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Finding Tastes of Home in Florence

March 19, 2023
by William Lammons
A woman shows an Italian breakfast spread of espresso, sandwiches, and pastries on a brown table
A classic Italian breakfast featuring espresso and pastries.

While the primary purpose of studying abroad for many, myself included, important to find semblances of home to ground you when you're feeling lost. That can mean finding different places or experiences that bring you back to a place of familiarity and warmth. Although the food in Italy is absolutely incredible in quality and flavor, it can get old when it's the only thing you've eaten for a couple weeks. Panini are my absolute favorite food in Florence but from time to time I need something that offers me the diversity of cuisine found in the United States.

Unfortunately, finding restaurants in Florence that appease the desire for food other than Italian is more difficult than one might assume. You have to know that nothing will really compare to the food you can get in the States because of the ingredients available and the prevailing cultural norms related to salt content. The food in the US is generally a lot saltier and fattier than the food in other countries. However, there are some spots that manage to do a commendable job of offering the foods Americans are more accustomed to and sometimes miss.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," as some might say in the US. In Italy, however, breakfast is traditionally minimal and consists of a small pastry with a cappuccino. Luckily, there are some pretty great places where you can get breakfast foods that reconnect you to the classic American breakfast options. Rooster Cafi¨ is a known favorite for American breakfast food in Florence. They have incredible chicken and waffles as well as great pancakes. One of their locations even has a breakfast burrito, one of my personal favorites in the States. Their food is middle of the field as far as price and the staff is extremely friendly.

My next recommendation would have to be Ditta Arigianale; they have specialty lattes including a lavender latte with foam. Their French toast is fluffy and delicious so if that's something you normally order you would likely enjoy it. The bistro a casa ca.fe is a smaller restaurant with some quality breakfast food. It is on the more expensive side but the bagel I got there was incredible (granted the bagels are a lot lighter and different in texture than those in back home).

Chicken and waffles from Rooster Cafe in Florence
Chicken and waffles from Rooster Cafe. The chicken is super crispy and the waffles are amazing.
A lavender latte from Ditta Artigianale with foam
Lavender latte from Ditta Artigianale with foam. They're pretty tasty even though they aren't like the ones in the States.

Florence has more than just breakfast though of course. There are a decent number of restaurants offering foreign cuisines that are more commonly eaten for lunch or dinner. If you're looking for sushi there are a number of places that offer all-you-can-eat with good quality fish. I've found that the rolls aren't always as flavorful as those available in the US, but they still can satiate your cravings.

Golocious Burger&Wine makes amazing burgers with extensive toppings and their fries are delectable. The only thing is they will normally cook burgers rare, as is customary for red meat in Italy, so if you prefer your burger to be more cooked make sure you specifically ask them. Tijuana and Los Chicos offer decent Mexican food that should do the trick in a pinch.

Ultimately, there are places that offer food catering to the tastes of Americans. When you are in need of a taste of home, there are places to go that will help you feel reconnected to home and the life you were accustomed to before traveling abroad.

Burgers and sweet potato fries on a black table with a cup of water
A dinner at Golocious, with burgers and sweet potato fries.

William Lammons is the Content Creator - Blogger.
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