Curious Appetite

eating in Florence

Top Picks for Where to Eat & Drink in Florence in August (including Ferragosto)

Pasta in Florence tomato pappa al pomodoro
All things summer tomatoes at Osteria de’ Pazzi- open all August

(updated August 2022)

Notes for 2023, I didn’t make time this year to give this guide a full update, I decided to take a vacation from mid July-mid August and am doing some remote work, but not on the blog. This is still a delicious guide if I may say but do not mind any dates listed in which each restaurants will be closed for a few or more days in August. Call ahead!

I did gloss over the addresses listed and I stand by them, and they should be open. I would call/make reservations ahead instead of just turning up to be on the safe side. The best times to call are Tuesday-Saturdays and around 12-1pm or 7pm-8pm right when they open or a little bit before if you want to make sure someone picks up. I wouldn’t relying on booking online but instead messaging on Instagram if they have a page. Good luck and happy eating- Coral 

The last time I updated this guide was in 2020, and it was one of the oddest years to be writing anything about dining. Remember the dilemma we faced (or still do) to dine out and support restaurants? Contact tracing, sanitation, limited tables, etc?

And now maskless indoor undistanced dining and travel is back in full swing. And being someone who often experiences existential dread, who knows for how long this will be infinitely possible as it is very clear our planet is fighting back against us.

This post (originally written in 2017, I believe!?) is updated to be your guide to eating and drinking well in Florence during August (specifically, for one of Italy’s most important national holidays, Ferragosto, the 15th of August (Assumption day) with the hopes someone will find it useful. 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

Aperitivo in Florence – UPDATED!

Photo Credit: Sam Engel (contact me to get in touch with Sam- he’s a great photographer!)

Man oh man, it’s been a painful few months knowing I had a very popular/read post just dying to be updated. Mostly, I wanted to update my article on Aperitivo in Florence because there were some spots that have gone horribly downhill and it took some personal visits to realize horrifically how disgusting they were in both terms of service and quality. It’s a real bummer when recommendations get outdated, usually due to a rise in popularity, If people catch on to a good place in Florence, it usually doesn’t stay secret for long (which should usually be a good thing!) Unless locales are prepared for the increased volume, they usually can’t keep up with providing consistent quality and service.

Here is the link to my updated post:

Aperitivo in Florence- a round-up

And while I was at it, I realized the article I wrote on Where to Eat in San Niccolo (the area near Piazzale Michelangelo) was also a bit outdated so I cleaned it up, with a realization that most places in that area suck. Florence, what is wrong with you?! (Sometimes) Continue Reading

Trattoria Coco Lezzone (Florence, Italy): Mixed feelings

By a fateful accident of texts exchanged between me and a pal we ended up dining at Coco Lezzone for what should have been a no-nonsense weekday lunch date. I suggested Coco Filippo and said pal replied “oh, you must mean Coco Lezzone!” Since I never heard of this trattoria before, truth be told, I wrote off Filippo and said to Lezzone we go! Continue Reading

In defense of food in Florence

take note.

I realize that for foodies from countries like America, Tuscan food in Florence can seem confusing. Recently, I took a quick stroll through common criticisms on sites like yelp and tripadvisor and decided to respond. These misunderstandings can be avoided, and I question the information out there educating people about what real Tuscan food and Italian food culture is about. Yes, Italian food includes plates of creamy gnocchi, carb-rich lasagna, pillow-y charred pizza and silky tagliatelle pasta and rich ragu’. But it is also a culture of regional foods, simple eating with little condiment. People eat out somewhat frequently in Italy, whether for a panino on the go or a quick plate of sliced roast beef and vegetables on lunch break. These meals are consumed casually at simple local cafes, hole in the walls or neighborhood trattorias. The grey area is that everyday Italians rarely go out for nicer, gourmet meals at atmospheric restaurants raved about in culture and leisure publications/blogs which travelers tend to chase after, giving a false impression of what the local eating culture is truly like. Continue Reading

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