Updated: Dec 7, 2020
by Jennifer Williams
“It is a truth universally acknowledged” … (nod to Jane Austin) that the first thing to do in any new Italian city is to find the best cappuccino and brioche, or cornetto as they are known, mostly in the south. While a daunting task, after spending six years trying bars all over Florence, I found a clear winner: Bar Giorgio.
Bar Giorgio is actually Pasticceria Giorgio (Giorgio Pastry shop) and their pastries are amazing. It is outside the city center, so there are no throngs of tourists, but it’s always full of Italian customers buying pastries and cakes or drinking a caffé at the counter.
Why do I like them so much? Like all good Italians, I have my own special order of coffee: cappuccino scuro e senza schiuma (a cappuccino with double espresso, dark, and without a lot of foam) and the baristas at Bar Giorgio make a great one. But what I really dream about is the brioche. They are flaky, extremely buttery, soft, fluffy, rich and usually fresh from the oven because they sell so many. You can get vuoto (empty), my preference, with cream or jam filling.
To order, as in a lot of bars in Italy, you first peruse the pastry case and decide what you want. Then get in line at the cash register, pay, and take the scontrino (receipt) back to the bar. After getting the barista’s attention and ordering your caffé or cappuccino, you show the same receipt to the lady at the pastry display and get your brioche. If the weather is nice, head out front to Giorgio’s large patio with chairs, tables, and umbrellas. Sit, relax and enjoy! Oh, and leave someone sitting at your table to keep your seat when you go in to order your second one!
Via Duccio di Buoninsegna, 36