Looking for a guide to where to eat gluten free in Florence? We’re two gluten free foodies – I, Matt, have Celiac Disease and was diagnosed 10+ years ago – and we’re here to help you find the best Celiac-safe gluten free restaurants in Florence. Whether you’re looking for gluten free pizza in Florence, or you want to eat allll the gluten free pastries, we’ve got you covered.
Florence is a city that has a lot going for it, which has resulted in huge tourism numbers that seem to grow every single year (with the obvious exception of 2020). There are two things that have happened as a result. First, there has been a boom in gluten free options in Florence as local restaurants try to cater to tourists who need to eat gluten free. Second, rising rents and cost of doing business has made it harder and harder for those same gluten free places to exist in Florence, so some have closed permanently over the past few years.
We spent five days in Florence (read our guide to planning a perfect 3 day Florence itinerary), and spent our time seeking out the best gluten free food in Florence, which is what we’re sharing with you in this guide. We’ll cover dedicated gluten free restaurants and bakeries, where the risk of cross-contamination is low, and gluten free restaurants that are accredited by the AIC (Italian Celiac Association), which is an essential resource for your trip, but we’ll get into that in a second.
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Before we get into specific places to eat gluten free in Florence, let’s cover some basics about traveling gluten free in Italy.
The Italian Celiac Association (Associazione Italiana Celiachia) is Amazing
At a high level, the AIC educates restaurants in Italy on how to safely serve Celiacs a gluten free meal, from sourcing ingredients to separating equipment and surfaces in the kitchen. It’s a revelation, coming from the USA where it’s essentially a free-for-all, and terms like “gluten-friendly” have somehow become a thing, and are popping up everywhere.
In Italy, it’s generally a good assumption that if something is AIC-accredited, they know what they’re doing.
The first thing you should do when you’re planning a gluten free trip to Italy is download the AIC app, which costs $2.99 to subscribe for two weeks to their database of accredited gluten free restaurants in Italy (you can extend for another two weeks exactly once, and after that you’ll have to get in touch with a local association to subscribe).
In that app, they have an interactive map where you can see certified restaurants in a given area, including the user ratings (though there’s not much detail behind the ratings). I automatically disregarded any restaurant with a rating below 4.0, for what it’s worth. It’s a lifesaver, and it’s better than FindMeGlutenFree, I think.
Be Skeptical of Any “Gluten Free” Beer (Spoiler: it’s Gluten-Reduced)
Compared to other Italian cities, there’s a lot of gluten free beer to be found in Florence. Which I was excited about!
Until, of course, I read the labels and saw “barley malt” on every single label. Barley, as you may know, is one of the grains that contains gluten. Literally all eight of the gluten free beers I looked at in Florence – including Greens, one of the safe beers in the United States – was gluten-reduced.
Which means these beers are made with barley, then an enzyme is added to break up the gluten, which interferes with the test for gluten’s ability to detect gluten. Seems sketchy, right? That’s because it is. In both Canada and the US, you can’t call these beers gluten free.
It’s legal in the EU to label these beers as “gluten free,” and often the only way you’d know it contains barley is by looking at the ingredients. Here’s a quick read on the difference, and why people with Celiac Disease shouldn’t drink gluten-reduced beer. Here’s another one. And I loved this open letter.
In Florence, Most People in the Tourism Industry Speak Decent English
We, two people who can barely say “ciao” (an exaggeration, of course, but our Italian is VERY broken) were able to navigate pretty easily.
However, if you’re concerned that you won’t be able to communicate your particular needs around gluten, pick up a gluten free restaurant card from Jodi over at Legal Nomads, who makes the most comprehensive cards around. I personally buy them before every trip, and bring them with me mostly as a last resort. If you’re stressed about the language barrier, the $9 investment is well worth it.
We think the $9 is well worth the peace of mind (and traveled to Italy with one for our trip).
Gelato Shops are a Minefield of Cross-contamination
The gelato goes on the cone, the scoop touches the cone, the scoop goes back into the tub, repeat as needed.
Unless you are able to communicate that you’d like a fresh scooper and a fresh container that hasn’t been opened AND they’re able to accommodate that request (most places don’t have extra tubs sitting around like some ice cream shops do in the US), then I’d stick to the 100% gluten free gelato shop in Florence – Grom – which you’ll find more information on below.
