Karime Lopez

Every time she leaves Florence, the only thing Karime Lopez misses is good pasta and an aperitivo. Just about as much as Queretaro, the capital of Tuscany is home for the executive chef of Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura. When she’s not in her kitchen at the iconic Palazzo della Mercanzia in Piazza della Signoria, these are the places she frequents in Florence.

Follow Karime

Florentine Must-Try Dishes

Queretaro is my hometown in Mexico, so of course I’m always craving Mexican food. I miss the fruits, I miss having tacos at any time of the day. But when I’m away from Italy, as cliché as it may sound, I really miss good pasta and nice wine and how you can travel for just 20 minutes and the name of the food can change a lot. Italian gastronomy is so rich and in Florence, there are specific dishes you cannot miss. Lampredotto is one example. It’s a Florentine dish made from a specific stomach cut of a cow. The word “lampredotto” comes from the Italian word “lampreda” which means lamprey (jawless fish), as the tripe resembles a lamprey in shape and colour. There is a small place on the Piazza del Porcellino called Trippaio del Porcellino where you can eat a delicious lampredotto sandwich. Fegatini (liver) and bistecca alla fiorentina (beef steak dish) are two other Florence specialties. If I want to celebrate the end of a long week I love going to Coquinarius in Fiesole. It’s 15 minutes away from downtown Florence and definitely still under-the-radar. It has an amazing view and I can enjoy some good wine and good bistecca there. 

Aperitivo or Morning Coffee Alla Fiorentina

After Coquinarius, I would want to go for an aperitivo at Proccaci. For a nice, traditional aperitivo (or morning coffee), Caffè Gilli is a good choice. It’s one of the oldest cafés in Florence. 

Chef Worth a Mention

To celebrate a special occasion, I go to Il Palagio, a restaurant run by my friend Vito Mollica. I know that they will make it a super special and unforgettable experience. Vito welcomed me to Florence with open arms and always shares his endless wisdom. He is a delightful chef with the biggest heart – I never stop learning from him. 

More Drinks and a Traditional Florentine Dinner

If friends are visiting me in Florence, I would want to take them for an aperitivo at the Sesto on Arno terrace. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset and enjoy a view of the Arno River. I would take them to eat at one of two long-time favourite trattorias. One is Trattoria Sostanza and the other is I’Brindellone. Both are perfect places to have a traditional Tuscan gastronomic experience. They’re not fancy places at all, but have delicious Tuscan flavours and always make me feel at home. For evening drinks, we would go to Locale Firenze for sure. 

Young and Wild

It’s a difficult time to open a restaurant or a bar, but there are a couple of exciting bars in Florence that are still quite young and growing. I like MAD for cocktails and the versatile Manifattura Tabacchi space which has a bistro, a brewery and a cocktail bar in one big event space. 

Breakfast Fix and Baked Goods

In Mexico, we eat a lot of toast at the start of the day. When I miss toast and want my breakfast fix, I go to Melaleuca, a bakery and bistro that serves a delightful variety of bread and sweet rolls. I love a place called Pane Amore e Fantasia which makes delicious schiacciata, which is similar to focaccia but uses different water content and rising technique. For me the schiacciata there is one of the best in town. 

Shoutout to the Rotisseries

I have to say that the Italian community has really come together during the difficult times of the pandemic and a long list of people from the hospitality sector was involved. I can’t mention them all but I would like to give a shoutout to all the small rotisseries from every neighbourhood in Florence. They have worked throughout the pandemic to help those who can’t cook and to bring food to older residents.

Photography Credit: Gabriele Stabile

Our guides are fact-checked and updated regularly. Read more here.

This is where you say something cool and awesome about this website and business. Can be whatever the hell you want.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap
%d bloggers like this: