When you eat as much gelato as I do, you become a little bit of a gelato snob. Fortunately for you, I will share my vast gelato knowledge! First rule of gelato – stay away from the giant mounds that you will find in all of the tourist traps around the city! Large mounds of gelato mean large batches that are not as fresh, are usually not made with natural ingredients and generally just don’t taste as good as authentic, quality gelato. Second rule – stay away from touristy areas when looking for gelato (FYI – this goes for restaurants too). These places can charge more, even for lower quality products because their location guarantees customers no matter what. Finally – you don’t have to pay more for better gelato. In my experience, the best places are usually less expensive. With these rules in mind, I have created a list of my top 5 favorite gelaterias in Florence. Buon appetito!
- Marco Ottaviano Gelato Gourmet
This gelateria, located near Santa Croce, starts my list with very high standards. The owner Marco and his wife use only natural, fresh and in-season ingredients to make some of the highest quality gelato in Florence. Every flavor, from classics like chocolate and hazelnut to signature flavors like strawberry and prosecco are absolutely delicious. The servers are friendly and allow you to taste before you choose and they also have a loyalty card! Great for rewarding people like me who have to satisfy a gelato craving nearly every day!
Via Matteo Palmieri, 34, 50122 Firenze, Italy
Located in la Piazza del Duomo, Gelateria Eduardo is the exception to my tourist trap rule. It is more modern and artisanal than most but its unique and delicious flavors earn it the number 4 spot on my list. The flavors change frequently but when you see “arachidi” (peanut) on the list – choose that one! (Unless you have allergies, of course) For someone as obsessed with peanut butter as I am, finding this gelato was a godsend. It satisfies my peanut butter cravings in a mostly peanut butter free country. Plus – homemade cones! Edoardo’s is a little on the expensive side for my list, but well worth it.
Piazza del Duomo, 45R, 50122 Firenze, Italy
- La Strega Nocciola
La Strega Nocciola is another slightly more modern gelateria with lots of interesting flavors and 3 locations in Florence. If you like spicy foods, try the chocolate chili flavor gelato that they occasionally have, called Maya. You’ll most likely only want a taste but I definitely recommend trying it! My favorite flavor here is a cream puff flavor with Nutella, called Bignolone. Bonus: cones are handmade and both cups and cones come with a yummy wafer on top!
Via de’ Bardi, 51/red, 50125 Firenze, Italy
- Perche No?
Tucked on a side street between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, this tiny, traditional gelateria stole my heart with its adorable name – “Why not?” in English. Other than the fact that the name of this gelateria basically sums up my general stance on eating gelato, Perche no? went straight to the top of my list because of their incredible recipe for my absolute favorite gelato flavor: Nutella. I usually combine with either Nocciola (hazelnut) or Stracciatella (cream with chocolate shavings) for the best cone ever.
Via dei Tavolini, 19R, 50122 Firenze, Italy
- Gelateria dei Neri
I guess I have to preface this with my very slight bias – Gelateria dei Neri was literally across the street from my apartment when I studied abroad, and just around the corner last semester, however, this gelateria earns the number one spot not for convenience, but for taste. I never met a flavor I didn’t like from de Neri – however, my suggestion would definitely be a cone of Nutella and Cookies and Cream. Mixed within these creamy gelato flavors are stripes of Nutella and chunks of cookies! YUM! The servers here recognize me from my daily visits but don’t judge my addiction so they will forever be my favorite for that reason as well.
Via dei Neri, 9/11, 50122 Firenze, Italy