Alla Vecchia Bettola, Florence, 2/26/15

Exterior
Exterior

A cozy irregularly shaped room with a bar with a number of hanging hams and such on one end and the rest of the place filled with tables and stools – easy to size to any party. I love the kind of casual place with the hooks for coats interspersed with a variety of “art” collected over the years. A noisy and lively room where we heard mostly Italian being spoken and the vibe was very friendly.

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La Bottega del Buon Caffe, Florence, 2/28/15

Exterior
Exterior

An elegant little place overlooking the Arno River, tucked into low building that houses it and a more casual dining spot. Next door is the medieval tower of San Niccolo. The interior is modern but comfortable and the kitchen is open through a large window in the dining room where diners can watch their dinners being prepared. They offer both 6 and 8 course tasting menus. Starting with a little pigeon liver sandwich covered with seeds was a very tasting way to start. Even a radish, so simple yet with the bit of butter it became special.

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Trattoria Ruggero, Florence, 2/28/15

IMG_1156A two room place that seemed a little out of the way but worth the walk. A friendly and casual place with a small menu. We started with their mixed meat antipasto and all the hams and sausages were quite good and finally a good bread basket to accompany them! We didn’t know the warm liver crostini was part of it or maybe the waiter just brought it to us – hard to tell – but it was a pleasant surprise. It had a ground meat like consistency instead of the usual smooth texture and was served warm with a broth that slightly moistened the crostini.

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Il Santo Bevitore, Florence, 2/27/15

side
side

A much bigger place than many of the other spots we visited, we were glad to be placed in a smaller much quieter room. The servers were quite friendly and we have a fun view of the street through the huge window next to us. We understood they had a bar next door and thought we would arrive early and have a cocktail but it was so crowded we went to the restaurant to see if they had a bar where we could spend time till our reservation.

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Zeb, Florence, 2/27/15

Zeb exterior
Zeb exterior

I guess this is what “food-to-go” would be like if you lived in Florence. A mother and son team cook and serve counter seating in this small little place. Most we saw were dining there but we did see folks come and get containers to go. There is a large wine selection and you just walk around and pull the bottle you want and then order from a chalkboard menu.

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Trattoria Sostanza, Florence, 2/26/15

Exterior
Exterior

What a great way to start our trip! A small place filled with a mix of locals and tourists but the waiters are happy to see all. We were there at lunch and my understanding is that it’s much calmer then than at dinner. They have a house wine but it was pretty rough so we ordered off the very reasonable list with the waiter being more than happy to take back the house carafe. They are well known for several things but most spectacular is their eggs and artichokes.

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