always at Cammillo- spolier

Oh hello, stranger! I may seem like a broken record in starting these long over due updates apologizing for why I’ve been a little quiet on the blog recently. So I will reward your patience with a brand new food guide-y post involving dining input from fellow bloggers/writers in Florence!

But first, allow me to provide a bit of a personal update- then I’ll get to the juicy SEO where to eat/best restaurants in Florence stuff. In the meantime, sign up for one of my dining tours to eat the best food in Florence right now!

Honestly, adjusting to a new hybrid life between Florence and the most expensive city in the world, ahem San Francisco (SF), has taken its toll on my willingness to blog.

To be clear- I have not moved to the states in the classic sense of having lived a period in Italy then going back home to never return. The question I cringe at the most is “so are you back in the states forever/done with Florence?” and the next time someone asks this I will defer them to this post or block them- firstly because I don’t believe in forever. But most importantly- why can’t I live between the two? 

When I arrived to SF earlier this Spring, I was in a short-term housing situation. Partly because who signs a lease for a flat from across the world? As a result, I’d been in housing situations of sand in subleases from unicorns where rent was magically humane. But going into the wild west of finding my own place- terrified me.

I spent weeks/months wallowing in existential dread i.e. should I really get my own place in SF? What if I can’t find something affordable? What am I doing here? What is the point- this city is stupid expensive, what is my 5 year plan? 

While I am a woman of science and cynical about the horrific unfairness that is life, I still at times see the glitter in the rough and entertain the notion that the universe has our backs.

One day I snapped out of said dread, shot up from my coma and said to myself “let’s do this, SF!” In a matter of less than a week of deciding to muster the courage to face the SF house hunt obstacle course, I saw moving boxes outside an apartment unit in the building I was temporarily renting from, which is one of those unicorn affordable, rent controlled buildings. Which by the way SF/around the world- you are a monster for not making every single one of your buildings rent controlled. Housing is a literal human need and right!

Long story short- I jumped on this vacancy and made it mine. So since I’ve been back from my whirlwind trip in Trento/Florence back in September, I’ve been immersed in furnishing my new humble abode. Which explains my silence on the blog!

Again, this does not mean I’m done with Florence- it means I’m more rooted in SF just as I am in Florence- I have my tours which still run with or without me and a place to call home!

from the aperitivo/antipasti kick-off on my progressive dining crawl!

Which brings me to the point you’ve all been waiting for! Where to eat in Florence right now. This very second. Why aren’t you eating yet? Oh! It’s because I haven’t told you yet!

While I could eat at Cammillo year round, the colder months are best- case in tortellini

Since my time in Florence is no longer day to day, with my finger constantly on the dining pulse- I thought to create a sort of seasonal series of where to eat in Florence with a little help from my friends who do live there every single day. Also- Florence at least is like musical chairs in terms of what’s open season to season. As we dip towards the winter months, holiday closures will arise as if it were August.

This place especially a fave in “slow season” since you can actually get a table

Additionally, there are some locales I personally prefer during the colder months. Mainly the ones underground, dark and cozy who specialize in heavy traditional Tuscan dishes which I avoid like the plague in the summer. Also, there are some famous iconic addresses which are so so full in the “high” travel season, that I don’t even bother but rather wait until the “slow” season when scoring a table is less of an obstacle course, if feasible at all.

Buca dell’Orafo- another prime cold weather spot underground and wholly Tuscan

I reached out to a fellow blogger I’ve come to really respect over the years. She is one of those rare humans who is extremely genuine, and anytime I’ve ran into her at events or blogger outings- she’s full of positivity and a collaborative spirit in the Florence community.

Really love Coquinarius during the Fall/Winter months as well (sorry for bad photo)

I will say, this is one of the things I am becoming the most “homesick” about- that is missing the lovely people in the blog/writing world in Italy. I think since we are are either creatives or transplants from abroad- we share this common experience and it makes the community ideally more real.

In any case- a big thanks to Sandra Panerai (bio at end) for sharing your tasty hints for eating the best in Florence:

Where are you eating in Florence the most right now?

With the first rainy days and colder temperatures I usually go back to comfort food and one of my favourites is Asian food. Specifically, Dim Sum which recently relocated to a much larger space in via Antonio Magliabechi, a few steps from the Santa Croce church. My favourite dish is their hand-pulled thai spiced noodles. Bonus: you can see the man making the dough and rolling the noodles behind the glass, which I always find quite hypnotic.

