Expert Tips


Best Lunch in Florence

Stop by These Lunch Spots in Florence for a Delicious meal

Choosing a spot to have lunch in Florence is one of the one of the most difficult parts about putting together your vacation. The good thing is that you don't need to worry about finding a place where you can sit down and have a memorable meal with the ones you love.

Make sure to visit Trattoria Mario when you want to try some classic lunch dishes like steak fiorentina for a good price. It's a popular spot so you'll want to make sure you arrive early so you can get a table.

For sandwiches, you can try a whole bunch of different spots in the city center. Salumeria Verdi is famous for its delicious recipes and welcoming atmosphere. It's hidden away, so you'll want to ask a local if he or she knows of the best way to get there. For pizza, Gusta Pizza is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. 


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Though advertised as a pizzeria, where this place really shines through is its calzones and antipasti. It's a family-owned restaurant that has been passed down, so some of the recipes are the same ones that have been used for decades. You must order any one of the calzones available. They are the largest and steamiest you will find in the city, and when you are thinking about mixing it up from the typical pizza or pasta dish, this can be the perfect way to do it. The house wine is good, and the staff is more than friendly--you'll want to get a table outside so you can enjoy the view and the people walking by.

Recommended for Lunch because: This place boasts some of the best pasta and calzones in Florence.

Alexa's expert tip: Though the restaurant inside is quaint, see if you can get a table outside.

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If you are planning on a great sit-down lunch, be prepared to sit and enjoy Trattoria Mario. It's the perfect amount of local flair and tourist favorites. You'll find any kind of pasta that you could ever want and a divine wine list to go with it. You'll want to make sure to arrive a little bit before the crowds rush to get in. It's also wonderfully located right in the city center next to the San Lorenzo market, so after you are done with a delicious meal you can head to the stalls and pick up some new leather items.

Recommended for Lunch because: When you want a heavier lunch, this is the place to go.

Alexa's expert tip: Think about ordering the steak fiorentina here.

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Da Nerbone has long since held a place within the Mercato Centrale, and its design and menu have no changed much since it was first constructed. It has some amazing sandwiches available for some reasonable prices. These usually include family recipes and high-quality meat that make this lunch unforgettable. Soups and snacks are also available if you want to try something a little different. There is limited seating, so you will want to see if you can get a spot at the bar or take some time and grab a bench or two. You'll most likely be sitting next to some locals and some tourists wanting to try some new sandwiches.

Recommended for Lunch because: This classic staple of Italian restaurants has been here since the 1800s.

Alexa's expert tip: You'll want to try the lampredotto if you're brave.

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In connection with the Gusta Panino and Gusta Osteria establishments, Gusta Pizza is probably the most popular place to get a pizza with the Neapolitan flavor. The crust is a perfect combination of doughy but not too much, and the standard menu has some solid choices. Also, if you are willing to try something new, they have some fun specials--usually including some toppings that you typically won't find in Florence. It's a popular spot, so you might want to think about arriving a little earlier than the typical Italian lunch hour (before one or two) so you can get a good seat and a feel for the fun atmosphere.

Recommended for Lunch because: When you want a fun pizzeria experience, Gusta's can't be beat.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure you're extra friendly to the staff and they will give you a pie shaped like a heart!

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Antico Noe
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Tucked in the area behind Santa Croce, Antico Noe is a popular place for expats and study abroad students. Though it has limited outdoor seating, it's easy to grab your panino and head back out on the streets and see the sights. Boasting an impressive variety of meats and cheeses, you will never run out of combinations. Antico Noe also has some pretty good restaurant options of you are thinking about sitting down for a while and enjoying the area, which is always bustling with locals and tourists. It's also in a great location--it's easy to walk to either the Duomo or Santa Croce from the restaurant's spot.

Recommended for Lunch because: This place has great panini for a good price with a great selection of meats and cheeses.

Alexa's expert tip: Think about having a late lunch here so you can grab a beer in one of the many pubs nearby.

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Finding local eats for a good price can take some time and some research, but not when you head on over to the other side of the Arno River and to Trattoria Sabatino. It's a family-run restaurant guaranteeing that you will leave full and satisfied after a large meal here. This restaurant is extremely local--you'll find almost everyone speaks Italian, so feel free to ask questions if you are unsure about some of the menu items or you want to try something and you don't know what is in it. It's a popular spot, so consider looking into getting there early when you want a table.

Recommended for Lunch because: You'll find classic dishes and a fun atmosphere here.

Alexa's expert tip: Check and see if you can get reservations at this popular spot on the other side of the Arno.

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All'Antico Vinaio
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One of the best places to find a sandwich near both the Duomo and the Santa Croce region, you will find it highly-populated at all times. No reason to show up early or late for lunch hour, you'll find a crowd of tourists and locals outside whenever you arrive. You might want to think about having a seat at the connected restaurant--it has some high-quality food without the crowd and you can enjoy sitting inside rather than on a perch outside the panino shop. Their cheeses here are some of the best you will find throughout Florence, and they have a knack for putting together the perfect combination of sandwich ingredients.

Recommended for Lunch because: You can find some amazing take away sandwiches here.

Alexa's expert tip: Be prepared--this place is busy all of the time!

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Salumeria Verdi
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Also known as "Pino's Sandwiches," this place has gained appreciation from the vast variety of residents in Florence. Not only does Pino make sure that all the ingredients you might want to put on your sandwich are made in-house, but he greets each customer with a smile. The indoor seating is comfortable and spacious--not something you will always find in an Italian panini shop! With a wide variety of combinations available, you will never get bored and will want to return here with your family and friends again and again until you perfect your dream panino. Pair with a soda or water and you are set to explore Florence some more.

Recommended for Lunch because: This place is consistently lauded for its delicious panini.

Alexa's expert tip: Give Pino free reign of your sandwich and you will end up with a delicious combination!

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This restaurant doesn't get any more family oriented than this spot. When you would like some classic dishes for a good price, you should think about arriving early so you can get a seat with all of your family. You'll find some delicious takes on some classic recipes and some amazing cured meats ready for you either to devour there or on your way home. When you want a truly authentic experience and you want to feel like you have the attention you deserve while at a restaurant, this can be one of the best places for you and your traveling companions.

Recommended for Lunch because: When you want a true taste of Florentine culture, this is a great place for you.

Alexa's expert tip: Consider taking some of their delicious meats home with you.

Read more about Trattoria la Casalinga →

Le Antiche Carrozze
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This spot might seem out of place amidst all the shopping and expensive places to grab drinks, but Le Antiche Carrozze is a great place for a midday meal when you want reasonably-priced food. They have a delicious house wine and plenty of pasta dishes for you to try--along with a staff who is more than willing to help you with your selection. It's often busy, so it might be worth it to make a reservation a day or two in advance so you can enjoy some of their signature dishes. It's also a wonderful place for kids and family.

Recommended for Lunch because: Le Antiche Carrozze is a staple with excellent pastas and delicious chianti.

Alexa's expert tip: Ask the waiter about his or her favorite dish. You're sure to get a great recommendation!

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Meet Alexa Schnee

Currently residing in Florence, Alex is a travel writer and author. She is addicted to coffee, reading, and seeing new places. She has been to near fifteen different countries in Europe, all...  More About Alexa