Almost all of the Florentine dishes that you will find on the table of a local family or in any of the Florence’s restaurants are to be found in other cities of Tuscany or Italy. Sometimes they change a little bit, but it’s true that we Italians tend to steal and personalize the best eatings, it doesn’t matter where they come from.
Something that you will only find in Florence include its street food, because it’s strictly bounded to the city’s history and still sold from street stalls.
There is no way to taste some specialties, unless you come here, and they are:
Number one and most distinctive specialty. It will turn your stomach upside down, and unfortunately street sellers (trippaio or lampredottaio) of this very special dish are open lunch only – good for your digestive system, not helpful if it’s 40°C. Its aggressiveness could be compared to Kebab, but the main ingredient is trippa (tripe), aka cow’s stomach, boiled in a vegetable broth. And if you want to eat like a local, you must ask for a completo: soaked bread roll, salt, pepper, hot sauce and green sauce.
Italian travel cooking show starred by street food hero “Chef Rubio” goes to Florence… the (fake) battle is with Orazio, cooker of Lampredotto in the Porcellino area… The video is only in Italian
While here’s the list of trippai in the city center, go have a lampredotto eating tour and tell me if you agree with me:
Porcellino market, Orazio’s – tasty but very small sized lampredotto!
Inside the central market, Nerbone’s – good, and you can sit.
Via de’ Cerchi/Via Dante (near Piazza della Signoria) – not bad and nice staff.
Via Gioberti (near Piazza Beccaria) – out of the tourist area.
San Lorenzo Market – it is good, and you can sit!
If Lampredotto is too much for your stomach, then go for a schiacciata: the Florentine panino – yes, in Italy 1 is panino, 2 or more are panini 🙂 while schiacciata is a Tuscan bread.
Everyone will be happy to serve you a Florentine schiacciata, but I have my favorite: All’Antico Vinaio in Via dei Neri (back of Palazzo Vecchio), surprisingly located in the tourist area. You’ll find a huge line, but, if you look at people around you, you’ll see many Italian students, why? Huge schiacciatas, tasty ingredients, right price, young staff. Every time I’m in the area I can’t avoid stopping by: the truffle smell literally drags me in, and a glass of vino della casa is really the cherry on top.
To be avoided…
…porchetta (the sound ch pronounced hard, like k) I am sorry, but in Florence this is an imported street-food. If you want to taste it, go to Lazio, Umbria or Marche, my area. I have not found any good porchetta here, yet. I’ll keep you posted 🙂
…gelato during winter, if you want to eat like a local. I mean, if you basically don’t care about what Italians think/do then go, buy your cold tasty ice-cream while it’s snowing. My favorite in the tourist area is the one open since spring 2013 in Piazza del Duomo, Edoardo’s. Tasty fresh ingredients, well preserved in the traditional carapina, and, above all, no tourist-appealing fake colors or useless huge creamy mountains. Let’s say Grom is not particularly ‘local’.
…sliced pizza in the tourist area. I still haven’t found a good sliced pizza for my quick snacks.
Let History Rest in Peace
Procacci’s panini. Everyone writing/talking about or eating them. Procacci was founded in 1885 on via de’ Tornabuoni (fashion street, yes). The noble family Antinori bought the place in 1998 to sell the truffle specialties that made the shop famous. They kept the shelves, the counter and so on.
Well I’m really sorry but I hate their tiny little panini – by the way, panino? calling their mignon sized snacks ‘panino’ is a real compliment – for sale at 1,80. No, unreasonable expensive.