Ah, Italy – the land of style, food, coffee, wine, culture i.e. all my favorite things. I’ve visited twice but I could go back there every year if I could travel endlessly. Both times, my sister and I visited in October. Perhaps it’s the American association of the leaves falling and the new semester at college; Fall to me signifies a time to renew. It happens to be my favorite time of the year – a hint of cold in the air, a time to bring out cozy sweaters and scarves and to look forward to the holiday season. (Yes, in India we have no fall season but I can reminisce.) In terms of travel, October is the perfect time to visit Italy because it isn’t quite the full tourist season but there is still so much activity. Italy is know for being a meat-eater’s paradise but there are plenty of options for vegetarians too. It’s easy to get lost and fall for the tourist trap restaurants and bars – that’s why I put together this guide to eating vegetarian in Florence, Italy. As usual pre-visit research was key: I had my Excel sheets all ready to go with restaurants, shops, sights to see. These are some of the best authentic (and my favorite) vegetarian-friendly restaurants and bars to eat and drink at in Florence. A Milan version to follow!
Eating Vegetarian in Florence, Italy
5 e Cinque
A vegetarian/vegan restaurant with salads, appetizers, pastas and other main dishes such as Uova Pomodoro (eggs cooked in a tomato-veggie sauce). My sister and I chanced upon it the first time we visited Florence because I needed hummus and I somehow found out that they serve hummus. Perfect for a light and healthy lunch when you can’t eat any more pizza and excessive amounts of bread!
A visit at this lovely cafe is a must if you are like me and need eggs for breakfast. You’ll find that eggs aren’t actually that easy to find at restaurants or every corner pasticceria. This place serves a perfect cappuccino, delicious croissants and pastries in addition to eggs, pancakes, french toast, etc. Go for breakfast.
We discovered it after a particularly long morning of sightseeing and walking around and were starving. We ordered the vegetarian antipasti – it was one of my favorite meals ever. There aren’t many vegetarian options on the menu itself but the antipasti has everything from a tomato-basil jelly to a ricotta-pecorino flan to an assortment of vegetables. I didn’t know this place was Michelin rated until I looked for their website to link to for this blog post but it all makes sense! Sit outside on the patio for lunch, an aperol spritz to go with is a must.
An exceptional wine bar with food. We did a wine flight, got a cheese plate and shared one of the best pumpkin raviolis I have ever had. Everything we ate was excellent and the selection of wines is very exciting. The space is small; reservations are necessary.
The best pasticceria in Florence! Get a cappuccino or espresso at the bar like the locals do, and of course a chocolate croissant because it’s the best ever. P.S. In Italy, the really good chocolate croissants are filled with a hazelnut-flavored chocolate which makes them even better.
This was one of our favorite spots for pizza – they offer a whole wheat pizza base too which is so rare in Italy. Their menu is vast and offers everything from a wide variety of pizza, pasta and risotto so there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget the tiramisu for a sweet ending!
Last but not least – Il Borro is just off the Ponte Santa Trinita, rightfully in line with all the luxury Italian stores. The food was just delicious, beautifully plated, and the wine should not be missed. We had a roasted eggplant and fresh ricotta dish paired with pesto, and the pecorino pie. I think their menu changes a bit depending on the season. A must-visit for the food, wine and ambience.