Thanksgiving 2023 in Florence: A Slice of Home
The leaves are falling, the air is getting colder, and in the United States turkeys, pumpkins, and pie are in abundance. As the end of November approaches, millions prepare to celebrate one of their most beloved holidays. Since the 1600s, Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving as a time of gratitude and community. As areas such as Florence become more diverse and begin catering to their international residents, holidays and traditions such as Thanksgiving have become more and more relevant. Florence is a beautiful community that strives to find a space for each of its members. Regardless of where you are from, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what the year has brought you. It is a day to enjoy good food amongst family and friends and to focus on what you are grateful for.
If you find yourself feeling homesick for the comfort of Thanksgiving meals, or are curious about what a Thanksgiving abroad could look like, here are some restaurants (listed in descending order from least to most expensive) which are putting together a special menu for this important holiday. A bakery to order pies is at the end of the article. Enjoy good food and conversation without the hassle of cooking this year.
Pino’s Sandwiches, (Via Giuseppe Verdi, 36R), tel. 055 244 517
Pino’s Sandwiches is offering an amazing deal this Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for a quick bite to remind you of home, stop by Pino’s for a Thanksgiving sandwich for just €7 or a Thanksgiving meal for €9. The special comprises turkey breast, chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a green bean casserole with creamy onion sauce on either a plate or in a panino. The panino includes Brie cheese and is toasted. Stop by anytime from 9 am to 9 pm to share in food and gratitude at this classic sandwich shop.
Readers are invited to participate in Pino’s Thanksgiving sandwich and meal GIVEAWAY. Either follow us on Instagram (@magentaflorence) OR like the Magenta Florence & Vista Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VistaMagenta/) by midnight, Tuesday, November 21 to participate in a random drawing of winners, who will be announced on our Facebook page and on the Instagram account of Pino’s Sandwiches by midnight on Wednesday, November 22.
Melaleuca, (Lungarno delle Grazie, 18), tel. 055 614 6894
Melaleuca, an Australian/American owned spot on the river, has a variety of options available for Thanksgiving this year. An express lunch with their classic fixings is available from 12 noon – 3 pm. Or if you prefer to eat in the comfort of your home, there is also a take home menu that comes with eco-friendly packaging and simple reheating instructions. If you’re just looking for a classic pie, they also have those available through pre-order through the whole week of Thanksgiving. Pumpkin, sweet potato, and key lime pies are available for €25, while apple or pecan pies are available for €35. Remember to call ahead as quantities are limited.
If you choose to dine in at Melaleuca, you can look forward to a glass of Prosecco on arrival. The restaurant’s take on Thanksgiving this year consists of a menu with radicchio, fennel, pickled apples, & halloumi croutons, turkey with bone broth gravy, sourdough & sage stuffing, sweet potato crumble, house made cranberry sauce, and melaleuca’s milk rolls with honey butter. For dessert guests can choose from a selection of pies including pumpkin, apple, key lime, sweet potato, and pecan. Reservations for dinner can be made after 6 pm.
Hard Rock Cafe, (Via dei Brunelleschi, 1), tel. 055 277 841
This restaurant known for their iconic American theme, will be hosting what is sure to be a great Thanksgiving dinner in Florence this year. The menu will be available all day and includes slow-roasted turkey breast, roasted rest vegetable, home-style classic stuffing, creamy sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce, and a traditional turkey gravy. For dessert, they have a slice of classic pumpkin pie topped with caramel sauce and a house-made whipped cream. If you’re looking for some entertainment this Thanksgiving, there will be live music performed by the Tennessee Rose Blues Band starting from 9 pm. Prices for the Thanksgiving meal and dessert are €29.15 per person, or €41.90 for two people. The Thanksgiving Kids Menu for kids up to 10 years old will be €11.50 per child. Be sure to book your reservations ahead of time so you don’t miss out on this popular spot.
Djaria, (Via dei Serragli, 100r) tel. 055 593 7061
Djaria is an American style bar in the center of Florence that is run by an American/Florentine couple. This year they are offering a special Thanksgiving dinner that for €45 per person will include roasted turkey & cranberry sauce, celery and herb stuffing, a choice of mashed potatoes & gravy or sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, green bean casserole with crispy onions, old fashioned cornbread, and a choice of apple or pumpkin pie or cheesecake. Water and American coffee refills will also be included. Make sure to call ahead and make your reservation.
