A “local” guide on where to have a cocktail in Florence

The best places to enjoy a drink, even on a budget

Young people! And all lovers of bars! This is a local guide on the best way to enjoy Florence when it comes to having a drink with friends, taking a walk after dinner and “stopping for a drink" as we say here, treating yourself to an outstanding cocktail.

If you don’t know the center of Florence, it’s easy to make a mistake and find yourself in pretty forgettable places. It’s essential to know that us Florentines are always out and about, we’re just good at camouflaging ourselves! We move in groups that visitors to the city might not easily spot, keeping ourselves to ourselves. 

This might make visitors disoriented and have them asking: where am I? Don't worry, it's normal. This guide has been put together just for that; to let you know where to find us and where to enjoy a Florentine drink (for the young, but not too young).

And so, here’s the local guide on locals.


The San Lorenzo area is unique: it completely transforms from day to night. During the day, it’s famous for the Mercato Centrale and all the well-known stalls selling leather accessories and clothing, souvenirs, and various other things. In the evening, it’s completely emptied of the market and all the excess gathering, becoming a district that’s sometimes a little overlooked even by Florentines, excepting several bars and ethnic restaurants.

On the two opposite sides of the market we find PanicAle (Beer Cocktail & Food), a place that’s frequented by the young people of the city who love to enjoy a nice drink under the colonnades of the market. Parallel to that we find another must-visit: Sabor Cubano, a cocktail spot that transports customers to Cuba in the 40s with exclusively Cuban music, furniture and cocktails.

Tip: San Lorenzo is the perfect area to enjoy a great (and authentic) ethnic dinner, to be finished with a drink.


Stop! Before crossing Ponte alla Carraia (if you are not already in Oltrarno, otherwise you need to go back), head into Paolo at the Art Bar in via del Moro to enjoy a truly special cocktail. This is not a place for young people, it’s a hidden gem that awaits anyone who seeks to savor each ingredient with every sip.

Now feel free to cross the bridge and enter the famous district of San Frediano/Santo Spirito. Suiting all tastes, the neighborhood was historically home to the stores of Florentine artisans, and is now packed with cafes, restaurants, and bars. Piazza Santo Spirito and its tables are delightful all year round with their je ne sais quoi. You could try a glass of white in Cabiria or Pitta M’Ingolli at aperitivo time, but everyone has a favorite spot.

Advice: go beyond the piazza and get lost in the streets of the neighborhood; try the trattorias in via dell’Orto and the gelatoria in Piazza Tasso.


Last but not least, the most Florentine area of all for evenings spent out: the Sant’Ambrogio district. It’s well-known for popular prices, and a sense of gathering and freedom. The young people of Florence love to head out into the streets of the neighborhood, and above all to Borgo la Croce.

You can't go wrong: it’s easily recognizable with tables and stools placed almost everywhere in the middle of the streets, people hold glasses of wine or prosecco, accompanied with crostini (also because they started right here in Piazza Sant'Ambrogio). Finally, there are two other places between Sant’Ambrogio and Santa Croce to try: Hangar, a distinctly unique and alternative spot that’s warm and filled with carpets, a space where balance between mind and body counts for a lot. It’s ideal for a cocktail in the evenings along with a DJ set. There’s also Soul Kitchen, a historic stop for many young people, with its bountiful aperitivo and welcoming barmen who greet you upon entry. 

Tip: Get yourself a nice schiacciata ripiena, put together as it should be, also found in Borgo la Croce.