Are you looking for where to eat in Florence on Christmas day? Fear not, traveling food lovers! Curious Appetite did all the dirty work of calling around Florence.
If you are interested in small-group culinary tours Christmas Eve & Day, consider our progressive dining crawl! Tickets sell out quick, book your spot asap.
And on New Year’s Eve we will be doing a special Aperitivo Food & Wine Tour in Florence- examples of past events HERE
The pickings for what’s open in Florence on Christmas day are tight & clean including Persian kebab, traditional spots for Florentine fare & steak and pasta & pizza bars. I first compiled this list in 2016 and keep it updated for your dining delight.
Florence is less of a ghost town during the holiday season than in August and there are some valid places open, serving up quality food. Plus, my specialty culinary tours are still going on before & after Christmas Day thanks to my excellent team of experts- so in case you’d like a moveable feast during your stay- check out Curious Appetite’s food tour options, too.
My advice is to plan to visit one of these restaurants 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 (updated for 2022)
Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo- UNDECIDED but I love this place so much that it’s worth keeping on the maybe list. I’ve listed Club Culinario now in several guides so I won’t bore you with the details, but know 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 website
Trattoria dell’Orto- -OPEN ONLY XMAS EVE LUNCH & DINNER 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 website
Il Guscio- OPEN XMAS EVE ONLY. I love Il Guscio and it’s a gem. Think gourmet refined takes on Tuscan cuisine (ricotta gnudi with porcini or sliced steak with crispy rosemary & a balsamic reduction, etc) but with a cosy, traditional vibe and hearty portions but not greasy spoon in quality, if that makes sense. It’s spot on food with one of the most interesting wine lists in town. The wines are pretty worthwhile. Address: Via dell’Orto, 49a, Phone: +39 055 224421 website
Culinaria Bistro- UNDECIDED. Craving gourmet takes on seasonal specialties? Head to Piazza Tasso for this little gem. They source local quality ingredients (Tuscan olive oil, grain, wine, cheeses, meats, produce, etc) from tiny sustainable producers and transform them into curated, manicured versions of the rustic originals with natural wines to match: think herbed ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers, burrata spiked tartare, meat & cheese boards, ‘nduja stewed calamari, etc. Intimate artsy vibe inside. Address: Piazza Torquato Tasso, 13R ph: 055 229 494
Trattoria Giovanni- OPEN BOTH XMAS EVE AND XMAS DAY. 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 hearty portions of meat (wild boar, roasted pork, steak, etc) and offal-based mains (lingua, tripe, etc). Address: Via Sant’Agostino, 38r +39 371 194 0715 (no website)
Trattoria Angiolino and Trattoria 13 Gobbi- XMAS EVE ONLY. Both quirky old school Tuscan trattorias are 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 website
Less Traditional Tuscan, more trendy contemporary
T’Amero Pasta Bar + Pizzeria- XMAS EVE ONLY. 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 website
Il Locale- Open at dinner every day! 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. 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 website They also are the same owners of Cestello Ristoclub who specialize in a fancy modern seafood dining experience on the Oltrarno- check it out!
For more pizza, Don Fefe is a gourmet pizzeria on the Lungarno in a more residential area of Florence and they will be open XMAS EVE ONLY, they have unique flour doughs like kamut and natural rising, and tasty toppings like burrata, spicy ‘nduja and Tuscan black truffles. Address: Lungarno Colombo 8R, 50132 Firenze FI, Italy IG
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/
International Food! Persian Kebab, Japanese Ramen and Georgian Dumplings? Yes!
Ristorante Tehran- XMAS EVE ONLY. Located a stone’s throw from Piazza della Signoria, Tehran does key dishes from the Persian culinary repertoire extremely well. They will only be open by reservation so I’d suggest snagging a table soon as it’s a small, soulful nook which fills up quick. I must note again I’m half Iranian and I love this place so much, Persian food is so interesting and accented with pistachios, rose and saffron. Not to mention succulent grilled meats like beef koobideh or distinctly flavored stews like pomegranate molasses & walnut marinated chicken fesenjan or herby greens & lamb ghormeh sabzi. Address: Via dei Cerchi, 25r, Phone: +39 055 094 5695 website
Ararat- Restaurant & Wine Bar- XMAS EVE ONLY. Another restaurant with Persian intersection, Ararat serves Georgian & Armenian specialties. The Persian culinary repertoire spans several centuries and influenced territories which were once under various Iranian empires, like Georgia and Armenia. While you won’t find Iranian saffron rice or stews, you’ll find grilled kebabs & flatbreads reminiscent of Iranian food but also unique specialties like Georgian dumplings khinkali stuffed with mushrooms or flavorful ground meat, cured spiced meats and Armenian flatbreads spread with tomato & meat fillings.
