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Bistro Il Santo Bevitore Is Florence’s Best-Kept Secret

florence Restaurants // Travel 

We figured that there’d be some great food in Florence (if we’re perfectly honest, food was one of our main reasons for going, what with it being the capital of Tuscany and all), but having lunched on below-par pizzas on one of the main touristy piazzas (why does that always happen on holidays? It’s not like we’d ever go for lunch round Times Square or London’s Leicester Square…) we decided to get some restaurant tips from an actual Florentine. And, as it turns out, it was probably the best advice we’ve ever taken.

See, our Florence insider sent us straight to Il Santo Bevitore with the words “this is where real people go,” and she was right. The dimly lit, fancy bistro-style restaurant is located on Via Santo Spirito, just south of the Ponte alla Carraia and a minute’s walk from the Ponte Vecchio but, while it’s not far from tourist-centric Firenze, it caters to people who know what they’re doing and where to eat in town. Il Santo Bevitore serves some of the best Tuscan food we’ve ever had — think a stunning bit of pasta followed by an incredible lamb dish and a dessert so brilliant we almost have seconds — which is made using traditional ingredients in a more contemporary way, and it really works. We spent hours eating (and drinking) our way through the menu and as far as perfect food memories are concerned, this is one of the top 10. Evviva!

Via Santo Spirito 66, Florence, Italy tel + 39 055 211264, Ilsantobevitore.com

-- Fiona Byrne

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