Friday, June 12, 2009

Good Eats in Florence II

These are in no particular order

1.  Birreria Centrale at Piazza Cimatori 1/R - This unbelievably good spot is just down the street from Dante's house and is in the medieval district of Florence.  It is small so get there early or late.  In the nicer months they double in capacity due to the fantastic outdoor seating.  Beware of the annoying flower and junk peddlers though.  For a great meal in Florence you really can't miss here.  The chairs inside are old church pews.  The crostini are fantastic, the pasta misti is a great primi piatti and allows you to try 4 different pastas and sauces.  It comes on a little hot plate.  The real treat here is the Florentine Steak...OMG.  It is at the top of the charts for me where Florentine Steak is concerned.  The staff is wonderful.

2.  Cart with no name near Birreria Centrale at Piazza Cimatori - A great little place to grab a bite.  It is lined up with locals during the lunch hour.  They serve all kinds of panini, but specialize in Florentine Tripe sandwiches.  The price is right too.  Refill your water, pop, grab a panini, and off you go.  Nowhere to sit though.  You have to stand or find a seat elsewhere.

3.  Golden View Open Bar at Via de Bardi 54 - 64/R - The view here is spectacular and caters to Americans.  They have live jazz every night, the staff speaks better English than I do, and the view...oh my, the view.  If you call ahead and make a reservation you can get a table at the window.  I recommend reservations here because it fills up quickly.  This is a trendy little spot with huge, luxurious bathrooms that is filled to the rim with American travelers.  The food was excellent, but in my opinion, has lost a few notches.  My antipasti was excellent, my pasta was ok, my second course wasn't good at all.  I've eaten here a few times to make sure I'm not catching them on a bad night.  I don't want to overanalyze it, but it should make your list, but no this isn't the best food.  The place itself is amazing.  It overlooks the Arno, Ponte Vecchio, and the Uffizi.  The wine list is huge and well put together.

4.  Gusto Leo at Via Proconsolo 8-10/R - This place is next door to the Rum e Pere cafe and caters to tourists.  I have to isn't too bad.  Come for the bruschetta, stay for the pizza, and move on.  My favorite bruschetta is the one with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Simple, but good.

5.  Naima at Via dell'anguillara 54/R - A GREAT stop for lots of reasons.  During the day it is quiet with great prices, great espresso, and cold bottled water.  Take a break from the heat and catch up on email with their free WiFi.  The staff here is great.  Some of the nicest in Florence.  Matteo is the best bartenders you'll find in Florence.  He's happy to whip up all number of frozen, tropical drinks and makes the best Mojito I've ever had.  The lunch here is good too.  Naima has one of the best happy hour buffet you'll find here in Florence.  At night it gets pretty busy with college students, and it is always fun to hang out here.

6.  Grana Market just up the street from Birreria Centrale - Go here, grab some wine, some olives, some salami, and a little cheese and sit at the well in the Piazza by Dante's house.  

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