Italy is famous for its superb food but even with such steep competition, Florence has an incredible culinary heritage that stands out from the rest of the country. Florence is well known for its Tuscan truffles, a wide range of delicious pasta dishes and a whole selection of regional wines including Chianti and Montepulciano.
However, if the city of Florence had a signature dish it would definitely be the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, or ‘Florentine steak’. The chefs of Florence take great pride in the quality of the beef they serve as well as the Florentine cooking techniques that have been passed down through the generations.
How Is Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Traditionally Cooked?
Bistecca alla Fiorentina is made from Tuscan beef and is usually cut 3-4 fingers high in the loin and briefly cooked on a grill. This gives the steak a deliciously juicy flavor and a texture that simply melts in the mouth.
In most cases, Bistecca alla Fiorentina is sourced from a ‘scottone’, which is a young female cow that has never been pregnant and is under the age of 18 months at the time of harvest. The beef was traditionally aged for at least 15 days before being cooked over hot coals on a grill. A Bistecca alla Fiorentina is generally served rare to medium-rare.
The Best Steakhouses In Florence.
The following are some of the best steakhouses in Florence Italy:
Manzo Firenze – Via de’ Ginori, 24r.
This lovely family-run restaurant is set in a beautiful, vaulted dining room and has a warm cozy atmosphere. The restaurant provides superb service and has a fantastic menu that includes steak tartare, ribeye and even organic hamburgers. However, when you visit Manzo Firenze you simply have to try the Florentine steak. You can also enjoy a refreshing salad and, if you’re feeling a little more indulgent you can’t afford to miss out on the tiramisu.
Manzo Firenze has a delightful wine list that is sourced from local Tuscan vineyards and other top quality Italian and international labels. As a result of the restaurant’s popularity and its relatively small size, it’s always a good idea to reserve your table in advance.
I’Tuscani 2 – Piazza Di San Pancrazio, 2r.
Just a stone’s throw from the former church of San Pancrazio, this colorful single-roomed restaurant has a truly authentic Florentine feeling and serves a delicious range of classic Tuscan cuisine. With large French windows and antique tables that were made from boats that were shipwrecked on the shores of Tuscany, this family-friendly restaurant is a favorite among Expats and locals alike.
I’Tuscani 2 has a great menu that includes delightful appetizers, salads and pasta dishes. But the real highlights on offer are the freshly ground Chianina beef burgers, the veal with grilled vegetables and of course, the tender Florentine steak. All of the beef is sourced from Tuscan farms and was reared in organic, traditional ways – all of which adds extra depth to the flavor.
With several locations throughout the city, the Trattoria dall’Oste group of restaurants serves some of the finest steaks in the city! The street-front restaurants are elegant, smart and have comfortable seating with an excellent menu and a wine list to die for.
Only the best cuts are selected by the chefs and hung to mature in order to bring out the deeper flavors of the meat. Most of the beef is sourced from ethical and sustainable farms in Tuscany but some of it is imported from further afield. The Trattoria dall’Oste serves 12 different kinds of beef cuts including Chianina, Angus, Rubia Gallega, Wagyu, Kobe and Marchigina beef.
The restaurant is family-friendly and welcomes guests from all over the world; so no trip to Florence would be complete without visiting the famous Trattoria dall’Oste to taste Florentine steak at its finest.
Red Garter – Via Dei Benci, 33.
This American-themed bar and steakhouse serves superb food, plays live TV sports and has regular karaoke nights. As one of the first American bars in Italy, the Red Garter opened its doors in 1962 and has become a hub of Expat culture in the city.
Serving Florentine steaks, gourmet burgers, authentic American cuisine, chicken wings, TexMex specials, vegetarian dishes, fries, and much more besides, the Red Garter is the perfect place to watch the sport or relax in the evening while listening to live music over a meal with friends. The Red Garter shows all the major American sports including the NBA, NHL and NFL leagues. You can also watch Premier League, Serie A and Liga soccer matches throughout the year.
Lo Scudo Ristorante Firenze – Via Dell’Oriuolo, 53.
This delightful Florentine restaurant, situated just across the piazza from the Duomo, has a fantastic menu, friendly service and serves top quality wines at a very reasonable price. There’s a good range of options on the menu including fresh salads, seabass, regional pasta dishes and, of course, the finest Tuscan steak that simply melts in the mouth.
The restaurant has a truly rustic atmosphere and is the perfect place to stop off after a day of sightseeing in the center of Florence. If you’re planning to visit for dinner you should reserve your table in advance because Lo Scudo Ristorante Firenze fills up fast in the evening.
Regina Bistecca – Via Ricasoli, 14r.
