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Best Places to Have Coffee in Florence, Italy

Updated on February 24, 2013

My favourite cafes in Florence, Italy

Italy is known for its coffee, so it's not hard to find somewhere to go when you're in need of an espresso. But what's harder to find are coffee houses that are not in your typical guidebooks -(yet!)- the ones that the locals go to that are off the beaten path.

Here's where to have the best coffee in Florence, Italy. The cafes I recommend are La Cite, Sandy Bar, Oblate, Caffe degli Artigiani, Chiaroscuro, Edison and Rinascente.

They are in no specific order, but each offer something unique to the visitor. Sometimes it's not just about the coffee. It could be the barista with the fantastic mustache, the cozy, used chairs or the cakes to die for.

La Cite - the only coffee shop worth going to on Borgo San Frediano

best places to have coffee in florence, italy, la cite
best places to have coffee in florence, italy, la cite

La Cite is a funky neighbourhood coffee place that has lots of books, comfy couches, changing art exhibitions and live music. Take your laptop along - they've got wi-fi.

Borgo San Frediano 20/r

Italian sweets - to dunk in your coffee!

alessi florence italy
alessi florence italy

Places to buy goodies to go with your coffee

There are a couple of places on this lens that sell Italian confections. They are worth checking out, even just to soak up the atmosphere.

Best Specialty Shops in Florence, Italy

Chiaroscuro - cafe that serves great cakes, too

bestplacestohavecoffeeflorenceitalychiaroscuro
bestplacestohavecoffeeflorenceitalychiaroscuro

The croissants are what you get elsewhere, but they have a large selection of coffees and teas and great cakes. Try the carrot or chocolate or both.

At lunchtime, go up to the counter and choose from various pasta, vegetable and meat dishes and they charge per plate. Chiaroscuro is right in the center of Florence, but their prices are reasonable.

They also have an Espresso Academy, reviews of it listed below. An actual school for coffee in Florence, it's dedicated to the fine art of espresso and cappuccino making. They offer courses in tasting, milk art - where you can learn to make hearts and leaves, and advanced courses for baristas.

Via del Corso 36/r

the carrot cake

bestplacestohavecoffeeinflorenceitalychiaroscuro
bestplacestohavecoffeeinflorenceitalychiaroscuro
type=text
type=text

The coffee bar inside chiaroscuro.

Best coffee place in Florence

Caffe degli Artigiani

bestplacestohavecoffeeflorenceitalycaffedegliartigiani
bestplacestohavecoffeeflorenceitalycaffedegliartigiani

Lovely cafe close to Palazzo Pitti, but away from the crowds. At Caffe degli Artigiani, there are tables outside as well as upstairs, and there are special musical events happening in summer in the small piazza close by.

Via dello Sprone 16/r

open: Monday - Saturday 9:00 am to 11:00 pm

Closed Sunday

Rinascente - one of the best views while having coffee in Florence

best places to have coffee in florence, italy, rinescente
best places to have coffee in florence, italy, rinescente

The coffee here is a little more expensive, but the view is worth it. On one side you've got Piazza Repubblica, on the other the Duomo and Campanile (shown in the photo). Tables are full on sunny days, but if you are lucky enough to get one, take the opportunity to indulge and take in the sights of the city center from above.

Piazza della Repubblica

open: Monday - Saturday 9:00 am - 9:00 pm

Sunday 10:30 am - 8:00 pm

best
best

Sandy Bar

coffee bar on Via Dell' Orto, Florence, Italy

Sandy bar is not fancy and they don't charge to sit at the tables like many places do. The coffee here is as good as any other place, but the best part about Sandy Bar is getting a cappuccino or caffe latte made by Alfiero, the owner/barista. He made the caffe macchiato in my profile picture. Perfect.

It's a family-run tabacchi/bar, with his wife taking your money and his son standing behind the counter but Alfiero is the sole reason I go - he cracks jokes in his Florentine Italian, and assumes you get it. If he's not there and his son is making the coffee, don't bother - the caffe, the whole experience is just not the same.

At the corner of Via di Camaldoli and Via Dell' Orto

Sandy Bar

bestplacestohavecoffeeflorenceitaly
bestplacestohavecoffeeflorenceitaly

Oblate

lovely old library with a cafe

Both university students and kindergarten classes go to Oblate, so there's not the usual dead silence of typical libraries but it's a wonderful hidden treasure. You can get a cappuccino, grab a chair in the sun on the terrace and just relax.

Biblioteca delle Oblate

Via dell' Oriuolo 26

The cafe is open the same hours as the library.

Photo used under Creative Commons from oblate_study

photo source: hessa johnson except oblate

Bialetti Espresso Maker

 

Bialetti Espresso Maker

Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

I like to use the Bialetti to make my coffee - I know others will disagree, but I like the process of making coffee this way.

 

Illy Coffee

 

Feel free to leave a link to your best place to have coffee in Florence, Italy.

Where is the best place to have an espresso in Florence?

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    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

      I can't wait to visit Firenze! :-)

      With Love and Gratitude,

      Jeremiah

      PS: Especially for the coffee! ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love italian coffee! Next year might include a visit to Forence so I will definetly look up your suggestions

    • hessa johnson profile image
      Author

      hessa johnson 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks, Jenny. I hope you like the places I've suggested!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Fabulous lens! You've got me hopping on a plane right now to indulge myself in the ultimate pleasure... caffe in Florence. Oh yes, I am _so_ ready to be there pronto!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Liked, faved, and **blessed.** :-)

    • hessa johnson profile image
      Author

      hessa johnson 6 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you! I really appreciate it!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      I want to go to Italy, so seeing this lens is so cool! Love the different coffee shops! Blessed!

