As much as I or anyone else love the traditional Italian fare of pizza, pasta, and the infamous apertivo, sometimes it’s just necessary to head out for something a little different. Craving a little something different, I have eaten at several non-Italian restaurants in the city, and a Mexican-themed apertivo is still on my to-do list. For those not versed in Italy-speak, apertivo is a tradition for many restaurants where you pay for one drink and have access to a buffet, usually in the early evening before Italians do dinner. Personally, I make a meal on the buffet… I wouldn’t lie to you. Depending on the restaurant, they may or may not offer apertivo and they might just serve tiny finger foods or a big spread. Average price is typically somewhere around 8 euro.
But one cannot live on apertivo alone… or realistically, I definitely could but when you are going out with a group of people sometimes you have to compromise! Or sometimes the place you wanted to go to is closed… or maybe you are really just craving some down-home junk food. Or pancakes, which the Italians don’t seem to have discovered the deliciousness of. There are a few different American restaurants in the city, and while tourists can be found at them, study abroad students are big patrons as well when they tire of Italian food. Even Italian-run restaurants can offer an interesting combination of Italian and American fare.
One of the most popular restaurants for American food is The Diner, which is a tiny restaurant that fits in a ridiculous number of tables, it seems. They open in the morning for breakfast and lunch and stay open late at night in case you are craving a shake or burger.
My roommate and I went twice together. The first time we split an egg sandwich (meh) and pancakes (meh). The second time we got burgers (pretty good). It doesn’t (IMHO) compare to a real American diner, but it’s definitely the best you can get here in Florence.
A couple of friends and I also grabbed appetizers at Mosto Dolce once, an Italian-American sports-bar type place that offers everything from pasta with wild boar to burgers. I’ve had a burger there more recently, but when we went we split a few appetizers: a cheese platter with honey (super yum), a meats platter (not always my favorite, due to many Italian mystery meats), and fried veggies. It was a good combination of different things and worked great for our group. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for something a little different from the standard Italian trattoria.
Wherever you end up you’re almost guaranteed to get good food, and personally I don’t eat out very often, but if you have been somewhere or want specific recommendations, drop a comment below!