My Favourite Place to Eat in Florence

I am in great need of comfort food, but after my holiday in Italy, I’ve steered clear of ordering pasta here for they tend to be rather disappointing. (unless cooked by me, for then I only have myself to blame)

When I think of the best meals I had in Italy, I think of the home-cooked ones I had at an Airbnb, and I think of Ristorante Self-Service Leonardo.

Located on the first floor (k, this bit confuses me as we don’t do the ground floor, 1st floor thing as they do in Europe. Here, I refer to the storey one up from the ground floor) of a building just viewable off The Duomo. The name doesn’t sound like much, and in fact the place doesn’t look like much either.

But man, the food!!!

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You can see the food counter essentially looking like Ikea, or some school cafeteria, where you take a tray, pick a salad from the fridge if you want, point at the main you want, and it’s scooped onto a plate for you. Then you shuffle along to the dessert fridge, ending with the wines (bottled for the individual), thereafter the cashier.

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Here’s the seating area – nothing posh, but who cares when the food is awesome and affordable?

I was a repeat customer, and you can see the variety of options that allowed me an entirely different meal whenever I was there – pastas, meats, wines, desserts.

Just thinking about the comfort food makes me sad that I can’t find something as simple, homely and satisfying here. Pasta tends to be run-of-the-mill, Italian trattorias are pretentious and you feel like you’re paying for the decor instead of the food. oh well.

Meet Zio (Uncle) Luciano, proprietor of the ristorante!

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He calls me ‘bambina’ – apparently baby girl? The Asian feminist in me wants to bristle at the nickname but I also appreciate a boss who knows his returning customers and ‘bosses them around’ in a nice, uncle-y fashion. Perks of being a regular – he always instructs the kitchen to serve me a piping hot version of whatever dish I pick. Yay.

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Ristorante Self-Service Leonardo
Via de Pecori 11, Firenze
Open for lunch and dinner daily (as of Dec 2014)

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