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Apr 15, 2008 05:53 PM

Eating Solo In Florence ...

Eating solo in Florence - I'm going to be in Florence for one week on my own, and would appreciate any recommendations for restaurants/street food/markets where you would feel comfortable being on your own (as a woman, if that makes a difference). Somewhere you can can just sort of chill out and relax and eat as you read a paper or something -- e.g. nothing too romantic, hyper-fashionable, super fancy, or three-hour-twelve-course-y. Probably more lunch places than dinner places given the "read a paper" part, but any suggestions would be great.

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  1. Give me an idea of where you will be staying (hotel or area) and whether you will be visiting sights (museums, palaces, etc.), or there on business. I can then mention some places worthy of your consideration.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CJT

      Sure--I'll be staying at a hotel just north of Ponte Vecchio, and I have general plans to visit most of the major museums. I plan to walk around a lot, though, so feel free to recommend any locations....Thanks.

      1. re: toovernator

        Quattro Leoni, delicious, reasonably priced and near the Ponte Vecchio.

        1. re: toovernator

          Check out my report on Florence from December 2007

          Based on your location and plans, I would suggest Antico Fattore for lunch or dinner when you are visiting the Uffizi, as it is just a few feet from the west arcade of the gallery (there is a passageway from the Uffizi courtyard that leads you right to Antico Fattore). You will be comfortable there. Also recommend in that area Vini e Vechhi Sapori (Tiny place can be hard to find, but good home-cooking at reasonable price) just off the Piazza della Signoria. Not in that write-up is another old favorite on Via del Proconsolo 55r a short walk south of the Duomo: Le Mossacce - good for a quick lunch among the locals. In the December post, I wrote about Il Pallotino, which is not far from the Bargello and is near several other restaurants of merit (Osteria del Caffè Italiano is nicely appointed, a bit more expensive, but quiet).
          If you are going to be there for 5 days, I highly recommend you consider doing lunch or dinner at Teatro del Sale (dinner is about 10 euros more but includes a show/performance and requires reservation, but lunch doesn't). The Teatro has a very comfortable lounge you can sit in and read newspapers while helping yourself to complimentary tea or coffee before or after your meal. One of the nice things about eating there is that you can sit at a table with others who speak your language or local people (not to be confused with the noisy atmosphere of I Latini, which I don't recommend given your interests). By all means, find your way to the Mercato Centrale around noon and try the food at Nerbone. You'll see people standing in line for the hot beef or pork sandwiches, but at the other end of the counter, you can order daily specials which are usually very good and inexpensive to boot.

      2. I spent 2 weeks on my own in Florence a few years ago. Il Latini was fun, if not the finest food... tables are shared, so you are forced into conversation with other visitors. (Not usually my cup of tea, but it actually wasn't horrible.)

        Otherwise, I never felt uncomfortable at any restaurant, including some nicer ones, It wasn't unusual to see men eating alone, and occasionally other women. (It looked like lots of American women are in Florence to take language or cooking classes and either eat alone or in small groups.)


        1. I went to Trattoria Anita at Via del Parlascio, in a small sidestreet behind Palazzo Vecchio- it has a great cozy, homey feel, and besides me, there were two other women dining alone too. Plus the waiters are pretty chatty, so no need for any paper-reading! They also have a EUR6 lunch menu, but I went for dinner.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Merriam

            I love Anita. When I studied abroad in Florence I ate there several times. Cheap prices with sizable portions of delicious food. I recommend it to anyone. Even though this thread is outdated now, I'm just sayin.

            1. re: Merriam

              We ate there a few days ago, and the woman next to us was alone and having a relaxing lunch. The lunch menu is now 7euro though... : ) ... still very cheap for tons of food!

            2. Quattro Leoni, just across Ponte Vecchio. I walked in there last month for dinner & was immediately pulled into the ongoing conversation between 2 other tables. I made friends with a family from Kansas City who will be visiting me this summer.

              And the food ain't bad, either!

              1 Reply
              1. re: jugl11

                We ate at Quattro Leoni. The food was pretty decent, but we were seated in the back room with all the other Americans, while the rest of the restaurant seemed to be filled with Italians. Unfortunately, being in the American ghetto kind of detracted from the whole experience.

              2. I spent 3 weeks in Florence and ate out daily, in all places from little to fancy, and I rarely felt uncomfortable. But having said that, I usually ate out for the lunch meal rather than dinner. I found at dinner (which was way too late for me anyway) they liked to stick me in a corner. I ate only within walking distance from the Duomo but that also meant I got across the river, too.