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Where to eat five minutes from the Ponte Vecchio

Every time I hesitate to write an article about where to eat in Florence I always think about my own experience as a tourist. Before I go anywhere, I admit that I scour the internet for cool, secret spots written by other bloggers, journalists or basically just anyone who loves food and isn’t a TripAdvisor douchebag. Since I happen to live very close to the ‘old bridge’, and I know many people look to stay near this famous monument I thought not why not write about a few cute places to eat around this area and share the love? DSCF3631

Via Toscanella, in the heart of the oltrarno district of Florence

I personally think it should be an actual crime to eat badly in Florence, it can happen don’t get me wrong but it shouldn’t. It can be tough knowing where to go when every trattoria claims to be authentic and some of the most famous places featured online aren’t’ really reflective to where the average person in Florence would go for their pasta or bistecca di fiorentina fix. Luckily the piazza near my house super close to Palazzo Pitti and yet feels like a world away. My beloved piazza della passera, whose name also happens to be slang for a female body part (it is thought that this area was a brothel long ago), and has an interesting backstory if anyone cares to read

DSCF3637Piazza di Passera on an August afternoon

Here you can chill at a cool hipster cafe that is open all day long for coffee, a refreshing spritz cocktail or just a snack and several great restaurants all about five steps from one another. Plus their geleteria has a mojito sorbet which is the only motivation that can get me out of the house in 100 degree weather.

Il Magazzino

This place might be most known for their fabulous lampredotto dishes (very Florentine) but it also has some other great foodie options as well, I highly recommend a stop here for a very authentic Tuscan meal. Fried brie with a sesame crust, pasta with a duck ragu, veal cheek braised in red wine & tropea red onions. I recently lunched there with Nardia from Lost in Florence as we both enjoyed indulging in a little meat and vermentino  white wine on a weekday afternoon ;-). ilmagazzino_girlinflorencemagazzino

Prices are average, we spent around 52 euros for two glasses of wine, a shared appetizer, a pasta dish, my meat dish and coffee.

Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino, Piazza della passera, 2/3, phone:  +39 055215969 Mon – Sun: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm, reservations recommended.

5 e Cinque

I like this place because in a piazza full of meaty options, this serves as a nice alternative with a cool, fresh style and plenty of veggie dishes. Here you can find organic and local ingredients plus it’s open for both lunch and dinner, with a menu that changes daily. They have a great cheese plate and ‘cecina’ (a chickpea flatbread), share a few dishes and spend a lot less than for a normal dinner. I highly recommend making reservations as space is very limited. What inspired me to first try this place was after reading about it on A Dusty Olive Green, the lovely blog of Birgitte Brondsted. Prices range from around 20-40 a person. DSCF3627

5 e Cinque, Piazza della Passera, 1
Florence, Italy 50125
+39 0552741583

Trattoria 4 Leoni

I went through phases with this place because they can get so full and I wasn’t sure they were my cup of tea but I have to say they are growing on me again. Well known for their pear and gorgonzola pasta and they make a good peposo (a peppery Tuscan beef stew) and bistecca (steak). The real selling point is that you are eating in the piazza (ask to sit outside) which is extremely charming, you might even see me walking my dog nearby ;-). A little more on the pricey side but it is definitely a romantic place for a summer night’s dinner. Prices range around 30-25 euros per person. DSCF3629 Trattoria 4 Leoni, Via de’ Vellutini, 1r (Piazza della Passera) 50125 Firenze Reservations recommended. tel. (+39) 055218562 • info@4leoni.com, Open daily 12pm – 12 am

Toscanella Osteria

A sort of hidden little restaurant, mere steps from Piazza della Passera, you will spot Pinocchio statue waving at you straight away. I remember walking by and thinking that it might have been a tourist trap, perhaps because of Pinocchio’s presence but when I finally tried it, I was surprised how good it is. They have a very affordable lunch menu and make their own pasta, I have also heard that the peposo is great here too. Prices around 15-40 per person. DSCF3633 Osteria Toscanella Via Toscanella 36R Tel 055 285488

Trattoria Cammillo

On Borgo San Jacopo, steps from the Ponte Vecchio, lies a trattoria that serves traditional Tuscan food – with a twist! They have a creative menu with items like pigeon pie (I didn’t stutter) and great pasta made in-house and a memorable bistecca fiorentina. Make sure to order off the ‘carta del giono’ (daily menu) for the best seasonal dishes. This is pricier than the other places I mentioned, more for a special night out than an average lunch or dinner. DSCF3648  Cammillo Trattoria, Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r, 50125 Florence. tel. 055.212427 email: cammillo@momax.it Open for Lunch, 12:00 – 3pm Dinner, 7-11pm Closed: Tuesday and Wednesday. reservations recommended.

