I’ve received some e-mails for restaurant suggestions for Christmas day, and I volunteered that I’d make a list post on the matter. I should preface that I am currently in NYC and have been for several days so finding this info hasn’t been easy, calling restaurants at odd hours and makeshift signal service asking the same question “are you open Christmas day?” So please bear with the results I’ve found and I’ll add more once I return to my dear Italian soil.
Fear not, traveling food lovers! Florence is less of a ghost town during Christmas than on August 15th and there are some valid places open, serving up quality food. My advice is to plan to visit during lunch if you can, as Italian Christmas food-wise is a lunch affair. I would call and reserve asap- if you’re like me, you probably don’t make reservations even 3 days in advance but I would suggest calling and snagging a table pronto.
Where to Eat in Florence on Christmas Day (2016)
Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo- They are totally booked for lunch, but they have some spots available at dinner. I’ve written about these guys several times, and I love everything they are and do. Italian soul food at its best, only for the adventurous and curious. Not for those who want tomato sauce and meatballs. Think braised & stewed game meats, tortelli (big ravioli) filled with potato and slathered in goat ragu. Great wines. Address: (Near Santa Croce, off Via de’ Benci) Piazza dei Peruzzi, 3R, Phone: +39 055 217919
Trattoria dell’Orto- Just Lunch. Simple and sweet trattoria with classic Tuscan food (soups, ribollita, pappardelle pasta, Florentine steak, etc) Very characteristic but not overwhelmingly charming, a great spot on the other side of the river for a no-frills, homestyle meal. Address: (near Piazza Tasso/Piazza del Carmine) Via dell’Orto, 35 Italy Phone: +39 055 224148
Culinaria Bistrot- Open lunch and dinner! Again, written about this place many of times. One of my favorites, although not traditional Tuscan it fuses exotic flavors from North Africa with meticulously select Tuscan-sourced ingredients from tiny, organic slow-style producers. Think mini-tagines with plump olives and chicken, charcuterie spreads, pates, and gourmet sweets (i.e. vin santo soaked cantuccini/biscotti tiramisu). Very much worth a visit, especially if you’d like a unique dining experience with some spice and soul. Address: (Oltrarno) Piazza Torquato Tasso, 13R Phone: +39 055 229494
Trattoria Giovanni- Nice, sleek trattoria in the Oltrarno doing quality, slightly modern, lighter versions of normally heavy Tuscan fare. Great Tuscan pasta selection (thick pici and wide pappardelle) and humane portions of meat (wild boar, roasted pork, steak, etc) and offal-based mains (lingua, tripe, etc). Only open for lunch. Address: Via Sant’Agostino, 38r +39 371 194 0715
Trattoria Angiolino and Trattoria 13 Gobbi- Run by the same ownership, but to me completely different vibes and cuisine. I much prefer Angiolino on Via Santo Spirito but since it’s a holiday I thought to list their second location. Angiolino has an old-world kitschy Tuscan decor and atmosphere, service jovial and food dependable for greasy-spoon that’s not too greasy Tuscan food, I’m a particular fan of their meats and mains. Address: (Angiolino) Via di Santo Spirito, 36R Phone: +39 055 239 8976 (13 Gobbi) Address: Via del Porcellana, 9R Phone: +39 055 284015
Less Traditional Tuscan, more trendy contemporary
T’Amero Pasta Bar- Open all day/evening. If you’re looking for something less elaborate and more pasta based, hit up casual, young “hip” T’Amero. They make all their pasta fresh in house, practically right in front of you. A great aperitivo spot, too! Address: Piazza Santo Spirito, 11r Phone: +39 055 282596
Locale- Open at Dinner. Swank bar and restaurant that makes you feel like you’re dining in a both a museum, New York bar near Madison Square Park and a Renaissance palace as you dine under frescoes. The cuisine here is elegant and revisited, definitely a pick for fine dining lovers. Think angel hair pasta with red shrimp & caviar or lamb & foraged mushrooms touched with ginger. The risotto they do with vanilla bean, pigeon and vin santo reduction is super. Their cocktails may seem pricey, but after drinking mediocre $15 cocktails in NYC, the production Locale puts on (welcome punch, novel presentation and well-balanced drinks, snacks) is worth every penny. Address: Via delle Seggiole, 12/R Phone: +39 055 906 7188
Fishing Lab Alle Murate- Open all day/evening. I have some mixed feelings about this place. The raw fish options are virtually tasteless, but they do have a good selection of finger food “street-food” style snacks (fried anchovies, calamari, fish sliders) and affordable wines, plus that dining in a museum feel in a historical palazzo and hipster vibes to match. I’m going to list it for people who prefer snacks to feasts. Address: Via del Proconsolo, 16R Phone: +39 055 240618
Menagere- My pal Nardia at Lost in Florence mentioned this concept bar/eatery be open for music and drinks in the evening. In case you haven’t been/heard of Menagere, it’s no different to those light-filled bistros with frilly food, hipster music and good coffee. While I’ve never been happy with the food here, drinks and tunes on Christmas sounds fun and doable. Address: Via de’ Ginori, 8 Phone: +39 055 075 0600
I’m nearly sure that most hotel restaurants will be open, I did a round-up of great hotel eateries on Vogue so you may want to give them a call too and see if you can get a table. http://www.vogue.com/13482348/best-food-in-florence-guide-hotel-restaurants/
As I said, over the next few days I’ll add to the list, but this is a pre-lim selection. If you have heard of a great place open (that isn’t 4 Leone or Il Giostra, aka nothing special touristic restaurants) please do let me know by leaving a comment and I will add it!
In your holiday eating trust,
Curious Appetite (cheers from New York City!)
Curious about taking a food tour in Florence during the holidays or visiting this winter? Despite where I am in the world, Curious Appetite Gourmet Tours still go on, led by a small-curated team of culinary wine experts (food historians, sommeliers, cooking class instructors, etc). We’re currently running a promo for food tours booked in December for any date between now and until April 1st. The important thing is to book before December 31st. While we won’t be running tours on Christmas day, we will be before and after so make sure you take advantage of this deal- the code expires December 31st.
Info on tours & booking forms: http://curiousappetitetravel.com/food-and-drink-tours-in-florence/