Florence’s Greatest Coffee Shops

Have you ever dreamed of international travel? My daughter does and after our recent mother-daughter trip, more travel adventures are being discussed. In our typical fashion, these discussions usually occur over a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

Many years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Europe a few times, predominantly Germany. Aside from the wonderful architecture, my favorite experience was the tradition of an afternoon cup of coffee accompanied by a delectable pastry. Local cafés are bustling around two or three o’clock in the afternoon. After sharing this experience with my daughter, we started doing a little research … research on Italy and coffee shops.

Sunrise over Italy and Coffee Shops

In search of coffee shops.

Nestled in the Tuscan region of Italy, Florence is a haven of fantastic food, exceptional wine and beautiful coffee. If you are planning a trip to Florence in the near future, you might be wondering which are the best places to enjoy some traditional Italian coffee. If so, then look no further! Here are six of the best places for a coffee-lover to relax in Florence.

1. La Ménagère

If you are looking for a coffee-shop that provides terrific coffee as well as an Instagrammable backdrop, then head on down to La Ménagère for a cup of locally sourced coffee. The inside of this café looks like an old brickwork warehouse which has been transformed into a chic garden terrace.

2. Caffe Gilli

Caffe Gilli was first established in 1733 and worked to provide the finest pastries, chocolates, cakes and coffee to the high society of Florence. The remnants of this luxury can still be seen in the decadent Belle Epoque interior and their open terrace, where you can sit back and enjoy watching the world go by while you sip on a cappuccino. Step back in time by visiting Caffe Gilli and order one of their many delicious handmade cakes to accompany your traditional Italian coffee.

Coffee and biscotti

3. Le Murate Caffè Letterario

The best time to visit Italy is definitely during the Spring and Autumn when the temperatures are still comfortable, but the crowds of tourists have gone home. If you are traveling during these times, you will definitely want to visit Le Murate Literary Café’s uncovered outdoor terrace and enjoy people watching as you indulge in a decadent mocha coffee. The building was originally a monastery and then a prison, but it’s now home to one of the coolest coffee shops in all of Florence.

4. Caffè Concerto Paszkowski

This café is so well-loved by Florentines and tourists alike that it was named a National Monument in 1991. Perhaps the real reason this was declared a national treasure has less to do with the delicious coffee and more to do with the history of the building as a concert hall attended by many great European intellectuals throughout history! In any case, The Caffè Concerto Paszkowski is a great place to sit down (or stand up, as the Italians do) for an espresso and an Italian pastry.

5. Ditta Artigianale

This coffee shop is so good that there are two of them in Florence! The Florentine Starbucks serves a modern coffee menu – which is something of a relief if you have ever tried ordering an americano or café au lait in Italy. Ditta Artigianale offers a comfortable and modern environment for customers, which makes it easy to sit for hours working, reading or just relaxing while enjoying a simple yet intense coffee experience.

coffee cup with blurred background

6. Le Vespe Cafe

This coffee shop not only offers mind-blowingly good coffee, but it also serves one of the best brunches in Florence. So, if you are heading to Florence anytime soon, don’t miss out on their tantalizing menu and reserve a table at Le Vespe Café. This café is popular with tourists and locals, so if you don’t reserve a table you may end up being disappointed when you get there.

The cafés are worth the visit!

Hmm, I’m not sure there’s a European excursion in our future anytime soon, but those coffee shops sure are enticing. And of course, I do have a rather persuasive daughter who is teething at the bit to cross the pond.

