Don’t you just love the days when you are able to stroll around in town without having to do anything specific? You can catch up with friends and enjoy a slightly lazy lunch guiltfree… Florence is a perfect place to aimlessly wander around; it is a beautiful city and there is so much to see. I like the feeling when you are not tied to any schedule for once and can allow yourself to have a cheeky lunch-time drink. I have listed some of my favourite places to do just that in Florence.
La Menagére – Via De’ Ginori 8r, 50123 Florence
This venue is everything, it is a bistro/café/restaurant/flower shop/cocktail bar/a live music venue! Somehow, they have managed to combine all that in a beautiful way. The venue is spacious, but never feels too big. Their décor is somewhere between shabby-chic and industrial. I have enjoyed dinners here, but for me, it is at its best during lunch time. You can choose from the delicious bistro menu, or for a more relaxed lunch, the café menu might be more suitable. Either way, the wines are great (their Pinot Grigio is just perfect), or choose a cocktail to suit the mood; they create new drinks each week.
Drogheria Bar & Grill – Piazza Pietro Annigoni 22, 50122 Florence
This venue is one of my favourite weekend lunch-time restaurants in Florence, especially when the weather allows you to sit outside! Although during busier summer months it is a good idea to make a reservation if you wish to sit in the shade (it’s a sun trap so I recommend you do), it’s one of the few outdoor seating areas where you are not cramped by the tourists.
The menu is basically just meat (from the grill or beef tartar), burgers or salads. The salads are huge and very tasty. Try their Caesar Salad, you will be positively surprised! The burger menu has pretty much any type of burger you can imagine, including vegetarian options. When you order the burger, make sure you specify the type of chips you’d like (thick or skinny), otherwise you get a plate full of homemade crisps…
Drogheria is also a cocktail bar, therefore a perfect venue for a boozy lunch in the sunshine! It also gets bonus points for its locations – after you’ve finished your meal you can walk through an antique market admiring all their pretty items and clothing.
Simbiosi Organic Pasta – Via De’ Ginori 60R, 50123 Florence
There are two Simbiosi restaurants right next door to each other. One is an organic pizza place and the other is a homemade pasta restaurant. Normally at lunch time you can just rock up, but during busier days the waiting time might be up to one hour. I prefer the pasta side as there is more choice on the menu and they have a sharing option. The chef will choose three types of pasta for you to share with at least one other person (so bring a friend!) for only €13 each. I’m rubbish at ordering as I would always like to try everything, so this is a perfect way for me to sample more dishes.
All their wines are organic, so you might want to ask for more information from the staff (if you’re like me and not familiar with organic brands!).
Floret at Luisa – Via Roma 19/21r, 50123 Florence
Located right by the Duomo, yet this venue is not jam-packed with tourists. It feels like a little bit of Bali hidden in the centre of Florence. This rooftop bar serves brunch (anything from pancakes to wraps) and late lunch (from scallops to superfood salads). You can enjoy a super-healthy lunch or go crazy with a burger, both accompanied by a glass of wine or a yummy cocktail. Floret is open every day till 7.30pm. Booking is not essential but recommended if you prefer to sit on the terrace side.
Negroni Bar – Via Dei Renai 17/R, 50125 Florence
I’ve previously mentioned this venue in my “Where to enjoy aperitivos in Florence” article, but it is also a decent venue for a lazy lunch considering they have a several versions of Negroni on the menu. Don’t worry if you feel like it’s too early for a Negroni, there are other cocktails on the list, or get a nice bottle of wine. Try their yummy rosé for a refreshing lunch-time drink (you don’t come across rosés so often in Italy). A good place to stop after you’ve been to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Rivalta Café – Lungarno Corsini 14R, 50123 Florence
There are several restaurants along the Arno river, some better than others, and some very expensive. I like Rivalta Café as they have a small lunch menu and daily specials, as well as a daily vegetable buffet until 3pm. They make new cocktail creations each day, but just an Aperol Spritz by the river really makes you feel like you’re on holiday!
What gets you in the holiday mood? Is it the freedom from a schedule, a cheeky early drink or perhaps a good book accompanied by a glass of wine? Whatever it is, I’d love to hear more about it!