Chances are after a morning of hoofing it around town visiting amazing Florentine landmarks you’ll be more than ready for a good lunch. And after being surrounded by such beauty all day thus far, it would be only fitting for your dining experience to continue that trend, right? So you find yourself wondering, “Where’s the best place in Florence to eat lunch with a view?”
If you make your way to one of our picks your eyes and belly will be equally satisfied in no time.
1. La Terrazza of La Rinascente
Upon visiting La Terrazza for the first time I was so impressed and surprised that I let a “Damn!” slip out of my mouth.The café is located on the roof of La Rinascente, an upscale department store in Piazza della Repubblica, and from your table there you have a panoramic view of the city. The Duomo, the Bargello, the piazza, and thousands of picturesque red roofs all around you certainly hammer home that you can be in no other place but in Florence. The sight is genuinely breathtaking.
Another fun factor for me is that you might miss the place altogether if you weren’t specifically looking to find it, making it feel a little bit exclusive.
To get to the café, just enter the store and take the escalators until you reach the top store level, then proceed up the stairs to arrive at the roof.
Take a look around, seat yourself, and see if you can manage to focus your eyes on the menu instead of the scenery. The main food options are pastas and salads, while the drink menu covers coffee, beer, wine, and some spirits. Dishes are very reasonably priced as well, all right around the 10 to 15 Euro range.
2. Biblioteca delle Oblate
Biblioteca? Wait, doesn’t that mean “library?” Yes, yes it does, and on the top level of this library you’ll find a café with quite the vista. The duomo actually appears so close as to be a little unreal-looking.
The library itself is also a cool structure, with a square open air courtyard running through the center of the entire edifice. Very indoor-outdoor feeling.As you might imagine the library is a meeting place for students, making for a relaxed environment with many young people tending to their studies. In this way I think you’ll experience a much different lunch endeavor than elsewhere in the city.
The café serves a good range of food, including sandwiches, salads, and pastas. I particularly liked the lasagna myself. 🙂 Dishes here are also reasonably priced in the 10 to 15 Euro range.
As an aside, the outer library walls are covered in graffiti. The general amount of graffiti all over Florence I find to be kind of a shame, but some pieces on the library are actually fairly good and interesting. Anyhow, if you’re into graffiti or street art, that’s another reason for you to visit Biblioteca delle Oblate.
3. Café at Piazzale Michelangelo
If you’re in the Olrtarno quarter of Florence when lunchtime rolls around, the café at Piazzale Michelangelo may be a good option for you.
I can’t say enough about the beauty of Piazzale Michelangelo (you can read a little more about it in my article about the most romantic places in Florence). It is hands down the best vantage point in all of Florence.
From Piazzale Michelangelo the Duomo, the Arno, all of the Florentine bridges, and the surrounding hillsides all lay out in front of you to create a visual feast.
If you arrive at the piazzale, you will find the café by heading down the white, marble stairs and turning right. You can’t miss it.
We actually never ate at this restaurant during our stay, as we opted for picnicking on the steps of the piazzale instead, so I can’t tell you much at all about the food. I can tell you that the view at this place cannot be beat.
I hope this article points you in the right direction for having a memorable midday meal. Let us know about your experience, or feel free to share any other best places in Florence to eat lunch with a view as you find them!