Florence is filled with more beauty and history than you could ever imagine, but most important is the food. It goes without saying that while studying abroad, you have to eat as much pizza, pasta, and gelato as you can. There're much more to Florence's food scene than meets the eye, so make sure to try out these 25 places on your next trip to the city of the Renaissance.

1. Margherita Pesto Pizza from Gusta Pizza

pizza, pesto, mozzarella, basil
Meredith Davin

Casual and inexpensive (about 6 euro a pie), Gusta Pizza is the go-to spot for study abroad students in Florence. Grab a Margherita pizza with pesto and eat it on the steps of the Santo Spirito Basilica. Don't forget to ask them for your pizza in a heart shape!

2. Cinnamon Gelato from Edoardo il Gelato Biologico

ice, chocolate, cream, waffle, chocolate ice cream
Meredith Davin

Undoubtedly the best gelato in all of Florence. Located right next to the Duomo, Edoardo serves organic gelato in a constantly rotating list of flavors. Try their signature gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) and canella (cinnamon) in a freshly-made cone

3. Pear & Pecorino Pasta from La Giostra

vegetable, egg, dairy product, egg yolk
Meredith Davin

I visited this restaurant four times throughout my four months in Florence. To say it's one of my favorites would be an understatement. La Giostra is the perfect place  to bring parents, as it's a bit pricier. They're most famous for their pear and pecorino pasta, but don't miss the burrata, jam, and pine nut appetizer.

4. Focaccia Panino from All'Antico Vinaio 

ham, sandwich, lettuce, bacon, bread, meat, baguette, cheese
Meredith Davin

This sandwich shop is the #1 most frequently rated restaurant on Trip Advisor ever. Their famous 5 euro focaccia sandwiches are bigger than the size of your face. Pile one high with prosciutto, eggplant, zucchini, and mozzarella. Be sure to try the truffle spread.

5. Truffle Gnocchi from Osteria Santo Spirito

meat, potato, pizza, cheese
Megan Richter

Right down the block from Gusta Pizza in Piazza Santo Spirito, this restaurant is home to the most mouthwatering truffle gnocchi. This decadent dish is essentially a fancier version of mac-n-cheese. Go with friends or family, and make sure to try their apple balsamic vinegar. 

6. Cannoli from Ará: è Sicilia

chocolate, sweet, candy, cream, cake, cannoli
Meredith Davin

This company ships its ricotta straight from Sicily, where cannoli originated. They have a stand-alone shop near the Duomo (which also serves gelato), but you can also stop by their cart in Mercato Centrale and pick out whichever toppings you'd like. 

7. Cappucino from News Café

cappuccino, coffee, milk, espresso, chocolate, mocha, hot chocolate, cream
Meredith Davin

Come here for the most Insta-worthy cappuccino you'll ever have. Their baristas take their latte art seriously—you can ask for your name, the Duomo, or the Arno River to be drawn on top of your drink.

8. Bruschetta from Mercato Centrale

toast, bruschetta, bread, tomato, cheese
Meredith Davin

Located next to the leather market, Mercato Centrale is a food lover's heaven. The first level of this indoor market sells fresh produce, meats, and spices, while the second level has dozens of food vendors for a quick meal. Be sure to try their bruschetta— toasted bread topped with olive oil, arugula, burrata, and tomatoes.  

9. Butter Chicken from Trattoria Sostanza

Sydney Axelrod

Want some chicken with that butter? Trattoria Sostanza's famed butter chicken features a steaming pot of frothy butter and spices with gigantic pieces of perfectly cooked poultry. This is a great place to go with friends—you can't eat it on your own!

10. Pear Ravioli from Trattoria Quattro Leoni

ravioli, tortellini, pasta, cheese, sauce
Megan Richter

Prepare yourself for the largest pieces of ravioli you'll ever see. Take advantage of the outdoor seating at this quaint restaurant. The servers are friendly and the food is even more fabulous.

11. Mozzarella Tasting from Obicà Mozzarella Bar

basil, cream, dairy product, caprese salad, strawberry, sweet
Megan Richter

A cheese lover's paradise, this is exactly what it sounds like: a restaurant centered around mozzarella. If you order their tasting platter, you'll get to try multiple flavors of their house-made mozz. 

12. Rigatoni from Trattoria Tredici Gobbi

vegetable, sweet, meat
Meredith Davin

This place is so proud of their rigatoni that it's highlighted in red on their menu. For a fair price of about 13 euro, you'll be served a giant plate of steaming pasta with cheese literally mixed into the sauce. I still have dreams about this rigatoni.

13. Almond Milk Gelato from La Carraia 

cream, sweet, ice, chocolate, milk, dairy product
Meredith Davin

The original location La Carraia can be found right across Ponte Alla Carraia, two bridges west of the Ponte Vecchio. They're famous for their “cookies biscotti” flavor, but the almond milk is extremely unique. It's arguably the cheapest gelato in Florence, as you can get a cone for 1 euro and a cup for 1.5 euro.

