Let’s get one thing straight before we get going here: I LOVE Italian espresso. But sometimes you just need a little something more… and by something more, I generally mean that I am a coffee shop addict, and I like to sit in a comfy chair and chat with friends for hours on end. Which if you have ever been to Italy, you will know is not exactly in the cards… at least in traditional Italian cafes. So I knew when I moved back to Florence that finding a place that broke that mold would be important to me, because I need a place where I can go meet friends, or work for a couple of hours by myself. Mama’s is my top choice of the places that I have found. The atmosphere is great, and so long as it’s not the weekend you can generally stay as long as you want.

Mama’s only has regular, American coffee, no espresso, so that’s a downside, but you get one free refill with a 2 euro food purchase, so it’s fairly affordable. They also are a great source of other things, such as pumpkin pie, which is a hard sell anywhere else in Florence. It’s also really interesting to watch the clientele at Mama’s change throughout the day… more Americans in the morning, more Italians in the afternoon. Fascinating.

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Above you can see the cute setup they have in the main room. They also have a side room and three outdoor tables (small two-tops). It’s not huge and it’s still pretty commercial-feeling, but less so than the other main American-esque coffee shop in the area. Below you can see what I got on my first (of many) trips… bacon (real!!!) and egg English muffin, lemon bar, coffee.

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They also have a wide variety of baked goods, plus granola, soups, sandwiches… the options are endless.

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And don’t forget the pumpkin goodness…

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And seriously, how could you say no to these adorable things?

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While I definitely think you should live like a local while abroad, there’s something to be said for the comforts of home as well. If you’re looking for a good place to relax for a few hours and indulge in a cup o’ joe, this is it.

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