If food is one of the finest ways to communicate a local culture, then clearly the most authentic representation of that culture is street food. And in Florence, Italy, street food is just that – thousands of years of history, politics, culture, and tradition all rolled up into bite-sized, delicious morsels that can be taken on the move.
Surprisingly, eating food purchased from vendors on the street is not as widespread in Italy as it is in other regions of the globe, such as southeast Asia, South America, Mexico, or even places in the United States such as New York and Los Angeles. However, when it comes to cuisine, Florence is undeniably one of the greatest places in all of Italy to visit.
It’s possible that this is due to the culture that surrounds food in Italy, such as the extended periods of time spent lingering over meals and the expression of hospitality that comes from both serving and eating the cuisine. Not only do Italians take their eating very seriously, but they also value the quality time they spend doing so with friends and family. Meals may easily last for many hours, particularly when people dine with their families and friends.
It’s not even close to being a fast food event. In point of fact, this same region of northern Italy is where the slow food movement got its start.
Even though it is frowned upon in Italy to eat food quickly, Italians do enjoy eating “al passegio,” which literally translates to “on the go.” The city of Florence is home to a surprising number of food trucks and carts, and these establishments are responsible for producing some of the city’s most delicious street food.
The following are our top six choices for quick bites to eat on the street in Florence, which may be eaten in between larger meals.
FLORENCE STREET FOOD
1. Lampredotto And Tripe (Trippa)
Trippa, also known as tripe, is a fundamental component of Italian cuisine and is often consumed on the go, similar to the way that many delicious sandwiches are. However, our vegan friends should steer clear of this dish. Lampredotto, on the other hand, is exclusively formed from the last segment (the fourth stomach) of the cow’s stomach, which is called the abomasum. Trippa, on the other hand, is made from the edible lining of the cow’s stomach.
Lampredotto is a regional specialty that can only be found in Florence and is an essential component of the culinary tradition of the area. In most cases, it is slow cooked with tomato, onion, and parsley, and schiacciata bread is often used as a serving accompaniment.
Trippa is one of those dishes that could make your stomach turn if you try to eat it. It’s possible that even the most dedicated eaters have qualms about consuming organ meat, or in this instance, the lining of the organ meat. If it helps, we can tell you that even if you didn’t know it was tripe, you probably wouldn’t blink an eye if you accidentally ate it and didn’t recognize what it was.
Because it has the flavor of a regular piece of beef that has been cooked for a long time. Lampredotto may be found in restaurants all throughout Florence; nevertheless, it is also one of the most popular on-the-go sandwiches and mid-afternoon snacks that can be enjoyed while strolling the quiet streets or people watching in the tourist core.
Where To Try Lampredotto And Trippa In Florence
- The Mercato Centrale location of Da Nerbone. On the ground level, between the local butchers and other stores, you’ll find Nerbone, which has maintained its original position all these years. You could try the soup or the pasta, but they are most renowned for their stewed meat sandwiches, such as the beef brisket and, of course, the trip and the lampredotto. You could try them, too. In addition to that, the pricing is unbeatable. It’s an excellent illustration of amazing meals that can be had for a low price on the street. Even though there is often a very big queue, we can assure you that the wait will be well worth it!
- Many Florentines believe that the lampredotto served at Trippaio del Porcellino, which is located at the intersection of Piazza del Mercato Nuovo and Via Capaccio, is the greatest in the city. This is the first reason why you should try it here. Which one is it? They have a valid point! Look for huge queues in the area around the Piazza Della Signoria; this is almost usually an indication that a restaurant is one of the finest in the city.
Even if you haven’t been to Italy before, you shouldn’t find this one to be shocking at all. Gelato is as prevalent to Italian culture as pasta, pizza, cappuccino and the Pope. On their way to work, to a meeting, home for siesta, after siesta, during work, after work, etc., throughout the day, Italians may be seen with the little spatula between their lips, relishing a small cup of gelato. This can be observed before work, after work, during work, etc.
Gelato, much like cappuccino, is a dessert that epitomises Italian culture because of how quickly it can be made and how tasty it is.
In American culture, many of us have to give ourselves permission to enjoy a special treat like gelato at certain times of the day — ice cream or gelato is only for after a meal or on a Sunday drive. This is a striking contrast to the culture of Italy, where people are more likely to indulge in sweets throughout the day. On the other hand, in societies that place a high value on productive use of time, this will often entail taking some time off to rest and pampering oneself. The Italians adhere to a mentality known as “No Ansia,” which translates to “Don’t Worry, Have Fun.” How could it be any surprise that we like Italy?
When it comes to this kind of luxury, our response is, “Slow down and enjoy it to the fullest”
Two Of Our Favorite Gelaterias In Florence?
- Vivoli, located at 7r Via Isola Delle Stinche, is Florence’s oldest gelateria and continues to produce some of the city’s greatest treats.
