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Jul 22, 2007 11:55 PM

Florence - August - need rec.

I'll be there for a week in August and would love some ideas.
Some things about me:

I think La Pergola is amongst the best places I have ever eaten :) - but have exceedingly fond memories of a working class "hole in the wall" I stumbled into in Spain where no on spoke English, I was the only non local - and the food was cheap and fantastic!
come from the San Francisco Bay area - so used to great food
Prefer fish to meat
Markets, street food a favorite

So... I'm happy with high end (if it is worth it) and also love to find little neighborhood local places with great food. Although it may not need to be said - the freshest and most flavorful food, specialties of the region are preferred. Wine and ambiance are not as important as great food.

Approximate cost, distance from Piazza Ognissanti or the Florence Congress Center (I'd like to walk if it's 20-30 minutes) and OPEN in August info would be appreciated. TIA

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  1. You'll need to be a bit more specific when you say "August" in Florence. Many places (e.g. Cibreo) close down late July and all of August, but others wait until the Ferragosto Fierale (Aug. 15) for their annual two week closing. Happily, there are some places that wisely close during July, and thus have a virtual monopoly on the few hapless tourists or business-people who must be in Bella Firenze in late August, when most of Italy is in the mountains, the beach, or the hilltowns.

    As for markets, the Mercato Centrale (in San Lorenzo) and Mercato Sant' Ambrogio will both be operating M- Sat, and many of the foodstands inside will be operating, offering high quality "street food" of sorts.

    Also, although about an hour from either coast, Florence is not generally known for its fish restaurants, although there are a few that fit that category. Think pork, hams, bistecca, rabbit, etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Coco Pazzo

      I should also add that this Chowhound article is right on target

      so if something sounds inviting, Google the place and inquire if they are open when you are there.

      1. re: Coco Pazzo

        Thanks - I'll be there Aug 24-31. Realize this is not a prime area for seafood, but just stated for info. I love pasta's, etc and white meat over red - but am up for trying (almost) anything with good enough recommendations.

        I'll check out the link you suggested below.

      2. *Trattoria 4 Leoni Via de dé Vellutini 1r della Passera Firenze
        Tel 055/218562

        *The Oil Shoppe
        Via S.Egidio, 22R
        50122 Firenze (Firenze), Italy
        +39 055 2001092
        * to me, this was THE best sandwich i have ever had!!! for 3EUROS!!! it makes my mouth water just thinking about it....

        *Caffe Pitti
        *they specialize in truffles!!! AMAZING!!!
        they are located IN the piazza Pitti, right across the street from the Pitti Palace/Boboli Gardens.

        *Trattoria Borgo Antico
        Piazza S. Spirito, 6/R
        50100 Firenze (FI), Italy
        055 210437
        **this was my first meal in Florence welcoming me to my new start of my life in Italy. it was great. amazing pastas. pizzas as well, overall phenomenal.


        Gelateria La Carraia
        Piazza N. Sauro, 25r
        50125 Firenze

        ***Place for dancing and drinks****
        Via Dei Sassetti, 5/R
        50100 Firenze (FI), Italy
        055 215160


        Lungarno Corsini 12-14 (near Ponte S. Trinita
        )Florence (Italy)
        055 210 751
        ***they have an amazing happy hour buffet, its where the "pretty" of the locals hang out on the walls of the Arno. I think they even have a "shuttle" (a bike-driven-wagon) that will take you there from the center of Florence.


        Red Garter
        Via de' Benci 33R
        Florence (Italy)
        ***this bar was always packed. it was just interesting to me to check out the American crowd.

        there's soooo many more, i am just trying to find the addresses!!!!!!!! have an amazing time!!!!

        2 Replies
        1. re: caitybirdie

          Thank you so much - is mid August truffle season? If so about how expensive is Cafe Pitti?

          1. re: estnet

            from what i remember, not very expensive at all. i mean, it is truffles, but for example, the app of different brushetta (which had fresh truffles shaved on top) i think was wasnt huge, but its worth the price. they also serve lunch which gets really busy because of Pitti Palace, i prefer dinner. much more relaxed,and i appreciated the food more. The owners are Johnny and Massimo, they are both super sweet. If you are able to meet Massimo, he's also i think owner or manager or Meccano, a very nice outdoor indoor popular club in Florence!!!



            i just found out they have a website! riht next door, they also own a truffle store! enjoy!!!

        2. La Giostra- casual but romantic (also ok for families). Really really good food. Family-owned and feels like it. (Happens to be Hapsburg.) You meet the entire family during dinner. Used not to be touristy, I hear that the tourists have 'found' it in the past few years...

          1. I don't know fi they are open, but Da Giovanni is superb for traditional foods served in a modern style, Mario for Bistecca and traditional incredibly cheap food at lunch only, and Casalingha for traditional at really low prices served lunch and dinner.

            1. I just returned from a trip to Italy, and me and my mom got reccomendations for restaurants in Florence! We were SOOOOO impressed with both of them.
              #1. Buca Lapi- Apparently its very well known by the locals and has a very good reputation. The prices are normal compared to other restaurants in the area. The service was awesome. The food was even better. We got the tomato salad, pappa al pomodoro soup (the first time i've ever had it in my whole life, and has now become my fav!), Pappardelle with wild boar ragu sauce (first time also, and soooo good!), and the fiorentine steak for "1" (lemme tell you, this piece of meat could feed 3 people easily). The steak was a deliciously perfect medium rare, with no seasoning, just the deliciousness of the smokey grill taste! At first we actually ordered the spaghetti vongole, but we returned it because it was WAY too salty but the waiter was SO apologetic and happily replaced it with the pappardelle! For dessert, we got the "House Chocolate Cake"... this was no cake, it was pure bittersweet chocolate truffle cut into a wedge, and after a heavy meal, it was the perfect amount of sweetness to finish off the meal!
              #2. Enoteca Pinchiorri- SUPER EXPENSIVE. Me and my mom probably spent the min. amount and our dinner came out the 555 euro total. So this is definitely a place to go if you're a high roller.... me and my mother DID NOT KNOW how expensive this place was until we were seated and we opened the menu hahaha. BUT it was the most memorable meal of my life (not because it was expensive but because EVERY dish was perfect and the service was INCREDIBLE!). They have a website so check it out!

              1 Reply
              1. re: MikiLovesSugar

                Enoteca Pinchiorri was on my short list but it is closed in August :(
                I'll look into #1 - thanks