This article has links to products and services we recommend, which we may make a commission from.
Florence, or Firenze in Tuscany, is one of Italy’s most visited cities. With millions of tourists visiting the city each year, finding the best local foods at hidden gems is difficult.
As soon as we arrived in Florence to explore the regional culinary specialties, the high number of tourists and visitors surprised us.
Seeking to dive into the “real” Florence, we teamed up with Devour Tours. Their Tastes & Traditions of Florence Food Tour promises to: “take you away from the popular tourist hotspots.”
Focusing on Tuscan traditions and a local market visit, we explored off-the-beaten-path parts of the city.
For the best bites and culinary traditions, here’s what to expect on this food tour in Florence.
Food Tour in Florence – Overview
Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, is rich in history, architecture, and art. The regional delicacies and delicious Tuscan wines only add to the popularity of this Italian city.
One of the things we like most about Devour Tours is their focus on authentic experiences with local guides.
The tours are always fun, informative, and filled with delicious local food and wines.
Guiding our tastes and traditions Florence food tour was Lorenzo, our local Italian guide.
Here are our thoughts on how this food tour of Florence delivered on its promise as well as our favorite highlights.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Be prepared to eat deliciously well through Florence on this Tastes and Traditions Florence food tour. For about 3.5 hours, in a small intimate group, explore how Florentines shop and eat. Starting from a delicious breakfast, followed by a visit to the local market with aperitivo, make sure you come hungry to taste it all. Plan for an experience that covers breakfast and lunch while learning about the food culture, and history.
Highlights And Favorites of Tastes and Traditions Florence
Traditional Italian Breakfast to Kick Off Florence Culinary Tour
Italians love their coffee, and it’s common to start the day with a cappuccino or espresso.
Like locals, our Florence food tour started at a historic cafe for coffee and cornetto, a flaky pastry similar to a croissant.
While savoring delicious pastries in the charming cafe with theatrical decor, Lorenzo introduced the Sant Ambrogio neighborhood.
This lively and authentic neighborhood was the focus of our Florence culinary tour.
In total, we made about 8 different food and wine stops while discovering a variety of locally owned shops and cafes.
A Culinary Adventure at Sant’Ambrogio Market
A visit to Sant’Ambrogio market, one of the oldest markets in Florence, was one of our favorite stops on the Florence food and market tour.
We love visiting local markets as they are a great way to explore the seasonal produce and soak in the local food culture.
While immersing ourselves in the vibrant colors and aromas of seasonal fresh produce we munched on freshly cut fruits and met some of the local vendors.
On the inside, Sant’Ambrogio market has dozens of stalls with meat, cured ham or prosciutto, cheese, fish, seafood, oils, olives, and more.
Making our way down the alleys to different vendors, Lorenzo talked about the types of local meats and Tuscan cheeses, whetting our appetites further.
Traditional Aperitivo The Florentine Way
At one corner of the market, we stopped at a traditional stall for regional specialties.
Freshly cut for our group was a selection of Tuscan-cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and crostini with truffles and olives.
Accompanying the delicious local delicacies were glasses of local Sangiovese Italian wine.
In Florence, they say “If you don’t leave the market with a full belly, then you never went in.”
That is certainly the case on this Florence food market tour.
You’ll leave stuffed but with just enough room for more wine and food tastings.
Italian Wines and Authentic Tuscan Cuisine
Wine is an integral part of Italian culture, and no Florence would be complete without sampling this rich culinary heritage.
While walking around the neighborhood, Lorenzo took us to a local’s favorite Enoteca or wine shop for tastings of different wines from Tuscany.
As wine lovers, this cozy shop where you get wine directly from stainless steel tanks or choose from handpicked bottled wines was fascinating.
In addition to trying white and red Tuscan wines, we enjoyed an interesting discussion with the passionate owners about Chianti wine and Super Tuscan Italian wines.
Going along with the Tuscan wine tasting were two delicious local delicacies. One we were most excited to try was Pappa al Pomodoro, a traditional Tuscan bread soup.
This rustic dish made with bread, tomatoes, garlic, and other fresh ingredients paired perfectly with the red Tuscan wine.
While crostini topped with flavorful pork paired well with delightful white local wine.
Surprising Florence Street Food
Florence has a delicious street food scene with unique traditional dishes beloved by locals.
Walking leisurely through narrow cobblestone streets and some of the city’s main landmarks, we learned about the local history.
The places that are part of the city’s fabric and the Florentine spirit and culinary traditions.
Digging into the local tastes and traditions was a stop for Lampredotto one of the most famous street foods.
This humble dish, made from the fourth stomach of the cow offers a taste of authentic Tuscan cuisine.
We like tripe and surprisingly enjoyed the dish. It’s typically served with a parsley-rich green sauce that elevates the flavors.
