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Where to Eat on the Cheap & Budget Dining in Florence, Italy

 

(Updated in May 2021, due to a literal global pandemic bear in mind to check/call in advance, don’t rely totally on google listings as spots here listed are usually managed independently/don’t update google as frequently/plus restrictions change on a dime. Bookmark as more updates are coming. Opinionated spirals were written pre-pandemic. Please support pretty much anything. Except bad aperitivo buffets)

One of my least favorite questions to get from people, whether friends or strangers, are “can you recommend a restaurant in Florence dove si mangia bene ma per poco. (where you eat well but paying little)” Even worse, is when someone asks “where is a good place for aperitivo in Florence that has loads of food and doesn’t cost a lot.” Or even better “where can I eat well, with a view, in the center, eat well and pay little.” I decided to respond to my least favorite question with a curated, quality round-up of frill-free eats & budget restaurants in Florence. Continue Reading

Where to find the best gelato in Florence

(original post in 2015, updated in September 2018)

pistachio, rose, lavender…perche no?

Where oh where does one find the best gelato in Florence?

Anywhere, right? It’s Italy! It’s Florence- the birthplace of gelato! You can’t go wrong! No- WRONG! Finding quality gelato in Florence is more difficult than you think. Italy has a plethora of quality raw ingredients- yet establishments in touristic cities like Florence continue to favor business/profit margins over preserving gelato’s integrity. Finding a worthy cone in the historical center is tough but not impossible.

Florence has a particular fondness of gelato because it is said to be its the birthplace. On my gelato tours in Florence, we chat about the key figures of gelato’s beginnings: Cosimo Ruggieri, Bernardo Buontalenti and Francesco Procopio (Francesco was actually from Sicily and this is where the gelato origin wars start to ensue).

As one of my guests once said  “basically we’ve learned that Florence invented everything.” Exactly. I mean, how can you not boast a city that gave the world the (standard) Italian language, gelato and the negroni? Continue Reading

A Curated Guide to Restaurants & Food in Florence, Italy

Pici con le briciole

After all the random articles on the best restaurants in Florence I have scattered around, I thought to compose one whole article dedicated to where to eat in Florence- including street food, coffee shops, gelato joints and links to other guides I have composed in case you’re curious for more. These are my personal picks for the best non-touristy restaurants in Florence which are respected by locals, run by passionate chefs/cooks and are staffed with people dedicated to serving and showcasing consistently delicious, quality food in Florence. Continue Reading

Where to eat and drink in Bologna, Italy

if you are a first time visitor of my blog, I’m an American food & drink writer in Florence since 2012 but have spent considerable time in Bologna between Florence to research and continuously study its cuisine- which fascinates me to no end!

Out of which, a Bologna food tour was born and added to Curious Appetite’s bespoke gamma of small-group, 3 hour tasting tours focused on Florence. I sweat over many bowls of tortellini and slices of mortadella to make it perfect!

If you’re planning a visit, check out this food tour in Bologna I designed! (Led by a team of local, certified experts! I wish I could commute there every day to eat pasta and mortadella.)

(Updated: April 2022 but first written in January 2017- due to the pandemic I have limited opportunity to check opening times, etc and also limited time in making this pristine with links and addresses. Drop me a line if there are significant changes you noticed or a listing I should add!)

I have however recently did an update for Eater for an Essential 18 (basically a round-up of must-eats, shops and drinks) It’s really hard to do a listicle of only 18 so this blog post fills in the gaps and offers more options for those who like to have them.

Continue Reading

The best panini in Florence (that’s not All’Antico Vinaio)

salami florence panini brunori

I’ll say it- there is more to panini in Florence than l’Antico Vinaio. And if you’re wondering why they are extremely famous, consider this failproof recipe: thousands (13K+) of tripadvisor reviews mostly since they’ve been listed for ages, larger-than-life panini and cheap wine all for under 5-10€.

The panini at l’antico vinaio are good, even delicious, but for me not worth to me waiting up to an hour in line for. Bear in mind in reading this post, I’m not here to rag on any particular business, and food is extremely personal, but rather offer up some alternative suggestions.

Italian panini, are meant to be simple and traditionally included few ingredients: primarily cheese and/or meat. It seems that they’ve become monstrous man vs. food feasts here! Not that I don’t enjoy a decadent massive panino, but again, I suggest folks to consume info (and food) with a discerning palate.

I am suspicious of the ingredients in terms of what’s actually in their spreads and where they source their meats/cheeses from. My personal tastes goes towards more artisan style eateries, where ingredient sourcing/quality is emphasized. Not always thought, I do enjoy junk food from time to time! But I get a lot of questions “is Antico Vinaio really that good?” Yes- it is but in case you don’t want to wait in line for an hour, here are some alternatives.  Continue Reading

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