Trattoria Giovanni

This is a recent discovery and a very happy one at that, while this might be 7 minutes from the Ponte Vecchio, very close to Piazza Santo Spirito, I highly recommend making this a stop on your ‘other side of the river’ foodie adventures. I’ve only been there for lunch, where they have a very economic lunch menu for 11 euros which gets you a ‘primo’ (first course), ‘secondo’ (second course) and ‘contorno’ (side), wine & water is extra. My lentil soup was amazing as was the stuffed bell peppers and hot out of the oven roasted potatoes, excellent white wine as well (only 2 euros a glass at lunch).

giovanni-firenze-italia

 

Trattoria Giovanni, via S.Agostino 38r (santo spirito neighborhood). website. Tel. +39 055 0192162

Trattoria La Casalinga

This place has been here ever since I was a student, and is famous for being a budget-friendly destination serving up (no surprise there) hearty Florentine home-cooking. The interior is as basic at it gets, but it is warm and inviting and a few friends of mine who are seasoned locals just assured me recently that food is indeed still pretty good. Service is ‘eh’ and to be honest, I would go for Trattoria Giovanni over Casalinga any day — it’s another option worth adding.

DSCF4826

Trattoria La Casalinga, Via dei Michelozzi, 9r, 50125 Firenze, Phone:055 218624. Reservations recommended (especially for dinner)

Just Wine & Snacks

Since something all you need in life is a great bottle of wine & some Tuscan appetizers, I had to include these two places on my list of what’s close to the Ponte Vecchio and really quite excellent.

Wine bar: Il Santino, Via di Santo Spirito, 60, Firenze. This cute wine bar is adjacent to the famous Santo Bevitore restaurant and is the cool, aperitivo neighbor. This tiny little spot boasts a wonderful wine list and suggests what pairs well with each glass/or bottle. This place is a real gem and tends to get packed so come early. You will see people spilling out onto the street with their wine in hand, very popular among locals.

santino

Le Volpi e l’Uva – Enoteca in Firenze, Piazza dei Rossi, 1, 50125 Firenze. This popular wine bar is literally next to the Ponte Vecchio hidden behind in a very cute piazza. I have been coming here for years and the service always remains wonderful, and the wine list impressive though they tend to run out of bottles at times. I always take out of town guests for a glass of wine or three and they have some wonderful bruschette snacks you have to try. They are only open till around 9pm so make this a before dinner activity. Reservations are recommended (for the outside terrace), call Tel: 055 239 8132.

Bakery il Santo Forno

A new bakery has opened on the other side of the river and it is utterly fabulous. Gambero Rosso recommended and from the same minds that brought us Il Santino wine bar and Il Santo Bevitore. A small space near the corner of via santa monica and via s.agostino the inside is decidedly ‘shabby chic’ and the baked goods will impress you. Unlike many bakeries in the city, they bake on-site and offer many different options, I tried their bagels, chestnut apple muffins, bread with cardamom, brownies and loved it all. Plus their prices are good. Stop by, you won’t regret it. Light lunch options available too.

DSCF4804

 

Il Santo Forno, via santa monica (at the corner of via S.Agostino and the road that leads to ponte carraia).

Caffè Pasticceria Neri

Just down the street from the Ponte Vecchio on the way to Palazzo Pitti is a tiny pasticceria serving up flasky croissants and delectable desserts that I am in absolute lust with. Seriously we needed a great place to get fresh pastries in this area and it finally has arrived, this is part of the Cafe Neri institution well-known by Florentines on the outskirts of the city.

address: Via Dei Guicciardini 3/5 R, 50125, Florence, Italy. Open 8:00 am – 8:30 pm

cafe


Hopefully I will manage to make a list of restaurant recommendations according to neighborhood in Florence soon. Personally I prefer to visit at least once a year to give the most accurate reflection of service, quality – just because a place has been there since the dawn of time doesn’t guarantee that it stays consistently good.

I would love to hear of your favorite spots so share where you like to go close to the Ponte Vecchio! 

 

 

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37 Comment

  1. Reply
    susan
    08.08.2014 at 13:25

    What’s a Trip Advisor douchebag?

