September 9, 2015, 02:56 AM
Restaurants in Mercado Centrale (Food Market)
Some guidebooks recommend avoiding the restaurants inside the Market due to hygiene concerns. Last time in Florence, in 2010, we ate at the very busy restaurant on the second level of the market and had a great time and a lovely light meal. Do the guidebooks have a point, or is it just a matter of playing up the restaurants on the perimeter of the market? Thanks, certainly don't want to risk the health of my friends!!
September 9, 2015, 11:12 AM
That information is quite incorrect, as ALL the restaurants, food stands and food carts anywhere in the city are very closely monitored for health safety standards. So you would never would worry about hygiene at any of the restaurants within the market - they are fully separate from the stands offering fresh meat, seafood, produce, etc. as any restaurant you find outside the central market.
The info is also out of date by now... the entire second level (called first floor in Italy), was closed for full renovations and reopened in April 2014. It is a great place open from 10am until midnight and offers a lot of fresh, quality ingredients and food choices. There is a vendor just for cheese, a bakery, another just for seafood, another for meat, another for fresh pasta. You can buy stuff to take home and cook yourself or have them cook it for you. There is also a Tuscan restaurant, a pizzeria and a wine corner dedicated to Chianti Classico wines (you can do wine tastings there). There is a sandwich shop, a place that sells truffles, a bookshop. An Eatitaly shop.... so you find a wide selection of offerings of ingredients as well to eat there, in addition to a long beer and coffee bar for taking a break.
The ground floor also has a few restaurants remaining that offer traditional Florentine dishes, such as Nerbone and the trippa and lampredotto. It has all the vendors you would expect at a market, including a florist or two but mostly food stuff - the non-food items are in the outdoor stalls that surround the market.
Make a note that the ground floor closes at 2pm, the top floor open until midnight. Since I was just there twice in the last week, for dinner and lunch, I also noted that some nights they have a band offering live music, too.
September 12, 2015, 03:11 PM
Lourdes, you are a wealth of information. your post is exactly what i needed to know. We look forward to our day in Florence and plan to enjoy all the pleasures of the Mercado Centrale. Marshall