The Tuscan capital is most famous for its Renaissance art, architecture, museums, galleries, cathedrals and famous works like Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture.
But the cuisine is a highlight too, with specialties that include pappa al pomodoro, ribollita soup, coccoli street food, pici pasta and cantucci e vin santo (biscotti with sweet wine).
In this guide, I recommend the best Florence food tours where you can taste these Florentine specialties on a walking tour of the historic city.
Florence Food Tours
The most popular food tours in Florence take place in the historic centre. This is a great option if you’re staying nearby.
If you want to explore a little further out of the centre, I recommend a tour of the Oltrarno area. Specifically in the Santo Spirito district of Oltrarno.
Oltrarno is a vibrant area with many cafes, bars, chic restaurants, markets, boutique stores, palaces, and wonderful parks, including the famous Boboli Gardens.
Either way, both locations are ideal for food and wine tasting.
Top PickFlorence Food Walking Tour
- Duration: 3.5 hours.
- Tastings: Multiple tastings at 4 stops.
- Suitable for vegetarians: Yes, advise the host when booking.
- Recommended for vegans: Possibly, ask the host before booking.
- Allergy-friendly: Yes, advise the host when booking.
This popular Florence food tour explores the history of food in the city and where to find the best dishes today. The morning tour includes a trip to a local market. There are 4 stops on the tour with multiple tastings at each stop.
- 4 stops that include 2 different coffees and 2 wines or beer.
- Visit a historic delicatessen.
- A sampling platter at an Italian Enoteca.
- Gelato tasting at a famous Florence gelateria.
Pros: There is a great progression with this tour, starting with a coffee tasting, followed by various cheese, meat and other specialties, followed by gelato.
Cons: May be less enjoyable if you don’t drink coffee and alcohol, although substitutes are available.Check Availability
Location of this Florence Food Tour
The above-mentioned walking food tour in Florence is my top recommendation. However, if a different food tour is more to your liking, my second choice would be a good option.
Food Tour in Oltrarno
Florence Sunset Food Tour
Duration: 4 hours.
Finally, a food tour that takes place in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Florence, the Santo Spirito district in Oltrarno. This newer tour is run by well-known Eating Europe guides and includes an aperitivo, Negroni making, Tuscan specialties, wine tasting and biscotti.
Location of Santo Spirito in Oltrarno
Florence: Evening Food Tour
Duration: 3 hours.
Another evening tour in the Oltrarno district, this one by Fat Tire Tours, who also run my top pick mentioned above. Described as a ‘beer and bites’ tour, this is a great way to experience Florence away from the touristy areas. Definitely one for the foodies.
Discover the authentic flavors and rich cultural heritage of Tuscany with my comprehensive guide to experiencing food and culture in this magnificent region, filled with insider tips and curated experiences that promise to leave you with lasting memories.”
What to Eat in Florence
- Bistecca alla Fiorentina: This is a classic Florentine dish made from a T-bone steak that’s typically grilled over hot coals until it’s charred on the outside but rare on the inside. The steak is usually served with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Ribollita: This is a hearty Tuscan soup that’s made with leftover bread, vegetables, and beans. It’s typically cooked in a large pot and allowed to simmer for several hours to develop a rich, complex flavour.
- Pappardelle al ragù: This pasta dish features wide, flat noodles served with a meat-based sauce, often made with beef or pork. The sauce is typically slow-cooked with tomatoes, onions, and garlic and seasoned with herbs like thyme and bay leaves.
- Panino con la porchetta: This is a simple sandwich filled with slices of roasted pork that have been seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and other herbs. The meat is usually served hot and juicy, and it’s often paired with a simple sauce made from olive oil and vinegar.
- Gelato: This is a type of Italian ice cream that’s made with milk, sugar, and a variety of natural flavourings like fruit, nuts, and chocolate. It’s typically denser and creamier than regular ice cream and comes in various flavours. Of course, you probably know this already!
- Schiacciata alla Fiorentina: This type of flatbread is typically made with olive oil and seasoned with salt and sometimes sugar. It’s often served as a snack or as part of a larger meal, and it can be enjoyed plain or topped with a variety of ingredients like cheese or prosciutto.
- Pappa al pomodoro: This is a classic Tuscan soup made with bread, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. The bread is usually soaked in the tomato broth until it becomes soft and the soup is thick and hearty.
- Ribollita senza pane: This is a vegan version of the classic ribollita soup made without bread. The soup is thickened with potatoes and beans and flavoured with vegetables like carrots, celery, and cabbage.
- Frittelle di zucchine: These are fried zucchini fritters, a popular snack in Florence. The zucchini is grated and mixed with flour, eggs and herbs, then fried until crispy and golden brown.
- Ravioli di ricotta e spinaci: This is a classic pasta dish made with spinach and ricotta cheese. The filling is usually seasoned with Parmesan cheese, garlic and a little nutmeg.
- Insalata di fagioli: This is a vegetarian salad made with white beans, tomatoes, and onions and dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar. In the traditional version, canned tuna is added, but you can easily leave that out to make it vegan.
- Fagioli all’uccelletto: This is a simple, rustic dish made with white beans that are slow-cooked with tomatoes, garlic, and sage until they’re soft and creamy. The beans are often served as a side dish or as a topping for bruschetta.
Feel Florence is the official tourism site of Florence where you can find more things to do, itineraries and events.
Responsible Travel Tips
Many of us are increasingly interested in how to travel more responsibly and sustainably. Here are some ideas on how we can do that when in Florence.
- Reduce food waste by ordering smaller portions or sharing dishes. This is a great way to try a wider variety of food without being wasteful.
- Support local farmers and producers by choosing dishes made with seasonal ingredients.
- Take public transportation or rent a bicycle to reduce carbon emissions. There’s plenty of safe cycling infrastructure in central Florence.
- Join a food tour with a local guide who can introduce you to the area’s traditional dishes and sustainable food practices.
- Seek out restaurants that prioritise locally sourced ingredients and minimise food waste.
- Visit local markets, shop for ingredients to make your own meals, and support local businesses.
If you have questions or want to leave a tour review, please do so in the comments.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to tours in Florence, Tuscany, Italy. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.