The Billy Goats Gruff were onto something when they crossed the bridge to eat the sweet grass on the other side of the river. Thankfully, there aren’t any bothersome trolls when you cross the Arno river in Florence to enjoy the sweet Oltrarno restaurants!
The Oltrarno neighborhood is a vibrant spot packed with museums, historical sites, and of course bars and restaurants. To help you plan the culinary part of your day on the other side of the Arno, check out our list of the 10 best Oltrarno restaurants.
1. 4 Leoni
Trattoria 4 Leoni is contemporary, elegant, and definitely not your average Tuscan trattoria. Their menu is so fresh and seasonal that they have new specials daily, but evergreen menu items include typical Florentine tripe or bistecca, and their famous pear-stuffed pasta with taleggio cheese and asparagus sauce.
2. All’Antico Ristoro di Cambi
With a rustic but gorgeous interior, the historical All’Antico Ristorante Cambi is a must-visit Oltrarno restaurant for Tuscan food lovers. The case of cured meats and fine steaks at the entrance of this family-owned restaurant will have your mouth watering before you even reach the table.
For the adventurous eater, try fried brain! Want something more normal and still totally Florentine? Then enjoy a perfectly grilled bistecca alla fiorentina.
3. La Pépinière
Gluten-free and vegan eaters, rejoice! La Pépinière serves delicious and elegant meals to suit plant-based lifestyles.
Every dish is completely organic and made with local and seasonal produce. The unique flavors at La Pépinière really must be tasted to be believed, like quinoa and vegetable meatballs.
4. Trattoria La Casalinga
Get a taste of the Tuscan countryside at Trattoria La Casalinga. Founded in 1963 by two friends that left the hills of Chianti Classico to open a restaurant in the big city, Casalinga is still an old school family-owned restaurant.
Trattoria La Casalinga serves hearty pastas, beef stew, and other filling dishes to “help the mouth carry the legs,” as Nello, one of its founders, used to say.
5. Bistrot a Modo Mio
Located in the cool San Niccolo’ area, Bistrot a Modo Mio (Via di San Niccolo’ 48R) defines their cuisine as “International Tuscan.” Bistrot a Modo Mio is also great for the budget conscious traveler, as they offer “bite” sizes of their main dishes for just €5.
No need to cross Ponte Vecchio just to get a pizza when Oltrarno restaurant Gustapizza (Via Maggio 46R) is open for business! In their wood-fired oven, Gustapizza makes quick and delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas from their signature soft dough.
Try to arrive early, there might be a line out the door at this popular pizzeria!
7. Ditta Artigianale
The posh Ditta Artigianale serves artisan coffees to fuel your day sightseeing, and classic cocktails at night to help you wind down. You can even grab a bag of their specialty coffee to bring home the flavor of Florence.
8. Alla Vecchia Bettola
Don’t be surprised if you’re the only table speaking English at this local hot spot! Alla Vecchia Bettola (Viale Vasco Pratolini 3/5/7) unabashedly serves Tuscan favorites like butter and anchovies for an appetizer or crunchy cantucci and vin santo for dessert.
9. Il Santo Bevitore
Taste Italian food of the 21st century at the trendy Oltrarno restaurant Il Santo Bevitore (Via di Santo Spirito 64/66). Enjoy the best of both worlds with simple Tuscan flavors served with an Instagram-worthy preparation.
Il Santo Bevitore also has an excellent wine list, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when making the perfect pairing for your meal.
10. Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina
Plan your tour of Palazzo Pitti during the day to end your Oltrarno visit at Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina (Piazza Pitti, 16). Enoteca Pitti is great for wine lovers, as they specialize in small production, handcrafted Tuscan wines.
Sample a flight of four wines or book a Wine Tasting Lunch or Dinner to go on a full Italian tour from your chair while overlooking the stunning Palazzo Pitti.
Verity Pryor-Harden is a freelancer of many talents living in the historical Tuscan city of Arezzo while studying Visual Communications in Florence. She’s a sucker for a cold spritz in a piazza on a hot day, enjoys making bizarre wine pairings, and is a Tuscan street food enthusiast. Follow along on Instagram @verityeph.