Gluten-Free Florence

The Best Gluten-Free Restaurants and Pizza in Town

Usually, when I meet new people and I say that I live in Italy, the eyes of my interlocutors light up, a big smile comes on their faces and they start to talk about their love for Italian food. No doubt, Italian cuisine is one of the most pleasing part of the Italian lifestyle that Italians often take for granted. For foreigners, instead, walking through an Italian market, tasting hundreds of different cheeses and hams, eating pizzacacio e pepe, Florentine steak or variety of fried fish is simply exciting. The regional variety of food here is simply incredible and after seven years here it still happens to me to taste something completely new, to find an ingredient, a vegetable, a cheese that I have never heard about before. The question is: how to approach this rich and unique gastronomic tradition, in which cereals are THE protagonists, when you suffer from celiac disease? Is it possible to enjoy Italian kitchen, based on pasta and pizza, when gluten is your biggest enemy?

Gluten free variety of fried fish at Quinoa restaurant
Gluten free variety of fried fish at Quinoa restaurant

I myself was diagnosticated as celiac three years ago and I have to say that this diagnosis meant freedom for me! I finally knew why I suffered so much and I discovered what to do to avoid continues ache, pain and discomfort. Then, the question arose: what will I eat?

It took a while before I learned how to cook avoiding flour and cereals containing gluten, however eating at home was never a problem. There are so many fresh, gluten-free ingredients accessible here, that I almost do not notice the lack of gluten.

However, when I want to go out to have a dinner in a restaurant with my friends or family, then the things get more complicated. Even if in almost every restaurant you will find some gluten-free dishes, going out usually means very little choice for me. I can have a salad, grilled beef, roasted chicken or a risotto. Fortunately, in Florence there are many good restaurants and pizzerias, where a person with celiac disease can feel truly free and where we can enjoy our dinner together with the “healthy” friends without any restriction.

Quinoa – 100% gluten-free restaurant in Florence

Quinoa is my favourite gluten-free place in Florence, a true paradise for these who suffer from celiac disease and enjoy good food. The restaurant is located in a beautiful courtyard adjacent the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, few steps away from the cathedral.

The interior is really modern and pleasant, the menu includes some Italian classics reinterpreted in a modern key by the chef, such as the pasta with meat sauce and aged ricotta cheese. But you will find here also their delicious Pad Thai, or vegetables and tofu, tamari sauce and Jasmine rice.

The best news is that all of the dishes are 100% gluten-free! You can order everything and forget about restrictions and I assure you that your “healthy” friends will enjoy their dinner just like you. On Sundays Quinoa organizes gluten free brunches and every day they welcome our dogs with a special menu prepared for them and offered free of charge.

Quinoa restaurant in Florence

Quinoa, Vicolo di S. Maria Maggiore, 1 – 50123 Firenze – +39 055 29 08 76

Sgrano – the best gluten-free schiacciata

Sgrano is a relatively new addition to the offer on the most foody street in Florence, via dei Neri. Given that the famous All’antico vinaio serving the Tuscan schiacciata is located few steps away, Sgrano focused on gluten-free schiacciata. They made a great choice!

This is the best place for a speedy but delicious gluten-free lunch in Florence! I stop here often for a schiacchiata in between the morning and the afternoon tours. What I love about Sgrano is that their schiacciata is filled with quality Tuscan products and it allows you to try some of the gastronomic excellences of the region. You can choose the schiacciata with lardo, pecorino cheese, finocchiona or with Tuscan ham.

schiacciata senza glutine da Sgrano, Firenze.
Gluten-free schiacciata by Sgrano.

The schiacciata at Sgrano is so good, that your friends won’t even notice that they are eating gluten-free food! Being Sgrano 100% gluten-free, there is no risk of contamination! You can be sure, you’re eating in a safe environment.

Sgrano, via dei Neri 49R, 50122 Firenze. Phone: +39 055 219 934

Il Vecchio e il Mare – the most studied gluten-free pizza in town

Il Vecchio e il Mare is a fish restaurant and a well-known pizzeria in Florence. In February 2020, after long years of experiments and testing, they inaugurated their gluten-free pizza menu!

I was so lucky as to participate to this inauguration! What an evening! I don’t remember any other night with so many pizza slices! Their gluten-free pizza is simply DELICIOUS! It’s soft and fluffy and it has a really marvelous crunchy crust. I don’t know if you would guess it’s gluten free. I can honestly say that it’s the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had!

Gluten free “parmigiana” pizza with eggplant, mozzarella and tomato at Il Vecchio e il Mare! Look at the crust!

In order to serve the pizza in total safety, they built a little room for the pizzaiolo who works with the gluten-free flours, where the pizza is prepared with no risk of contamination!

Il Vecchio e il Mare takes great care of the ingredients they put on the top of their pizzas! You can be sure that you will try all IGT products, certified and protected. On the topping of your pizza you will find many ingrediens protected by the Slow food association, the best mozzarella cheese, artisan cold cuts and hams! I highly recommend this place!

