One Day Foodie’s Guide to Florence
If you want to go to foodie heaven, go to Italy! It’s where the concept “slow food” was born, and of course, the country that gives us tasty and chewy pasta in all shapes and sizes.
Thank you Italy!
How We Saved Money on Our Unexpected Trip to Italy
Mike and I got to go to Italy on sort of a last minute trip in 2014. It was quite unexpected but very welcome. Originally, we were supposed to go to Israel with a layover in Ukraine, but if you remember back then, there was quite the turmoil going on in both those countries.
Note to self: Stop picking flights based on how cheap they are,
and don’t shrug off the news!
Somehow we got a full refund back from the airlines, which never happens because ‘acts of terror’ is not considered a refundable situation.
With our luck, one month left to our original planned vacation time, and a lot of cash back for flights, we decided to let Adioso pick where we’d be going on vacation. It’s a really intuitive site that lets you have total flexibility in choosing flights.
I said I wanted to go anywhere in Europe during the time we had off, then picked one of the cheapest flights there was. I saved $570!
- Flight to Milan = $600 USD
- Flight to Florence = $1200 USD
- Flight to Milan + 2 hour train to Florence = $630 USD (saved $570!)
Enter foodie heaven.
We spent three days in Florence, which was unbelievably easy on the eyes, but best of all, wine, meats, and cheeses were ridiculously cheap.
One Day Foodie’s Guide to Florence
If you only have one day in this gorgeous city, and you’re zoned in on food, here’s a one day foodie’s guide to Florence with breakfast, lunch, and dinner at:
First stop for a late breakfast is at the Mercato Centrale, which opens at 10AM.
On the first floor, you’ll find meats, cheese, veggies, and everything you’ll want to pig out, but continue onto the second to find a plethora of restaurants to have breakfast.
Keep breakfast light since you’ll be stuffing yourself at lunch and dinner. Get a cappuccino and brioche because the brioches in Florence are banging. They’re sweet, light, super flaky, and crispy.
Location: Piazza del Mercato Centrale 4, 50100 Florence, Italy
The one and only reason to go to Trattoria Mario is to try the local, traditional dish, the Bistecca Florentine (Florentine steak). It’s juicy and tasty, cooked at medium rare perfection, and is plenty of food for two people.
Pair this with a salad and a couple of glasses of wine at only 40 cents each, you’ll be fueled for your adventures around the city until dinner time.
Mike and I also got the ravioli, but if I went back, I would only get the steak and the salad!
By the way, this trattoria has a really cute origin story! Mario, along with his parents, opened this restaurant in 1953 but didn’t start serving hot food until Mario married his wife, Elena. Once Elena came in the picture, it became a proper trattoria.
What would this world be like without wives? There’d be less tasty & juice steaks!
Location: Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Golden View Open Bar
This place was a recommendation from Mike’s cousin who studied abroad in Florence. I loved it for its view, music, and of course, food.
It’s situated on the river with a view of le Ponte Vecchio so make sure to reserve a table by the window.
My two favorite dishes were the pasta with zucchini and the Golden View fish dish, which were both fresh, tasty, and so well prepared. I’d go for any pasta dish here really. Avoid the caprese salad and the fresh fish sampler appetizer, which was like bland sushi.
Out of all the tiramisus I’ve had in Italy, this was by far my favorite. It is made traditionally so none of that sponge cake crap you get in the states.
The musicians are fantastic! We were the last ones there just so we could hear their whole set.
Disclaimer: I will have to say for you SUPER DUPER foodies out there– the food is great, but not my-mouth-is-about-to-explode-what-am-I-eating amazing, which is kind of what I expect every time I go out to eat. You are paying for the view and the ambiance too, which includes some very talented musician to serenade you, all night long. The music and view is worth the food in itself.
If you are not a super foodie, the food is very, very good, and the service is top notch. You won’t be disappointed either way. I am just being a very hard critic.
Location: Via de Bardi, 58/r, 50125 Firenze, Italy
Hope you enjoyed my one day foodie’s guide to Florence!
Please let me know of your favorite restaurants in Florence– a foodie can only eat so much on one trip!