- Stracciatella is one of my favorite tastes, and I thought that the one from La Strega Nocciola (located at Via de ‘Bardi, 51 in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Rome) was out of this world. Lavender is another one of their unusual and uncommon flavors.
3. Affogato To Go
If you’re not familiar with it, let me tell you that it’s one of my favourite sweets from Italy, and I only just saw it being sold on the street for the first time in Florence! The afogado is a delicious combination of gelato and espresso that is served in the same cup.
In most cases, the dessert starts with a plain vanilla gelato, and then a shot of hot espresso is poured over the top. This creates the tastiest puddle of warm and cold, coffee and cream, ever.
It should not come as a surprise that Afogado is a dessert that is both straightforward and sugary given the prevalence of coffee culture in Italy. But as a snack sold on the street? It doesn’t get much better than that in my opinion!
Even though it’s not your average fast food from the street, you really have to try it while you’re in Florence. You may think of it as the low-carb alternative to panini. Everything is delicious, including meats, cheeses, olives, and other delicacies, but without bread to fill you up. You may be familiar with the term “charcuterie,” which is the Italian translation of the word “tagliare.” It is astounding to see how beautiful and distinctive each tagliere will be from one to the next.
It all starts with nice, fresh cured meats like salami and Finnochiona, which is a Florentine salami created with chunks of fennel. Each designer adds their own unique take on the ingredients and the design, but it all begins with salami. Prosciutto and mortadella, both of which are renowned dishes associated with the city of Bologna, are also included.
If you include a variety of pecorino cheeses, which are made from sheep’s milk and are produced locally in Tuscany, you will have a fantastic tagiere plate that you can enjoy as a light snack or in between meals.
Where To Try Tagliere In Florence
Mercato Centrale: If you’re looking for tagliere, the Mercato has a number of fantastic booths for you to peruse, as well as a wide variety of stunning and inventive displays. They will even sometimes teach you how to make your own tagliere plates in the comfort of your own home!
5. Schiacciata Farcita
Simply said, schiacciata is a kind of bread that is similar to focaccia and can be found across Florence and the rest of Tuscany. It is a one-of-a-kind take on the traditional bread of the area and is prepared in one of two ways: either it is used as a vessel to store meats, cheeses, and other items between two ends, or it is filled with other foods and then baked with those contents baked right in.
Popular street food in Florence is called schiacciata farcita (also known as schiacciata all olio, which literally translates to “with oil”) and is often served either without any additions or with a little cheese that has been melted into it. In many cases, there will also be a few chunks of salami mingled in with the cheese. “Covaccino” is a kind of Italian flatbread that is prepared in a special way by seasoning it with salt, rosemary, and olive oil and calling it “Covaccino.”
Where To Try Schiacciata:
Among the greatest that we’ve tested may be found at Amici di Ponte Vecchio!
The greasy flat foods are typical of Florence’s street food scene. This delicious, sweet sponge cake is often served with powdered sugar or cocoa on top and is typically eaten during the Carnival season, which occurs around February and March.
Where To Try Schiacciata All Fiorentina During Carnival:
- Pasticceria Giorgio is the place to go to get your hands on this sugary delight when Carnival rolls around. This little pastry shop can be found in Sofia, which is located just outside of Florence. It is well worth the expense of taking the bus or a taxi to get there.
During the harvest season, Schiacciata con l’uva is a delicious savory and sweet dessert that is quite common in Tuscany (with grapes). It’s a wonderful way to incorporate grapes into meals, and it goes well with a fine glass of Tuscan wine, of course.
The well-known Italian pressed sandwich, also known as a panino, is an excellent choice for meals to eat on the go. All it takes is a few pieces of meat, cheese, or greens to be placed between two slices of bread, Schiacciata farcita, or roll, and then you’re good to go.
But just like a good Italian pizza or pasta dish, the ingredients added to a panino are designed to flavor the bread, and not the other way around — sort of the antithesis of the piled-high American sandwich. A panino is an open-faced sandwich that typically consists of two pieces of bread and one or more fillings.
A panini is a kind of sandwich that is intended to be consumed quickly and has flavors that are blended together thanks to a binder of some kind (typically cheese) and a lengthy pressing process.
Who Has The Best Panini In Florence?
- This well-known eatery, All’antico Vinaio, is known for serving sandwiches that are ridiculously huge. Because there is a queue that extends outside the store’s front, you may feel uncomfortable asking them to press your sandwich, despite the fact that they are likewise great. Don’t. They taste considerably better after being pressed, in my opinion.
- Due Sorsi & Un Boccone was a sandwich shop and creperie that was situated next to our Airbnb in Florence. Every morning, we would stroll by the establishment before it opened, wondering what the delicious aromas were that we couldn’t yet see. The address of the establishment is Via Degli Alfani 105.
- One day when we were running behind schedule, we were rewarded with the answer, which was that the paninis at this place are well worth the wait. The atmosphere is laid back, and the cuisine is uncomplicated. Your panino (or crepe) will be assembled using the four elements that you choose.