Gluten Free Groceries are Easy to Find
Almost every single main grocery store in Italy has some sort of gluten free section, usually in a whole separate section. The exception would be small convenience stores, which aren’t usually a great place to find gluten free bread, pasta, etc.
Things are well-labeled, and you’ll want to look for “senza glutine” on packaged foods. Carrefour and CONAD were our favorites in Florence, and they have a nice selection of gluten free items in a dedicated section at most of their locations in the city.
Gluten Free Florence: A Guide to Our Favorite Gluten Free Restaurants and Bakeries in Florence
I’ve split up the options for eating gluten free in Florence into two different categories. There’s the 100% gluten free restaurants (and gelato shops and bakeries), and the AIC-certified restaurants.
Putting my cards on the table here – I think that if you’re a Celiac traveling in Italy, you should focus on either dedicated gluten free restaurants and bakeries, or restaurants that are not 100% gluten free, but ARE certified by the AIC.
For that reason, the restaurants you will find below are either dedicated gluten free – that means no gluten in the kitchen, so the risk of cross-contamination is low – or AIC-certified, which means that the staff has been trained on how to prevent cross-contamination and how to cater to Celiac customers.
Now, is this a perfect way to avoid cross-contamination? Probably not. Eating out with Celiac Disease always carries some level of risk because it depends on the individual staff members following the procedures put in place. It’s still up to you to communicate your needs to staff members and make sure they can meet your needs.
Is it an easy shortcut for finding places that are set up to serve Celiacs safely? I believe the answer is yes, which is why that’s how I’ve organized this guide.
Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants in Florence
Here are the places in Florence that are 100% gluten free. There are several great options, and you could spend your time ONLY eating at dedicated gluten free restaurants in Florence, where you can order ANYTHING on the menu (which, despite 10+ years of Celiac Disease, is still a great feeling!).
We enjoyed Sgrano so much that we actually ended up going back twice. Once for lunch to try their fantastic Schiaccate – which are similar (but different!) to a panini or focaccia sandwich. Once for dinner to try their gluten free pizza, which I think was the best we had in Florence.
The street that it’s on – Via dei Neri – is home to a couple of the most famous restaurants in Florence, which all serve up some version of Fiorentian street food (mostly in the form of sandwiches). If you have Celiac Disease and want to partake in the phenomenon of hundreds of people plopped on the curb, huge sandwich in hand, this is the place for you.
They have a range of different fillings, though most of them involve some sort of cured meat, which meant Alysha wasn’t super excited about them. We tried two, and much preferred the Bomba, which was filled with pancetta (yum), peppers (yum), and gorgonzola with a honey drizzle.
It’s worth noting that they only serve the sandwiches at lunch – no pizza available.
For dinner, they expand the menu to include pizza and covaccini, which is essentially pizza without sauce (like a dry pizza?) but with fresh ingredients on top. For dinner, we had the diavolissima, which is a spicy pizza with salami and burrata, and we tried a covaccini with crudo, pistachio cream, and fresh tomatoes, which was delicious.
Their pizza was really good, with a bubbly crust that had a very wood-fired taste. Their base flour blend is a mix of corn, buckwheat, rice, and multigrain flour. And again, everything in the restaurant is gluten free, so the risk of cross-contamination is low (if not zero).
They do have gluten free beer, but remember – it’s gluten-reduced and if you have Celiac Disease, you probably shouldn’t be drinking it.
They also have a couple of gluten free desserts (if you still have room after the pizza) including tiramisu (which is what we got), cheesecake, and a chocolate cake. The tiramisu was good, not great, and didn’t quite live up to the quality of the pizza and sandwiches. We’d skip it and head to Grom for gelato, instead.
Bottega Artigiana del Gusto
Bottega Artigiana del Gusto is a little bit of a journey from the center of Florence, but if you have Celiac Disease, love good food, and are into pastries, this is the place for you. It’s the only dedicated gluten free bakery in Florence, and they also have a bunch of ready-to-eat options for lunch like pizzas, paninis, and other delights.
We think it is 100% worth the journey – about 20 minutes each way by bus – to go here. It’s in a charming, more residential and local neighborhood east of the center. And to be honest, it’s a nice change of pace from the craziness of the center of Florence. Which is beautiful, energetic, and charming in its own right, but it’s A LOT.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also a 100% gluten free grocery store, stocking a bunch of different gluten free products like crackers, breadsticks, bread, pastas, cookies, and the list goes on.
