemon, oil, garlic and onion. 

Tip: Always get the bun dipped in the cooking liquid. They will ask you if you want this. The answer is si!

Wines To Try In Florence

Wine bottles on shelves at a wine shop in Tuscany.

While you can drink very good Italian wine no matter where you are in Tuscany, these are my favorites wines to try while in Florence, best paired with my suggestions above for the top 10 foods to try in Florence: 

  • Chianti Classico DOCG
  • Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG
  • Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
  • Rosso di Montalcino DOC
  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
  • Vin Santo

To read more about wine in Italy, check out Where To Buy Wine In Italy – Tips From A Local and Where To Drink Wine In Italy – Tips On Wine Tasting In Italy From A Local.

Spending Time in Florence? Make the most of your time eating and drinking in bella Firenze!:
Best Pizza in Florence
Best Gelato In Florence
Best Coffee In Florence
10 Foods You Must Try On Your First Visit To Florence
The Best Cheap Eats in Tuscany
Eating Vegan and Vegetarian in Florence
Best Rooftop Bars in Florence
Where to Have Aperitivo on a Budget in Florence

Where to Eat on Your First Visit to Florence
My Favorite Places to Eat Bistecca Fiorentina in Florence
Where to Have Brunch in Florence
Coolest Bars in Florence
International Restaurants in Florence
My Favorite Wine Bars (Enoteche) in Florence
Wines to Try in Tuscany
Where to Find Florence’s Best Schiacciata
Florence’s Best Panini
Food Markets in Florence
Where to Find Florence’s Best Pastries
Best Bakeries in Florence
Eating Gluten-Free in Florence
Where to Have Apericena in Florence
Where to Get Takeout in Florence
Where Locals Eat in Florence
Florentine Food Souvenirs

Where to Buy Specialty Food Items and Gifts in Florence
Where to Eat with Kids in Florence
Where to Get a Quick Bite with Kids in Florence
Traditional Tuscan Food