My list of the best Trattorias in Florence
1. Mario’s - small and popular
Mario’s Trattoria is my first recommendation. For many Florentines, we feel like Mario’s feels like home. This trattoria prepares many traditional dishes. I suggest you try the tagliata di manzo, which a bed of rocket salad topped with freshly cut beef. Although Mario’s is small but popular, so it can be crowded with a long wait. However, the food is worth the wait. Mario’s is located at Via Rosina, 2/R and can be reached at +39 055 218550.
2. Sostanza – History and consistency
My next recommendation is Trattoria Sostanza, which has been in business since 1869. With consistent quality, their food has been unparalleled for decades. I suggest you try the Florentine steak, which is cooked over a wood-burning stove. For a treat, combine this with the artichoke tart. The artichoke tart is light, combining artichokes and eggs. Trattoria Sostanza is very popular with locals and tourists, especially during their 7:30 and 9:00 pm dinner hours. I suggest you make a reservation at +39 055 212691. They are located at Via del Porcellana, 25/R.
3. Ruggero – Home style and worth the trip
Another suggestion is Trattoria Ruggero, which is perhaps the most Florentine home-style trattoria in Florence. Located in the Oltrarno district outside the Porta Romana gate, it’s a little far from the city center. It’s worth the trip, have a reputation as not only being one of the most traditional but also one of the most affordable trattorias in Florence. The menu contains many traditional dishes, including the delicious Pappa al Pomodoro (tomato and bread soup), savory roasted pork loin seasoned with garlic and rosemary, and for zuccotto (made of ice cream, brandy, and cake) for dessert. It is helpful if you can speak some Italian, but if you can’t, someone is usually able translate. They are located at Via Senese, 89R and can be reached at +39 055 220542.
4. Cibero – Crowded but no reservations taken
Trattoria Cibreo is another great Florentine trattoria. The trattoria takes its name from cibreo, which is a Florentine stew. It is said that because Catherine de’ Medici loved cibreo so much she attempted to introduce it in France. One notable dish is the gran pezzo, which is a rack of roast beef. They don’t take reservations despite often being crowded, so plan accordingly. Trattoria Cibreo is located at Via dei Macci, 122R and can be reached at +39 055 234 1100.
5. La Casalinga – For the best Ribollita
I also suggest you try Trattoria La Casalinga. Established in 1963 with a name meaning ‘housewife’, this trattoria combines Tuscan comfort food with mid-century nostalgia. This is my number one recommendation if you are in the mood for authentic ribollita. Another delicious option is the spaghetti Pomodoro, which I prefer over their spaghetti Bolognese. The wine isn’t anything special, but it is affordable and palatable. They have an extensive menu and the portions are sure to please. La Casalinga is popular with locals and tourists, often crowded but with prompt and friendly service. The atmosphere can be cramped, with tables close together and mediocre paintings cluttering the walls. The food and service makes up for the decor and crowds. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Trattoria La Casalinga is located at Via Michelozzi, 9/R and can be reached at +39 055 218624.
6. Da Burde – Old classic
If you’re looking for a classic trattoria, visit Trattoria Da Burde. This trattoria originated in 1907 as small store and is still run by the same family. In 1927 they moved to their current location at Via Pistoiese, outside the touristy areas of Florence. If you are in the mood for something rich and filling, this is the place to go. They even have a delicious version of farinata di cavolo nero, which is rare to find in restaurants. They are located at Via Pistoiese, 154 and can be reached at +39 055 317206.
7. Cammillo – Convenient!
Next on my list is Trattoria Cammillo. Trattoria Cammillo is in a convenient location, close to the Ponte Vecchio. Their carta del giorno (daily menu) during the lunch and dinner hours is filled with seasonal dishes, making it a good bet if you are looking a memorable meal. Like La Casalinga, this trattoria has an amazing ribollita, made with winter vegetables, beans, olive oil, and bread. Trattoria Cammillo is located at Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/R and can be reached at +39 055 212427.
8. Anita – Central yet tucked away
There is also Trattoria Anita, located on a rarely trafficked street behind the Palazzo Vecchio. They’re between the Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, and the Santa Croce neighborhood. Besides having a good location, they are an excellent choice for lunch while out sightseeing. The service is good, the staff energetic and the food is not only wonderful but inexpensive. For example, a three-course lunch is often under 11 euros. It has location, service, and value! Trattoria Anita is located at Via del Parlascio, 2 and can be reached at +39 055 218698.
9. Pandemonio di Casa Brogi – Great wine selection
If you’re looking for a large selection of wine to pair with your meal, try Trattoria Pandemonio di Casa Brogi. Their wine list features over 200 wines. As far as dishes go, I recommend you try the ossobuco. The staff is friendly and accommodating. For a more relaxed experience, visit during lunch when it is quieter. This will give a chance to interact with the owners. Trattoria Pandemonia di Casa Brogi is located at Via del Leone, 50/R and can be reached at +39 055 224002.
10. Antica Trattoria da Tito – Not touristy, yet convenient
Rounding out the list is Antica Trattoria da Tito. This is a great choice if you are looking to get out of the touristy areas, but not travel too far. It’s located to the north of the Academia in a residential area. It was established in 1913 and is one of the more traditional Florentine restaurants. Their menu features many dishes, but their Florentine steak stands out; rare and perfectly seasoned. During the dinner hour, they serve a complimentary aperitif such as limoncello. Antica Trattoria da Tito is located at Via S. Gallo, 112/R and can be reached at +39 055 472475.
Trattorias are less formal than Ristorantes
What is a trattoria? A trattoria is where you go to have a home-style meal at an affordable price. This differs from Italy’s ristorantes. Ristorantes are your white tablecloth style, high quality food and service, a nicer bottle menu, and at the higher end of the price scale dining option.
A trattoria is the place you go when you want to eat like the locals, with the locals. In Florence, most trattorias will cater to tourists to some extent. Why? Florence draws at least 9 million tourists a year but boasts a population of only about 377,000.
If you'd like to have the real Florentine experience, I recommend you to go by the countryside of Florence where you won't find mass tourism. An example? Restaurant "Artemide" in Galiga, Chianti Rufina, which is pretty far out and if you don't have a car you won't reach.
In the city center you can always risk to stumble upon tourist traps! But that doesn't mean you won't find any real Tuscan trattoria. In San Frediano, the south part of the center, there's a typical trattoria called "Il Santo Bevitore". That's where a Florentine would go if he wanted to eat in town! Not too expensive and surely not a tourist trap!