Globetrotting is series is all about my adventures in travel. They include my tips, takeaways, and realizations about travel, as well as recommendations for food, culture, and nightlife.

The awesome thing about traveling for work is that you can also often combine a bit of sightseeing into your stay if you can afford to take some extra days off, after the job is done. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And so, this past September after staying in Tuscany to shoot a wedding, I made sure to also spend some nights in Florence, which was right next door.

photography by Rae Tashman -

Staying in this ancient city marked the 2nd solo trip of my life and was even more incredible than my first solo trip, as I knew what to expect this time and was a bit more prepared for being stuck with no one but myself for the next few days.

photography by Rae Tashman -

I wandered narrow old roman streets, visited museums, marveled at famous paintings and sculptures, experienced some pretty entertaining encounters you only ever really experience when traveling alone, did a wee bit of shopping, and last but not least, ate a lot of delicious food. Because, after all, one of my favorite parts about travel, be it alone or with other people, is testing out the local cuisine and eating all the things.

photography by Rae Tashman -

Now let’s not get confused here. Local cuisine and “traditional food” are two entirely different entities and only one of them is what I would really call authentic – authentic being what the local population are actually eating on a day to day basis presently. Not quite picking up what I’m putting down? Well let me explain…

photography by Rae Tashman -

So I had this college friend from the US who came to visit Berlin while she was abroad in Europe and living in Madrid. She and her friends wanted to eat a “typical German meal” while they were here, so naturally they ended up at a restaurant in one of the very touristy parts of Berlin that no one who really lives here ever frequents and pretty much ordered what Germans 50 or 60 years ago would be eating. Now I am in no way hating on my friend here, but I am simply using this story to illustrate the fact that when people visit a new country, they tend to confuse the traditional cuisine of a country with what is typical for said country in the present-day. Spoiler alert: 9 times out of 10 it’s not.

photography by Rae Tashman -

Now there is no steadfast rule here, but I would go out on a limb and say that besides being eaten by tourists, traditional meals tend to only really be consumed on special occasions or in smaller more traditional areas like in villages in the country side. Granted, even artsy meat-eating Berliners love a good schnitzel now and then and you can often find some of the staple “German dishes” on menus in certain restaurants, but the majority of the restaurants that make up the food scene here in Berlin, for example, consist of international cuisines from Japan, India, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, and other European countries as well as hybrid combinations like Döner and vegan options. Most big metropolitans tend to be this way. With this being true, if someone were to ask me what a typical German meal in Berlin would be, I would probably actually respond with sushi and currywurst.

photography by Rae Tashman -

Because of this, I never feel all that compelled to race to the nearest restaurant serving “traditional” cuisine when visiting a place and am much more interested in checking out the places that locals are raving about. Granted, I did make it a point to eat a bit of pasta on this trip, but I also ate at a vegan burger place and this incredible Gluten Free restaurant called Quinoa, a gluten-free health restaurant, which was recommended to me by the receptionist at the bed and breakfast I stayed in and was the first place I ate at when I arrived in Florence.

photography by Rae Tashman -

The restaurant itself, tucked away in a small courtyard down a tiny alley between two buildings, caught me completely off guard at first, as the place is what a interior designer’s dreams are most certainly made up of: floor to ceiling glass windows juxtaposed with traditional architecture, leafy green plants, a beautiful color palette and Xavier Pauchard chairs. And so after gawking at the beauty of this hidden gem, I grabbed a table outside.

photography by Rae Tashman -

I opted for the quinoa vegan burger (sadly without most of the trimmings due to my allergies) which was accompanied by a tasty coleslaw and guacamole, sparkling water, and had a pot of earl grey for dessert. The meal itself was a bit dry, although I suspect this had much less to do with the actual food preparation and meal itself and much more due to the fact that I had to hold most of the toppings and avoided the guacamole due to the onions and tomatoes. The veggie burger itself was absolutely delicious and I was a huge fan of the coleslaw as well.

photography by Rae Tashman -

The waiter was also a complete doll as were the two lovely girls who were sitting at a neighboring table with whom I chatted with for a bit. All in all, it was a lovely way to spend my first evening in Florence and I would totally recommend this place to anyone making a trip to Florence. And the best part about Quinoa is that the only real restriction here is that the meals are Gluten free. They also pride themselves on healthy choices, so that means you can basically find something here for everyone – from the meat eater to the militant vegan. So when you just happen to be with a group of friends where one is gluten intolerant, another eats plant-based, and another loves burgers – you would be surprised, this constellation of people tends to pop up quite regularly in my day to day life – everyone wins and can eat themselves happy.

photography by Rae Tashman -

And isn’t that ultimately what you want from a restaurant? Good food, good company (be it with others or with yourself), a flexible menu that works for all different palettes and diets, and friendly staff and a beautiful atmosphere?

photography by: Rae Tashman

Don’t forget to check out the podcasts & sign up for LFB’s conscious living challenge.

Stay conscious, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Wow looks like such a pretty place to have a romantic meal!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Candice! I could not agree with you more!

  • missgetaway

    Oh that looks like such a lovely place! Looooove the interior!

    Love, kerstin

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Kerstin!

  • I totally agree with your take on traditional food! Florence is full of tourists so the locals find other special spots to escape the crowds and my god they are amazing! Quinoa looks like such a gorgeous place and it would be the perfect spot if you’re wanting to chill out on all the pasta/pizza/gelato eating!! I’ll definitely check it out on my next trip to Florence! Xx

    • rae

      Thanks and yes Florence really shocked me. I haven’t been to a place with so many tourists since forever. It really was a fabulous place! Do hope you get a chance to check it out!

  • I like the interiors. Food is indeed defined by ones culture, so the taste for every individual varies.


    • rae

      Ageed! Thanks, Alyssa!

  • The restaurant looks very nice! You showed all its beautiful atmosphere through your photos and the story :) I really enjoyed your post, it made me kind of feel like I went to Florence myself! Thanks for sharing xx

    “A leave-on exfoliator I swear by” //

    • rae

      Thanks so much!

  • I love the design of the restaurant! And the food looks amazing!

    • rae

      Thanks, Courtney! The food was!

  • Stephanie Louise

    Hooray to solo trips and beautiful places and good food! I know no one can resist your globetrotting posts Rae. x

    • rae

      Yes! And thanks so much Stephanie! Hope you are well!

  • Beckerman Girls

    Fantastic pics! Just love the ambience and decorating! Looks soooo coool! And those red chairs are RAD! xoBeckerman Girls

    • rae

      Thanks so much ladies!

  • Such a lovely post! You have captures the culture amazingly and the food looks delicious. Gemma xx

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Jacquard!

  • The food looks amazing! Your photo’s are amazing too!

    • rae

      Thanks, Abigail!

  • The food looks so tasty and yummy ♥

    • rae

      It was! Thanks Trishna!

  • Great pictures as always. Quinoa looks super cute, and if I ever find myself in Florence, I’m definitely going to check this place out. I’m always in the mood for good food haha :)

    Sam |

    • rae

      Thank you so much, Samantha!

  • Quinoa is my favorite!! healthy and delicious.

    The Fashion Matters- Fashion & Travel Magazine


  • Great photos. The food looks yummy

    Lauren x |

    • rae

      Thanks, Lauren!

  • the decor of this place is phenom!!!!

    • rae

      Isn’t it though?!

  • These photos are gorgeous! You couldn’t be more correct when it comes to the fact that there is a huge differentiation between traditional food and the typical cuisine, Rae. That being said, Quinoa looks like such a cool and healthy restaurant. I’m a fan of veggie burgers, so that helps too! :P


    • rae

      Thank you so much, and glad you understood what I was saying!

  • This place is gorgeous! I love all the red chairs!

    • rae

      Thanks, Valerie!

  • estou apaixonada por esse lugare <33

  • This sounds amazing, what a great review! Yum!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    • rae

      It was! Thanks, Kelly!

  • That restaurant looks really nice, I like the red chairs :) Good that you found a place with a wide menu which has an option for everyone, sometimes it is impossible to find one. Quinoa burger looks delicious!

    • rae

      I loved the red chairs too – I really think it adds so much interior interest! And yes, restaurants that cater to all kinds of needs are the best!

  • sileas

    What a lovely place and so different from what you would expect in Florence! You’re right, the food scenes are becoming so diverse, so it’s not about “traditional” food only! Great find however, I’ll save that ;)

    • rae

      Thank you so much! So glad you liked the post and I could not agree with you more!

  • I love Tuscany :) the restaurant looks lovely and not what you’d expect at all, I will definitely have to check it out if I go back there soon :) xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty | Zoeva Giveaway

    • rae

      Thanks, Jasmine and yes do check it out!

  • What a beautiful life, to explore a city on your own at your own pace and time. This restaurant looks magical, but what I really loved was reading your experience visiting Florence alone. This feels very inspiring. I would love to take a solo trip somewhere beautiful one day.


    • rae

      Thank you so much, Audrey! Hope you get to take a solo trip soon!

  • Wow, such a beautiful place. A place that I definitely would love to visit one day. Thanks so much for sharing! :)


    Yours Truly, NY

    • rae

      Hope you get to visit one day too, Natalie!