If you’re not a fan of tripe, although we highly recommend trying it at least once, you’ll sample other regional delicacies.
Coccoli, another popular street food in Florence, are tasty bite-sized snacks. They are small balls of fried dough and the ones we had were stuffed with local meats and Tuscan cheeses.
Sweet Tuscan Delights on This Florence Culinary Tour
One of the most famous Tuscan sweets is Cantucci, a type of Italian almond biscotti that are twice-baked.
One of the most enjoyable stops on the walking food tour of Florence was seeing how they are made from scratch.
While watching and learning how the Cantucci are made at a family-run food store we enjoyed sampling a variety of different flavors.
The best part was leaving with our own personal gift pack of these delicious bites.
Gelato was invented in Tuscany, and this Florence food tour ended at the city’s oldest Gelateria.
Known for making artisanal or handmade gelato with quality products, we each had a choice of two flavors to choose from.
Seduced by the local and seasonal flavors, my pear and Claire’s vin santo flavored gelato scoops delightfully closed the Florence food tour.
Overall Impressions of Florence Food Tour
What We Loved
For local and authentic experiences, this is one of the best Florence food tours to take. We enjoyed diving into the local culinary culture away from tourist traps. More specifically, we liked;
- Great stops with excellent products – We were impressed by the exceptionally high-quality regional specialties we sampled on the food tour. All the stops were with master artisans in their crafts showcasing the most delicious local flavors of Florence. The generous portion sizes including a gift pack of Cantucci cookies makes it one of our best food tours.
- All the places are “authentic” and not touristy – Getting off the beaten path was the main reason we picked this food tour and it delivered a truly authentic experience. This is one of the best Florence food tours to see the side of Florence only locals know.
- Lively tour with stories at each place – The culinary culture in Florence is intertwined with the city’s history. Throughout our walking tour, we enjoyed entertaining stories and tips from our local guide and the artisans we met. This provided a richer and fuller experience.
- Accommodating to vegetarians and other diets: In a city where steak and pork reign, we were impressed by how our guide swiftly adapted the menu for some of the guests on our tour. Two of them didn’t mention they could not eat pork and our guide quickly adapted their menu so they could enjoy their foods. Needless to say that it’s best if you can tell them ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions.
What Could Be Improved on this Florence Food Tour
Overall, there is not much that can be improved about this food tour in Florence. This taste Florence food tour delivers on all fronts from food, wines, and culture.
That said, we offer one suggestion and tip.
- Wine with Lampredotto – Many street food vendors in Florence sell Italian wine and other beverages with Lampredotto. It would have been nice to have a glass of local Chianti wine to wash down the tripe specialty. Certainly not required, but could be a nice touch pairing.
- As a tip, carry bottled water – While you’ll have water at some of the food stops, carrying a bottle of water will keep you hydrated as you walk and sample regional delicacies.
How To Book Your Florence Food Tour with Market Visit
This Tastes and Traditions of Florence food tour with Devour Tours is one of the best food tours for local Florentine experiences.
Taking place in a local neighborhood away from the tourist areas, you’ll discover hidden gems and traditional dishes at multiple food stops.
For about 3.5 hours you’ll experience Florence like Florentines, from breakfast to lunch including a local market visit.
Get to taste Florence like a local in a small group tour with a fun and informative local guide.
Alternative Evening Florence Food And Wine Tour To Consider
If your day-times are busy and you want to explore another local neighborhood, consider an Oltrarno food tour at sunset.
This tour takes you to one of the liveliest local neighborhoods for food and wine tastings.
We took this tour and loved experiencing the unique wine-windows, tasting the Fiorentine steak, and eating at family-owned eateries. The food was delicious and the Chianti wine tastings were exquisite in this atmospheric district.
This is another one of the top Florence food tours to take.
Other Delicious Food Tour With Market Visit Not To Miss in Italy
Bologna Market Food Tour
If you are traveling through Italy, don’t miss out on making a stop in Bologna. We highly recommend the Tastes and Traditions of Bologna with market visit.
Bologna is often referred to as the “culinary capital” of Italy. And, on this Bologna food and market tour, which we took, you’ll discover its rich culinary tradition and famous local dishes.
The 3.5 hours you’ll spend with your local guide will be one of the highlights of your trip to Italy. After all, this is home to some of the best food Italy has to offer.
Have you ever taken food tours in Florence before? Please let us know in the comments below.
Savor the Adventure!
More Local Food Experiences and Recipes
Love This Food Tour in Florence? Pin It!
Disclosure: Special thanks to Devour Tours for having us on this tour. All views and opinions expressed are our own. Full bellies and happy taste buds too.
Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
Find out more about Authentic Food Quest