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good restaurants in Florence, Italy

I will be going to Florence, Italy for three days. Kind of a rush. Any suggestions?

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      1. I had lunch at Sostanza today. I wouldn't bother. It's atmospheric, but the food was a best mediocre. Very diner-ish.

        10 Replies
        1. re: francelonian

          This post runs against the grain of almost every other post about Sostanza, including my own. What did you eat that was mediocre?? What does "diner-ish" mean?

          1. re: francelonian

            I'm curious too. Was planning on making this a definite stop on my trip next month in order to get the bistecca fiorentina and pollo en burro

            1. re: uncledunkel

              I'd advise you to keep your plan to go there for steak and chicken in butter sauce. Can't imagine what this guy ate or expected that turned him off. Might have been an off day or just fewer diners at lunch. Too many other people have sung the praises of Sostanza FOR YEARS to let one comment chase anyone away.

              1. re: CJT

                yeah still planning on going. will post how it is assuming i do

                1. re: CJT

                  tried to make reservations at sostanza for a date a couple weeks in advance, and they told me it was too early and I should call back 2-3 days before. I've seen that reservations are recommended for sostanza, and am just curious if people here have been told the same thing if you tried to reserve a couple weeks early. same thing happened for miky in monterosso al mare, but the rest of the restaurants accepted them.

                  1. re: uncledunkel

                    I had my hotel make reservations a week in advance....

                    1. re: OCAnn

                      I just dont think italians function the same way american tourists do. They are more likely to call say the day before, something like that, rather than lock everything in months in advance which probably means the restaurants simply dont run a long book of reservations. further, if I were an in demand restaurant that had a local as well as a tourist clientele, I would want to keep a balance between the populations and not let the one-time visitors lock out regulars. So I think it makes sense to chill and have a couple of back up plans for each of your preferred places. Italy is italy - you will have plenting of options for bistecca in Florence if Sostanza doesnt pan out..

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        We went to Sostanza without a reservation on a weekday night at about 7:45 PM. There were few people there and we were seated and served quickly. By the time we finished our steak and chicken n butter sauce, there were more clients, but the place was only half-full. This was in December, however, so we were not competing with lots of tourists.

                        1. re: CJT

                          Ive seen guides that counsel on reserving at Sostanza well ahead since some clients have standing reservations, but I think "well ahead" doesnt mean the same think in Italy as in US.

                    2. re: uncledunkel

                      I would go with jen kalb advice about reservations in Italy. The Italians are much more casual and do not get the urgency of Americans in their restaurant planning. In all my stays in Venice and traveling through Italy, I rarely had problem getting a reservation couple of days in advance. That includes the always mentioned Alle Testiere in Venice as long as I accept the later seating. Most places in Italy don't even ask for my phone number or to reconfirm.
                      If I try to make a reservation further than a few days ahead and I am told that they are fully booked, I can pretty much infer that the entire restaurant will be filled with visitors or that they have already allotted the number of seats to visitors.

              2. I would definitely head ten minutes out of town towards Fiesole to Cave di Maiano. Beautiful setting and great food. If you want steak, his is the best around. Owner's name is Francesco.

                1. Taverna del Branzino. They serve a wonderful bisteca alla Fiorentina, and many other very good dishes.

                  3 Replies