There’s something about fried food that can make it like a hearty warm embrace. Tuscan food is no different, especially one of the best snacks in Florence — coccoli, which translates as “cuddles” in Italian.
Coccoli are small balls of dough fried in olive oil, and traditionally stuffed with prosciutto ham and a creamy fresh cheese called stracchino. You can also find these with sweet fillings and served as a dessert.
Coccoli date back to the 1950s in Florence, when local restaurants would serve them as a snack to accompany a glass of red wine or your preferred drink of the day. Now they’re one of Florence’s most popular street foods and can be found throughout the city. While coccoli is a somewhat newer discovery, Tuscans have been frying bread dough in various configurations for years and are considered experts of the art in Italy.
Where to eat coccoli in Florence
Ready to savor a truly Florentine snack during your trip to the Renaissance city? Here are some of the best places to try coccoli while you’re in Florence.
Via Matteo Palmieri, 30r, 50122, Florence, Italy
This relatively new restaurant specializes in all forms of coccoli, so it’s a great place to start. Here you can sample traditional coccoli, as well as dessert or larger filled options. Try one of the more unusual versions, such as truffle and gorgonzola, or whatever is most appropriate for your palate. Sweet choices are also available, made fresh to order and delivered to you by a little circular slide that drops them down right in front of you. They’ll even let you stuff your own coccoli with cream, Nutella or jam. Be careful not to overfill your coccoli or it will burst open in your hand!
Viale Augusto Righi 3 A/D, 50137, Florence, Italy
This osteria/pizzeria is considered one of the best restaurants in Florence to enjoy coccoli. Don’t let its status as a pizzeria fool you, coccoli dough is essentially the same as pizza dough. If they make good pizza, the coccoli are also likely to be excellent. Here you may want to opt for the classic prosciutto crudo and stracchino coccoli, or extend your dining adventure to other specialties beyond traditional snack food.
Friggitoria e Pizzeria dell’Albero
Via Dell'Albero 16r, 50123, Florence, Italy
Coccoli is street food after all, so you’ll want at least one option where you can grab and go. Friggitoria e Pizzeria dell’Albero is one of the best restaurants in Florence for eating on the fly. Takeout is the only option available; here you can grab coccoli or a few slices of mouth-watering pizza at an affordable price. Located the attraction Santa Maria Novella, most visitors can’t seem to go to this restaurant only once — they keep coming back for more.
That’s our take on what to eat in Florence when it comes to coccoli. Make sure that you don’t miss out on this quintessentially Tuscan treat.