Florentines enjoy treating themselves to a nice dinner outside, as much as they enjoy having food on-the-go. Some examples of what to eat in Florence are the famous Florentine ‘schiacciata’ or a ‘panino’ with cured hams and cheese. Below, we bring you a list of the best street food in Florence that you can't miss tasting on your visit!
Although Tuscan cuisine offers a plethora of meals, sandwiches are both tasty and worth trying. The main ingredients are cured meats and cheese, which are usually from the areas around Siena and Arezzo. The sandwiches you need to try are:
Panino al prosciutto e pecorino: You can ask for a typical sandwich or schiacciata (a saltier, thicker and oily kind of bread) with raw ham and pecorino cheese. This is the simplest yet most popular option.
Panino alla finocchiona or sbriciolona: The finocchiona or sbriciolona, which changes its name according to how much time it has aged, is a tender, salty salami with pepper. This sandwich is a symbol of Florentine street food!
Panino al salame: This is a simple sandwich with salami, similar to the one above but perhaps saltier and not as soft.
The Antico Vinaio Trend
While Tuscan sandwiches have always been popular in Florence, a new trend has recently spread: eating at the Taverna All’antico Vinaio.
The whole road where it’s at, Via de’ Neri, has many other similar taverns, yet the Antico Vinaio has become extremely popular for panini size and nice staff. In most cases, you’ll have to queue for a long time, as this tavern is highly requested! Other similar taverns are "I due fratellini", "La Prosciutteria", "Sandwichic" and "Panini Toscani" .
Panino al lampredotto
Panino al lampredotto is perhaps locals’ favourite on-the-go sandwich. It is warm, hearty and delicious. If you are wondering what the ‘lampredotto’ is, it is easily explained. It is the thinner part of the cow’s stomach, and it’s cooked with tomatoes, onions, parsley, and celery until it has the texture of tender roast beef. It’s served in a bun with broth or green sauce.
You can eat lampredotto at any ‘lampredottaio’ or ‘trippaio’ stand in the city centre.
Pizza or Calzone
Of course, you have to have pizza! You can get a big slice of pizza from any cafe or takeout spot. If you want to make sure you have a proper one, we recommend going to a pizzeria and ordering a full pizza.
Calzone is made with pizza bread but is a wrap containing ham, mozzarella cheese, and sometimes tomatoes.
The most popular kinds of pizza are:
Margherita: a simple pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Capricciosa: pizza with cooked ham, mushrooms, olives and artichokes.
Porcini: pizza with porcini mushrooms.
Salamino piccante: pizza with salami (in English, ‘pepperoni pizza’).
Yet there are so many more available, and you can even mix up the ingredients you like the most. But keep in mind that PINEAPPLE on a pizza is not acceptable in Italy!
Sweet and Savory Pastries
Give a try to a ‘forno’! Literally a bakery with freshly made buns, where you can find anything from pizza to pastry.
Each bakery has its own specialties, but most offer schiacciata, pizza, calzone, while on the sweet side they offer budino di riso (a rice pastry), croissants, sfogliatine and more.
Ask the baker what the filling of the pastry is (usually chocolate, custard or jam) and sparkle a bit of conversation if it's not crowded!
Keep an eye out for seasonal food fairs!
Florentines like to try out street food at seasonal fairs and events. These are often held in big parks such as Cascine, along the ‘lungarni’, the river banks, or other areas. As opposed to having a typical Tuscan sandwich, the latter’s a great occasion to taste food from other regions or unique options. While the ‘panino’ option is always available at pubs, cafes and more, it’s worth checking whether food fairs are being held in advance as these are only run occasionally.
Photo Credit: Photo by Eleonora Altomare on Unsplash, Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash