Florence Food Tours

Italy and Florence are synonymous with good gastronomy and that's why I'm sharing with you the best gastronomic tours you can do in and around the Florentine city.

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

10 min read

Florence Food Tours

View of Florence | ©Pixabay

The art and charm of Florence goes far beyond its museums and monuments. It is also reflected in its gastronomy. Italian food is world-renowned and is much more complete than the famous pasta and pizza combos. Florence is also one of the best cities in which to enjoy this Italian gift in the form of food.

Its location in the heart of Tuscany makes it a favourite destination for lovers of gastro-tourism. In the streets of Florence we can taste its most traditional dishes such as pasta, pizza or gelato, lesser-known dishes such as Ribollita, try its street food or enjoy eating while tasting a good wine in Tuscany. Whatever your palate tastes there is an option for you and in this post I'll show you the best gastronomic tours in the city of Florence.

1. Learn how to make pizza and gelato like a real Italian chef

Eating Pizza| ©Cats Coming
Eating Pizza| ©Cats Coming

If there is one thing Italian chefs are known for, it is for making the best pizzas and ice creams in the world. Fortunately, some of them share their knowledge and give classes so that visitors can learn the secrets of Italian cuisine to make the best possible pizzas and ice creams.

There are many restaurants and eateries in the city centre that offer these organised classes where a chef will explain everything you need to know to make a good pizza and gelato, provide you with the best ingredients and then you can taste your own creations with drinks included. Many of them will also give you a certificate so that no one will doubt the skills you've learned.

  • Price: Around 50 euros.
  • What you'll taste: You'll learn how to make the best pizza dough, the best combinations of ingredients and sauces, baking times and secrets and the best techniques for making ice cream.
  • Recommended if: As well as tasting the best of Italy, you want to take away the knowledge to make it at home.

Book a pizza and ice cream cooking class

2. Wine tasting and typical Tuscan dishes in Chianti

Chianti, Tuscany| ©Greg_FOT
Chianti, Tuscany| ©Greg_FOT

The gastronomy of Florence goes beyond its streets. The city is located in the heart of Tuscany, in fact it is the capital of the region, and offers endless options for excursions to the typical vineyards of the area.

You can visit them not only to taste the wine, but also to accompany it with a good typical Tuscan meal with the postcard of its vineyards in the background. The best region for this is Chianti, very close to Florence. Guided tours to this region include transportation to and from the city as well as a visit and tasting at a Chianti winery. If you want to know the best vineyards to visit, you can do so by clicking on this link.

  • Price: Tours start at 30 euros.
  • What you will taste: Traditional Tuscan dishes accompanied by the best wines of the region.
  • Recommended if: You want to live the most authentic Tuscan gastronomic experience.

Book a wine tasting tour in Chianti

3. Gastronomy and art in the historic centre of Florence

Exterior of the Dome| ©Vicente Camarasa
Exterior of the Dome| ©Vicente Camarasa

Everyone who visits Florence does so for its historical and artistic heritage. Just as you can't miss its museums and monuments, you can't and shouldn't miss the opportunity to try its gastronomy. There are guided tours that combine both to enjoy it and its tourist attractions at the same time.

These tours usually include the entrance to the Duomo, the entrance to the Accademia Gallery and the entrance to the Uffizi Gallery and places such as the Ponte vecchio with the addition of a tasting of typical products such as cold meats, pasta and sweets in a typical trattoria in the centre of Florence.

  • Price: All-inclusive, usually starting from 80 euros.
  • What you will taste: Typical Tuscan cured meats, Tuscan cheeses, pasta, sweets and wines from the Tuscan region.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for the most comfortable way to combine tourism and gastronomy in the same day.

4. Gastronomic Tour in San Lorenzo district

Touring San Lorenzo| ©Richard Chester
Touring San Lorenzo| ©Richard Chester

If we want a gastronomic tour, the best ones are usually in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood. This neighbourhood is full of restaurants, ice-cream parlours and all kinds of food shops. But its main attraction in this sense is the central market or San Lorenzo.

Tours of this neighbourhood always pass through the market and offer tastings of traditional Florentine food with top-quality products and the chance to see how they are made first-hand. This also applies to ice cream, as there are ice cream parlours with demonstrations of artisan ice cream making, which are often stops on these tours.

  • Price: Including the visit to the market, tasting and demonstration of elaborations, wine tasting and visit to an artisan ice cream parlour from 90 euros.
  • What you will taste: Typical dishes such as Bruschetta, Bistecca alla fiorentina, Lampredotto, Panino or schiacciata accompanied by Tuscan wines and artisan gelato.
  • Recommended if: You want to taste dishes with top quality products as well as learn how to prepare them.

5. Tasting of typical Florentine dishes

Tasting Italian coffee| ©Salomé Chaussure
Tasting Italian coffee| ©Salomé Chaussure

If you don't want to beat around the bush and want to know directly which are the best dishes in Florence, there are tours that show you from breakfast to dinner in the heart of the historic centre of Florence.

These tours start in a typical Florentine coffee shop where you can taste the best Italian coffee, after which you visit a bar, or in some cases the San Lorenzo market, to taste a series of typical products such as truffles, cold meats or cheese. Dessert is also included and you can't miss a tasting of sweets such as the famous cantucci and homemade ice creams.

  • Price: From 30 euros.
  • What you will taste: Italian coffee, elaborations with cold meats, cheeses, truffles, etc. Wines and drinks, sweets and homemade ice creams.
  • Recommended if: You want to get straight to the point and try the simplest and most typical dishes without beating around the bush.

6. Tour for sweet lovers.

Cantucci,| ©Miles Heller
Cantucci,| ©Miles Heller

Maybe you're an inveterate sweet tooth and for you meals are a mere formality until you get to dessert. Well, if this is your case, there are tours designed for you. They take you on a short tour of some of the historic patisseries and ice-cream parlours in the centre of Florence.

Here you can try the most typical Florentine sweets, such as Cantucci, dry biscuits filled with dried fruit, or Schiacciata alla fiorentina, sweets covered in icing sugar, which are typical of carnivals, although they can be enjoyed all year round. Of course, homemade ice creams also play a starring role.

  • Price: From around 20 euros.
  • What to try: Typical sweets such as Cantucci or Schiacciata alla fiorentina and homemade ice creams.
  • Recommended if: You have a sweet tooth.

7. Gastronomic excursion to San Gimignano

Aerial view of San Gimignano| ©Stefano Costantini
Aerial view of San Gimignano| ©Stefano Costantini

There are hundreds of excursions and food tours in Tuscany but San Gimignano deserves a special mention. This beautiful medieval town is one of Tuscany's most famous postcards and a highly recommended gastronomic destination. The traditional cuisine of the Italian mammas is the protagonist of the ancient trattorias in the centre of the village.

Tours to San Gimignano are very popular and include transport to and from the centre of Florence as well as a guide who will not only show you the town and its history but will also advise you on gastronomic matters. As an extra we can also complete the visit with a wine tasting in a wine cellar in the village.

  • Price: A day tour to San Gimignano with a gastronomic visit is around 100 euros.
  • What you will taste: Traditional Tuscan cured meats and homemade dishes.
  • Recommended if: You want to visit one of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany and round off your visit with a good gastronomic experience.

Other gastronomic experiences

Inside the Heladeria La Carraia| ©Nathalie K
Inside the Heladeria La Carraia| ©Nathalie K

In addition to these tours, Florence offers other gastronomic options to do on your own if you want to enjoy the virtues of local and Italian cuisine:

Tour of some of the best trattorias in Florence

The trattorias
are a type of Italian restaurant in which homemade food predominates. In fact, the word trattoria comes from "trattore" which means to prepare and has its origins in Italian mammas and their homemade dishes. The centre of Florence is full of such restaurants and you can take an organised tour or go on your own to try them.

Some of the best known trattorias in Florence are Trattoria Mario in San Lorenzo, Trattoria Giovanni in Santo Spirito, Trattoria dall Oste in the centre of Florence or Trattoria da Ruggero near Porto Romana.

  • Price: Trattorias average between 20 and 30 euros per person.
  • What to try: The best known homemade Italian dishes such as Bistec alla fiorentina, pasta of all kinds, Ribollita soup etc.
  • Recommended yes: To go on your own and try the best homemade Italian dishes.

Taste the best gelaterias in town.

No matter how much you eat, there is always room for a good ice cream, and if they are Italian, even more so. If you are a lover of the quintessential dessert in Florence and throughout the country, you can and should take a tour of the best ice cream parlours in the city.

There are hundreds of them but the most renowned are: The Grom ice cream parlour, a franchise already consolidated and spread all over the world, the artisan ice cream parlour Perche no, the Vivoli, one of the oldest in Florence, and the Dei Neri ice cream parlour near the Palazzo Vecchio.

  • Price: Prices vary a lot but you can try good gelato from just over 2 euros.
  • What you'll taste: The best gelato in the world.
  • Recommended yes: The answer is easy. If you like ice cream.

The city of Street Food.

Street food plays a leading role in the gastronomy of Florence, and not just because of the pizza slices. In the Florentine capital, snacks known as Lampredotto reign supreme. These are sandwiches similar to hamburgers but filled with cow tripe. Paninos or schiacciata are also typical sandwiches but are much more varied and there are thousands of combinations.

For a good, quick and cheap meal, this type of food is the best option and in the city centre there are hundreds of places serving this type of food, making it the capital of Street Food in Italy.

  • Price: There are options with a drink from around 5 euros.
  • What you'll try: The best street food in Italy.
  • Recommended if: You're looking to eat well without taking too many breaks on your trip and also cheaply.

Book a table at the Hard Rock Cafe in Florence

If you feel like playing it safe or you're a fan of American food, make a reservation with a menu for the Hard Rock Cafe in Florence and you can enjoy various types of menus with barbecued meat, salmon or burgers surrounded by rock classics.

  • Price: 23 euros
  • What you'll try: Two or three courses of barbecued meat, chicken, salad or burgers.
  • Recommended if: You prefer American food in a legendary place.

Tips for a gastronomic tour of Florence

Entrance of Le Carceri| ©Maurizio Lovato
Entrance of Le Carceri| ©Maurizio Lovato

Whether you hire a gastronomic tour or visit Florence's bars and restaurants on your own, there are a number of things you should know so that nothing can spoil your meal:

  • In most bars and restaurants you are charged for tapas according to the number of seats at the table. The bill is marked as "coperta " and the price is usually between 1 and 2 euros. However, in the more touristy areas this surcharge is usually higher.
  • It is increasingly common for restaurants in Florence to charge a 10-15% service charge on the bill. Tipping is a separate charge.
  • There is no written law on tipping. Italians are not used to tipping and that's fine, but in touristy places like Florence it is more common for tourists to leave a tip. They won't look at you badly if you don't, but it is advisable to leave a couple of coins, 1 or 2 euros at most, if you liked the service.
  • Meal times are similar to those in Spain and eating is a little later than the usual European schedule. Lunch is usually between 13:00 and 15:00 and dinner from 20:00 onwards. However, restaurants in Florence are usually very flexible in this respect.
  • As the dinner time in Florence is relatively late, Florentines have the custom of having a sort of pre-dinner drink with wine and a small tapa in the city's bars.
  • Italian coffee has its own laws. After 11 a.m. it is almost frowned upon to add milk to coffee. Milk coffees are more for breakfast and from that time onwards it is very rare for Italians to drink coffee with milk. Exceptions are made for espresso macchiato, a coffee with milk foam, but the undisputed king in the afternoon is espresso.
  • Lastly, the most common way to drink coffee is to order it and drink it at the bar. If you drink it on a terrace or at a table, it is quite likely that you will be charged a little extra.