So you want to try the best seafood restaurants in Florence? It may be tricky for a very specific, geographical reason—but if you know where to look, you can still find some great spots!
You’re looking at the tiny boot on the map and you realize: that’s Italy! So small, yet so full of culture. Anyone is near the sea, and everything is delicious.
Well… you’re not completely right. When it comes to the quality of food, its origin is the most important base—and Florence is not really by the sea.
This means that seafood usually has to come a long way before landing on your dish, and that you won’t find any typical Florentine recipes that includes seafood.
But don’t leave just yet! That doesn’t mean that you can’t find good seafood restaurants in Florence. Just be aware that it may be more challenging than you expected.
Rest assured, though, that we’ve got you covered with this list of the best seafood restaurants in Florence—and with an old sea dog tip.
1. Dorsoduro 3821
We Italians can be quirky, and a Venetian-style place in the middle of Florence is living proof of that.
Dorsoduro 3821 (Via S. Gallo, 41/R) has carried a little of Venice right here in Florence. You can imagine being on the side of a canal while drinking a spritz, the typical Venetian cocktail.
They also serve cicchetti: little nibbles to tame your thirst that are very similar to Spanish tapas, and often based around seafood. It may not be a fancy restaurant, but it’s still delicious. And it’s the very best way of trying seafood in Florence while staying on a budget.
2. Pescepane Food Truck
Let’s go back on the road! Your best option here is Pescepane Food Truck. Even if it is a truck, the food is quite refined—and the prices are still low (surprise!).
The fritto misto (fried fish of every kind) is the crown jewel of their menu, along with an unforgettable fish burger. Heads up that the food truck is not always in the same place, so don’t forget to catch up with their social media to track its location!
3. Fishing Lab alle Murate
The stakes are higher when you enter Fishing Lab alle Murate. One look at the location, and you’ll know that eating here is a one-of-a-kind treat.
The building was built in the 14th century, and the frescoes are still there to remember you that this is no regular seafood restaurant: it’s THE seafood restaurant.
The selection of dishes is just incredible. Please do yourself a favor and try the tuna tartare: it’s heavenly, to say the least
4. Da Settimo
The buzz is real: Da Settimo is the seafood restaurant that every Florentine can’t stop talking about.
You won’t find anything fancy here—just hearty, honest dishes, ready to amaze with their simplicity and straightforwardness.
Everything here is so amazing that we can’t even try to suggest something in particular. Just close your eyes and point at something on the menu. It’ll work.
Where to Find the Best Seafood Near Florence
We’ve made a tour of the best seafood restaurants in Florence. But are you still looking at that map of Italy?
If you take a look at the coast near Florence, you’ll find a city near the sea with, ironically, the same name as a breed of chicken: Leghorn, or Livorno in Italian.
The beating heart of Leghorn is its harbor. And despite the poultry-related images that its name may conjure up, it has an unmatched seafood tradition.
Here, you’ll be able to try cacciucco (pronounced “ka-chook-oh”). It’s impossible to translate the word itself, but the description is easy: cacciucco is the most delicious, incredible, amazing fish stew ever conceived.
As with every Tuscan dish, cacciucco has humble origins. It was designed to use all the little fish that were too small to be sold, but that were perfect to feed the poor fishermen’s families.
The fish is cooked in tomato broth, and the tricky part is that every different fish has its cooking time. Only real sea dogs know the exact time it takes to cook each one of them to perfection.
Just in case you decided to make the trip, here’s a list of our favorite places to try cacciucco in Livorno:
- Il Molo (Via San Giovanni, 54)
- La Barcarola (Viale Carducci, 39)
- Da Galileo
- Mela Fumo (Via Mentana, 78)
You’re now ready to let cacciucco change your life!
Eliana Ferrari doesn’t like to stay put. She’s traveled all around Europe, excited by every encounter with people, food, and art. How did she end up in Florence? She fell in love: with the magnificence of every corner, with Bolgheri wine, and with the famous Florentine wit (one Florentine’s in particular!).