Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Sep 28, 2013 04:43 PM

First night in Florence

After a long flight...where would you go to eat dinner? We are staying near the Ponte vecchio, on the 'other side' from most sights. (not sure what you call the other side)! The mister wants to eat most his meals at Sostanza, but perhaps not the first night. Any ideas? We also have a second, third and fourth night, then on to Rome. What are your thoughts. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The first night? Forget it! As you may know....most Day ones are Zonker-ville! We usually go with sandwich type stuff. Been too long since we were in Florence to recommend.....but most likely you can't go bad anywhere

    We are down in lower Tuscany starting Tue (Oct1) then on to Rome where we found a unique thing to try.........

    1. I stayed on the other side of the Ponte Veccio from where you will be but we had a lovely first night meal at Il Santo Bevitore, which is on the same side as you.

      1. There are, in my opinion (having just lived in Florence for a month), 3 basic ways you can approach the first dinner. As I am not a believer in skipping any meal unless absolutely necessary, I wont add this as a 4th option. The 1st way to do it is to go to a good-very good place and have an upscale beginning. In this category, on your side of the bridge (called the Oltr'arno) are Il Santo Bevitore (which meljohns already recommended) or Zeb, depending on which way you walk from the bridge. The 2nd option is to go to a less upscale "down home" type place and, for this, I definitely recommend Casalinga. Crowded, lively, real old style home cooking from offal to roast hen, rabbit, pork loin, etc. Very good prices as well. The third, easiest option is to go to a nice open piazza (the best for this is Santo Spirito on your side of the bridge) and sit in an outdoor table, eating okay (maybe good) food and drinking while watching Florentine culture (& tourists) walk by. You could combine #2 & 3, since Casalinga is around the corner from this piazza.

        Here's a link to my Florence thread if it helps. There are other threads on this board that you should probably read as well. Have fun.... let us know how it goes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve R

          Thanks, Steve, and everyone. We are leaning towards Casalinga for night #1! We will let you know how it all plays out. Now on to Rome. Last night memorable meals?b

        2. Great suggestions from Steve R. Casalinga in particular is one of my favorites for traditional Florentine dining in a casual setting. As for myself, after a long flight, I'm usually hard-pressed to remain reasonably sentient through dinner. I'd consider an enoteca with a light, early meal--maybe some salume, crostone, salads. Le Volpi e l'uva would be very close to you.

          1. I agree with all of mejohns suggestions. case you think you may be konking out sooner than expected, and want to have something earlier, I'd suggest Obika. It's located in Palazzo Tornabuoni and they have a great aperitivo buffet that starts at 6:30. It's a very calm, quiet setting, which may be just what you want that night. Great mozzarella, prosciutto, etc. plus other things to nibble on. You could definitely make a meal of it, plus a glass or two of wine.

            It's not that long a walk from where you are, maybe 10 minutes tops.