Il Vecchio e il Mare, via Vincenzo Gioberti 61, 50121 Firenze. Phone +39 055 669 575.

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FAKE – bistro gluten-free inclusive

FAKE is a truly unique place! It’s a 100% gluten-free bistro and cocktail bar focused on providing an inclusive experience to all. Their aim is to make sure everybody is taken care of, has a great time and is being offered quality, genuine and healthy food.

Their menu offers some tasty appetizers, pasta and really excellent burgers, all 100% gluten-free. For every dish they suggest a drink, and you can also enjoy your meal served with some excellent gluten-free beer.

gluten-free burger, Fake, Firenze.
Gluten-free burgers at Fake are simply excellent!

FAKE wants to dispel the myth that gluten-free food is less tasty or not that satisfying as gluten-full food. Here you can enjoy their excellent cuisine in an interesting environment, as they are also an art shop and an exhibition space. They organize events, art shows and installations.

gluten free pasta, FAKE, Firenze.
Gluten-free pasta at FAKE.

FAKE is located at Le Cure, in the residential area of Florence, located not far from the historical centre.

FAKE, Via Agnolo Firenzuola, 9r, 50133 Firenze, phone: +393664870670

Pizzaman – delicious gluten-free pizza

Living in Italy and not eating pizza? Impossible! Thanks to Pizzaman I did not have to give up on my Friday pizza with my fiancé.

Pizzaman is a Florentine chain of pizzerie, which I knew years before I learned about my health problem. I always loved it and considered it one of the best pizza in town. When I discovered my disease giving up on pizza seemed a punishment. Fortunately, Pizzaman serves delicious gluten-free pizza every day. You do not have to book your gluten-free pizza in advance, it’s always there, prepared in a separated oven.

The dough is made of rise flour or with gluten free cereal flour. In the menu you will also find gluten-free beer. This pizza was awarded during the Gluten Free Expo in Rimini where they won the competition for Europe’s Best Gluten Free Pizza. For me this is one the best gluten-free pizzas in Florence!

Gluten free cereal pizza by Pizzaman
Gluten free cereal pizza by Pizzaman

Pizzaman have few restaurants in Florence and here you will find their addresses and opening hours. I most often visit their restaurant in Via del Sansovino 191, phone: +39 055 712738.

Pizzagnolo – Neapolitan pizza gluten-free

PizzAgnolo is the gluten-free pizzeria in Florence where I go most often. We even organized here a pizzata before our wedding and our guests enjoyed their pizza very much.

They serve a typical Neapolitan pizza, very soft and rather high. Their pizzas are prepared with the best ingredients from the South of Italy: fresh burrata cheese, tomatoes from Pachino, scamorza and buffalo mozzarella!

PizzAgnolo, Via dell’Agnolo 107R – 50122 Firenze – +39 055 248 0200

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Pizzeria La Luna

La Luna was one of the first pizzerias in Florence to introduce a full gluten-free pizza menu! I visit this place often and it definitely is one of the most inclusive restaurants in Florence.

They serve delicious gluten-free pizza and here you can also try the traditional fried Neapolitan starters, such as the arancini and potatoes crocchette. Moreover, at La Luna you will find delicious, artisan gluten-free beer! Personally, beer is one of the things I miss the most! Fortunately there are the places like La Luna where you can enjoy some really good beer!

Dark gluten-free beer and the Sicilian arancini at La Luna! Simply delicious!

La Luna, via Vincenzo Gioberti 93R, 50121 Firenze, phone: +39 055 66 38 10.

Grom ice cream – ice cream with no limits

Are you tired of having your ice cream in a paper cup? Do you want to choose your flavours without thinking about gluten in the tiramisù or the cookies ice cream? If so, go to Grom! Grom is the only ice cream place I know of that is 100% gluten-free.

They produce their gluten-free cones and the cookies that they add to some of their flavours. Every month they create a new “flavour of the month” and my favourite flavour they have is Grom’s cream – Crema di Grom – made of pastry cream, Ecuador “Arriba” chocolate chips and Grom’s meliga cookies.

Grom is sensible of different food intolerances and their clearly inform about the ingredients in their flavours. It’s not difficult to find there lactose-free or egg-free ice cream too. In Florence you will find them right behind the cathedral, but they have their shops in many other Italian cities too: Venice, Milan, Padua, Rome, Parma, Siena, Verona and so on. You can enjoy their gluten-free ice cream in many different places during all your Italian holiday.

Grom’s, via del Campanile corner of via delle Oche – 50012 Firenze – +39 055 216 158

Gluten free focaccia by Pizzaman
Gluten free focaccia by Pizzaman

Remember that every Italian supermarket has a gluten-free shelf with pasta, biscuits, bread and beer. When you go to a restaurant, always ask for gluten-free options and inform about your allergy. Do not forget to enjoy Italian gluten-free cuisine!

Special thanks to Quinoa, Fake and Pizzaman for the pictures I used in this post!

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