    • ColorPetGifts profile image

      ColorPetGifts 6 years ago

      I would so love to have coffee in Italy - must be an amazing experience of the caffeinated kind -:)

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 6 years ago

      Oh, to travel to coffeehouses in Florence! I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure, and it gives me more to aspire to in my own "Coffee House." Thank you, hessa!

    • TopMovieSoundtr profile image

      TopMovieSoundtr 6 years ago

      Brava. And really, aren't most coffee bars anywhere in Italy fabulous.

    • maatem profile image

      maatem 6 years ago

      Chiaroscuro Cafe! this place i like to visit.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great idea for a lens ~ I would love to visit Italy as well as some other European countries someday! :)

    • profile image

      ccorrig 6 years ago

      Awesome resource for the average american!

    • TopMovieSoundtr profile image

      TopMovieSoundtr 6 years ago

      I agree Illy coffee is the next best thing to being in Italy.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I will definitely have to check these spots out someday - at least I hope I get the chance! :)

    • profile image

      Runnn 6 years ago

      I like coffee too. My favorite is hazelnut coffee!!

      Thanks for sharing.

    • digitaltree profile image

      digitaltree 6 years ago

      great lens, very informative.

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      I'm not a coffee drinker but I do remember a place in Florence that served 72 different flavours of gelato :))

    • whoisbid lm profile image

      whoisbid lm 5 years ago

      I love coffee with good company more than beer. Thanks for this

    • profile image

      MolaChef 5 years ago

      I vote for Chiaroscuro!

    • verkeerd profile image

      verkeerd 5 years ago

      I didn't drink coffee in Florence, but somewhere close I enjoyed my cup of espresso at Nannini. Not bad, I would say, but I'll take your suggestions into consideration the next time I'll be in Italy! Thank you!

    • profile image

      Mosoma 5 years ago

      Cool lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      What I love is that even when you're ordering coffee "on the run" it comes in a small ceramic mug. So you have to slow down for a few minutes and enjoy it. We visited a few coffee bars in Florence while filing paperwork for our wedding in Siena. Your beautiful photos bring back many happy memories.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I can't live a day without coffee! Great lens.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      I haven't been to Florence for a few years, must go back and have a cup of coffee!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I loved in Florence for a while (please checi out my lens on Exploring Florence) but I have still never had a cup of coffee...

    • TravelDiaries profile image

      TravelDiaries 5 years ago

      Yum...need to stop squidooing to have a coffee now. :)

    • profile image

      editionh 5 years ago

      This is cool. Our visit to Florence is many years back,but we still remember that place very well.

      Florence is one of our favorite places in Europe. We never have seen so many people with their mobile phones at the ears as on the Piazza della Signoria :).

    • PBJasen profile image

      PBJasen 5 years ago

      I adore Firenze. Been there a lot. Next time I'll visit some of the bars you mentioned on your lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Drinking a Italian Coffee is the best way to feel comfortable just in few minutes.

    • profile image

      Miska29 5 years ago

      My favorite coffee mark is Barcaffe (Slovenia)... :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I would so love to visit and find out.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      When I was in Milan and Rome, I learned to love Italian coffee. Now I have to visit Florence some day and try out these places. Yum!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Now I know where to go, I just have to find a way to get there. Beautiful.

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Very nice lens, great job! Squidlike

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 5 years ago

      I love italian coffee and I love Florence. I have been there a few times and I plan to come back next summer to show my daughter. It is good to know the best places to have a coffee.

    • jupiter justice profile image

      Asher Socrates 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Love Caffe degli Artigiani! Pour me some romance...in Italy

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wonderful lens in one of my favorite cities. Blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      So sad, I guess Edison should be removed since it is closing in a month. :(

      I don't actually have a favorite place, I tend to just walk into any cute bar and get a coffee, then go.

    • hessa johnson profile image
      Author

      hessa johnson 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm not in Florence right now, but I did hear that it was closing. Thanks for letting me know.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @hessa johnson: your welcome. it might be 100% closed now... i don't know, i was there 2 weeks ago and wanted to go tomorrow, so bummed.

    • mwilliams1 profile image

      mwilliams1 4 years ago

      I can think of nothing nicer than a coffee in Florence. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I want to go to Florence and have a delicious cup of coffee!

    • lakelandholidays profile image

      lakelandholidays 4 years ago

      I would love to visit Florence. Just to soak up the atmosphere and culture, just to watch the world go by sitting outside drinking coffee. Bliss.

    • profile image

      simpsonia 4 years ago

      Lovely lens!

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 4 years ago

      Any kind of cafe in Florence will do my mood better.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 4 years ago

      Any kind of cafe in Florence will do my mood better.

    • denetraharris profile image

      denetraharris 4 years ago

      Thanks for the info, i plan on going to italy soon.

    • profile image

      craigervine 4 years ago

      Florence is one of the great places in Italy. There are many hangout places to have a coffee or something else. When i was there i went to 11 Chicco di caffe which is quite reasonable with wine.

    • profile image

      raulonkar 4 years ago

      @craigervine: Craig!11 Chicco di Caffe is a buffet style restaurant, so you drink all you want until you drop. There are other good eat out places in Florence, Italy. I planed my trip to Florence, Italy after reading reviews from locals and travel experts from www.joguru.com/florence-italy/ and www.gogobot.com/florence--restaurants

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Florence is a loveable city. I have been there twice. I wish I had your lens then with all this info about cafes. It would be a much better experience...

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