After a walking tour of Florence I often suggested to my guests to try the second floor of the Mercato centrale that was inaugurated a couple of years ago. It was the new foodies paradise for a while but I have to say that things changed in the last year. In peak season, basically 9 months a year, it became quite a challenge to find a table even for 2 and the service for the drinks became pretty chaotic. A lot of people push from every angle and the confusion reigns over the market.
But one might think that it worth the effort considering the delicious Tuscan products that can be admired first and then ordered. Well, for a self service, the prices are quite high, considering that you have to stay in line, order and then wait until your dish is ready and somebody yells your number. And that’s one of the negative points that I found. You might think that you pay for the high quality. Hmm, not really, unfortunately I found some of the stands touristy and lacking in the quality that I remember from the first year. I do find interesting and fun visiting also this second floor and in case you love cheese, mozzarella and burrata, you will definitely be tempted by the Puglia stand dedicated to her majesty mozzarella that is really yummy.
Making a treccia and a burrata at the Centro della mozzarella at the second floor of the Mercato Centrale in Florence.
If you are curious and willing to try the food in a modern context, you can give it a chance, but remember that in the area there are many traditional trattorias where you can sit comfortably and enjoy a real Tuscan meal with the locals. If you are a foodie and you want to learn about the Tuscan cooking traditions and products, try my Food and Culture Tour of Florence, mixing art, history, places not to miss and the food spots that the locals love.