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Florence Restaurants

My girlfriend and I are traveling to Florence for about a week in a month or so. I've been to Rome quite a bit, but never to Florence, and I have no idea where to start looking for restaurants. I was hoping for some suggestions on mid-level restaurants or hidden gems for dinner or lunch, as well as one higher scale restaurant (her birthday while we are still in the city).
Thanks!

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  1. Id start with a search of this Board, which has many, many suggestions both in midrange and special event categories, I believe.

    1. The search can be overwhelming. I narrowed my meals to these:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691746 | FLR: Sostanza, Cibreo Trattoria, Baldini, others?

      1. I'd recommend Cibreo--the trattoria, where the food is from the same kitchen for the very expensive restaurant next door. Tiny, friendly--you may be seated with others--delicious food, no frills. Try the calf shank--which looks like a brown puddle and is like heaven. If they are serving the tomato aspic don't miss it--one of the best dishes ever. No reservations, you just show up--Another excellent choice is Quatro Leoni--it's a big, bustling place and very popular with locals--

        8 Replies
        1. re: chow2chow

          I looked at the websites for both those places and they look great! Can you give me an idea of the prices for them? Thanks so much!

          1. re: carolinadawg

            We were there last week; for four of us for lunch, I believe it was 160-180€ for four apps and four mains. The place was packed and we waited (sans reservations) for 20-30 minutes for a table. Once seated, a very friendly waiter took the time to go over the menu in English. Highly recommended; I still need to post reviews of my Florentine spots....

            1. re: OCAnn

              Thanks Ann...just to be clear, you are referring to Cibreo Trattoria? If so, I was hoping it was a little less epensive than that. Oh well. And yes, please do post your reviwes...I'd love to read them!

              1. re: carolinadawg

                Yes, it was the Trattoria. We also had a couple bottles of wine and water which added about 50€. So food only, you might be able to get away with 30€/person.

                  1. re: carolinadawg

                    On the other hand, you can go across the street to Teatro del Sale and get a full dinner with wine included, plus entertainment after dinner for 30 or 40 Euros (it was 30 when we were there in December 2007). Same organization but different atmosphere and an abundance of food you would never taste just ordering from a trattoria menu. Don't get me wrong: we have dined several times at the Cibreo Trattoria and found it quite good, but the room is small and you might have a wait to sit. If you have not already done so, try a search on this board for Teatro del Sale.

                    1. re: CJT

                      It was €30 in November 2009 as well. Highly recommended! You can also go for lunch for €20 without entertainment. You will have to become a member in either case, which costs €5 (but it's worth it just to read the members' rules!). <Sorry for the double text--this edit function is a bit wonky.>

        2. Although it is outside the normal tourist area (but still walkable), Vecchia Bettola is a really enjoyable experience. Still largely locals, it is the Florentine communal dining experience of Il Latini without the tourist hype. Terrific bistecca among other items and reasonably priced.

          1. One other thought, for a really memorable experience I'd recommend Cave di Maiano in the hills between Florence and Fiesole--reachable by taxi. If the weather is nice, their outside deck is incredible and the owner, Francesco, is really charming. Ask him for some of the prosciutto his father makes, and make sure you get the pappa al pomodoro.