Anyway, back to the pastries. They have both savory and sweet options. The sweet options are what we focused on (obviously) and we had a cornetto (a croissant, ish), a bombolini (a donut, ish, filled with cream or chocolate), and two wild card pastries that looked good, but I’m still not quite sure what I ate. Don’t worry, we ate them over the course of the next couple of days, not all at once.
We went around lunchtime, and they were in the process of making more and more tasty items for us to choose from. We ended up with a slice of buffalo mozzarella pizza, and one of our favorite discoveries in Italy – scarpazzone – which is kind of like a Hot Pocket, but actually good.
It’s a stuffed savory pastry, in this case stuffed with eggplant, tomatoes, and parmesan. We found it multiple times (including in Milan) and it’s one of Alysha’s new favorites.
Oh, yeah, and their gluten free bread is fantastic, too. We got a loaf to make our own cheese plate at our apartment, and it was light and fluffy on the inside, crunchy and crusty on the outside. Like bread should be!
Getting There: From the center of Florence, you’re going to have to take the bus (~20 minutes or so) or walk (45 minutes or so). To take the bus, grab bus tickets at any tabacchi shop (look for the large “T” sign) in the city center. They’re 1.50 Euros each, and are good for 90 minutes which means you can probably use the same ticket there and back, which is what we did. Plug the address into Google Maps and find a bus route that will take you there (or just click here and plug your location in). MAKE SURE TO VALIDATE YOUR TICKET ON THE BUS. If you do not validate your ticket, you risk getting a fine if your tickets are checked. More here on riding the bus in Florence without getting a fine (it’s not hard, I promise, but the validation step is really important).
Ristorante Quinoa was our first restaurant in Florence – and also the first gluten free restaurant in Florence, opening way back in 2014, the dark ages of gluten free travel (compared to today, anyway) – and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Everything on the menu is gluten free, and the fresh gluten free bread that was brought to the table at the beginning of the meal was fantastic.
The space is great, particularly the outdoor courtyard, which is filled with greenery (and statues of sheep and cranes) and sits in the middle of a former 16th Century cloister.
The dinner menu ranges from traditional Italian dishes, like risotto and pastas, to more internationally-inspired cuisine – there was a green curry and a couple of Latin American themed dishes on the menu when we were there. There was even a vegan bunless burger! The dinner menu rotates seasonally, changing every couple of months or so.
We had a lovely homemade pasta (side note – all pastas, including ravioli and gnocchi – are made in-house) with a celery / ginger / garlic sauce that was surprisingly flavorful and delicious, along with a mushroom risotto that was rich and creamy.
The best thing we ate, however, was the orange cake (forgive me, all I remember about the description was “it’s a traditional Jewish cake made with oranges and almonds”) that we had for dessert. It was light, moist, and VERY orangey. In a good way. A really good way.
They actually have a bunch of gluten free desserts to choose from, like cheesecake (they had two versions, one dairy-free) and profiteroles (basically, cream puffs). We went with the orange cake for its uniqueness, and loved it.
The lunch menu is slightly different – it changes daily based on the ingredients they have on hand, which I think is kind of fun!
One important note here: I got very, very excited that they had Greens gluten free beer, which I know as a gluten free beer made with naturally gluten free ingredients (versus gluten-reduced) from my experience at home in the United States. Not so here! My beer showed up, and there was barley malt waiting for me in the ingredients! Lucky for me, I thought to take a look at the back before drinking it, but still, I was very disappointed.
None of the beers they have are actually gluten free, they’re all gluten reduced, which means if you have Celiac Disease, you probably should stick to their wine and cocktails instead.
L’Osteria Della Sgrano
This is another place that is an expansion of an already successful gluten free franchise in Florence, this time it’s Sgrano. The newer Osteria Della Sgrano is a more upscale and formal dining experience, though that’s not to say it’s stuffy or anything like that.
They serve authentic Tuscan cuisine, and Alysha spent a solid
half hour at least an hour (Alysha would like the record to show that it was more than a half hour – she was excited!) on a Monday Googling the dishes on the menu to figure out what she wanted to order when we stopped by for dinner. The only problem, we realized, was that they were only open on weekends at the time, so we didn’t get to make it there. Instead, we ended up back at the original Sgrano for pizza, which was great (as we covered above).