  • This restaurant looks so nice! I love the decor and the food looks delicious :)

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Sarah!

    • rae

      Thanks, Honia!

  • Wow, this looks like such a lovely place to dine; your burger looks so delicious, yum! I hope you’re having a fantastic day and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this cute place!



    • rae

      Thanks Jalisa! It really was!

  • every corner looks lovely! look like you’re having fun!

    • rae

      Thanks, Wynne!

  • What a great recap! Love your snaps and your meal looks delicious.

    • rae

      Thanks, Vanessa!

  • If you’re going to travel for business, might as well mix in pleasure while you’re at it. This restaurant looks amazing; for me the atmosphere is important as well since it still contributes to some of your senses during your nomming experience.


    • rae

      Could not agree more with you, Jen! Thanks!

  • Danielle Beautyblog

    Loving the interior of this restaurant! Food doesnt look half bad either!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

    • rae

      It really does have a lovely design and the food was lovely as well!

  • Wow, this looks and sounds soo good! And the restaurant is so beautiful! I definitely think that you have a point with how it’s easy to go to the “wrong” traditional food places or the ones that maybe aren’t so traditional! It’s often easy to see where the tourists go, and harder to see where the locals are at! And your photos are (as usual) incredible!!

    Filippa ⎮

    • rae

      Glad you understood what I was trying to say, Filippa! Thanks!

  • Denise de Assis

    This place sounds like heaven!!! Your photos are very good sweetie!! Lovely post <3

    Kisses from Portugal

    Blog Denise de Assis
    Facebook Page

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Denise!

  • Yummmm! I totally understand what you mean by what the locals are eating vs. traditional fare. If local people are there, you can bet the food will be good! I would love to take a solo trip one day outside the country. I went to Pittsburgh on my own for a weekend and it was great!

    • rae

      So glad you understood what I was trying to say, Sara! Hope you get to take a solo trip one day too! Never been to Pittsburgh before, how did you like it?

  • Sophie Smith

    This place sounds so lovely! Your photos are stunning as always and how cute is that little flamingo in your burger! Nice touch

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Sophie!

  • Quinoa sounds like a great restaurant. I must admit that I didn’t even think Florence would have a gluten-free restaurant, with Italy being known as a “pasta and pizza” country, but that just goes to show how little I know of the local culture there!

    • rae

      It really was! And yes I was quite surprised myself!

  • Looks like such a cute place! Food looks so yummy! Your pictures are amazing!!

    <3 Shannon

    Upbeat Soles

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Shannon!

  • Sybil

    loving the ambiance there!! the food sure looks good as well! :D

    Have a great day!
    Animated Confessions

    • rae

      Thanks, Sybil!

  • Ivona Iwarra Josipovic

    Florence is pure magic. Can’t wait to go back and enjoy its lovely cobalt streets again. It’s hard to eat healthy when visiting Italy, so your recommendation is super appreciated :)

    • rae

      Agreed! hope you have a lovely time when you return!

  • I’m so thankful that I don’t have any food restrictions. I once went to a tofu restaurant with my family just to try it out, and it was really cool. Everything tasted like meat! If nobody told me, I wouldn’t have known that it was all tofu. Anyways, Quinoa looks like such a great place! And your photography looks like straight out of a magazine! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • rae

      That is so funny. Some places are really good at doing imitation meat dishes! Thanks so much, Audrey!

  • I do love a flexible menu and it’s nice not to just have to order chips :P The restaurant looks really sweet and It’s nice to get a recommendation from a local for sure!

    • rae

      Definitely! Thanks so much, Fee!

  • Quinoa sounds like my kind of restaurant. I’ve heard that many people who are gluten-intolerant in the US don’t have the same symptoms when eating food in Europe. Do you find that to be true.

    What you said about traditional cuisine is spot on. Chicago is known for their deep dish pizza but we only eat that when people come to visit! Otherwise it’s thin crust cut into tiny squares.

    • rae

      Really hope you get to go there one day! That is quite interesting – to be honest I do not know as I do not have a gluten intolerance (but just about ever other intolerance/allergy there is!). And how funny about the deep dish, I actually would have never known this.

  • lady .nancy

    Fabulous photography!



  • thefashionsalt

    Looks like a great place, especially for a group with a variety different tastes. And “sushi and currywurst” sound delicious compared to what I would think a typical German meal would be.

    • rae

      It really was! Thanks, Lili!

  • Amazing photos and it sounds like my kinda place to eat! Love gluten-free eateries (which are quite rare in the UK unfortunately!)

    Pop over to my blog!


    • rae

      Hope you get to go there one day! I would have thought that in the UK (at least in London) there would be tons of super healthy vegan and gluten-free places?!