(I love that place too for their dumplings…)

For a great pizza, check out Ristorante Accademia in Piazza San Marco: they have a new pizzaiolo from Naples and his pizza is truly good, I loved the white one called “Pomodori Appesi”  which is made with small cherry tomatoes on the top, in different red and yellow varieties.

How convenient- an actual edible pizzeria literally outside the Accademia museum!

Recently I discovered Wild Buns Bakery, a Scandinavian bakery run by a young Swedish guy selling Scandinavian pastries. He doesn’t have a real shop but he bakes excellent cinnamon rolls once a week and sells them online and via Instagram. You just need to make an order and then you can pick them up at a specific Florence address (Via di Mezzo). They are delicious!


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Breakfast in bed 😍 #wildbunsflorence

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Your opinion of the best places to eat in November/December?

At this time of the year I highly recommend an afternoon tea and cake at Pasticceria Dolci Pensieri in Borgo La Croce everything is made fresh and their patisserie is absolutely heaven, like the Nutella and pistachio cheesecake sold by the slice. There are some tables where you can sit with no extra charge and spend some time chatting with a friend or just relaxing.


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Johnny Bruschetta in via dei Macci recently revamped their restaurant and their name, changing it into Johnny B. – their menu is not only bruschetta anymore and has expanded to include craft beers, burgers and delicious pinsa romana, the Roman focaccia with gourmet toppings. They also make excellent cocktails!


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Steak is always a favourite in Florence and I love it all year round! The new dry-ageing passion has become quite fashionable among the Fiorentini and Steak Home in Corso dei Tintori is offering great dry-aged steaks at very good prices. Next week they will be adding a 12 week aged steak in their menu.. can’t wait to try it!

(If I may be so sneaky to suggest…my progressive dining crawl in Florence which includes la bistecca/steak?:)

What Seasonal specialties are you eating? 

My favourite Fall specialty is the Castagnaccio, the typical Tuscan chestnut flour cake, baked low and seasoned with rosemary, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil. This cake is considered a poor cake, as in the past it was made by the peasants of the Tuscan mountains which had not much food to live on except for the many chestnuts from the surrounding forests. Pasticceria Cosi in Piazza Gavinana makes an excellent castagnaccio and if you are particularly fond of chestnuts they also make delicious homemade marron glaces that I suggest to pair with a small goblet of Vin Santo.

(also- we taste this on our Food Lover’s Tour of Hidden Gems in Florence, too!)

Any notable new openings you suggest? 

Melaleuca – this new lovely cafeteria in Lungarno delle Grazie is run by an Australian cook and serves the most delicious and hearty brunch. Their blueberry pancakes are superb!


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(decent pancakes in Florence?! I’ve noticed Melaleuca all over dearest Girl In Florence’s IG– gotta try when I’m back especially since the coffee made here looks proper)

Flower Burger – after many other stores in other Italian cities, this vegan burger chain just opened in Florence in Via San Gallo. All their burgers are 100% vegan and organic and actually good, and their coloured buns (colours are 100% natural) add that much needed touch of cheerfulness on a gloomy winter-like day.


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 Nene’ Panzerotti – if you never travelled to Apulia and Southern Italy you probably never tasted panzerotti, the typical deep fried dough filled with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. Now you have the opportunity to taste them – and love them – in Florence too, where a southern girl named Antonella (her nickname is Nene’) just opened a panzerotti restaurant in Piazza Dalmazia, a nice suburb area a few tram stops from the central railway station. Antonella decided to add many more gourmet savoury panzerotti on her menu and also a couple of sweet ones: they are all incredibly good and worth the tram ride.

Who are you, exactly? 


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 Ciao, I’m Sandra, born and raised in Florence and still madly in love with my city. I’m a wife, mother and I work as an Executive Assistant in in the Florentine buying office of an American retailer company. On my Instagram page @sandrapanerai I post photos and stories about the small joys of my everyday life in Florence and the places I travel to: food, wine, nature, monuments, sunsets and much more. Come visit me! A presto!

For more dining tips, feel free to hit up either of us!

In your Florence food trust,

Curious Appetite

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