Trattoria Sergio Gozzi: authentic Tuscan «casalinga» cousine in the heart of Florence

Trattoria Sergio Gozzi: authentic Tuscan «casalinga» cousine in the heart of Florence

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This family-run trattoria, semi-hidden in Piazza San Lorenzo, shows a lot of stickers from Tripadvisor, Yelp and all of those platforms, which prepare respectable reviews of commercial establishments for tourists to visit in droves. The number of stickers on the door normally corresponds to the length of queuing. However, such claims seem to me of doubtful value, as I never had much faith in the reviews written even by acquaintances. «Casalinga» is related to the sort of cuisine, in this regard, not only homemade and Tuscan, but also highlighting the quality of the food, rather than the presentation of the dishes or the decoration of the premises. Trattoria Sergio Gozzi displays an interior design with a genuinely rustic and modest personality. The menu of the day is brief but compelling. Affordable prices.
Trattoria Sergio Gozzi (since 1915), piazza di San Lorenzo 8R, 50123 Florence | Open only at noon, no reservations | Best after 2:30 p.m.

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Focacce di funghi e gorgonzola and Bolgheri wine at Foccaccine Bondi

Focacce di funghi e gorgonzola and Bolgheri wine at Foccaccine Bondi

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Although located in Via dell’Ariento, at the heart of the vibrant street market of San Lorenzo and next to the central market of Florence, Foccaccine Bondi is not typically crowded, so you don´t need to queue for its delicious focacce di funghi e gorgonzola (2.5 euros) with a glass of Bolgheri (3 euros). In Bondi there is always plenty of room to sit and astonishing decorative elements at which one could stare while lost in an unconscious state of introspection, to which I confess I surrender very often. Above all, I love its melancholic and nostalgic air of village tavern, which in Florence occurs (thank God), quite constantly. Such traditional interior, along with the decoration, looks as if the place was frozen in time. But the best is its senior and affectionate service.
Foccaccine Bondi – Via dell’Ariento 85R – Florence

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Al Tranvai: history and tradition of a trattoria in San Frediano

Al Tranvai: history and tradition of a trattoria in San Frediano

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We find ourselves in San Frediano, one of the most popular Florentine quartieri; set of Vasco Pratolini’s novels and where supposedly the «locals» live. Through Torquato Tasso Square, one accesses this traditional district. A stroll along its charming narrow streets is especially pleasant: numerous shops and craft workshops encourage the area commercial activity. Al Tranvai is a very narrow tavern. Here you feel like having lunch in a tram wagon — hence its name. Regarding the room, you usually eat side by side with the diner next to you, as in the old Florentine trattorie. The menu is made up of Tuscan dishes: pappa al pomodoro, ribollita or panzanella. Among the first courses stand out the tagliatelli or gnocchi served with pesto. The authentic restaurant’ specialty are, however, the second courses: Florentine tripe, lampredotto, cacciucco, di lesso salad, meatballs fried or in sauce, and francesina. Served as an accompaniment are mixed salads, ceci bolliti, fagioli all’uccelletto and homemade potatoes. For dessert, they propose various types of pie: apple, figs and walnuts or pear. Finally, to enjoy the food, it is recommended to choose a good wine, although the list is short, Al Tranvai offers some appealing suggestions.
Al Tranvai – Piazza Torcuato Tasso 14r 50124 Florence

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Trattoria Coco Lezzone: bistecca alla fiorentina for celebrities in Florence

Trattoria Coco Lezzone: bistecca alla fiorentina for celebrities in Florence

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The best way to discover authentic places is to get carried away by Florence’s vicoli, wandering around one finds the best chances merely turning in the next corner. This is what happened with the Trattoria Coco Lezzone and with most of the places featured on this blog. Toni has been working in this family run restaurant for ten years. “David Rockefeller was here in 2014 – He was 99 year old at that time. He ordered pasta with white truffle and bistecca alla fiorentina. He ate a lot! Likewise Prince Charles of England was here, in 1986, invited by the marquises of Frescobaldi, the restaurant was closed for them and all their retinue,” says Toni. The photos hanging on the walls show these and other celebrities. “Every time Pavarotti visited Florence, he came to the trattoria and had bistecca alla fiorentina,” which by the way is prepared in a centuries-old wood-fired oven. “Queen Beatriz of Holland ate pasta with white truffle and tiramisu. According to her, it was one of the best she had ever tasted.” Serving diners since 1800, this restaurant also follows the tradition of Tuscan cuisine, consisting in preparing typical Florentine dishes with fresh seasonal products. Lampredotto, bollito con salsa verde, spezzatino con verza, coniglio alla cacciatoria
Trattoria Coco Lezzone – Via del Parioncino 26R

