La Raccolta was the first natural foods shop and cafè that I found in Florence. In effect, it was the first place I found that had all the health-food alternatives and rare ingredients that I could ever want.
Their bakery counter is probably the most exciting part about the shop. In fact, I love having errands in the general area of this store for the mere excuse to stop in for an afternoon coffee break… with a special treat from the counter.
Here, gluten-free foodies will find a wide array of exceptional desserts, ranging from oatmeal raisin cookies to flourless chocolate cakes to tiramisù. And on the savory end, you may find raw crackers, oatmeal sourdough bread or buckwheat flatbreads topped with veggies.
For folks who eat all kinds of grains, theirs is an impressive array of breads and pizza: from farro to dark rye breads to medieval-style sourdoughs. In the shop you’ll find an impressive selection of bulk nuts, grains and seeds, rare condiments, high-quality dairy products, vegan cheeses, alternative cereals, organic beers and biodynamic wines.
If you wander back far enough, you’ll also find that they have a full-on restaurant serving lunch and dinner (depending on the day). They offer vegetarian meals inspired by both macrobiotic and raw cuisine, with a twist of its own.
Even still, my favorite way to enjoy this place is to stop by for a snack and a coffee and pick up some rare ingredients for the pantry.