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      08.08.2014 at 18:38

      I use the term loosely here 😉 but to me it’s someone who ‘hates’ a place and gives a low rating because of outside factors like ‘the weather’ or claims to be an expert after just visiting a place once. I’ve seen it all on Tripadvisor..

  2. Reply
    Alexandra Lawrence
    08.08.2014 at 15:50

    Great list, Georgette! I often send people to piazza della Passera for lunch. Osteria Toscanella has been high on the list this year, too. Thanks for posting this, so helpful for visitors and for locals! xo Alex

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      08.08.2014 at 18:39

      Thanks Alexandra, I know I am 100% biased because I live in the area but it really is quite a special place. I always thought it was the perfect square for a first date in Italia ;-). You can cover all bases!

      1. Reply
        Kelly
        29.02.2016 at 3:11

        Thank you for your recommendations. I appreciate the guidance of a knowledgeable, authentic local. I will try a few of these during my stay near Ponte Vecchio. Not sure about your use of the term ‘Trip Advisor douchebags’, not too cool cuz we can’t all be travel bloggers!

        1. Reply
          GirlInFlorence
          29.02.2016 at 8:49

          Ciao Kelly! Thanks! I hope you find it useful. The trip advisor comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek because many people reviewing aren’t local so often what you see as ‘top’ in Florence isn’t really reflective of what’s actually authentically Florentine. 🙂

  3. Reply
    Gary
    09.08.2014 at 2:42

    Grazie per queste raccomandazione. My partner and I will be in Flo in October and we aim to check out some of these eateries. By the way, I have liked your FB page and enjoy reading your posts each day. Hi to Ginger (?) your little Beagle.

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      09.08.2014 at 22:49

      My pleasure Gary, I love sharing my favorite foodie spots – literally half the reason I live in Italy is what we eat daily, whether at home or at restaurants. Thank you so much for being so supportive, Ginger (you got it right) is doing great, we just tired her out from a day at the lake

  4. Reply
    Gil
    09.08.2014 at 7:15

    Does Caffe delle Carrozze @ Piazza del Pesce (Ponte Vecchio) still have delicious gelato?

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      09.08.2014 at 22:47

      You know what, I haven’t actually been there Gil? I can always ‘suffer’ and try it out for you 😉

      1. Reply
        Gil
        09.08.2014 at 23:06

        I don’t think you’ll be harmed. I remember that a very interesting lady ran the place. Interesting probably because she spoke English…

        1. Reply
          Prachi Joshi
          11.08.2014 at 17:20

          I love Gelateria Santa Trinita! What’s your opinion about it, G?

          1. Gil
            25.08.2014 at 19:36

            It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Florence and that name doesn’t ring a bell. Sorry.

  5. Reply
    Mandy
    09.08.2014 at 22:50

    I feel you on the TripAdvisor thing. It is such a bad resource for finding good restaurants. I will be in Florence for the first time next month and have been obsessively reading your blog posts. This one is especially helpful since I’ll be staying not too far away in San Niccolo. Maybe I’ll see you walking your dog!

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      09.08.2014 at 23:03

      Hello Mandy, I peek at tripadvisor from time to time but after reading many of the reviews it’s clear that you need to go more ‘local’ to get an honest assessment of a region’s food. Sounds obvious I know! Thank you so much for checking out my blog, you are going to be so happy when you see how charming San Niccolo is (highly recommend climbing the tower there btw). One of my favorite neighborhoods in Florence! If you see me and Ginger say hi!

  6. Reply
    Gil
    11.08.2014 at 19:53

    I don’t remember Santa Trinita. I might have been there, but I only remember a few places in the places we’ve been to. My daughter ranted and raved about Caffe delle Carrozze on how they used natural flavors. In our eight or nine trips to Italy, I only remember one other Gelateria, il Pinguino in Gaeta. This is what happens when you bounce from place to place and only have two weeks. Little by little the memories fade even the good ones.

  7. Reply
    Coral
    23.08.2014 at 9:35

    Ooooooh never tried Toscanella and Camillo is a gem that is a must! However, did you thing 5 e cinque was possibly a bit overpriced? It was good but I left still hungry and with no more pennies:P

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      25.08.2014 at 15:13

      I do agree with you about Cinque, you have to see the menu of the day and make your pic, I do hate spending a lot and still feeling hungry. You would ADORE Vivande on nearby via santa monaca, I should take you there when you come back!

