Best Places to Have Coffee in Florence, Italy
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
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!
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.
Chiaroscuro - cafe that serves great cakes, too
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.
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
The coffee bar inside chiaroscuro.
Italian vintage posters
Best coffee place in Florence
Caffe degli Artigiani
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
Rinascente - one of the best views while having coffee in Florence
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
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
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
coffee links for coffee lovers
- Espresso Academy reviews
Learn to become a barista at the Espresso Academy - reviews here.
- Best Coffee in Florence
Blogger offers his best places to have coffee in Florence. None of them are on my list, so I'll have to try them out.
- Best Cafes for Experiencing Italy
A list of 10 cafes found throughout Italy.
- The World of Italian Coffee
Great overview of coffee, beans, and the different variations on the espresso and cappuccino.
- Best Bars/Cafes in Florence for Coffee and a Sweet
Reviews a few cafes in Florence as well as outside the center.
- Best Coffee Shops in Florence, Italy
Five shops are listed, one of them is on my list.
Bialetti Espresso Maker
Bialetti 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.
Feel free to leave a link to your best place to have coffee in Florence, Italy.