It may be more well known for its food, rather than its drink, but Florence is changing rapidly. The city now has a wealth of brilliant bars, from the old school to the new guard. Expect small wine bars showcasing the best of Tuscany’s natural wine scene, cocktail bars with a twist, and craft beer dive bars. Any of these recommendations would finish off a day of sightseeing and Florentine experiences a treat. Here is our guide to the best bars that Florence has to offer.
Caffè Gilli is the oldest cafe in Florence and worth a trip just for that very reason. It’s a traditional bar with art nouveau decor and waiting staff dressed up in the old school way. The Negroni was allegedly invented here; a punchy cocktail made with equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari and a favorite amongst the Florentines. The cafe also has the very fortunate position of being right on Piazza Republicca, the city’s main square. So pull up a chair, order a Negroni and people watch to your heart’s content.
Via Roma, 1r, 50123, Florence
Le Volpi e l’Uva
Le Volpi e l’Uva is a buzzing little wine bar just south of the river, specializing in natural wines. These are wines that have gained huge popularity in recent years, thanks to their lack of manipulation in the cellar and chemicals in the vineyard. This bar is small, but perfectly formed where you can try some of Tuscany’s best natural wines from small producers. Pair your wine with some delicious appetizers such as crostini with tomato and cheese, anchovies with lemon and butter, and cured meats and cheeses. The perfect aperitivo spot, perhaps as a start to our Florence night walking tour?
Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125, Florence
Vigna Nuova Enoteca
Located just to the north of the river, close to the San Giovanni district lies Vigna Nuova Enoteca. A narrow wine bar that runs between two streets, this is a brilliant place to learn about the wonder of Tuscan wine. Come for the wine, but stay for the food; as always in Italy, you can eat some great snacks along with your bottle. From hand-carved ham to plates of local cheeses – and some larger plates for hungry souls – the kitchen here is excellent. Let the staff guide you around their excellent selection of Tuscan-heavy wine, they have some incredible bottles here. No guide to the best bars in Florence would be complete without it.
And if the great food and drinks here have whetted your appetite to learn more about Florence’s food scene, check out our Tuscan market tour and cooking class where you can learn how to cook some fantastic Tuscan dishes.
Via dei Federighi, 3/R, 50123, Florence
Its exceptional cocktails galore at Locale Firenze, housed in a palace that has its roots back into the 12th century. It’s an opulent, decadent space as you’d imagine, with high vaulted ceilings and a glass roof. But it’s the cocktails you really come to see here. They are inventive and innovative – you’ll see all tricks of the trade being used here, from dry ice to interesting glassware. Expect even your classic cocktails to have a contemporary twist on them. Visiting Locale is an experience in itself and well worth visiting during your Florentine vacation; it’s not only one of the best cocktail bars in Florence, but in the whole of Italy.
Via delle Seggiole, 12r, 50122, Florence
Bulli and Balene
Bulli and Balene is housed inside an old tobacco factory, now repurposed as an event space. Unusually for Florence, this bar models itself on the bacaros of Venice; the old bars that serve small snacks to go with your drinks. So expect Venetian favorites such as cicchetti- small slices of bread topped with inventive, delicious things – or tramezzini, Venitian sandwiches. The drinks are great too with plenty of aperitivo and bitters such as Aperol spritz and Campari, as is the Venetian way.
Via dello Sprone, 14/R, 50125, Florence
If you like Italian craft beer, be sure to visit Diorama. It’s small in size but not in the offering. The bar offers what feels like hundreds of different Italian craft beers, both on draught and in bottle, so this is a great place to learn about what’s going on in Italy’s craft beer scene right now. You can eat some hearty fare here too, like Ribollita, a traditional Tuscan stew. The whole place feels a bit like someone’s living room; comfortable, unassuming but ultimately a lot of fun.
Via Pisana, 78r, 50143, Florence
Drinking in Florence
You’re never too far away from a great drink in Florence, as our best bars in Florence guide shows. If you love to go out, be sure to check out our guide to the best restaurants in Florence for information on where to go for spectacular food and drink. Florence is such a great place to stay if you’re visiting Tuscany. If you’re flying into Florence, our airport guide has everything you need to know about getting to the city center. And if you like food and wine, you’ll love our Tuscan food and wine travel guide. All it takes now is for you to book a hotel in Florence and get planning that trip!