Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Spring is here and it’s finally time to get out there and enjoy that beautiful Italian weather we don’t get back home (cause the States are a really small and confined space). You can finally walk around all day every day after class, or whatever you’re doing here while enjoying the sites and soaking in that sweet Vitamin D to help you with that hangover you have since you set foot in the country. Now sometimes the sun isn’t enough, and sometimes you just don’t want to sit down and have to go through the whole ordeal of ordering-waiting-waiting-waiting-waiting-eating-waiting-waiting-paying. We’ve got you covered and nothing is better than a Florentine Paninaro in these occasions. Here’s a list of some of the classics you’ve heard about and others you probably haven’t. If you have good on you, what are you doing here? It’s the ego, isn’t it? Anyway, here you go and go out and indulge in all of that gluten madness!
I Fratellini, Via de Cimatori 38r
This place has been around forever, it’s probably the oldest Paninaro in town and also the most renowned by locals and visitors, ask any Florentine about it and they’ll know where it is. They use rosette, little sandwiches the size of a fist, and have a great selection of stuffings you can pick from. Don’t worry they also have a menu in English that they give out while you’re waiting in line (that is if you go during lunch hours). My advice would be go there for an afternoon bite so you don’t have to sit through the whole hassle of waiting in line.
Lo Schiacciavino, Via Giuseppe Verdi 6r
This is my personal favorite (I don’t know if everyone in StudentsVille agrees, but I’m saying it) I’ve been going there since they first opened and Oh Sweet Lord what a great find that was. They make your panino with classic Tuscan Schiacciata and, oh boy, do they stuff em. Go in pick your poison (or my poison, the Briomba: raw sausage, stracchino, and brie) and relax after whatever you did.
All’Antico Vinaio, Via dei Neri 74r
You probably heard of L’Antico Vinaio, even if you haven’t you’ve definitely have seen the massive lines forming around lunch time or dinner in Via de Neri, or maybe you’ve passed it while looking for the secret bakery in that area. It’s the best-known place to get a sandwich now, you go anywhere in Italy and if someone has visited Florence they’ll know about it. (No joke, I’ve been asked to bring a sandwich made by them to Milan once)
La Prosciutteria, Via dei Neri 54r
Always on Via dei Neri, you’ll find La Prosciutteria, the place is great to eat when you’re in a group of people and no ones wants to really get a full meal. If you don’t want a sandwich you can get a huge tagliere and sit, chat and drink to your heart’s content. Beautiful place to be and they have so much memorabilia of the old days scattered around the place.
da Vittorino (Il Pizzicagnolo for Google Maps), Via degli Alfani 5r
Let’s start moving out of Santa Croce, I mean walks usually do pan out in a variety of places, maybe you weren’t hungry when you were in that area. Now, I learned to call it Vittorino because of the locals and going there really, they’ve got sandwiches, desserts, homemade pasta. This place is the local paradise I mean we’re talking OG Florentines.
Brunori, Borgo Pinti 16
This place is actually a Forno, so a bakery, you can go there and buy bread if you don’t want to buy a sandwich, but hey I’m here to advertise sandwiches. So buy a damn sandwich. Here you’ll get a glimpse of what it means to live like an Italian University student, cause most of the clients here are students that stop by for lunch during classes. Go in and give it a try.
Gustapanino, Piazza Santo Spirito 1
Now that you’ve done the whole classic center area it’s time to move on to new things. It’s time to cross any of the bridges on the Arno and start walking in the direction of Santo Spirito, cause that is where this (and the next) place is gonna be. Gustapanino is a great place to get a snack also if you’re grabbing a beer on the stairs and it’s a bit later than usual. Don’t worry they got you covered.
I’Raddi in Santo Spirito, Via dei Michelozzi 19
Right around the corner from Gustapanino, on your right, you’ll find some tables in front of the stairs of the church. This is I’Raddi in Santo Spirito it’s got a little entrance, but don’t worry you gotta grab a quick bite and go, maybe if you’re lucky you can sit down, but that isn’t part of the sandwich deal we’ll talk about this another time.
La Buttiche di’ Lampredotto, Piazza de’ Nerli
This is a staple of the San Frediano area, we’re talking about a true local Lampredotto place, the peculiar thing about it is that it isn’t a stand or a van. It’s there and it ain’t moving. You’ve gotta go there and get a Lampredotto with Salsa Verde and Piccante, and don’t forget to get it Bagnato as well cause that’s how you get your lampredotto in Florence.
I talked about Lampredotto, so now I’m gonna talk about it some more, it’s Lampredotto. Now if you go around town you’ll find some food trucks (and these aren’t flashy, they probably don’t look like the type of food truck Hugo Habercore would find acceptable). Stop at one and just do it (this is if you eat meat) and ask it the same way I stated above (aka Completo). If you still don’t know what Lampredotto is, just get it. Don’t Google it, don’t ask, just order one eat it and decide if you like it. Also, this is the true Florentine Panino, so I mean you’re here why not go for a full Florentine experience.