Most Italy newbies don't know what aperitivo is, but it's an awesome way to eat and drink on the cheap. Many Italian bars host one – it’s sort of like a happy hour, typically happening between 6 and 10pm. How it works – you buy a drink (wine, cocktail, beer... anything alcoholic) and then get access to all-you-can-eat appetizers. I LOVE going to aperitivo because for the price of one drink, you can eat a full dinner.
Some of my favorite spots, based on quality of the food, drinks, atmosphere, and price...
Kitch is known around Florence as being one of the best (and definitely the largest) aperitivos in town. There are two locations, and most nights, they will both be packed out with Italians for their 8.50 euro aperitivo.
I like Moyo because it's a not huge and the atmosphere makes me feel like I'm back in New York City. The cocktails are great (at 7-8 euro), and the food selection is always pretty good as well. Wednesday is sushi night--you can choose from a plate of sushi or just enjoy the asian-inspired aperitivo food. If you're craving Chinese takeout, this definitely hits the spot.
Astor Cafe-- Martini Monday
Astor Cafe, the restaurant/bar that I am ALWAYS at during the day, hosts a Martini Monday. From 7-11, a friend of mine, who happens to be the best martini maker in town, whips up some specialty martinis. Pay 7 euro for one of them, and you get access to the food buffet. This past Monday there was a good mix of both Italian and American food. Try the Scooby Snack martini!
I love sitting outside and enjoying the view of Santa Croce when I get aperitivo at Oibo. I always get an 8 euro Strawberry Daiquiri (or two) while enjoying my food, and if they have fried polenta that night, you can bet that that's pretty much the only thing that I put on my plate.
If you have any other aperitivo spots in Florence that you like, put it in the comments! I love to find new places to try.