Once you try a real Bistecca alla Fiorentina, you will never forget its taste, smell and succulence. There is no other similar dish anywhere else in the whole world, even in places where meat is celebrated and eaten frequently. Why it’s so special? First: it is at least 4 fingers high – a lot of meat! – never overcooked and always colored outside and red, soft and juicy inside. The real Bistecca alla Fiorentina has the bone in the middle in the shape of a T with the fillet and the sirloin to the sides and to cook it according to the Florentine rules, it is important to mature it for about 10 days.
This typical dish is not only delicious but also has a mysterious history, as there are two versions for how the dish was born. The first takes place on August 10th, during the celebration of Florence’s “co-patron”, San Lorenzo, in Medici era. As part of the celebration, it was tradition to light bonfires in the Florentine squares to cook a large amount of meat and distribute it to the people. One of those times, there were English knights in town, who called the meat “beef steak”. It is said that the Florentines, trying to imitate them, failed to repeat the two words and turned them into “bis-tick”, that became “bistecca”.
The second story dates back to the 1800’s, a period in which many wealthy Britons lived in Florence. As they were really rich, they could afford to live in villas and eat only the best cuts of meat, including what they called “beef steak”, or “roast beef” “still present today in Tuscan cuisine.
Where to eat the best Bistecca alla Fiorentina in town
Got your mouth watering? Check out where to eat the best Bistecca alla Fiorentina in Florence:
Buca Mario, Piazza degli Ottaviani 16r
One of the most esteemed Florentine family run restaurants. Faithful to local tradition, it proposes the true flavours of the Tuscan and Italian cuisine, thanks to five cooks who every day prepare the delicious dishes that compose the wide-ranging menu, such as: “Classic Ribollita”, “Pappa al Pomodoro (Tomato bread soup)”, “Purée of beans with spelt”, “Ossobuco (veal shanks) Florentine style with beans in tomato sauce”, and of course the classic Bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone steak) served with cannellini white beans and Tuscan olive oil. The restaurant offers a considerable selection of wines, for both connoisseurs and amateurs alike. Open daily for dinner, on Saturdays also for lunch.
Il Latini, Via de’ Palchetti 6r
This Trattoria has been around since the early 1900s and has been run by several generations of the Latini family. It is the place where you must go if you want to try a family meal and enjoy the Italian fun. Several rooms with shared tables (white tablecloths and proper table napkins); noisy, bustling and very popular with locals, especially at lunch. Good value and excellent food, with a great huge Florentine steak. Open every day for lunch and dinner, except on Mondays.
Il Parione, Via del Parione 74-76r
Housed in a XVI century’s palace, Parione restaurant blends what is considered a particular historic – artistic atmosphere. The chef combines with great ability the excellence of the classic dishes from the tuscan cuisine with the refined rules of today’s moderne cuisine. Located just a short walk from the hotel, it is the ideal place for a refreshing meal after a shopping marathon through the boutiques of Via Tornabuoni. Open every day for lunch and dinner.