Wholesale Warranty

28 thoughts on “Florence’s Greatest Coffee Shops

  1. It is so beautiful in Florence. I haven’t been since 1998/99, the day they started bombing Kosovo. We were in New York when Clinton came on the news to announce he was sending Americans over to that war…it was scary. All the televisions in the airport had the president speaking. We were headed over there not too far from an area that was at war, well not too close, but not as far away as the safety of the US. We decided to go anyone because we would be with family at my husband’s aunt’s villa in Tuscany. We had our 18 month old daughter with us at the time. When we came home back to the US and landed in Missouri all the television sets were once again showing the same news but this time it was the columbine shooting. I remember looking down at my little girl and then my husband and saying “I don’t think I will be traveling over seas for awhile” We usually would try to go every two years and always off seasons to save money when visiting family. Then 9/11 happened. By that time we were no longer flying. Family over there now are not as close since the political tensions have started up around the world. There are still some family we keep in contact with and we try to wish them all well but it is like they are afraid to write or speak about certain subjects. Some are in England and some are in Italy. Just be careful if you do decide to visit in some areas, I have heard that it has changed a lot (from some family members). Here is a link to that visit to Italy during our last trip https://ourlittleredhouseblog.com/2019/04/13/an-easter-egg-hunt-in-tuscany-and-one-diy-project-yarn-eggs/. It is one of my favorite places to visit and the Italians are such beautiful people so full of life and passion…I love that.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I think I was so wrapped up in starting my biz back then that I don’t even remember what was going on in Europe. I do however remember ‘Columbine’ very well since we were living in Colorado at that time. Since my parents are no longer with us, my siblings and I have lost contact with extended family in Germany. There are always political tensions around the world, but I think it’s more challenging than ever. Thus, for now I prefer keeping my feet planted on U.S. soil (and Canada).

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      1. That is exactly how my husband and I feel. Europe is so beautiful but we keep hearing stories about how Americans are treated and it sounds scary. There are so many places here in the states and close to home that we haven’t been to, better to try something different.

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  2. Hi, Ingrid,
    Great information! We lived in Germany for three years and, for some reason, never made it to Italy. Nevertheless, we learned to appreciate Austrian and German pastry all too well. Would love to go back. Joe

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    1. Oh my gosh, the German pastries are the best. Add in a cup of hot flavorful coffee and it just doesn’t get much better. Okay, add in some chocolate 😋 then it can’t get any better.

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  3. That would be such a wonderful mother/daughter trip! I hope you get to go soon! I can’t comment about Italy but I was surprised at the number of coffee shops there were in Ireland and Scotland. I’m a tea drinker and I loved the tea. Henry enjoyed the coffee.

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    1. I enjoy a good cup of tea as well but usually partial to coffee. Scotland is high our travel list and I loved following your excursion. I’m sure wherever she and I decide, we’ll have an ‘adventure’.

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  4. My son is a frequent international traveler, my days of such are no longer as my health doesn’t allow me the opportunity. Sounds like the coffees are wonderful!!

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    1. Unfortunately, I can relate. I too have some health issues (fortunately minor) that make me somewhat hesitant to travel abroad. We’ll see how I feel in 2020. My daughter may have to find a friend to join her in sampling those coffees.

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  5. Hi Ingrid, You remind me how I have had the best cappuccino in a village Vernazza, part of the Cinque Terre. I feel like I have heard about Caffe Gilli recently, possibly in the media? Interesting how the Italians stand up to drink their coffee. A great list, Ingrid. I think first on my list is Le Vespe Cafe. “Mind-blowingly good coffee.” I cannot resist. Mother, daughter, adventures, wine or coffee. The Best!

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  6. I’m surprise you didn’t mention the way the coffee is brewed in Europe, because I’ve found that most European countries brew their coffee like a triple-whammy expresso, way darker and thicker than the average American likes their coffee. And cream with coffee in Europe was practically non-existent! Eh?

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    1. Nice to hear from you Terri. I have a tendency to brew my coffee pretty strong and wouldn’t dream of ruining it with cream 😄 When we boondock, I use the pour over method which is how my aunt in Germany would make coffee… very common. Coffee is a fascinating subject that seems to transcend any language barriers.

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  7. Italian coffee is fabulous! It’s rich and wonderful. When we were in Florence our Hotel made delicious Cappuccinos with the heart on top for breakfast each morning.

    Italians like to linger with food, coffee and or wine. We lingered in Florence outside with an afternoon Apertivo.

    Seeing the Duomo while sipping coffee in the street at a local cafe… priceless.

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