The menu consists of things like handmade pasta and ravioli, which is slightly different from their other, more casual location just a few blocks away, which as we mentioned above is all about the pizzas and focaccias.
It opened in the summer of 2021, and is in the Santa Croce neighborhood, just a few blocks away from the neighborhood’s namesake church.
A list of gluten free places to eat in Italy could never be considered complete without a mention of gelato. And in Italy, that means Grom! Grom is an Italian gelato chain in basically every major Italian city, and it’s 100% gluten free.
Now, sometimes, being 100% gluten free means making a trade off between taste, and “safeness.” Not so, at Grom! Grom is legit really, really good gelato. My older brother tried Grom a day after trying another well-known gelato chain, and Grom was the clear winner.
They have a set of base flavors (like pistachio and hazelnut, our two favorites) along with a rotating cast of characters (like candied chestnut when we were in Florence in the fall).
They have gluten free cones too, and by that, I mean every single cone in the place is gluten free. Yes, the chocolate-covered cones are gluten free. Yes, the ones covered in chocolate and dipped in pistachios are too. It’s all gluten free – no cross-contamination here!
The location in Florence is near the Duomo, which means it’s an ideal spot to grab an afternoon (or mid-morning, no judgement here – we’ve been there) gelato snack to break up the day.
L’OV Osteria Vegetariana
This is the one dedicated gluten free spot in Florence that we ended up skipping, mostly because we were too full from all the other amazing gluten free food in Florence to fit it into our trip.
It’s owned by the same people as Ristorante Quinoa (which we wrote about above), and has a similar vibe. Except this one is across the river in Oltrarno, which is a very charming part of Florence that feels miles away from the craziness of the historical center, but is just a 10-15 minute walk across the river.
L’OV Osteria Vegetariana is 100% gluten free AND vegetarian. They’re open for lunch and dinner, and the experiences are slightly different depending on when you go.
For lunch, it’s a rotating menu that takes advantage of the bounties of fresh produce coming from the area around Florence.
The dinner menu is slightly more fixed, though it still rotates seasonally. We were eyeing the Mozzarella in Crosta (Fried cheese? Yes please!) and the fresh pasta with garlic and chili sauce, but like I said, we didn’t quite make it.
One thing to know going in is that portions are relatively small for the price, which isn’t exactly surprising for a 100% gluten free and vegetarian restaurant in Italy, but is worth knowing going in. Starters will cost you around 9 Euros, main dishes will cost you 12-15 Euros.
More Gluten Free Travel Guides for Europe
Planning a trip to Europe, but need to eat gluten free? We’ve spent a fair amount of time in Europe over the past few years, and have written a bunch of in-depth travel guides to the best gluten free restaurants and bakeries in many of our favorite European cities.
AIC-Accredited Gluten Free Restaurants in Florence
I want to remind you, before we get into this section, that this is definitely not meant to be a comprehensive list of every restaurant in Florence that maybe, might be able to serve you a gluten free meal that might be safe.
Instead, this is a list of restaurants that are well-reviewed on the AIC app (along with other apps) AND that we had a good experience at.
That’s right, I ate at all three of these restaurants. Your experience may vary, of course, because it comes down to communicating your needs to the staff and them following the protocols they have in place to prevent cross-contamination.
If you’re worried about not being able to communicate, spend the $9 on an Italian gluten free restaurant card, and you won’t have to stress about pulling up “I have Celiac Disease, is this gluten free” on Google Translate.
After walking by both of their locations multiple times over the course of our time in Florence, we finally made it to Mister Pizza at noon on our last day before catching our train out of town. I had discovered it through the AIC app, and read rave reviews about their gluten free pizza crust, which made it a must-eat on our trip.
We arrived right as they opened, and the server, Sharon, was incredibly friendly, chatting with us and letting us know that the ovens were still warming up, and it would be a few minutes. We ended up talking to her about our travels around Italy (we were in Italy for over a month on this latest jaunt), and we bonded over our shared love for pistachios. Though she argued that the best pistachios come from Iran, where she was from. Guess we’ll have to put it to the test, someday, but the pistachios from Sicily are pretty spectacular.
They do one thing, and they have it down to a science. That one thing is pizza, and they have separate equipment and ovens for the gluten free pizzas they make. The crust was great – kind of bubbly (though not quite, because, you know, gluten free), nice and thin, and it held up great under the toppings.
