This old-style trattoria looks like a set from a Zeffirelli movie: barrel-vaulted and candle-lit, with rustic wooden tables, checked tablecloths and waiters of mature age and impressive girth who speak a charming mix of Italian, English and any other language they may overhear you speaking (during a recent dinner, my server spouted nearly flawless French). Located on the left bank of the Arno but within walking distance of most major sites, Angiolino is a good place to try classics like zuppa lucchese (a hearty bean stew), bistecca alla fiorentina, which is served on the rare side, homemade ravioli with sage and butter and biscotti accompanied by a strong Vin Santo. Be sure to order a platter of cured meats and fresh mozzarella as an appetizer. Open daily.
Caffè degli Artigiani
“Like Coquinarius, Artigiani serves all day, usually a bad sign in Italy,” but not in the case of this stalwart, says says Florence-based insider Megan McDonnell. “A stone’s throw from Palazzo Pitti, it resembles a Tuscan country house. Extremely sensible prices make it a favorite with locals. Expect fresh salads and sandwiches, as well as daily specials like pappa al pomodoro.” Closed Sunday.
A classic Florentine trattoria, this cozy spot offers no-frills Tuscan cuisine and friendly service to an attractive crowd, a comprehensive mix of tourists, locals, families and couples. Try the tagliolini with ricotta and cherry tomatoes and Bistecca Fiorentina, a T-Bone big enough for a family of four.
You cannot eat at this classic Tuscan trattoria without trying the ravioli stuffed with pecorino and pears or the spaghetti Sorrentino – a fancy name for the best spaghetti and tomato sauce you ever had in your life.
Osteria Delle Tre Panche
On a recent trip, locals were shocked when I told them that my husband, Julian, and I had a dinner reservation at Tre Panche. “How did you hear about it?” was the common response we received. It’s not that Tre Panche is new or difficult to get into, but rather, the osteria is well-off-the-beaten tourist path and a favorite foodie address fiercely guarded by locals. Its name means “three benches” and indeed, the tiny dining room holds just that: three communal tables (each with enough room for six diners). It’s no-frills, with white cushions and candles flickering on each table. The menu, too, is all about local classics, like bruschetta Florentina, pepper steak, homemade pasta with meat ragout, and large leafy salads. The specialty di casa is truffles, and the steaming risotto covered in thin shavings of black truffles that I ordered was one of the most delicious dishes I had during my trip. After the meal as we were leaving, the owner pressed what looked like a New York City doggie-bag into my hand and said, “A little treat for later.” It turned out to be a warm slice of homemade cheese cake (another local specialty), and even though we were beyond stuffed from our Tre Panche feast, we polished it off back in our hotel room. Tip: Tre Panche is super local; unless you want to sit alone in the dining room, don’t make a reservations earlier than 9 p.m.
Indagare member Avani Bhende recommends: “Sostanza (also known as Troia) is legendary and the place to go for Florentine steak. It’s a no-frills place, with hand-written menus and they don’t accept credit cards, only cash.