14. Bufalina Pizza from Cucineria la Mattonaia

pizza, mozzarella, crust
Meredith Davin

You haven't lived until you've tried margherita pizza with a ricotta-filled crust. This sit down restaurant serves unparalleled pizza for about 8 euros each. Take your parents here when you're in the mood for pizza but still want to be wined and dined.

15. Cinghiale Pappardelle from Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco

pasta, sauce, vegetable, spaghetti, cheese
Meredith Davin

This little hole-in-the wall restaurant is famous for their pappardelle and tagliatelle (flat pasta noodles). Be adventurous and try our their cinghiale (boar) sauce, or play it safe with their classic truffle pasta.

16. White Espresso Gelato from Marco Ottaviano il Gelato Gourmet

chocolate, cream, milk, sweet, candy, caramel, cake
Meredith Davin

Personally, this was the only spot that rivaled Edoardo gelato. Their espresso flavor infused with coffee flavor but without the coloring, leaving it a bright white. Try it with their dark chocolate. Don't leave without chatting to Cinzia and Marco, the owners, who are the sweetest people. 

17. John Travolta Pasta from Ristorante il Profeta

sweet, cream
Sydney Axelrod

John Travolta is rumored to have ordered this off-the-menu dish so many times that they named it after him. Split it with a friend to get a taste without breaking the bank. You'll want to lick the plate after you're finished, as the dish only comes with 6 giant rigatoni.

18. Pumpkin Spice Gelato from Vivoli

cream, coffee, ice, milk
Meredith Davin

If you study abroad in the fall, you'll notice that no one else has bought into the pumpkin spice craze. Vivoli, a well known gelateria with notable flavors like Ricotta and Fig, comes in clutch when you're suffering from PSL withdrawal.

19. Truffle Risotto from Osteria delle Tre Panche

meat, vegetable, dairy product, sauce, cream, beef
Meredith Davin

You'll probably pick up on the fact that nearly everything in Florence is doused in truffle oil. Make sure to try the truffle risotto or tagliatelle from Osteria delle Tre Panche before you get sick of this favorite flavor. 

20. Croissants from the Secret Bakeries

croissant, bread, pastry, butter, sweet, dough, bun, jam, brioche
Amanda Ryvkin

Everyone tells you to follow your nose when trying to find the famed "secret bakeries" of Florence. After 2am, a number of bakeries will sell croissants for a euro each (but I won't tell where!). These make the perfect late-night eats, especially after a long evening out on the Florentine cobblestones.

21. Make-Your-Own Pizza from Florence Food and Wine Academy

pizza, mozzarella, crust, sauce, dough, cheese, basil, tomato
Meredith Davin

For 50 euros each, you and your friends can become Italian chefs in only a few hours. The Florence Food and Wine Academy will teach you how to make pizza from scratch starting with homemade dough and finishing them off in the oven. After devouring your pie, you'll get to see how gelato is made (and eat a bowl, too!).

22. Chianti Wine from MyTour

wine, alcohol, red wine, liquor, white wine
Meredith Davin

The number one rule for study abroad students on a budget? Always order the house wine. At some point, though, you'll want to check out the hype and go on a wine tour. Companies range in prices (starting at 50 euros with MyTour), but be sure to try the famed Chianti wine while you're there.

23. Panino from Pino's Salumeria Verdi

sandwich, bread, tomato, bun, lettuce, sausage, cheese
Megan Richter

This sandwich shop is owned by a charismatic, middle-aged Italian named Pino, who makes a mean turkey sandwich. Stop by this spot when you're looking for some food on the go and definitely asked for it toasted.

24. Bistecca Fiorentina from Buca Mario

pork, steak, sauce, meat
Joyce Zhan

You can't leave Florence without trying infamous the bistecca Fiorentina (Florentine steak). The meat will come to the table still bleeding—this one's not for the faint of heart. Grab some hungry friends who are feeling adventurous when you set out to check this one off the list. 

25. Homemade Limoncello from Trattoria Pandemonio

juice, oil, olive oil
Savannah Carter

Everyone loves "mamaof Pandemonio—a lively, welcoming woman whose specialty pasta (housemade bolognese) is a hit with students. In a trip to Florence, you'll  receive so many free shots of limoncello out at dinner that you'll be inclined to pass it up, but make sure to try this one. Their homemade limoncello was so well liked that a friend of mine brought a bottle home from Florence!

Hopefully you're gearing up for a trip to the Renaissance City soon. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here nostalgically behind my computer screen. Take advantage of the sights and the smells that Florence has to offer. Enjoy it while it lasts because before you know it, you'll be back home on a gelato detox.