Europe | Florence & Tuscany | Italy | Travel

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence
Mozzarella and tomatoes from Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence, photo credit Mr. Misadventures

During our amazing Florence for Foodies tour, we passed by Obica Mozzarella Bar, which just happened to be next to the truffle store, Procacci. Our guide Adrienne said it was the best restaurant in Florence for Mozzarella di Bufala. Since that happens to be our all-time favorite summertime meal in the Misadventures household we swore right then and there to eat a meal there before we left. Sometime after 2014, they changed their name from Obika to Obica. Luckily if you search for Obika Florence you will end up with the right search results and website for Ociba Florence! I have no idea why they did the change, but if you look closely at the menu in the 5th photo down you will see that it was Obika!

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence (there are other locations around the world including LA and NYC) is absolutely gorgeous! Part of the restaurant is in an amazing courtyard with a stone floor that was very cooling on a hot day. I never went into the main part of the restaurant (since the terrace is in the front) but from what I saw, it is equally beautiful. It is a minimalist design with lots of natural light, glass, iron and light wood. I guess it is quite similar to how my own house is so I felt at home!

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Photo credit: Obica/Tornabuoni

As pleasing to the eye as it was, I could not wait to devour the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP. This type of mozzarella is a protected regional product from Southern Italy. In the U.S. (at least in the San Francisco Bay Area) we don’t get a huge variety when it comes to mozzarella di bufala (or buffalo as we call it), but there are different varietals and at Obika you can try them all. There is the Paestum with a very delicate taste, Volturno with a much stronger taste, Affumicata which is naturally smoked and what most people see in restaurants here, deliciously creamy Burrata.

Our choice (and it was hard to choose!) was Burrata Pomodorini served with Datterini tomatoes and basil pesto.

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence
Photo credit Mr. Misadventures

If you have never had this cheese, you need to put it on your “things to eat before you die” list. Buffalo milk has higher fat content (about twice the fat of cow milk) which makes it a lot creamier. It is heartier, saltier, and more full-flavored than regular mozzarella cheeses and if you have the opportunity to try some, do it! It is pretty rare stuff in the U.S.

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence
Photo credit Mr. Misadventures

I am not sure if they were catering to foreigners (Adrienne said that the restaurant is extremely popular with the locals, the reason why we went for lunch instead of dinner, as it is notoriously busy and hard to get into at night) but the bread was delicious! As I mentioned in my Florence for Foodies tour post, most bread in Italy is not salted and as I am a bit of a salt fiend, I don’t love it. However, with the bread at Obica, I wanted to eat the whole basket!

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence
Bread basket!

I definitely would have loved to have tried all four of the mozzarella, but we decided to order other items on the menu as well. Generally speaking, I am not a huge fan of pizza, but the ones I do like are in Italy. I decided that this was going to be my best shot at a really good pizza since the cheese was so amazing so I ordered Prosciutto Bazzone with premium dry-cured ham from Tuscany and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP. Simple and delicious. The saltiness of the ham with the creaminess of the cheese was a perfect combination.

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence-Pizza
Pizza Prosciutto Bazzone

One of the reasons that I loved this restaurant is that it is a Slow Food partner. That means they have made a commitment to support and protect local foods and the artisans that produce them. Little details like the pizzas being prepared with PETRA flour from Molino Quaglia, stone ground with the local soft wheat. As well as a focus on high quality like the fact that their dough is left to rise slowly for at least 48 hours. All these things produce exceptional cuisine.

Being part of the Slow Food community, Obica also uses seafood that is sustainably fished, so the Scialatielli di Gragnano ‘Pasta Gentile’ with tuna belly filets, tomatoes, capers, pine nuts and rocket that Mr. Misadventures ordered could be eaten with a clear conscious!

Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence
Scialatielli di Gragnano ‘Pasta Gentile’ photo credit Mr. Misadventures

The other thing that I found to be fantastico! Amazing! And surprising. At Obika they do not use ANY garlic or onions! I do appreciate these two items, but eaten raw they give me a migraine and sometimes if it is just overused it will make me sick as well, so this was like a risk-free zone, one that I have never seen before!

What a treat and one of the best meals we had on our trip. Incredibly friendly staff, aesthetically pleasing decor and darn delicious food, when you are on vacation, can you really ask for more?

If you’d like to visit Obika Mozzarella Bar Florence now known as Obica Mozzarella Bar Florence, it is located at Via de’ Tornabuoni 16.

How about you? Have you tried buffalo mozzarella? Do you like it? How have you eaten it? Comment and share, I’d love to chat!

Our Florence for Foodies tour also included a stop at the sinful truffle store Procacci. We experience many typical Tuscan dinners while exploring under the Tuscan countryside and always saved room for dessert, especially gelato!

