Piazza della Signoria, 5/R, Duomo
Breakfast your local café in Italy is a ritual as social as it is caffeinating. The centuries-old habit has led to the proliferation of especially beautiful ones, as well as grand salons all across the country. In Florence, no spot is more elegant than Rivoire. The feeling is very old-world, with a mahogany bar, white tablecloths, and suited-up waiters flying around with silver platters held high above their heads. Take a seat in front and settle in among the elderly Florentines with their newspapers and machiattos, or sip a café standing at the bar as most locals do. In the colder months, wrap up and brave the outdoors with a view of the statue of David (disclaimer: The statue outside is a stand-in for the real deal, which is safely inside the museum) and the Accademia while savoring Rivoire’s ridiculously indulgent hot chocolate.
Via dell’isola delle Stinche, Duomo
The storefront at Vivoli is so under the radar you could easily miss it but for the little neon sign above the doorway. The gelato here is made fresh daily from the finest eggs, dairy, and whatever ingredients are currently in season—pear and green apple in the fall, apricot and melon in the summer. Stop into some of the neighboring leather stores afterward, as the area of Santa Croce is famous for them.
Via dei Neri, 32/R, Duomo
A morning café (black) or macchiato (marked with milk) is sacrosanct in the entire country. And very often, those are about your only options. But not so here, where Francesco Sanapo is modernizing the coffee (and brunch) game in Florence. There are two locations, though the original on Via dei Neri is our favorite. Staff at Ditta are actually happy to make you an almond milk flat white, or a cold-brew iced coffee, and even the filtered options are great thanks to the in-house own roaster. There are also pastries, polenta cake, and biscotti to dip in your coffee for breakfast (as well as pancakes and baked eggs if you’re homesick). At night, the space turns into a lively bar that favors all things gin.