RestaurantsI CHE C'è C'è: Via Magalotti 11/r, Florence (A side street off Borgo dei Greci between Piazza Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria) closed Mondays
May have been my favorite meal in Florence. It's a small family run trattoria with just a handful of tables and one waiter. We waited for a while to be seated (it came highly recommended and we didn't want to miss it) and it was worth the wait. I ordered the 4 cheese gnocchi and was amazed! Our waiter was so friendly and attentive and toward the end of the meal the chef, Gino, came out to see how we liked the meal. He ended up speaking perfect English and we chatted about America. Another table was from America and in Florence celebrating one of their birthdays. We instantly bonded with them and sang happy birthday. We stayed late and the waiter brought us extra wine and Italian cocktails!
Yellow Bar: Via del Proconsolo, 39r Try their carbonara! It's delish
Acqua al 2: Via della Vigna Vecchia 40r. Get the pasta sampler! We ate here our last meal in Florence and we splurged on lots of wine, great food and dessert! I highly recommend anything here but the pasta sampler is a good way to get a nice variety of the food! The chef just opened another restaurant literally across the street. The first night we tried to go to acqua al 2 it was overbooked so we couldn't get in and the suggested the other restaurant. We decided to try it and were pleasantly surprised. It's a bit nicer (a tiny bit more upscale - both are nice though) and specializes in seafood. My friend and I shared a potato ravoli with zucchini and shrimp and an exotic salad with cherry tomatoes, grapes, oranges and avocados. Both restaurants were amazing!
The Oil Shoppe (the best sandwiches in all of Italy!! and reasonably priced as well!!), Grom for gelato, Vivoli for gelato. I preferred grom (their crema de grom was to die for) but will admit the rice at vivoli was pretty tasty. For bars Salamanca has great sangria, Kikuya has good house brewed beers (I ordered the dragooon) and The Red Garter is a hot place for American students. For shopping be sure to stop at Ceri Vintage. I got a great vintage dress here!! You really can't go wrong in Italy!! All of these places came highly recommended from a friend who spent a semester in Florence. I have lots of other suggestions so if you are in Florence anytime soon let me know and I'll try to point you in the right direction!