Art, Travel & Life in Italy & Europe

Good Pizza in Florence!

Good pizza is an art. Here are my reviews of my favourite pizza in Florence. Our choices of pizzerie are all slightly out of the centre and not touristy. Restaurants are evaluated by excellence of the pizza (either alta or bassa, as long as it’s not mushy), price of the margherita, and atmosphere. This list is in no particular order. They have been plotted on the google map below

Pizza with floor plan of Brunelleschi's Dome

Pizza with floor plan of Brunelleschi’s Dome


Visualizza Pizza in Florence in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori

Pizza Man
Numerous locations, see website.
This pizzeria chain started at the take-out only location on Viale dei Amicis. The entrepreneurial young pizzaiuolo has since opened up numerous restaurants. The Margherita costs 5 euros (one of the cheapest available) and is made according to the legal standards for Neapolitan pizza. Pizza is delicious though a bit heavy. Price/quality ratio is excellent. Reservations recommended as this place is always packed.
The pizza man, Pasquale Pometto, has won dozens of prizes and will amaze you with the ease and speed with which he makes pizza. He studies pizza history and laws and complies to the letter. His menu complies with a pizza manifesto of sorts; he excludes anything that might involve pineapple or complex flavour combinations, in favour of simple and classic pizzas. We concur.
I have not yet tested this, but the website offers a “pizza party” service involving a car loaded with a hot, big margherita pizza that costs 15 euros and serves 5-6 people. Apparently you call this number for service: 055 666681. Seems like a good idea for a night in if you’re at a budget hotel.

Ristorante Pizzeria Le Carceri (website)
Piazza Madonna della Neve, 3, tel: 055.247.9327
The old female jail in downtown florence (Le Murate) has recently been converted into a beautiful residential area with architecturally varied condominiums overlooking a central piazza. At the far end they’ve opened up a pleasant restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. The “jail” theme is carried through the décor with quotations about liberty written on the walls. It’s a fun place and well located downtown. The pizza is quite good, I particularly liked the Foccaccia Le Carceri (tomatoes, rucola, mozza) for 6 euros.

Santa Lucia
102/r, v. Ponte alle Mosse
tel: 055 353255
My old favourite Neapolitain style pizzeria, which is also a trattoria [2010 update – no longer favourite, just okay]. For an appetizer try the boiled polpo, a very pink, properly cooked little octopus served plain but with “condimenti” at the side (Oil, chopped garlic, parsley, and pepperoncino). The pizzas are excellent and you have the option of alta or bassa. The place features pseudo-neapolitain cheesy decor. Airconditioned. Pizza, polpo and beer for two can run you 35 euros, prices just keep going up.

La Bottega del Pizzaiolo
via Ferrucci 16 (Rondinella/ Coverciano area)
This is our local pizzeria and I find it to be one of the best. The dough is alta but not too high, and uses sufficient salt. The sauce is flavourful but not exaggerated. The mozzarella on top is properly defined. There are two men who work the oven and the younger one does a slightly better job as he tends to cook the pizza one more minute, making it a bit crispier (I really hate soggy middles, never truly an issue here, but always a risk). Primarily a take-out joint, there is a room with tables and benches where you can eat the pizza on plastic plates but with real cutlery. At the end of 2009 they introduced a coperto – previously the price was same as take out, with only beer costing more.

Da Spera
Via della Cernaia, 9R
The young female pizzaioula at this local hangout has won numerous international awards and was featured on Jay Leno. Her father keeps a strict eye on the restaurant, telling people to be quiet, and kicking them out when they are done. This adds character! Spera makes the heaviest pizza available in Florence. Even big men can barely finish it. A more recent addition to the menu is the “small” pizza which is slightly more manageable. True pizza alta, Neapolitan style, very flavourful, and still very very cheap. Reservations are not accepted, line up early. Bench seating means you might up with a new close friend.

ZeroZero
Via Lorenzoni 8r, Tel 055-495000
Located in the Romito residential area behind Fortezza da Basso. There is a paid parking lot across the street. What’s fun and different about this place is that you order a “tagliere” of pizza for two, which comes on a wooden cutting board in two flavours of your choice. The pizza is good, never mushy in the middle. They also have “primi di pesce” (fish pasta dishes).

They’ve made an effort with the decor and it’s pretty funky, though this remains a very local, family pizzeria. It’s a bit on the loud side. The bathrooms are a source of amusement especially for kids — it’s divided up into woman, man, and child. The childrens’ bathroom is tiled in colourful mosaic and equipped with miniature toilet and sink!

Al Vecchio Carlino
viale Fratelli Rosselli 15 r (Porta a Prato area)
Tel: 055.353678, Closed Tuesday
This big pizzeria-trattoria is not entirely undiscovered by tourists, being located near a number of large hotels (near Hotels Kraft, Ambasciatori, Diplomat, Rose Palace). The nicest thing about it is that there is a covered outdoor sitting area that is open year round (with those stand-up heaters). The pizza is not the best, but the foccaccie are good, especially the caprese.

Da Pepe
Via Pacinotti 5 (Ponte al Pino)
A true fashion-free, local joint with pizza, primi and secondi. No frills, just food. Reasonable prices. Was a frequent hangout of mine in my Piazza Savonarola, Syracuse University days.

I’Giuggiolo
Viale Righi, 3, 055 606240
Located across the street from the campground and hostel on viale Righi (YHA Ostello Firenze Villa Camerata), this place is frequented by some hungry students but is always jam packed with locals. Reservations are advisable. Pizzas here are OK, depends on the night. This place is good for a hearty tuscan lunch, for which we recommend the plate with the fried bread balls (coccole), stracchino, and prosciutto.

bondiLa Piazzetta
43/r, v. di Ripoli, tel: 055 6800253
A pleasant ristorante trattoria. Although the food is good, the price-service-food ratio is not favourable (ie, it’s kinda expensive). The covaccino is really good – an undressed pizza with fresh stuff on top. They also have good aperitivo platters. We’ve never tried the primi and secondi but reviews indicate that they are good.
This place is fancier than most (real tablecloths!), and is handy because it can accommodate large groups (call ahead). In the warmer months there is a large outdoor eating area, though a bit noisy cuz it’s on a large street.

Bondi
Via Dell’ Ariento (behind Mercato San Lorenzo), tel: 055 287390
Open until late at night, this is a good snack stop at any time, or a cheap downtown dinner option if you’re not looking for atmosphere.

Le Lance
Via Mantellini 2b – San Domenico di Fiesole, tel: 055 599 595
This is a very pricey nice restaurant at san Domenico on the way up to Fiesole. They recently opened up a more casual pizza section, where you eat in a pergolata or on picnic tables on the rolling hill amongst the olive trees behind the main restaurant. The main restaurant is very fancy; we’ve never been due to its reputed price.

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By: arttrav

Alexandra Korey aka ArtTrav is a Florence-based art historian and arts marketing consultant.