The toppings probably could have been more robust, but we enjoyed the Calabria pizza with a nice kick of spice anyway. The gluten free pizzas come out with a little “gluten free” flag in them, but it’s always best to make sure to double check with the server when it comes out to be super sure it’s gluten free.
They have two locations – one right next to the Duomo on the cathedral’s northern side, and one further east towards Santa Croce (and therefore far less busy). The one near Santa Croce happened to be a block away from our apartment in Florence, which is how we ended up there.
One thing we sometimes find about needing to eat gluten free is that you can miss out on certain local specialties that just aren’t readily available gluten free. In the case of Tuscan cuisine, I had read all about wild boar ragu and some of the region’s other famous pastas, but all the research I had done had created a list of mostly pizza places in Florence.
Enter Da Garibardi.
Da Garibardi is an authentic Tuscan restaurant (or, at least, I perceived it to be in a sea of touristy pizza and poke places nearby) that is accredited by the AIC, which means you’ll be able to safely try some of those regional specialties. I got their wild boar ragu, which was great, and Alysha got an interesting pasta dish made with a cabbage cream.
I wouldn’t say that the food blew us away, exactly, though it was a pleasant evening out, and service was fine, nothing particularly special.
Ciro & Sons
Ciro and Sons gets allll the hype when it comes to gluten free pizza in Florence, and my expectations were fairly high after reading that they had won a gluten free pizza competition. So, I made a reservation for a Saturday night, and prepared all day to stuff my face with delicious Neapolitan-style pizza.
We arrived right on time, ready to sit down for our reservation, and found a line of people out the door, all clamoring to either put their name in or be seated for their reservation. Except, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Italy, but the concept of a line is mostly lost on Italians. Instead, it’s every man or woman for themselves, creating an all-out free-for-all, which clearly overwhelmed the poor hostess, who was the hero of the night, running around clearing dishes, taking names, and getting people seated.
It took nearly an hour after our reservation before we were seated, and we quickly learned that the list in the hostesses’ hand meant nothing, and it was all about who was standing at the front of the line (whether they had waited in it or not). Sure enough, we made it to the front and got seated!
So, my first tip is to go either for lunch, or get there early for dinner. We were there around 8:00 pm on a Saturday, and it was madness from then until around 10:00 pm. Also, probably don’t go on a Saturday if you can avoid it.
We sat down, I explained that I have Celiac Disease and would like to eat some gluten free pizza, and the server took our order and confirmed that the pizzas would be “senza glutine.”
The pizza crust was pretty good, though the middle of both pizzas was a mess, and the crust had essentially dissolved under the moisture coming from the toppings.
Which brings me to my second tip, which is first to lower your expectations for Ciro and Sons, then go to Mister Pizza or Sgrano instead. Is this place good? Yeah, it’s pretty good. Is it overhyped? I think so. Can you do better in Florence? Yep, definitely.
Heading to Italy?
We’ve been to Italy multiple times – obviously we love it – including more than a month on our last trip! If you enjoyed this guide and found it helpful, you definitely won’t want to miss our detailed guide to planning an amazing Italy itinerary.
Here are some of our other Italy guides to help you plan an incredible Italian adventure.
- 4 Days in Rome: A Perfect Rome Itinerary for First Timers
- Where to Stay in Rome: A Complete Guide to Rome’s Best Areas to Stay
- The Best Things to Do in Rome (Not Just a List of Attractions!)
- 3 Days in Florence: How to Explore the Fascinating Tuscan City in 3 Days
- Where to Stay in Florence: A Complete Neighborhood Guide
- What to Do in Florence: A Detailed Guide to the Best Things to Do
- 2 Days in Venice: How to Plan a Perfect 48 Hours Exploring Venice
- One Day in Milan: How to See the Best of Milan in a Day (Duomo + Last Supper)
- One Day in Verona: A Perfect Day in Verona, Italy’s Most Charming City
- How to Plan an Amazing Sicily Road Trip
Need to Eat Gluten Free in Italy?
If you’re traveling and need to eat gluten free like me, Matt (I have Celiac Disease, which is why I started this site in the first place), then you’ll want to check out our gluten free guide to Italy, along with our city guides for Rome, Florence, and Milan to help you find the best gluten free pastries, pizzas, and more.