      1. Reply
        Coral (Curious Appetite)
        16.04.2015 at 11:48

        Aaaaha! Totally missed this reply! Now I know I can hit you up for a visit to Vivanda…;)

        1. Reply
          GirlInFlorence
          16.04.2015 at 11:59

          OH MY GOD YES, when?

  8. Reply
    Heather
    12.09.2014 at 17:31

    I always love your advice Georgette! We love your little piazza and usually stay close to there whenever we visit Florence. I’m excited to try a few of these out next time I’m in town. I have had a few great meals at Trattoria 4 Leoni, and 1 not super. Ironically the miss was the 1 time we ate inside. 🙂 Love that patio. I loved Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco last time I was in town…

  9. Reply
    Marcia
    13.09.2014 at 15:42

    Love getting your advice..I am coming to Florence in November with 3 daughters and a 12 yr old grandaughter. We will definitely look for this piazza!! And restaurants!

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      13.09.2014 at 15:54

      My pleasure, you guys will certainly have a great time and I’m looking to write a few more posts like this according to neighborhood 🙂

  10. Reply
    Susan Van Allen
    14.09.2014 at 21:12

    Ho fame! Beautiful list and photos. I also love Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco (Borgo San Jacopo 43r, 055 215706, closed Wed, lunch only on Sat&Sun, small place, so best to reserve). Great pastas and atmosphere, in what was once a 13th century tower.

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      19.11.2014 at 9:55

      I have been there once, I liked it but it was definitely a little pricey 🙂

  11. Reply
    Earl
    14.09.2014 at 21:49

    Georgette, thanks for your interesting article.

    When it comes to dining, I could never see myself spending 30+ euros for just one dinner, particularly when there are so many local gems in Florence charging so much less. When in Florence, I’d rather walk behind the Palazzo Vecchio to Ristorante Il Toco di Bacco (The Touch of Bacchus, Via dei Leoni, 6-r, 50122 Firenze), spend 11€ on a set menu, and get a wonderful meal including antipasto, bread, meat, side dish, wine, and dessert. I recommend the pork and potatoes. Cin cin!

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187895-d1605589-Reviews-Il_Tocco_di_Bacco-Florence_Tuscany.html

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      14.09.2014 at 21:52

      I know how you feel, I have no problem dropping 30€ if it’s a memorable meal (and I imagine that many don’t see that cost as ‘excessive’) but I have also written. About many places that are budget-friendly (like my beloved Osteria Buongustai or Chicco di Caffe) on the blog. Not all set menus are created equal in Florence and I would suggest choosing that option more for lunch then dinner :-).

  12. Reply
    Erlingur
    23.11.2014 at 22:29

    Check out Carmen that just opened on the square in late september. Yummy bruschetti and great service/ambiance

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      23.11.2014 at 23:06

      I adore Carmen! I am actually going to add it to this list. It’s literally steps from my house so it’s becoming a local ;-).

  13. Reply
    Erlingur
    23.11.2014 at 23:10

    Good! Ate there for lunch and at il Magazzino for dinner after aperitivo at il Santino. I’d rank them 1. Carmen 2. Santino and 3. Magazzino – but all were very good. Your blog has really made my second visit to Firenze great. Grazie.

  14. Reply
    Geri Schiavino
    06.04.2015 at 19:54

    I live right on Via dello Sprone 1. Funny I have not bumped into you around the piazza. I love the history around the little piazza and enjoy the Mona Lisa celebration each year!

  15. Reply
    Coral (Curious Appetite)
    16.04.2015 at 11:43

    Awesome list, lady! How do you feel about the service at 5 e Cinque? I heard that Cammillo is great for FRIED BRAINS! Wanna try it with me?:)

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      16.04.2015 at 11:59

      fried brains are not my well, favorite but I’ll go with you and it’s been awhile since I have been to 5 e cinque ( I cough cough might prefer Vivanda 😉

  16. Reply
    Marie
    07.09.2015 at 18:02

    Why do the Palazzo Vecchio bells ring 5 mins after the hour?

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      09.09.2015 at 9:51

      To be honest, I have no idea. But I’ll try and find out the next time I visit.

  17. Reply
    Anna
    20.10.2015 at 21:24

    I have celiac disease and went to Camillo and had the BEST gluten free pasta ever! It’s such a gem and the staff is amazing

  18. Reply
    Andre
    12.07.2017 at 13:22

    Will be staying in “Via Del Campuccio” for my second visit to Florence. This time my museums will be the restaurants. I’m so looking forward to your recommendations! I remember trying Toscanella Osteria a few years ago and it was great.

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