Floret - Artisan Kitchen & Bar, Luisa Via Roma Store, Terrace (first floor), Via Roma 19/21r 50123
Floret is a 20 minute walk from our recommended B&B in Florence, Velonas Jungle.
Tamara and Maurizio opened Floret in 2017. They’d been living in Germany for a while where they had careers in marketing, fashion and hospitality, and wanted to bring more of an international way of eating to central Florence.
“We’re the pioneers of health food in Florence,” Maurizio told me when I visited for dinner. “You struggled to find cold press juices in Florence before we opened and as for opening times, well, Florentines are used to eating at set times of the day, but here we have made a point of staying open all through the day, so our guests can eat whenever suits them.”
Considering their previous careers it’s perhaps no surprise that Floret is situated on a terrace within a high fashion department store which stocks the latest lines from the top brands. It’s just 100 metres from the central square, bordered by the cathedral, and there are no signs from the street that tell you that Floret is to be found inside the ‘Luisa Via Roma store. Instead you just go into the store and follow the signs that say ‘Terrace and Bar’ up the stairs into the chic, relaxed area that has hints of the tropics - palms bristle between than life cranes/flamingos, wicker baskets and low slung cane furniture.
“We also operate a pop up restaurant at Berlin Fashion Week,” said Maurizio. “The usual fare there is burgers, hot dogs, that sort of thing, not what you want if you’re in fashion and want to keep your figure! So we do well there, and soon we aim to open another branch of Floret here in Florence, in an artistic collaboration with a boutique hotel and private members club.”
I started with a fresh, cold pressed, raw, organic juice. It’s made daily in house and I took the apple, lemon and ginger flavour.
Fresh bread and the most excellent olive oil was served before my food. This is not something we generally do in the UK or Canada, maybe because our olive oil is not of a very high standard at most restaurants! But here the quality is so good that the moment you dip the bread in it you understand why it's served this way. When the ingredients are this good, bread and oil are a satisfying appetizer on their own.
As an appetizer I had the guacamole and for main the chickpea curry with Colombian coconut rice, fresh baby leaf lettuce and toasted coconut flakes. All were very well put together; tastes were suitably subtle, textures were intelligently thought out and portion size was satisfactory.
There wasn’t a vegan desert on offer so I took the vegetarian option and had the Greek Yoghurt Cheesecake. It had a raw nut and date base but the ‘cheese’ was rather soft. It’s what you often get with yoghurt based cheesecakes and not a problem if you’re not a fan of the New York style. But I’ve got used to vegan cheesecakes made with nuts and sadly for other cheesecakes - and luckily for vegans - there’s not a cheesecake can touch it for dense texture.
All things considered, the meal was great refuel food, easy on the stomach, tasty and wholesome. Exactly what I needed after an 80km race to help rebuild a very beaten up body.
There was an extensive range of teas and cocktails, but I celebrated my run with a Noam 5.2% pilsner. This isn’t a hipster beer, falling over itself to appear hoppy, thankfully. Quite the contrary; it’s a classic unpasteurized pilsner, light amber in colour and with a clean taste.
Floret is our #1 place in central Florence; if you're sightseeing around the cathedral and fancy lunch, we recommend you pop in. No reservations needed! They have an active Facebook and Instagram, it's well worth following them.