Since opening its doors in 2018, the Regina Bistecca is built in a renovated Antiquarian bookshop. The environment has an elegant Florentine atmosphere and a spacious dining area where you can relax while you wait for your food to be served. Situated between the Basilica di San Lorenzo and the Museo dell opera, this city center restaurant has slightly retro décor and staff that are always ready to offer you tips on pairing your food with the perfect wine.
Although Regina Bistecca primarily serves Chianina beef, the chef also sources the best breeds from cattle breeders in Spain, Scotland and France. As well as the Florentine beef filet with green peppers, the steak tartare, fried Milanese chicken and Vernaccia meatballs are also major highlights on the menu.
Ristorante Il Paiolo – Via Del Corso, 42.
The Ristorante il Paiolo, or the ‘Cauldron’, is a beautiful restaurant near the Duomo that bases its menu on traditional Tuscan ‘peasant cooking’. However, there’s nothing down market about the food because it’s all freshly sourced, organic and only incorporates the very finest of ingredients.
Serving dinner by candlelight in opulent style, the Ristorante il Paiolo is the ideal choice for a romantic evening in central Florence. The superstar on the menu is the Florentine steak which is high cut on the bone, cooked rare on the grill and accompanied by cannellini beans in oil or potatoes and salad. Another standout dish on the menu is the tagliatelle ai funghi porcini while for dessert the Torta della Nonna is the only way to complete your meal.
Ristorante Alla Griglia – Via Dei Banchi, 25.
Situated in a 14th Century building, the Ristorante alla Griglia is right in the heart of Florence, next to the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Originally one of the oldest wine merchants in the city, the building was renovated in the 1800s and has been serving food to Florentines ever since!
You can really feel the sense of history when you drop by the Ristorante alla Griglia although the modern refit gives the space a refined and comfortable atmosphere. The menu includes all the Italian classics, such as pizza, homemade pasta, ribollita and fresh green salads but you can also opt for the stunningly delicious Florentine steak. All the food is made using only the highest quality ingredients that respect local traditions and organic methods of farming.
Ristorante Braceria Auditore – Piazza Del Grano, 13r.
This stylish restaurant is located in the historic center of Florence and serves a wonderful range of Tuscan cuisine. The friendly staff are professional and welcoming and the prices are very fair considering the superb quality of the food and the restaurant’s location.
The Ristorante Braceria Auditore serves traditional Tuscan, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine, including a good selection of vegetarian options. When it comes to dessert you can’t afford to miss out on the tiramisu or the homemade chocolate pie!
If you just want a snack, the antipasto meat and cheese board combines the very best of Mediterranean flavors on a platter you can share with a group. Meanwhile, the specialty Finnish steak is guaranteed to impress, the Florentine steak is divine and the pasta with clams displays the true flair of the restaurant’s chef.
La Buchetta Food And Wine Restaurant – Via De’ Benci, 3/3a.
This charming Tuscan restaurant in central Florence offers an amazing selection of regional cuisines and with a cozy indoor atmosphere, it feels like a real home from home. With a great menu that includes all your favorite kinds of pasta, including lasagna and gnocchi. However, when you visit La Buchetta you should really taste the superb Bistecca alla Fiorentina which is dry-aged for at least 4 weeks to bring out the essence of the meat’s flavors.
Other fantastic dishes on the menu include the chicken breast with asparagus and Dijon mustard sauce, the sliced veal shank and the veal escalope with cream, avocado and fresh truffles. La Buchetta has an extensive wine list and is the perfect place to spend a romantic evening in the historic center of Florence.
Ristorante Oliviero 1962 – Via Delle Terme, 51/r.
This stylish city center restaurant and pizzeria serves excellent Tuscan cuisine, including beautifully cooked Florentine T-bone steaks. Operating since 1962, the restaurant is just around the corner from the Via Tornabuoni and offers a relaxed environment where you can lose yourself in the delights of the food.
The menu has some great vegetarian options but the real show stoppers include the Florentine beef filet with foie gras medallions, the baked lamb in mint and yogurt sauce and the absolutely divine beef sirloin with pecorino cheese and sage sauce. Ideal for couples and family-friendly, the Ristorante Oliviero 1962 is one of the city’s hidden culinary gems.
Florentine Steakhouses Are The Pride Of The City.
One of the most popular aspects of Florence’s incredible culinary heritage is the superb Bistecca alla Fiorentina. This regional specialty comes in many forms and can be used in numerous recipes but the one thing it all has in common is the extraordinary quality of the meat. The traditional Florentine methods of preparing the cuts, including dry hanging and aging, really brings out the flavor in a way that no other preparation technique can compete with.