– Travel Food & Wine
La Terrazza – The Sky Bar at the Continentale
La Terrazza is a chic rooftop bar located on the top floor of the medieval Consorti tower at the suberb Hotel Continentale, close to the famous Ponto Vecchio Bridge. It is the ultimate location in Florence to meet for a cocktail surrounded by the most impeccable views of the Arno, Brunelleschi’s Dome, San Miniato, Palazzo Vecchio and Forte Belvedere. La Terrazza comes with a sophisitcated and luxurious atmosphere, where you can relax to the tones of jazzy background music. From the bar you can chose from a large selection of Italian bubbles and wines, along with well crafted sparkling and signature cocktails. Its aperitivo buffet is a modest affair (simple nuts and juicy olives).
Manifattura feels like a glam bar in a chemistry lab, complete with Italian music from the ’50s. It is one of the most superb new additions to the cocktail scene in Florence with notable bartender Fabiano Buffolini bringing back Italian drinks to the limelight for affordable prices. A made-in-Italy theme emphasizes Italian-made spirits and liqueurs, classic drinks like Negronis and bellinis, and riffs on cocktails like the Sazerac. All drinks are served with olives and toasted chickpeas. Plates of traditional Tuscan dishes make wonderful pairings – vitello tonnato, Tuscan ricotta, and spinach dumplings with pecorino fonduta; and the music as well as decor is undeniably retro.
At home in a 13th to 15th century palazzo, this tucked-away drinking and dining space is designed to stun. Renaissance pillars and vertical gardens create quite the first impression at Locale Firenze. From the exquisite craft cocktails mixed at the bar, to the beautifully presented modern Tuscan fare and awe-inspiring interior design – a theatrical fusion of original architectural features, period furnishings and contemporary vegetal wall gardens – Locale is a true feast for the eyes. This is where imagination runs wild. Classics are respected, yet delivered with avant-garde flair. It is the perfect place if you’re willing to invest in an experience, rather than settle on a lackluster vodka Red bull or a Moscow mule.
Mad Souls & Spirits
A quintessential dive bar turned cocktail haven, San Frediano’s Mad Souls and Spirits boasts drinks by cult alchemists Neri Fantechi and Julian Biondi who woo a discerning crowd with their expertly crafted cocktails, served in a tiny aqua-green and red-brick space with slightly Spartan furnishings. Fun and approachable craft cocktails are free from pretentious mumbo-jumbo. Menus are themed, and change frequently at this uber-cool bar. There is an interesting selection of cocktails with hilarious names, and affordable prices. Ask for their take on a Negroni and expect to be served gin out of skulls and your cocktail in a Nutella glass, it’s all part of the charm.
Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina
Located directly opposite the vast, grandiose 15th-century Pitti Palace, Pitti Gola e Cantina, a small enoteca, or wine bar, has a loyal local following. Inside, a marble-topped bar counter takes center stage in a room where wall-to-wall shelves are stacked high with wine. There are only six tables inside and most are for just two, so it’s best for an intimate evening. Three Enomatic machines (for preserving fine wines once they are opened) behind the bar hint at the serious credentials of the wine list. Floor-to-ceiling shelves of expertly curated, small-production Tuscan and Italian wines fill the tiny bar, and excellent cured meats and pasta fatta in casa, i.e. homemade food is served here with passion.