The waiter was great, absolutely no complaints. Sadly the food was of a very poor quality and taste. We had a pasta carbonara and a chicken salad, the pasta tasted like microwave food and the salad was tiny with dried chicken. A small glass of coke was €4.20 each!!!!! Plus we even had to pay a cutlery charge of €1.50 per person. It is actually cheaper and much better quality to eat in the prime cliff terraces....but if you really want a bargain and excellent food try the market areas of Firenze!!
Favorite Dish: None
Of course the most popular restaurants in Fiesole are the ones with a terrace overlooking the city of Florence but after taking a look at the different menus, we decided we'd rather enjoy a good, not too expensive meal and then walk around to enjoy the view. There were several nice looking restaurants around the main piazza and in the end we decided to have a late lunch at Caffe al No. 5. This little bistro has been around for over 100 years and it's described as an "American bar", although I couldn't find much that was American about it - the menu presented a nice selection of Italian dishes and our waitress couldn't speak much English :o) She was very friendly though and immediately made us feel at home. I ordered the pennette all'amatriciana (served with an onions, bacon and tomato sauce) and they were quite tasty. Just as we were about to finish our meal, rain started pouring down so we went inside and hung around the bar for a while. There was a nice atmosphere inside and the rain provided us with the perfect excuse to order a couple of digestives - I went for the caffe corretto and it sure warmed me up! By the time the sun came out again our afternoon in Fiesole was already off to a very good start :o)
Large outdoor patio in front with huge umbrellas shading you from the summer sun. Inside is a bar next to a large wood-fired brick oven & upstairs are little dining nooks & crannies with windows overlooking the sights of the town.
The owner is a friendly, good looking man, who was sitting outside with an
American friend when I walked up. He's been in the restaurant business with his family since he was a little boy. They were so welcoming & informally friendly to me. I ended up staying at a table next to theirs for over 2 hours! Michelle included me in the special family recipe she made for some friends who came later, since there was enough left to offer me some, she thought. We talked before her friends arrived about her life & goals & about my travels.
Favorite Dish: From the menu I only had ice cream with fresh strawberries. Generous with the berries but the ice cream was a regular vanilla, not exceptional. Also tried the iced tea which was very good. Wish I could have tried the pizza or a real meal from their main menu, but by the time I had my mid-afternoon treat, followed by the tea, then the special recipe helping, I was full! And I had little time left,unfortunately...I had to leave, taking the public bus down the mountain to the Florence train station.
This was my last relaxing before leaving Italy by train, then plane. So it holds a very important place in my memories.
Caffe al no. 5 - on the Piazza Mino da Fiesole - "Bistrot American Bar, light lunch & dinner, birreria, cocktails & long drinks, caffetteria"
Favorite Dish: I'll have to check what they served us, but I'm sure I'll find the receipt somewhere.
This restaurant is actually just a stone's throw south of Fiesole in Maiano/Settignano.
We had seen this restaurant recommended in one of our tour books and figured we'd give it a try. Seems that a lot of tourists end up staying in or near Fiesole as it's just 5 minutes north of Florence (and presumably because it's away from the tourist masses and awful streets!).
It turned out that the owner's son chose to be our personal waiter, and we ended up learning rather lot in a very short time about what was good on the menu. (In fact, this fellow was hilarious--both of us thought he should be on a stage somewhere cracking one-liners.)
The atmosphere was suitably lively for a busy trattoria, and the service was top notch.
The owner's son ended up sending us home with a free bottle of their house wine. Our Italy trip was not without its surprises!
Favorite Dish: Their pasta is amazing--homemade the same day. I chose to have the papardelle a la ragu, and my wife had one of the tagliatelle selections. Both were excellent (hint: you can't go wrong ordering pasta at a good restaurant in Italy).
You sit next to the street at Piazza Mino, the center of Fiesole. It´s a crowded place, but it´s worth to wait a while. The tables are standing quite close to each other, what is good for conversation. We met some nice Germans there and were talking a lot. It was a nice evening!
Favorite Dish: All pizzas are great here. Also try a starter from the carte.......
We were sitting in the lovely backyard, just opposite the amphitheater....
Favorite Dish: Starter: Bruschetta (toasted bread with tomatoes and olive oil) and Crostini (toasted bread with liver paste)
Main: Gnocchetti con pesto (fresh potatoe noodles with fresh green sauce made from Basilikum)