During my first clinical experience I had the privilege to learn about physical therapy at an inpatient rehab facility outside of Florence Italy. During my 10 week stay I frequently went into the city of Florence to sightsee, shop and try various types of Italian food. Despite the small size of the city, Florence is a clean and beautiful place with many delicious places to eat fresh Italian food, relax, sit down and enjoy a drink. The restaurants I visited consisted of various pubs, pizza shops, smoothie and sandwich shops, local bars and markets. Three places which I found to be unique, worth the money and what I recommend trying are Moyo, Osteria Santo Spirito, Tinos Café, Gusta Pizza and the Mercato Centrale Firenze.
Moyo is a cocktail bar and restaurant located in Santa Croce Firenze, just east of the Ponte Vecchio bride and north of the Arno River. For the dinner menu Moyo offers an aperitivo special consisting of a purchase of one 10 euro cocktail or up which includes access to their buffet. Their drink menu had many options with their most popular cocktail of choice being an Aperol Spritz. The buffet consisted of popular small plate Italian appetizers such as caprese, arancini, tomato bruschetta, prosciutto, cheese with crackers, and pasta salad. The dinner portion of the buffet included chicken breasts and wings, spaghetti with olive oil, gnocchi, and meatballs. Moyo has indoor and outdoor seating with colored lights on the inside and popular upbeat music. The atmosphere is directed towards the young adult population. My favorite food at the buffet was the chicken breasts and wings along with the caprese. One reason why I enjoyed Moyo was not only the laid back and friendly atmosphere but also how fresh and warm all the food from the buffet is. Moyo is a fun place to relax, socialize and enjoy a fresh drink along with the all you can eat buffet.
Osteria Santo Spirito
Osteria Santo Spirito is located on the left corner in the Piazza Santo Spirito in Florence. It was a warm summer day with a 30 minute wait for lunch. While my friends and I were waiting outside the waiters gave us glasses of champagne as an apology for the wait. I was impressed with their customer service and dedication to make sure every customer whether eating or waiting was content. When a table was available and I was looking over the menu I decided to try the most popular item on the menu called “gnocchi gratinati al formaggi morbidi al profumo di tartufo”. This popular dish consists of potatoe gnocchi and tomatoes in a soft cheese truffle sauce. Out of the 11 weeks I spent in Italy and the many different gnocchi I tried, the “gnocchi gratinati al formaggi morbidi al profumo di tartufo” is still the best ghocchi Iv’e had. Anyone who enjoys gnocchi along with a creamy sauce I would recommend ordering. This restaurant is a classic Italian tavern with a variety of foods such as salads, bruschetta, pasta and meats with vegetables. Along with the food the location is great. The Piazza Santo Spirito is a short walk away from popular tourist destinations such as the Piazzale Michelangelo, Bardini Gardens, Galileo Museum, Museum of Natural History and the Basillica de Santo Spirito.
Tinos Café is a small smoothie, sandwich, and coffee bar just south of the Santa Maria Novella train station. This is a perfect place to sit and relax before a train ride if you want to have something healthy to eat or take a break from common forms of Italian food. Their smoothies range from protein shakes to detox greens and smoothies specific for energy, metabolism and weight loss. The coffee came as an Americano, cappuccino, latte or expresso and was made from the fresh grinded coffee beans. I ate here while waiting for my train ride to spend the weekend in Sorrento. All meals looked delicious but I chose the smoked salmon and avocado sandwich on whole wheat bread along with a strawberry banana smoothie made from fresh fruit and no artificial flavoring. If you are a fan of fresh smoothies, coffee or want to have a healthy sandwich for lunch I recommend going to Tinos Café.
Gusta Pizza is a famous pizzeria just 10 minutes north of Porta Romana in Florence. There is often a wait when ordering but if you are a big fan of pizza, especially in Italy, then it is well worth the wait. The pizzas range from 7 to 10 euros, are cash only and come in a standard size pizza box. If you are a fan of deep dish pizza with soft crust then Gusta Pizza is the pizza place for you in Florence. The pizza margarita, which is what I tried is the most popular item on the menu. I have never tasted mozzarella cheese on a pizza that fresh before and the soft deep dish crust was satisfying as well. No matter what type of pizza you try, you cannot go wrong with the fresh mozzarella and tomato taste along with the soft deep crust at Gusta Pizza.
Mercato Centrale Firenze
If you’re hungry and want a lot of options on what you can eat, then I recommend going to the Mercato Centrale Firenze. This is the most popular food market in Florence and is located just east of the Santa Maria Novella Train Station. In this Market you can find fresh pizza, pasta, sandwiches, pastries, cake and other international foods such as Japanese, Mexican and Greek. There are two bars and cafes as well to order drinks or try a delicious pastry. When at the market I went to a pasta bar and tried the spaghetti carbonara. All the pasta was made fresh and 10 euros each. I enjoyed a mojito and a strawberry cheesecake for dessert. There are many options to choose from at this market and you can’t go wrong with anything you choose. Whether it is food, drinks or dessert everything is fresh and most items are made directly in front of you. This market is worth stopping by if you’re trying to eat but aren’t sure what you want. There are many options to choose from, all made fresh and directly in front of you.