Florence

Best Sandwich in Florence – cheaper alternatives to All’Antico Vinaio

If you want to try the best sandwich in Florence EVERYONE is going to tell you to go to tell you to visit All’Antico Vinaio. If you don’t want to be stuck in their 1-2 hour queue…

Here are five cheaper, tastier alternative sandwich shops to try!

Three chefs outside All'antico Vinaio in Florence - the best sandwich shop in Florence.
Image Courtesy of All’Antico Vinaio

Why is All’Antico Vinaio so popular?

Since 1991, the Mazzanti family has been running All’Antico Vinaio’s two Florence sandwich shops. Over the years they have steadly gained in popularity. The store is the most-reviewed ‘quick bite’ on Tripadvisor and their sandwiches are now considered to serve the best sandwich in Florence.

Their sandwiches are priced between 7-12 Euro are all served on fresh, warmed schiacciata a flat style of Tuscan bread. Each sandwich is served with fresh meat, cheeses and vegetables, then generously garnished with salt and olive oil.

Their most popular sandwich is L’Italiana which has prosciutto di Parma, mozarella, tomato and basil. Other popular sandwiches include La Favolosa with sbriciolona salami, cream of pecorino cheese, cream of artichokes and spicy aubergine. Or, La Paradiso with mortadella, cream of pistachio and stracciatella cheese with chopped pistachios.

Menu showing four of the most popular sandwiches at All'Antico Vinaio sandwich shop in Florence
Image Courtesy of All’Antico Vinaio Website

If you still want to visit All’Antico Vinaio and are planning to visit other cities on your Italian trip, you can try and visit one of their other branches in Milan, Rome, Turin, Bergamo, Napoli, Forte dei Marmi and I Gigli.

They even have two branches in the United States, with shops in Los Angeles and New York. I would recommend trying sandwiches in Italy if you want the best taste.

All’Antico Vinaio’s sandwiches are considered to be some of the best in Florence, you may want to try some cheaper, lesser known alternatives.

Here are five sandwich shops which are slightly off the beaten track, that still serve delicious sandwiches at slightly cheaper prices.

Pino’s Sandwiches – homemade sandwiches made by the owner himself

Two sandwiches from Pino's Sandwiches in Florence
Image Courtesy of Pino’s Sandwiches

Opened in 1965, Pino’s Sandwiches serves fresh sandwiches ranging from 5 to 7 EURO. Pino, the owner, still works behind the counter, greeting everyone with a smile and hand making each sandwich fresh for each customer.

The shop is particularly popular with American college students in Florence. Florence is a SUUUUPER popular destination for American college students – with 18,000 American students studying in Florence in 2023 alone).

Pino has made great relationships with the American college students, and proudly displays the different college flags he has been gifted in the back of his shop.

Pino inside proudly displaying the college banners inside his shop
Pino proudly displaying his college banners (Image Courtesy of Pino’s Sandwiches)

He has even created his own sandwich the ‘Pino’ special which has speck, brie cheese, sundried tomatoes and hot sauce. You can check out the full menu here on Pino’s website.

Panini Toscani – fresh sandwiches next to Piazza Duomo

A cheese and ham panini from Panini Toscani - a panini shop in Florence
Image Courtesy of Panini Toscani

Located right next to Piazza Duomo, Panini Toscani serves sandwiches with 100% Tuscan ingredients. Think local ingredients like cacio fiorentino, pecorino di Montalcino and finocchiona.

Piazza Duomo can get super busy, so this small shop can be easy to miss. Look out for the green sign if you want to stop and grab a sadnwich.

The best thing about this shop is that they offer a small tasting of each of the products inside your sandwich, so you can see what it will taste like before you buy the whole sandwich.

Frontage of Panini Toscani
Image Courtesy of Panini Toscani

Click here to watch their Behind the Counter Experience with regular Sophie. Sophie is an American study abroad student who gets to make her own panini with top chef, Benjamin. She describes what makes Panini Toscani so special, why she recommends it, and why she will always return whenever she’s in Florence.

Da’ Vinattieri – the best lampredotto sandwich in Florence?

Frontage of Da' Vinattieri
Image Courtesey of Da’ Vinatierri

Da’ Vinattieri serves sandwiches from a tiny window along a tiny alleyway so they are easy to miss! A little different to the other recommendations on this list for the best sandwich in Florence, as they specialise in lampredotto sandwiches. You’re probably wondering what lampredotto is…it’s tripe or cow’s stomach which is slow cooked in a blend of herbs and spices (onion, celery and tomato) served on a crusty bread roll. Now, I know it sounds pretty weird but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

If you’re not a fan of tripe, you can try their ‘coccoli’ instead. Coccoli are fried bread balls stuffed with local meat and cheese.

Fried coccoli (Image Courtesy of Da’ Vinatierri)

If I haven’t convinced you yet, then check out David Nagy’s Open Skies blog post ‘This Sandwich from Da’ Vinattieri Changes Everything’.

Want to try different types of lampredotto? Here are more spots you can visit for the best lampredotto in Florence

I Fratellini – a tiny wine bar serving fresh sandwiches

Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor

Opened in 1875, I Fratellini (which in English means ‘Little Brothers’) is a tiny wine and sandwich bar located next to the Orsanmichele Church. What makes I Fratellini so special, is that it’s one of the only fiaschetteria left in the city. The word fiaschetteria comes from fiasco in Italian which means flask of wine.

They serve 30 different crispy bread sandwiches. So, there are lots of varieties to choose from, and you can pair your sandwich with one of their local wines too. Glasses of wine are around 2-3 EURO a glass, so a super affordable spot for a glass of wine.

But, be warned! It’s standing room only!! Make sure you don’t miss the shop, as the front is usually crowded with people standing outside sipping on their glasses of wine.

Want to delve deeper into Florence’s local food scene? Check out these food tours:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalise a purchase.

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