Florentines have a lifelong love affair with top-quality brews, and the Italian coffee culture is more vibrant than ever in Tuscany’s capital. With countless cafes specializing in everything from single-origin coffees to American-style varieties, finding the best coffee in Florence is tricky.

Each time I’ve been to Florence, I always try to check out new coffee shops while also making time for return visits to my old favorites. Because of this, I’ve amassed quite a long list of spots I’m fond of.

I’m such a fan of the cafe scene here that I’ve included a coffee stop in many of my Florence food tours. This tells you all you need to know about how terrific the brews are here!

If you’re a coffee devotee like me and are headed to this Tuscan gem soon, take a look at my picks for the best coffee shops in Florence below.

Ala Grande Caffè – Caffè Rosanò

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Photo credit: Ala Grande Caffè – Caffè Rosanò

A Florentine coffee shop every local has visited at least once, Ala Grande Caffè, also known as Caffè Rosanò, is just a few streets away from Accademia Gallery. After you’ve marveled at the museum’s collection of Michaelangelo’s works, swing by for a coffee or a quick bite to eat.

As much as I love an al fresco coffee, I tend to sit inside whenever I visit Ala Grande Caffè. I’m not sure if it’s because of the posted-covered brick walls or the quiet, cozy corners, but the ambiance here is always so inviting

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve enjoyed a cup of joe here, but my latest trip gave me my first taste of their macchiatos. My stomach began rumbling as soon as I spotted the golden pistachio croissant, so naturally, I had to pick one up, too.

The coffee had just the right amount of bitterness for me, and the touch of foamed milk complemented the flavors rather than distracting from them. Similarly, my flaky, buttery croissant and its crunchy filling of savory pistachio combined distinct but well-matched tastes.

Ala Grande Caffè – Caffè Rosanò(€) Via S. Gallo, 29R, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy – Open Monday, Wednesday to Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Tuesday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Closed Saturday and Sunday

Caffe Concerto Paszkowski

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Photo credit: Caffe Concerto Paszkowski

Caffe Concerto Paszkowski is a fabulous cafe right around the corner from the Duomo di Florence. It’s a rather popular spot for an aperitif or a light meal, but I’m more interested in their high-quality coffees. After all, it’s among the longest-running coffee shops in the city.

Whenever I step inside, I feel as if I’ve been transported back to old-school Europe. The warm tones of the wooden paneling that envelopes much of the cafe and cozy velvet couches lure me in every time, though they also have a stunning outdoor terrace for when the sun’s out.

Caffe Concerto Paszkowski remains my top spot in Florence for an old-fashioned Americano. If you come during the summer, rest assured that their iced alternatives are just as delectable. I stopped by with my buddy recently and can confirm that the iced Americano was as good as ever.

Perfectly chilled without being overloaded with ice, it was a welcome relief from the midday heat. Bold, intense flavors and a crisp finish characterize the iced drinks here, and though I often lean toward coffee with milk, I think the brews here are even better without any extras.

Caffe Concerto Paszkowski (€€€) Piazza della Repubblica, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy – Open Sunday to Thursday, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, Friday, 8:30 am to 1:00 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Coffee Mantra

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Photo credit: Coffee Mantra

Coffee Mantra is a lovely little spot in Santa Croce for to-go brews and pastries. If you’re partial to specialty coffee, this is one place you can’t miss. These guys get their goods from Gearbox Coffee Roasters, a revered Florentine roastery with the finest beans around.

This is a compact, no-frills cafe where all the focus is on the coffee. The intimate nature of Coffee Mantra is one of the reasons I love coming here, as the knowledgeable baristas are always eager to offer recommendations and share their invaluable insights.

As Coffee Mantra is one of the few places in Florence where flat whites are available, I order one pretty much every time I’m here. On my last visit, the barista suggested I sample the Colombian beans, which might be my favorite yet! 

