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Florence, no touristy spots please

Traveling to Florence next month and looking for solid local restaurants in Florence. Can be just outside city, anything absolutely memorable without the touristy vibe

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  1. Da Ruggero

    http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

    http://eatingwithziggy.com/2013/07/28...

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ziggy41

      Great place. One of our two favorites in Florence.

      Have been going for a long time, but only for lunch. In the evening it is filled with tourists, mostly American.

      @ the OP. Ruggero serves very good Florentine food, but it is far from absolutely memorable. We don't know of any place that is absolutely memorable in or near Florence.

      1. re: allende

        During our Sunday lunch at Da Rugerro, not a tourist in sight. So I'm quite surprised to hear that its full of Americans during dinner, especially in that location. By far our most memorable meal in Florence

        1. re: Ziggy41

          to me this is not surprising - a lot of city center type restaurants in Italy have more local patronage at lunchtime whereas more foreign tourists focus on dinner for their restaurant dining.

          ps to OP, I think "absolutely memorable" is a pretty high bar for Florence depending on what your standards are.

        2. re: allende

          Allende, what is your other favorite in Florence? Always enjoy your recs.

          1. re: pastahound

            Alla Vecchia Bettola.

            Strange that very few Americans go there, because the family that owns it is the same, unless things have changed, as the one who owns Nerbone in the Mercato Centrale, which Americans seem to treat as a pilgrimage site.

            At lunch, working class San Frediano. Dinner, upscale Florence.

            1. re: allende

              Grazie Allende. My (Florentne) husband and I have also enjoyed Alla Vecchia Bettola in the past, but have been a bit disappointed the last few times we were there (last summer). It seems there was not the same care taken with the food, but I'm sure we will try again.

              By the way, we are in Forte dei Marmi now and looking forward to another memorable dinner at Lorenzo tomorrow night. We were there last summer based on your recommendation and couldn't wait to return. If you're around we would love to meet you and your wife for an aperitif. We've followed your invaluable advice so many times we feel as if we know you already.

              1. re: pastahound

                Thanks very much for your comments and the offer to have an aperitivo.

                In the summer, we leave our home in Forte for San Cassiano in the Dolomiti where we've been for the last month and a half.

                My wife and I had lunch at Lorenzo twice this Spring and it was every bit as good as it's always been. Up here, we very much miss his fish and seafood. Have fun tomorrow.

      2. Strongly recommend you use the search feature in the upper right-hand corner to find past threads on dining in Florence. The question you are asking gets asked (and answered!) here quite often.

        Trattoria Mario and Sostanza get recommended here often.

        Here is a past thread worth reviewing:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9117...

        1. Florence is overrun with tourists so if you're really set on being the only tourist in the dining room it's tough.

          The one place (though they have a website with an English version, I have never once found another English speaker there) that I feel is excellent outside the city is Enotria: http://www.enotriawine.it/en/, especially if you love wine. It's run by a couple, she cooks and he serves. The husband is a sommelier as well and his by the glass selections are consistently intriguing. They do a lot of theme dinner nights as well if you happen to be there at the right time. I think it's reasonably priced, as well.

          1. In the high tourist season, the "Big three" Rome, Florence, Venice; are swarmed by tourists, multi bus tour groups, pilgrims, small "personalized" groups, independent tourists, and in the case of Venice, cruise ships disgorging thousands of day trippers. So I would follow the recs of Allende, he/she is very knowledgeable. Many tourists are looking for the "real locals places", just don't go to anyplace that has their menu posted in multiple languages, the windows are smeared with Tripadvisor award decals, and have hawkers at the entry. Also if the proprietors are obviously not Italian, that might be a tip off, as well.

            1. One of may favorite lunch spots was in the Mercado Centerale. There is a small place in the back of the building that serves simple rustic homemade comfort food. Most dishes are under 8 Eur. They also serve tripe sandwiches, a great local favorite. Just look for the lines that lead to the counter. This is good food with no frills.

              1. You might like Delfina or Da Burde, both a bit outside of Florence.
                In Florence I know and love Due G, Sostanza and Pentola D'Ora. All of these are mostly locals, at least at lunch time.
                Another favorite is Tripperia Il Magazzino, in Piazza della Passera.

                And as already noted Ruggero is great.

                www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

                2 Replies
                1. re: minchilli

                  +1 to Due G and Sostanza (especially at lunch).

                  My very first to Sostanza (about a month ago) at lunch was almost entirely Italians and they served an absolutely sublime artichoke omelet; one of my favorite things I ate in Florence.

                  The bistecca at Due G was quite easily one of the best steaks I've ever had. My girlfriend and I very easily went through a 1KG but were disappointed we didn't have enough room for a serving of their spinach risotto a Japanese couple next to us ordered and asked for a second serving after their secondi!

                  1. re: minchilli

                    Yes, Burde is another great option that is usually tourist free and high qualty.

                  2. A couple of years ago we had a lovely dinner at Ristorante Da Padellina. The restaurant is located in Strada in Chianti, a small town approximately 20 minutes outside of Florence. We were the only non-locals and I would return again in a heartbeat

                    1. Had lunch today at Trattoria Casalinga. The tourists I observed were from Spain. All the rest were speaking Italian and most seemed to be regulars. We enjoyed a solidly wonderful Tuscan meal. The highlight was the just salty enough, roast pork, listed on the Piatti del giorni.
                      We had 2 pastas--Ortolana with lots of nice veggies and Aglione--fresh pasta, but not really pici, with fresh tomatoes and lots of chunks of garlic. Mixed salad was standard. Service was super efficient--not exactly friendly but certainly not rude.

                      Overall--we loved it!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: jangita

                        "Service was super efficient--not exactly friendly but certainly not rude."

                        That was exactly our experience at Trattoria Casalinga as well, and I expected nothing more than that. Glad you loved it as much as we did. When you say, "We enjoyed a solidly wonderful Tuscan meal" that just about nails it. What more can one ask for at a trattoria?

                        1. re: ttoommyy

                          you are describing traditional trattoria service. Professional, polite and efficient. I could do with some more of that here in the US where over-familiarity is the rule.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Absolutely agree.

                        2. re: jangita

                          I was also going to reccommend this place. We happened upon it and ended up eating 3 lunches here because it was so good. More of a locals lunch crowd and lots of people were ordering the bistecca, which was excellent.