Ciao everyone! My name is Hallie and I’m taking over Rhea’s blog this week to talk about my favorite gluten-free food finds in Florence. As someone with a severe intolerance to gluten, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Florence knows how to do gluten-free right; I’ve never had so many options to choose from. While I’ve loved a lot of the restaurants I’ve been to in the city, these are my tried and true favorites.
HOSTARIA IL DESCO
My all-time favorite restaurant in Florence is Hostaria Il Desco. Tucked away on a little side street near the Ponte Vecchio, this restaurant offers both normal and gluten-free options. When my friends and I are looking for a good meal, it’s our immediate go-to. It’s always validating for me when my friends who eat allergy-free love a restaurant as much as I do, and that is definitely the case here! The spaghetti alla chitarra is heavenly and so is the pistachio cheesecake.
If you’re looking for a good lunch on the go, Sgrano should be at the top of your list. I’m not exaggerating when I say I eat here at least once a week! This panino shop is dedicated gluten-free and has perfected the art of gluten-free focaccia. I haven’t found one that I don’t like, but the Dell’Artista panino is my favorite. They also offer other options like meat and cheese boards, called tagliere, and coccoli. The panino shop is on Via dei Neri, but they have an osteria on Via dei Benci as well.
CIRO AND SONS
Ciro and Sons is the place to be for gluten-free–and regular–pizza. They offer pasta and seafood dishes as well (including calamari that I’ve been dying to try), but their pizza is so good that I have a hard time forcing myself to try something different when I go! This is another popular spot for many of my friends who aren’t gluten-free, too; when my dad came to visit last week, he said that it was the best pizza he’s ever had.
TRATTORIA DA GARIBARDI
Trattoria Da Garibardi is another amazing option for gluten-free because they offer so many traditional Tuscan dishes that you can’t find gluten-free anywhere else. From ribollita and crostini to all kinds of pastas and pizzas, they carry so many delicious options. Like Hostaria Il Desco and Ciro and Sons, Da Garibardi is amazing because it caters to people with and without gluten allergies.
BOTTEGA ARTIGIANA DEL GUSTO
La Bottega Artigiana has the best gluten-free baked goods I’ve ever had. It’s a little further from central Florence than anything else on this list, but it is so worth the trip! Half of the space is baked goods made in house and the other half is a grocery store dedicated to gluten-free packaged goods. They carry wonderful pastries, tarts, pizzas, and crusty loaves of bread that I love to take home and eat throughout the week.
While all of these places are delicious and have made my eating experience phenomenal, one of the things I’ve loved most about eating gluten-free in Florence is the fact that I can find something anywhere. Very rarely have I sat down to eat at a restaurant and they’ve told me they don’t have anything for me. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m surprised when restaurants don’t have gluten-free pasta! I’ve barely even scratched the surface of the gluten-free restaurant scene in Florence, and I plan to tackle some more spots before we head home in May. I’ve been so lucky and grateful to be able to enjoy the same traditional Italian dishes that everyone around me is as well. Italy definitely knows what it’s doing when it comes to dining, and gluten-free dining is no exception to that fact.