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  1. Oh you’re SO making me reminisce about my time in Florence and the fantastic food I experienced there. It looks like you had some amazing meals.

    1. @Jenna, is there any other way to do Italy than the foodie way??! Art, history, museums…sure, but the food! Wowza!

  2. Oh goodness, I’m having movie nostalgia type feelings just looking at these pictures. It looks incredible, my heart is going crazy over it, haha.

  3. This is not so fun looking at while starving and at work. The restaurant looks beautiful! So fancy! I have never tried anything like that but I would love to, it looks mouth watering!

  4. I seriously missed out on the foods of Europe when my boyfriend and I backpacked, because we had to do everything so cheap to stretch our money. I’m definitely saving up big time and going back… just to eat! Haha

  5. Oooooh, that sounds fantastic – and the burrata looks sublime! I’ll have to put that on my to-visit list. I’ve been to Florence twice, and I’ve just loved eating my way around the city. 😀 So many lovely memories of local Florence-cured proscuitto, truffle pasta at Zeb, and so, so many great, intimate meals…. Glad you had a lovely experience, and hopefully both of us can visit the area again!


  6. This post is making me incredibly hungry right now. Everything LOOKS so good. I just had a caprese salad too! I am definitely putting this on my ‘places to go’ list. I’m glad LA and NYC has this restaurant too – it will hold me over until I finally get to visit Florence. 😉

    1. @Jenn, yes I definitely want to check out the other spots to see if they are as good as the Florence one, I hope you get to eat it in Florence too!

  7. Your trip to Florence sounds like it was very enjoyable and all the different foods ummm yummy! 🙂
    I think that my favourite is the mozzarella made from buffalo milk with the tomatoes and basil pesto, and of course this would go well with fresh baked bread. This restaurant sounds absolutely fabulous and if I ever get to Florence, LA or NYC that is the restaurant I will go to! (By the way I live in Canada!)

    1. @Karen, depending on which part of Canada you live in, getting to NYC or LAX seems doable, but I hope you get to Florence!

  8. Wow! Such great pictures and descriptions! I went to Florence in 1980 and loved everything, I want to return…. I have tasted Buffalo mozzarella a couple of times, and I agree it is very distinct. I am fortunate to live in Berkeley, CA where Slow Food is very popular but this meal looked fantastic!

    1. @Lotus, have you had it in Berkeley? Where? I live in Berkeley too! I think Berkeley Bowl may have had it before…

    1. @Jessica, that would be a little tough, but they had dishes without cheese, so you could definitely enjoy something.

  9. Hi Andi. Do you know about Ramini Mozzarella in Tomales? After a lot of trial and error to get the recipe just right, he is now making and selling buffalo mozzarella and its delicious! He offers a tour of the farm and dairy, along with a tasting afterwards. I did it last October and it was such an enjoyable and delicious day. 🙂

    1. @Becki, I had read some older news stories about when he was first starting out, I didn’t know he made it, I am definitely going to have to visit his facility!

  10. Andi, wow, we are neighbors! What a coincidence! Check out the pizza part of Picco in Larkspur, really fantastic pizza, and they have fresh buffalo mozzerella right on the menu.
    The risotto, which comes from the regular restaurant, is fantastic and my favorite dish. You can order off the Picco menu and hang/sit in the more casual pizzeria.

    1. @Lotus, thank you! Thank you! I am definitely going to check them out! My hubby loves risotto so he will love that too!

  11. That foodie tour of Florence looks like a dream! I miss Florence… wish I did a foodie tour, too! I loved the food there though, and that mozzarella looks out of this world! Loving your blog design as well 🙂

  12. I have not had the chance to try this cheese but if I ever do, be sure I will, it sounds amazing and I love being able to add it to so many recipes as I do with my mozzarella, those dishes you have showing look wonderful and tasty 😉 thanks for share @tisonlyme143

  13. oh my gosh, i forgot how much i love real mozzarella. ive never been to italy, but my local shop in brooklyn had the best authentic foods. nothing like it here in portland.

  14. What a wonderful restaurant! I absolutely have to visit them if I’m ever in Florence! The pictures are just to die for!

  15. That food all looks so amazing! I would love to go on a tour like that! I can’t wait to go to Italy someday.

  16. These dishes look delicious – makes the adventurer in me want to do something spontaneous and off on a travel whim. Travel has been mostly within Canada – yet to venture to Europe….but inspired….vraiment et pour cela merci.

    Eva Mitton-Urban

  17. Wow, everything looks completely divine, and I’m totally jealous. I doubt that we could ever find anything even remotely comparable around here.

  18. That pasta looks divine! Thanks for taking us on this visually amazing culinary tour and providing pictures!