Sometimes the best restaurants that you find are ones you stumble across yourself. And that’s what happened when we found La Grotta Guelfa. However, now that I’m back from our trip, I can see that lots of other travelers agree as La Grotta Guelfa is rated as a 4-star restaurant on Google.
We found the restaurant after spending a busy day walking around Florence. We were hungry and ready to find a nice restaurant where we could sit down and rest our legs and we also didn’t want to have to go out of our way to find a place. So after crossing the Ponte Vecchio, walking a few blocks, and turning left towards our hotel, La Grotta Guelfa was one of the first restaurants we found. We were a bit early for the evening rush so we had our pick of tables and sat right in front of the restaurant in the outdoor seating area. If the weather is colder, the inside of the building is also really lovely.
The first thing I noticed about the restaurant is how nice the waiting staff is. They let us choose our table and seemed so easy going and easy to laugh. Brian and I started our dinner with a caprese salad to share which was excellent! We had tons of caprese salads on our trip through Italy and we both agree that La Grotta Guelfa had just the right tomato to cheese ratio! Also, we learned that different types of balsamic vinegar or too much balsamic can make a big difference in the taste of your salad!
For dinner, Brian decided to try another Florentine steak. Luckily at this restaurant they were single portions, unlike the restaurant we ate at two nights prior. He was a bit worried because they didn’t ask how he liked his steak cooked, but was pleasantly surprised when it arrived Medium Rare, just the way he would have ordered it! For a side, Brian asked for asparagus and ended up with the biggest stalks we had ever seen!
I ordered the Pasta Arrabiata for the first time in Italy and I absolutely loved it. I love foods that are spicy with a bit of a kick, so the Arrabiata with it’s blend of tomatoes, garlic, and dried red chili peppers is perfect for me. I’ve tried a few times since then to find a recipe or another restaurant, but none of them have been as good as my dish from La Grotta Guelfa.
While we dined, we were entertained by the pigeons that wandered around the restaurant stealing bread crumbs. We also talked to the waiter and learned that the building is one of the oldest buildings in Florence and that it used to be a residence.
If you’re in Florence and looking for a nice place to relax and eat a good meal, we highly recommend La Grotta Guelfa. It’s a place where the food and atmosphere fits well if you are looking for a fancy date night or a casual dinner. To read their menu and plan your visit, you can visit their website here: http://www.grottaguelfa.it/