The Hidden Gems of Florence
I was in Florence for five days last month, and used Emily-Wise Miller's book <i>The Food Lover's Guide to Florence</i> exclusively. If you don't have this book and love Tuscan food, buy it. We had many amazing meals in restaurants where we were usually the only tourists. The highlights:
For lunch eat at Trattoria Mario (Via Rosina 2r). Sit where you're told. Get the bisteca and the ragu, and eat it quickly with a lot of red wine. Go have a lie-down afterward and relive your meal.
I 13 Gobbi (Via del Porcellana 9r) [The 13 Hunchbacks]is a great dinner option. I had delicious <i>pici</i> in olive oil and hot pepper flakes and <i>tagliata</i>, slice steak with rocket and balsamic vinegar. We ended our meal with vin santo and biscottini.
For a unique coffee, head to Chiaroscuro (Via del Corso 36r) and pay 1,50 euro for a <i>nocciolina</i>- a head mix of caffe, cream and hazelnut liqueur. Maybe drink another, then go back outside and get some more adventure.
Finally, end your day at Carabe'(Via Ricasoli 60r), a Sicilian gelateria known for their nut gelati. The almond, pistachio and black walnut gelati is incomparable. They're open until 1 AM, so it's a great late-night stop before tumbling in bed, sated and sticky from gelato.
ditto trattoria mario - you'll not want to sit long (do they still have those stools and mushroom tables? but their ribollita and ragu are the best.
glad to see 13 gobbi is still going strong - we first went there more than 25 years ago.
Vini e Vecchi Sapori on the Via Magazzini (just off Piazza della Signoria) cheap, authentic and really special and atmospheric....beg, borrow or steal a table in this tiny gem! However, do not turn up carrying any guidebooks. It really is fab - the bruschetta were amazing (the traditional and the unusual - asparagus pureed) and vitello tonnato was to die for. Very simple but that's what Tuscan's do and know best. There are only five tables and they are filled with friends of the owner who comes round after you have eaten with grappa on the house. Also Buca del Orafo between the Pontevecchio and Uffizi - am now feeling very hungry indeed.