My wife and I are planning a trip to Florence this fall and are wondering what meal prices are like in Florence and surrounding areas. We just don't know what to expect!
You can eat almost any price range. You can walk into a small trattoria and enjoy a pizza or bowl of pasta, have some local fish, or dine highend.
You can also ask your hotel for recommendations. Walk away from the main tourist streets and find a small local experience.
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It is really just like anywhere else - you could spend 8 Euros on a meal (small pizza and beer) or 300 Euros on a meal at an upscale restaurant.
One nice thing about Italian bars is Aperitivos. That is where you purchase one drink - alcoholic or non-alcoholic for a set price (say 12 Euro - and all drinks are the same price) and then they have a food buffet that you can eat at. In Florence, I tried that at Kitsch Devx. They had an enormous selection of food (including lots of vegetables) for that all-inclusive price. Aperitivos are not supposed to be your dinner, but more like a snacking type experience. So sort of like happy hour or tapas in Spain. It is a great way to try / taste new dishes without having to order them not knowing how they will taste!
The price of food in restaurants varies -- not so much with the quality or quantity as with location.
The closer you are to the touristy center of town the higher prices are likely to be -- but not in every case. There are exceptions.
In the places where we eat, the price for two for a meal consisting of two pasta dishes, two main courses, one or two side dishes ("contorni") a bottle of wine -- not house wine -- and bottled water, runs from about 40 euros to about 80, depending on where we eat and what we order.
Note that in many if not most places, the lunch menu is identical to the one for dinner.
I think it just adds up. You can have one great meal at home and pay for it, and not go back out to eat for a week, but you can have a meal after meal on a holiday because you have nowhere to cook, or do not want to, which are just ok but it will cost you for a week’s straight. Just budget for it. Do not eat lousy food.
Anna, I also apply that to eating lots of non-healthy stuff while on holiday. 😊
My wife and I just came back from Italy last wek and I agree with USA_Drew that the aperitivo was great. While visiting Florence, we had the aperitivo at La Loggia degli Albizi where they had a nice selection buffet and one drink for 8 euros. The service was friendly and relaxing that we ended up having several drinks, dessert pastries and coffee with the whole bill coming out to less than 40 euros for the two of us.
Overall I would say prices vary over the full range depending on the area, kind of restaurant and type of food. From what we experienced, you can get a simple margherita pizza for about 10 euros, primi piatti which are mainly pasta dishes were typically 10 to 15 euros, secondi piatti of meat and fish were generally about 15 to 25 euros. One night we shared a Florentine steak that was the most we paid for a secondo. The steak was charged by the kg, and that came out to 55 euros for what was a 3 lbs porterhouse. Wine is the same where we can get a carafe of house wine for under 10 euros to bottles that cost from 12 euros and up, i.e. Montepulciano vs. Brunello.