When I was a teen I used to love watching the Food Channel. One day I stayed home from school and watched a show on pastries, they had these lovely canolies, and even though I had a fever I got it my car and rushed to the supermarket. I went to the pastry counter, and ordered one. As I sat in the car I delicately opened the wrapper, just thinking about what it would taste like. I grew up in Oklahoma, and as the majority of the state is occupied with cows, I think my taste at that time was better geared toward steak than pastries. So anyway, I took a bite out of that sweet canoli…and promptly spit it back out into the bag. When I moved to Italy my Italian boyfriend took me to my first real pastry shop. I lived to taste and smell foods I had never heard of in my life. Since then I’ve been a bit of a pastry junky, and I finally got to have my real life canoli…it was a much different experience than all of those years ago. It was an amazing experience, but since then my tastes have tended to steer towards pastries that wont send you into diabetic shock immediately! So, that Italian boyfriend ended up to be my husband…and guess what our favorite pastime is? You guessed it! Trying out new pastry shops! I’ve even come to teach him about a few hidden spots. I have to say that Florence is a pretty good spot for pastries and that the supermarket isn’t a good spot to pick up a mouth watering treat. Here are the pastry shops I know and love in Florence.
1.Giorgio, via duccio di boninsegna 36, isolotto area- This pastry shop tends to be a favorite for most Florentines. Any given morning you can show up and expect to see 100 plus people lined up for pastries. They are famous for their Chantilly cream—which means their Schiacciata Fiorentina, and Mille Foglie is to die for! They also have pretty good sandwiches. If your looking to eat a pastry like no other this is your place. Don’t expect to get the most friendly service, or personal space.
2.Stefania, via Marconi 26r, bus 11- This is my all time favorite pastry shop. Stefania is famous for their ‘mignon’ or mini pies and ‘cremino’, a custard filled pastry. They have everything from yogurt and raspberries to lemon meringue, and if you get the chance try their semolina or chocolate pie! The crust is always very crisp and fresh. They make a mean cappuccino, complete with colorful designs, and really good mini pizzas! Saturday morning the shop can get pretty crowded and there isn’t much standing room or any place to sit.
3. Neri, via Gramsci 809-Sesto Fiorentino. This one isn’t even in Florence but in a suburb of Florence. They too have very good ‘mignon’ as well as little cakes made with chocolates. This is another packed pastry place! It is a bit out of the way, but if you want to check out the Ipercoop, it’s just around the corner. I recently went there, after they had remodeled the cafe, and was a little disappointed as the people behind the counter aren’t as knowledgeable about what their selling as some of the other pastry shops. Other than that it’s a great places!
4.Minni, via Giacomini 16. Ok guys I finally listed a pastry shop that is accessible from the center 😀 I told you I was hard to please! Minni is just outside of the center close to Piazza Savonarola and can be reached with the 20,10, 17, or 11 or a 20 minute walk from Piazza Duomo. They have a nice selection of various pastries. It is a small place and there is only one table with s few chairs. It can get crowded Saturday morning, but this is to be expected at any good pastry shop.
5. Le Blanc, Martinez- Piazza Paolo Uccello 17, can be reached with Tram line 1. I discovered this pastry shop recently. It has a cute decor neo-classical style, i.e. 18th century French decor…but all white…thus the name. There is plenty of seating and comfortable couches! Really good pastries and Cappuccino…I like Cappuccino can you tell!
This is by no means a definitive list and I am sure their are countless other pastry shops around town that are good. Give a shout out of your favorite treats around Italy I would love to post them! and oh BTW…don’t eat canolis in Florence…unless their made by a Sicilian 😀