When you’re looking for somewhere to eat near the Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence, there’s only one word you should use to describe yourself, and that’s fortunate. You might not think so while you’re still on the concourse, but that impression won’t last for long.
Firenze Santa Maria Novella, or Stazione di Santa Maria Novella if you want to practice your best Italian accent, is one of the busiest in Italy. Over 150,000 people pass through the station every day, so it can seem a bit manic, especially if you’re there during rush hour, and trying to find a seat in one of the few eateries on the concourse is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
With all the crowds in and around the station, make things easy on yourself, and before you head out in search of a meal, head to a Santa Maria Novella luggage storage and get rid of anything you don’t immediately need. You’ll be glad you did.
Where To Eat Near Santa Maria Novella Station
Leave the station behind, and you’ll be able to have a relaxed eating experience at some of the city’s best trattorias. It doesn’t matter which direction you take either, as there are fantastic places to eat on every street near Santa Maria Novella Station. If you don’t want to just follow your nose, then try the following; they’re all great:
Giotto Pizzeria Santa Maria Novella
If you can’t wait to dig your teeth into a huge wedge of Tuscan oven-fired pizza made the authentic way, then you need to drop into the Giotto Pizzeria Santa Maria Novella. This pizzeria may look modern as far as the classy décor and furnishings go, but they know when not to mess with perfection, and their pizzas are made one hundred percent the traditional way.
Giotto Pizzeria is just a couple of minutes on foot from the basilica, so once you’ve finished gorging, resisted the urge to order another pizza to take away, or declined their homemade tiramisu because you’re more stuffed than a thanksgiving turkey, you can walk your overindulgence off while sightseeing.
Location – 24 Piazza di Santa Maria Novella
Don’t be misled into thinking that with a name like Verdoliva this restaurant is going to be vegetarian; it isn’t. Verdoliva is a typical Tuscany trattoria with a terrace right on the piazza, so if you’re into people-watching while you eat, this is the perfect spot.
At Verdoliva, you can gorge on huge plates of charcuterie accompanied by a glass of local wine, binge on bowls of delicious pasta, or try a Tuscan dish like grilled chicken with rabbit or wild boar stew in tomato sauce with potatoes.
Location – 25 Piazza di Santa Maria Novella
Trattoria Osteria Dall’Oste
The Trattoria Osteria Dall’Oste is not a restaurant for vegans or vegetarians. If you follow that type of diet, then you will want to give this Florence eatery a wide berth as they have huge window displays of raw meat. If you’re a carnivore looking for the best steak house in the city, you’ll want to make a beeline straight there.
This is the Florence restaurant to head for if you want to try an impeccable version of Steak Florentine. Here the porterhouse-style meat is cooked on the grill with the bone still intact and then sliced into thick chunks and served on a wooden board the traditional Tuscan way. Definitely a meat eater’s treat.
Location – 3-5 Via Luigi Alamanni
Ristorante Santa Maria Novella
This restaurant near the Santa Maria Novella Station is about as Italian as they come, and being in Florence, it really shouldn’t be anything else. Here they pay homage to Tuscan food with great style and with the respect the produce from the local region deserves.
The Ristorante Santa Maria Novella is not somewhere to go to eat if you’re in a hurry. Meals here are leisurely affairs where you can enjoy a meal without being rushed. From the truffle tagliatelle to the tortellini in bolognese sauce to the sumptuous panna cotta, you’ll want to savor each and every mouthful slowly.
Location – 8 Via della Scala
Vegetarian Restaurants Near Santa Maria Novella Station
Florence is a very traditional city where food is concerned, which means most restaurants are oriented toward meat lovers. If you’re vegan or vegetarian and are starting to despair of finding somewhere that serves vegetarian food near Santa Maria Novella Station, don’t. These next two places will be right up your street, and they’re only a short walk away.
Everything about Shake Cafe is fresh and green, and that includes the décor as well as what they serve. You won’t get a hot meal at Shake Cafe as it’s all about raw. Think plates of raw veg with some hummus dip, a vegan-oriented sandwich, or a massive salad bowl you create yourself from an almost endless list of ingredients. They also make some amazingly healthy shakes and have artisan-made vegan gelato you are not going to be able to say no to.
Location – 2 Via degli Avelli
Su-Guan Chinese Veg
This is one vegan restaurant near Santa Maria Novella Station that you won’t want to miss visiting even if you’re a meat eater. Su-Guan Chinese Veg is a delight from the minute you walk through the door. Bare stone walls, lots of plants, and simple furnishing make it rustic but in a modern, understated way.
At Su-Guan, they make their own tofu and serve it in multiple ways. The noodle dishes, dumplings, and stir-fries all come highly recommended. If you’re thirsting for bubble tea, you can get one here.
Location – 22 Via della Scala
No matter whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or a meat lover, the one thing you won’t do in Florence is go hungry. Tuscan food, with or without meat in it, is some of the best in the Mediterranean. All you need is a healthy appetite to be able to make the most of it.