I went here for Thanksgiving and I did not regret the decision. It’s a pleasant gem and I highly recommend it for a unique change from traditional Tuscan. Please try the Georgian wine here- while the selection is modest, Georgia is considered the birthplace of wine and if anything, you should match gastronomic identities and ditch the Tuscan Chianti. Address: Borgo la Croce, 32/r, Phone: +39 375 515 3626 website
Koto Ramen- They haven’t decided if they will stay open so I’d call just to be sure- Italians tend to decide last minute (like how I update my guides:) As if Florence’s international food offerings weren’t getting extensive enough considering the tiny city, we now have a choice for getting quality bowls of Ramen. Before it was just Banki near the station but now you can get craft beer and (mediocre) ramen at Diorama Beer Pub, and more importantly- solid fare at Koto Ramen in Santa Croce. At night they have a few ramen bowls to pick from (sesame pesto, miso, duck, funghi, etc) along with sides like gyoza, japanese squash marinated in rice vinegar & sake, paprika edamame etc. Address: Via Giuseppe Verdi, 42r, Phone: +39 055 247 9477 website
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!
These are other names I called up that will be open but I don’t have time to write up complete descriptions. This blog runs completely free (no ads, patreon, etc) so hopefully you can trust the names and let your own googling handle the rest. If you’d like more elaborate, additional intel, consider supporting my small business with a paid consult, a gourmet box or booking a tour. If you can’t swing paying for anything, then enjoy this free content and share with others!
Thanks for your patience and trust, do let me know if you end up trying anything!
Trattoria Cesarino- XMAS EVE, XMAS DAY (I reviewed this spot HERE and it’s one of my go-tos)
Cibreo– Legendary Tuscan dining empire founded by the late Fabio Picchi. XMAS EVE ONLY
Berbere- New wave pizza, craft beers, hipster vibes- I dig it. XMAS EVE ONLY
Pescepane– Bright cozy fish eatery that isn’t super elaborate but very well-made. XMAS EVE ONLY
Coquinarius- Fresh pastas, boutique wines, salads, hearty wine bistro fare (i.e. wine sauced guanciale and mashed potatoes) near the Duomo. XMAS EVE ONLY
Da Que Ganzi- Haven’t been, but the menu is very traditional, seems like it has decent kitschy vibes and gets points for being in the Sant’Ambrogio area. XMAS EVE ONLY
Aroma- High-end yet humble & cozy seafood restaurant executed with extreme care, detail and technique. Xmas eve open, Xmas day open for lunch, not for dinner
Marina di Santo Spirito- Another occassion-worthy seafood restaurant gem in the Oltrarno. XMAS EVE ONLY
Hortus Pizzeria- Haute pizza. XMAS EVE ONLY
Buca Mario- An icon to Florence’s historical restaurant cannon. XMAS EVE ONLY
Cantinetta Antinori- Exclusive wine bar restaurant owned by the Antinori family- exceptional service, reliable wines and curated local cuisine. XMAS EVE ONLY
Konnubio- Fantastic creative dining guided in part by respected chef Beatrice Segoni. Has atmosphere for romantic occassions, with a quaffable cocktail and wine menu to match.
Essenziale- If San Francisco transported a modern inventive seasonal tasting menu bistro teamed by cool food people with tattoes, this would be it minus pretention. XMAS EVE ONLY
In your holiday eating trust,
Curious Appetite (cheers from the emerald green beauty of Seattle!)
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). While we won’t be running tours on Christmas day, we will be before and after. An aperitivo tour, dinner crawl or food lover’s tour are the most popular tours and sell-out quick- book today!
Info on tours & booking tickets online: http://curiousappetitetravel.com/food-and-drink-tours-in-florence/