Ristorante Accademia, (Piazza San Marco 7R), tel. 055 217 343
On November 23 and 24, Ristorante Accademia will be hosting their 23rd annual Thanksgiving dinner for €40 per person. The menu will include pumpkin soup with cornbread, turkey with stuffing, gravy, & cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes & cream corn. For dessert guests can choose from apple strudel, pumpkin pie, or pecan pie. Located right in central Florence, this restaurant has an over 20 year history of catering to both locals and travelers alike, making it the perfect destination for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Francesco Vini, (Borgo dei Greci, 7/r) tel. 055 218 737
Another restaurant to consider is Francesco Vini. This Florentine husband, Fabio La Brusco, his American wife, Jody Levinson, have created a classic Thanksgiving dinner, with recipes from her family in Florida (who will be arriving this week to be able to spend Thanksgiving at Francesco Vini). For €45 a person, Francesco Vini will be offering the same popular menu from last year, comprising pumpkin soup with shrimp wrapped in lard; traditional turkey with cranberry sauce, sausage/artichoke stuffing, and gravy. Sides consists of truffle mashed potatoes, green beans with scallions, roasted sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob.” If you have room for dessert, a slice cheesecake or apple pie will be provided. The à la carte menu of Tuscan specialities will also be available for Italian guests who wish to accompany their American friends and prefer to stick to local cuisine. Reservations are not required, but are highly recommended.
Harry’s Bar the Garden, (Via Il Prato, 40/R), tel. 055 205 2105
Harry’s Bar Firenze recently merged with the luxurious five-star hotel Sina Villa Medici to create a warm and elegant environment for their new location. For €55 per person, this restaurant will be offering corn, sweet potato, & butter, creamy pumpkin soup with crunchy bacon, roast stuffed turkey served with chestnuts, carrots, onions, & cranberry sauce, citrus cheesecake, with water, coffee, and small pastries included. Call ahead to book your reservation at what is sure to be a beautiful night.
The Dolce Vita Experience, ( Via di Mezzo, 40/A) tel. 391 331 579 6997
The Dolce Vita Experience will be hosting a family style Thanksgiving dinner at the Beast Gallery this year. On November 23rd at 7 pm, join Dolce Vita in their “Just like you’re at home” Thanksgiving dinner. For €60 per person, the menu will include a 24 hr dry brined herb butter roasted turkey, chive mashed potatoes & gravy, sausage cornbread stuffing, sweet potato mash & crispy pecans, and a cranberry sauce. For dessert guests can choose from a pecan or pumpkin pie. The price includes wine pairing.
If you prefer to eat at home, they also have a to-go menu available to those who preorder by November 17. Customers can build their ideal Thanksgiving menu from the variety of classic food items that are available on their website. Pickup for the food will be by noon on Thanksgiving day.
Reservations for dinner as well as pre orders for pick-up can be made through their website: thedvthanksgiving.com.
Irene at Hotel Savoy, (Piazza della Repubblica, 7) tel. 055 273 5891
Not far from the Duomo, Irene located at the stunning Hotel Savoy will be hosting an extravagant Thanksgiving dinner this year. For €75 per person, the menu will include fennel, escarole, endive, & orange salad, handmade ravioli with sweet potato filling, chestnuts and parmesan, stuffed roast turkey, green beans cranberry sauce, and gravy. For dessert they are offering a caramelized pumpkin crumble and cheesecake ice cream. Irene offers a beautiful fusion of traditional American Thanksgiving and Italian cuisine. Call ahead to make your reservation at this elegant restaurant.
Il Palagio at Four Seasons Florence, (Borgo Pinti, 99) tel. 055 2626 450
Il Palagio, located at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel will be hosting a dinner with four key dishes to choose from. Guests can order any combination of the following meals: a green bean casserole with sweet potatoes and maple syrup for €27; lobster mac and cheese for €44; turkey, pumpkin & sweet potatoes purée, black kale & cranberry sauce with paprika for €46; and pumpkin and pecan pie for €20. Reservations must be made in advance.
Vanilla Cake Bakery, (https://vanillacake.eu/) tel. 055 046 2755
If you have dinner covered and are just looking for a sweet treat, Vanilla Cake Bakery has your back this Thanksgiving. The wholesale company has a variety of desserts available to order. This year they are offering pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, and pumpkin bread for their Thanksgiving specials. Deliveries in downtown Florence are available for an extra charge if you order by November 18.
Hopefully one of these restaurants will help you add “an amazing Thanksgiving in Florence” to your list of things to be grateful for this year. (Claire Ryan)