Lunch at All'Antico Vinaio in Florence, Italy

If you have ever been to Florence or are planning a trip to go there you have no doubt heard about All'Antico Vinaio. Originally a rosticceria (where they sell whole roasted chickens), the place has turned into one of the most famous sandwich shops in the world.

They originally didn't have enough space, so they bought the wine bar across the road which is where their name comes from (the old wine bar). It definitely turned into a success and you can now be sure to always find yourself at the back of a long queue which you can find in Via dei Neri (close to the Piazzale Signoria and the Galleria degli Uffizi), but don't worry - it's worth it!

What we ordered 

  • La Vegetariana - mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, spicy eggplants, courgettes, basil, artichoke cream 
  • Summer - ham, mozzarella, truffle cream 
Our thoughts 

There are so many different flavour combinations that you can ask for, and most of them are only 5 euros (some speciality meats etc are 6/7 but honestly you can get so much food for 5 euros, they're massive).

The bread is also a really nice schiacciata (Florentine for focaccia, a yummy flatbread). You can see fresh batches being brought in by the workers every couple of minutes because that's how many sandwiches they make! Apparently they have an agreement with a bakery close by which ensures a constant stream of happy customers leaving with their massive sandwiches (this amazing Tuscan food really isn't great for the waistline but definitely worth it).

I've been here so many times, and my absolute favourite is the vegetarian one, the artichoke cream is absolutely amazing. It's pretty hard to find in England but you can buy a jar of it at Franco Manca which is now in Bath and all over the rest of the UK.

It's obvious that we're not the only ones who love it because they have won so many awards and have been reviewed almost 14,000 times on TripAdvisor, check out their profile here. You will probably have to wait (i've waited for up to 50 minutes) but it'll be worth it.

Just a tip: try to go earlier rather than later because if you go around 12/12.30 you may only have to wait 10/15 minutes as opposed to closer to an hour if you go anywhere after 1.30. And at 5 euros it won't break the bank whilst you're exploring Florence!

P.S. If you check this place out for lunch feel free to walk a little further down the street to one of my favourite gelaterias: Gelateria dei Neri.

Gelateria dei Neri: Peach and Hazelnut (left), Raspberry and Hazelnut (right)