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Santa Rosa Bistrot: outdoor & eco-friendly oasis in San Frediano

Santa Rosa Bistrot: outdoor & eco-friendly oasis in San Frediano

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«Eat, drink, feel good» is the motto of the Santa Rosa Bistrot, a charming cafe-bar-restaurant decorated with exquisite taste, offering an intimate and cosy atmosphere next to Porta San Frediano wall. Open since September 2016, this establishment stands in the plot that once belonged to the Mama nightclub, closed early in the year 2000 due to complaints of the neighbourhood. Its slogan «Green» relates to a healthy and light menu based on fish, vegetables and crostini. In its garden with picnic area there is a nursery of aromatic herbs used also to prepare cocktails. Santa Rosa Bistrot is crowded on weekends, especially at night, with endless queuing to order a drink or something to eat. A better idea is to go any day during the week in the afternoon.
Santa Rosa Bistrot is open from eight in the morning until midnight – live music

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La Ménagère, as hipster as Florence could be

La Ménagère, as hipster as Florence could be

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La Ménagère is a sophisticated and cosy place in Florence expected otherwise in New York’s SoHo or NoHo. Everything inside seems perfect: the colour of the orchids, the arrangement of glasses, the glow of a piano that none plays, or the tone of the lighting. The comfortable facilities of this multipurpose space (restaurant, bar and coffee, flower and household shop) resemble a neat stage. So neat that, even though it is in front of my house, I only enter it on occasional dates. I still haven´t made up my mind on whether it fascinates or scares me. I am that kind of person. To me, in Florence traditional is better, so I rather prefer used and grooved premises, where the photos on the walls are really old and made by the owner. There, where objects and space are not the result of the careful work of an interior designer, but of some mime and sincere dedication of its owner. Imperfect places reflecting a dubious taste, becoming beautiful and, at the same time, enigmatic. In spite of it all, I have been told that La Ménagère is sure a good eat.
La Ménagère. Via De’ Ginori, 8/R, 50123 Florence FI, Italy

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Fiaschetteria-Osteria Nuvoli, «crostini» for 1 euro

Fiaschetteria-Osteria Nuvoli, «crostini» for 1 euro

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In Florence, the small and narrow premises usually stand as an attraction impossible to refuse. However, and although the Fiaschetteria-Osteria Nuvoli has a dining space on the lower floor, it is much more pleasing to eat and drink outside its door, watching all, as well as being seen. Ideally, it is a place to take a bite when not having much time or hunger. Among its snacks are crostini cheese, mushrooms, salami, prosciutto, panini tartufati and more. The wine selection looks as almost endless. Crostini for 1 euro, each meatball costs 1,5 euros and a large wine glass 5 euros. Count on a rustic location and definitely friendly service, and is right in the heart of the city.
Fiaschetteria-Osteria Nuvoli – Piazza dell’Olio, 15/r

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Panino of anchovies in green sauce at I Fratellini

Panino of anchovies in green sauce at I Fratellini

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This micro-cellar opened in 1875 only two steps from Piazza della Signoria and offers about thirty panini options, including one by your own pick of ingredients. The place stands as a great alternative to mythical All’Antico Vinaio in Via dei Neri, whose reviews on Trip Advisor lead to queues for hours, for a bite without a seat. At I Fratellini, a pair of ingredients is enough to conquer any discerning palate. For 3 euros, one of the best choices is the panino of anchovies with green sauce. Taste it with one of the beers or wines and enjoy the chance to buy their typical products of the region.
Via dei Cimatori, 38 / red – open every day from 10 a. m. to 7 p. m.

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Fish delights by Ultima Spiaggia at San Lorenzo market

Fish delights by Ultima Spiaggia at San Lorenzo market

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Located in Spazio 3 on the ground floor at San Lorenzo market is Ultima Spiaggia. The fact that the stall looks like the most seedy and modest place in Florence (cardboard plates, paper tablecloths, plastic cups and a tiny bar with shabby stools) drove me to fall in love with it. However, its main attraction is the fried fish prepared with great care: tiny squid, cod and prawns with fries. The abundant dishes by this traditional fishmonger cost between 8-10 euros and are always accompanied by a local white wine for just one euro tasting as a reserve. The men at the counter are indeed peculiar, resembling tanned sailors with tattoos from Querelle de Brest.
Open from 7:30 a. m. to 2:30 p. m. (there are queues from 1:30 p. m.); Sundays closed…

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