Florence, Italy is a place filled with history, art, beauty, and most importantly, food. While studying abroad last semester, I consumed more pasta, pizza, panini, and gelato than I probably should've, but I don't regret a single calorie. There are many different food spots in Florence that you might not see right away, so here is a food bucket list for you to check off the next time you travel to the Renaissance City.
1. Nutella Crepe from La Milkeria
La Milkeria was a daily breakfast stop for me. For one, this was one of the only places we could find in all of Florence that served iced coffee—and September weather in Italy was not at all suitable for drinking hot coffee. This cafe is a study abroad hotspot serving coffee, pastries, bagels, gelato, and pictured above, their famous Nutella crepes.
2. Cappuccino from News Cafe
Known for their cappuccino art, News Cafe is a must if you want a good Insta. The baristas love their customers and provide great pastries to go with your coffee. You can ask them to draw anything you want on your cappuccino from the Duomo to a giraffe.
3. Hazlenut Cappuccino from the Gucci Museum
The Gucci Museum sits in Piazza della Signoria and houses some of the most famous vintage items from the 90-year Gucci legacy. On the bottom floor, there is the Gucci Caffé and Restaurant that has some of the most sophisticated cups of coffee I've ever tasted.
It is the first time that I ever had a traditional cappuccino with Hazlenut flavor. The Gucci logo sugar cube makes it ever better. This spot is a must-try for coffee and fashion lovers alike.
4. Croissants from the Secret Bakeries
After 2 am, and sometimes not until 3 am, certain bakeries will open up their backdoors and sell croissants for a euro each. It's hard to initially find one, especially since each bakery does not open every night of the week. When you do find a spot, your long night out will be complete once you taste these freshly made croissants.
5. Any Wrap from Le Vespe Cafe
Le Vespe Cafe is a new café in Florence that serves Canadian breakfast, brunch, and lunch with healthy twists. Located right next to my apartment in Piazza Santa Croce, my roommates and I went here about once a week. Pictured above is the Via del Leone wrap with chicken and avocado, but according to my roommates' recommendations, you can also order The Logan, The Dundas, or The Coxwell. You won't be disappointed.
6. Panino from Panini Toscani
This place has my full heart. I bought a sandwich here two times a week during my four months in Florence, and I, nor any of my friends, never once got tired of it. There is no menu but you taste each meat and cheese before you make a decision (Um, hello, free Tuscan food!). You then pick your choice of bread, meat, cheese, and vegetables. Even just to hangout with the awesome employees, you NEED to go here.
7. Margherita Pizza from Gusta Pizza
Located near the Ponte Vecchio, Gusta Pizza is a study abroad favorite. For only 5 euro a pie, Gusta will change the way you look at pizza. Make sure to ask for your pizza in the shape of a heart and eat it on the front yard of Palazzo Pitti.
8. Panino from Pino's Salumeria Verdi
Everyone knows Pino, a classic Italian man that will always make you smile. He makes some of the best sandwiches in the city for a price of only 5 euro.
9. Pear & Pecorino Ravioli from La Giostra
Known for its ambiance, La Giostra is the restaurant you take your parents to when they come to visit you. Its sparkling atmosphere only adds to the classic Tuscan dishes, along with your free appetizer and Prosecco. As weird as it may sound, its famous Pear & Pecorino Ravioli is to die for. When my sister ate this dish, she said, "Tara, I am going to lick the plate."
10. Truffle Gnocchi from Osteria Santo Spirito
Located right behind the Basilica di Santo Spirito, this restaurant has people lining up to try their gnocchi. It is simply cheesy goodness.
11. Rigatoni from Trattoria Tredici Gobbi
Their rigatoni is so good that the restaurant writes it in big red letters on the menu. This steaming bowl of pasta has cheese mixed into the sauce that will literally have you scraping the bowl when you're done.
12. Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Tuscany is known for its food and wine, but Florence is also known for its classic steak plate, Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine Steak). Most restaurants will know how to properly cook this dish like the back of their hand.
13. Assaggio di Primi from Acqua al 2
Right behind the Bargello Museum, Acqua al 2 is a classic Italian restaurant with a twist. Can't decide which pasta to get? You can order the Assaggio di Primi, a sampling of the restaurant's five best pastas. You can also order this tasting style for your salad, meat, cheese, and dessert plates as well. Acqua al 2 also has a location in Washington, D.C.
14. Red Wine from La Buchetta Food & Wine
I went to this lovely restaurant for my 21st birthday dinner in Florence and we loved it. The staff is so nice and the wine selection is great so there is something for everyone. Granted that you can find good wine anywhere in Italy, this was my favorite tasting.
15. Limoncello from Trattoria Pandemonio di Casa Brogi
"Mama's" homemade limoncello is the best you'll ever taste. My family and I went here for our Thanksgiving dinner and perfectly topped it off with this classic Italian dessert drink. Did I mention John Legend has been to this restaurant?
16. Chocolate Hazlenut Gelato from Edoardo il Gelato Biologico
Half of my friends might argue that this is the best gelato in Florence. Located steps away from the Duomo, Edoardo has an alternating list of all organic flavors. Make sure to try their handmade cones.
#SpoonTip: You can get free whipped cream here if you ask.
17. Coconut Gelato from Gelateria dei Neri
The other half of my friends might argue that this spot tops Edoardo. Gelateria dei Neri is another study abroad favorite, perfect for when you need a sweet treat. Their list of flavors is endless, including coconut, Nutella, vanilla, and salted caramel.
18. Cheesecake Gelato from Marco Ottaviano il Gelato Gourmet
Now this is the granddaddy of all Florence gelaterias in my personal opinion. Marco Ottaviano is rated the #1 dessert place in Florence on Trip Advisor. They have 24 flavors every day all having a smooth taste to them. I tried their rich cheesecake flavor and mixed it with espresso.
I would do anything to go back to Florence and have just one more scoop of gelato with my friends or watch the sunset from Piazzale Michaelangelo with Gusta in my hand. Whether you are studying abroad in Florence or just taking a vacation, enjoy Italy and try something new while you're there. It may just become the one thing that you end up missing the most from this beautiful country.