The citrusy, dark chocolate notes from the Arabica beans were exquisite, and the light acidity gave it a zesty kick. Rather than taking away from the strength of the coffee, the light layer of steamed milk gave it a hint of sweetness and a delightfully milky consistency.

Coffee Mantra (€€) Borgo La Croce 71r, Via della Mattonaia, 24r, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy, open Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Closed Sunday

Melaleuca

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Lying on the banks of the Arno River, just minutes from the Basilica of Santa Croce, is Melaleuca, an Australian-inspired cafe and pastry store. As much as I adore traditional Italian coffee shops, I like to mix it up now and then and try some of the international-style spots in the city center.

Melaleuca’s interior consists of pale wooden furniture, white stone walls, vivid green plants, and the all-important La Marzocco coffee machine. Each time I’ve visited, it’s been brimming with a blend of locals and tourists enjoying delicious java, sweet treats, and brunch classics.

It was a hot and humid day in Florence the last time I was here, so I opted for a light breakfast made up of cold brew coffee and a cinnamon roll. At this point, I’ve tried a slew of their coffees and confections, but this is my favorite pairing yet.

Full-bodied, fruity, and refreshing, this cold brew was the perfect pick-me-up to give me a much-needed energy boost. It had some chocolatey undertones, which worked beautifully with the gooey and indulgent cinnamon roll. Plus, the pillowy dough and sugary glaze were divine!

Melaleuca Firenze (€€) Lungarno delle Grazie, 18, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy, open Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday to Sunday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Ditta Artigianale

Ditta Artigianale is an oh-so-cool coffee joint between Piazza della Signoria and Piazza di Santa Croce. They have several locations across Florence, including on Via dello Sprone and along the riverside in Santo Spirito, but I still have a soft spot for their original store.

While its industrial-style seating, bright interior, and sleek displays of bagged coffee give it a contemporary feel, it still exudes Italian charm. The upstairs seating area is a superb spot to curl up with a caffeinated drink, as it tends to be less busy than the bustling tables downstairs.

Though I often go for AeroPress or V60 coffee from here, I’ve always been curious about their inventive espresso-based drinks, which I finally tried just a few months ago. All the options sounded incredible, but the iced lavender latte particularly allured me.

It was much more decadent than the coffees I generally stick to, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Made with robust and earthy espresso, the gentle flavors of the minty, floral lavender honey, and vanilla-infused whipped cream made this feel like a drink and dessert in one.

Ditta Artigianale (€€)Via dei Neri, 30/32 R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy, open Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday to Sunday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Simbiosi Organic Cafe 

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Simbiosi, a gorgeous brunch cafe with an all-organic menu, is less than a 10-minute walk from the Florence Duomo at the edge of the San Marco neighborhood

Though its Instagram-ready interior can make it seem like a tourist trap, I can assure you the team here is passionate about whipping up premium coffee.

This setting is spectacular and picture-perfect, with soaring stone ceilings and archways blending into rustic wooden features and patterned tiles. When combined with the twinkling fairy lights and floral arrangements, the inside becomes even more enchanting.

From the second I stepped inside, the staff were fantastic. I was on a bit of a time crunch, and thankfully, the service was super quick and efficient. Within minutes, the waitress arrived with my cappuccino and Caprese cake.

A true comfort drink, the cappuccino was creamy and balanced, with a mix of nutty espresso, slightly sweet steamed milk, and a frothy layer of foam. With its rich cocoa flavors and semi-bitter almonds, the Caprese cake made for a tasty accompaniment. 

Simbiosi Organic Cafe (€€)Via de’ Ginori, 64r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy, open every day, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Conclusion

Florence’s cafes are wide-ranging and top-tier, with grab-and-go coffee bars, cafes offering unique blends, and quaint hideaways with talented baristas.

Determining where the best coffee is in Florence is a divisive topic. Yet, I’m quietly confident that I’ve found some of the finest lattes, macchiatos, and espressos in the city in the above spots!



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