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What to eat in Florence? Traditional dishes of Tuscan cuisine

Florence, the city of art and culture, offers not only a treasure trove of works of art but also an extraordinary culinary experience. Find out what to eat in Florence to delight your palate with authentic Tuscan delicacies.

One of the distinctive characteristics of Tuscan cuisine is its simplicity. Traditional recipes are often made up of just a few ingredients, but their masterful combination creates dishes that explode with flavours. Tuscan cuisine is an example of how elegance can emerge from sobriety, with dishes that respect the raw material and enhance its intrinsic goodness.

What to eat in Florence?

Florentine steak

The classic cut of the Florentine steak comes from the central part of the Chianina thigh, a bovine breed originating from Tuscany. Grilling meat has deep roots in popular culinary art, evolving over time to become a gastronomic icon.

The Fiorentina steak is characterized by a thick cut, of at least four fingers, which includes the bone. The meat comes from cattle selected for their tender and tasty meat. Bone-in gives the steak a unique flavor, while grilling contributes to a crispy outer crust and succulent center.

Preparation is a ritual that requires mastery and precision. Before grilling, the meat should reach room temperature to ensure even cooking. The seasoning is simple but essential: just coarse salt before putting it on the hot grill. The steak is cooked a few minutes per side, maintaining its tender and succulent texture.

This is certainly the most famous typical dish you must eat in Florence!


Ribollita, a traditional soup made with stale bread, vegetables, beans and cabbage, is a dish that cooks slowly for a rich, satisfying flavor. Served with a drizzle of olive oil, ribollita is an absolute must for those who want to savor authentic Tuscan cuisine.

It was born as a poor dish, created by the inhabitants of the Tuscan countryside who used seasonal and leftover ingredients. The name “ribollita” comes from the fact that this dish was prepared in large quantities and reheated several times, becoming increasingly flavorful with each “re-boiling.”

Cantucci with Vin Santo

Cantucci with Vin Santo represent an excellence of Tuscan pastry making, a perfect combination of dessert and liqueur. These crunchy and fragrant biscuits, immersed in a glass of Vin Santo, are a symbol of Tuscan hospitality and a pleasure for the palate.

Cantucci, also known as Prato biscuits, have ancient origins dating back to the 14th century. The traditional recipe includes whole almonds, eggs, sugar, flour and yeast. The dough is shaped into long shapes and baked twice, giving the biscuits their characteristic crunchy texture.

Vin Santo, a sweet Tuscan wine, is the ideal accompaniment for Cantucci. This aromatic wine, made from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes, is left to age in small wooden barrels to develop its complexity of aromas and flavors. Its sweetness and the note of dried fruit go beautifully with the Cantucci.

cantucci vin santo

The biscuits are served on a saucer next to a glass of Vin Santo. Tradition dictates that the Cantucci are dipped in wine before each bite, softening them and amplifying their flavours.

Tomato Pappa

Tomato Pappa has humble origins, dating back to the times when Tuscan peasant families had to make the most of the ingredients available. Born as a poor cuisine dish, this soup has over time become a symbol of comfort food, appreciated for its simplicity and goodness.

Basic ingredients include ripe tomatoes, stale bread, olive oil, garlic, basil and salt. The magic of this dish lies in how these simple elements combine to create an enveloping and flavorful soup.

Tomato Pappa is particularly appreciated during the summer months, when the tomatoes are at their peak ripeness and the basil releases its fresh aroma. Served cold, it becomes an excellent option to face hot days and enjoy the genuine goodness of seasonal products.


Lampredotto, a typical dish of Florentine street food, is an authentic gastronomic delight that embodies the culinary tradition of Florence. Originally, it was considered the least valuable cut of beef, but over time it has become an authentic specialty appreciated for its rich flavor and succulent texture.

This dish is prepared using the stomach of the cattle, specifically the part called the “fourth stomach.” After being carefully cleaned and boiled, the lampredotto is cut into thin strips and seasoned with a green sauce made from parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. The traditional preparation involves the use of a Tuscan bread, called “panino fool,” perfect for absorbing the intense flavors of the lampredotto. Cooking Lampredotto is a delicate process that requires attention and skill. The stomach is boiled with herbs such as celery, onion and carrot until it reaches a soft consistency.

lampredotto - what to eat in Florence?

Lampredotto is often served as street food, particularly in kiosks in the squares of Florence. This method of consumption gives the dish an authentic and convivial atmosphere, allowing it to be enjoyed directly on the street, perhaps while walking among the historical beauties of the city. It is definitely one of the tastiest things to eat in Florence.

Buontalenti ice cream

Buontalenti ice cream owes its name to Bernardo Buontalenti, a leading figure in the Florentine Renaissance. The recipe for this ice cream is attributed to him, who created this delicacy during a sumptuous banquet held in 1565 in honor of the King of Spain Philip II. Since then, Buontalenti ice cream has become an icon of the Florentine ice cream making tradition.

Buontalenti ice cream is famous for its creamy consistency and the rich taste that distinguishes it. The preparation takes place with the highest quality ingredients: fresh milk, cream, sugar and, of course, Buontalenti’s secret touch that makes this ice cream unique. The magic lies in the mastery of the ice cream artisans, who follow the original recipe with dedication and passion.

Buontalenti florentine ice cream

What are the most famous Tuscan wines?

Tuscany is also famous for its fine wines. The hills surrounding cities like Florence and Siena are dotted with vineyards that produce Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. These wines, often accompanied with meals, complete the Tuscan gastronomic experience.


Chianti is perhaps the best-known Tuscan wine and represents the very heart of the region’s winemaking tradition. Made mainly from Sangiovese grapes, Chianti is known for its fruity character, freshness and hints of cherry. The Chianti Classico denomination, with its iconic black rooster on the neck of the bottle, indicates production in the historic Chianti area.

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is a robust and powerful wine, produced exclusively with Sangiovese grapes from the area surrounding Montalcino. This wine is known for its complex structure, intense color and ability to age beautifully. Enthusiasts of fine wines appreciate Brunello for its elegance and long persistence in the mouth.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Coming from the hills around Montepulciano, this wine is mainly made from Sangiovese grapes. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is characterized by a harmonious combination of red fruits, spices and silky tannins. Its elegance and refinement make it an ideal accompaniment for traditional Tuscan dishes.

In conclusion, Tuscan cuisine is much more than a series of delicious dishes; it is a journey through history, culture and passion for food. Now that you know what to eat in Florence and Tuscany, let yourself be transported by the enveloping flavors of this region, where every dish is a tribute to the land and its generosity.