Best Sichuan Chinese Food in Florence (and Italy): Tang

A few days ago, I complained about the pasta in Italy. Don’t get me wrong; there was some amazing food. And I’ll be the first to say that a lot of my complaints are my own fault for going to touristy spots. Anywhere you go in the world, if you stick to tourist spots, you’re going to have your fair share of bad food. A lot of my disappointments arose because I did the research, went to places recommended by both locals and TripAdvisor, and I was really disappointed by the quality of the food. There was very little creativity in the dishes and no flavors that really surprised me. One place that did surprise me in Florence was a fantastic little Chinese restaurant, Tang. I can’t vouch for all the food, but the chef was from the Sichuan area, and his Sichuan dishes were wonderful. To give some context, I’ve had Sichuan food all over the world, including in the Sichuan capital, Chengdu. The spices can be hard for first-timers (the first time I had those spices, I cried and vowed never to eat any food with those spices again, a vow I quickly broke, ha ha). So I was not expecting anything other than the usual oily sweet crap that passes as Sichuan food in many places. I was glad to be wrong. Those spices there pack a kick. The spicy boiled fish, the cold spicy tofu, and the Imperial eggplant were all not just tasty, but inventive. There were a few other non-Sichuan dishes we ordered, but didn’t love. But all the spicy choices were great (well, the Mapo Tofu was okay). Our first notion that this place was good was when we entered and saw all Chinese patrons. We went to a few other Chinese restaurants throughout Europe, and almost all of them had predominantly non-Chinese patrons. Needless to say, the food was tailored towards their palates and we found it tasted notches below Panda Express (sorry Panda!). Tang had me excited about eating again. It’s located pretty close to the Academia Gallery (the one with David). They also have a buffet hot pot, but we did not try that. though we saw several others partaking in it. If you’re in the mood for authentic Sichuan, this is the best place we had. Two warnings though; like most of Florence, there are lots of mosquitoes! And they don’t have AC so it can be hot inside.

Via XXVII Aprile, 14r, 50129 Florence, Italy
Tel  +39 055483435
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