Street food has different meanings throughout the world. In the United States, it is food trucks and hot dog carts where you can grab quick snacks or meals while racing to your next appointment. In the United Kingdom, it is heading to a market or mall and finding great vendors offering delicious fusion dishes and great comfort food.
In Italy, it is sort of a mix of both, quick snacks and meals bursting with flavor. In Florence, street food vendors stay pretty much stationary in markets so they are easy to find. Whether you are planning to go on a culinary adventure and taste your way through the markets or you have a specific type of food or dish in mind, you will find it in Florence.
There are plenty of luggage lockers in Florence for you to leave any excess bags while you enjoy the interesting and unique experience of dining on Florentine street food. Head to the city center where you will find several chioschi, or food trucks, many offering trippa, the traditional treat of the edible lining of a cow stomach.
If trippa is not to your liking, maybe you will enjoy lampredotto which is the fourth and final stomach of a cow and is slow-cooked and simmered with onion, parsley and tomato. When you are not that adventurous with your food, schiacciata may be just right for your palette. This is a typical Italian salt bread and is served with an olive oil based dipping sauce.
Are you ready to try the best street food in Florence? Enjoy!
The best street food vendors in Florence
Finding street food vendors in Florence really is not hard. While you will not find the traditional food cart around every busy street corner, you will find several fabulous markets that are dedicated to providing space for vendors to offer their delicious foods. Here are just a few of the wonderful street food vendors that can be found in Florence.
Location: Mercato Centrale
Located on the ground level of the iconic Mercato Centrale, Da Nerbone is one of the most well-known places in the city to get typical street food. The menu is an eclectic mix of quick eats and comfort food. You won’t have to spend a lot to get a delicious meal here.
They have tasty pastas and paninis as well as some of the best lampredotto. Expect to see a long line waiting in front of Da Nerbone, there is always a queue but they do serve pretty quickly so the line stays moving and your wait is not long.
Location: Via Santa Margherita
Located in the heart of Florence’s city center, this street food vendor has secured one of the best spots in town and is a favorite with the locals. Florentines love their lampredotto and trippa and Da Vinattieri serves these delicious dishes every day.
You can also find some of the best schiacciata in Florence here. It is filled with flavorful Tuscan salami. Order a bowl of fragrant soup to go with your schiacciata, the ribollita is a great choice as it is made with kale, beans, and bread. It is very filling and so yummy.
L’ Trippaio di San Frediano
Location: Piazza dei Nerli
Exploring Florence neighborhoods and specialties is part of vacationing fun. This food truck can be found in the coolest neighborhood in the city, the Oltrarno neighborhood is home to several wonderful attractions and restaurants. But, when you are searching for something new and interesting, head over to L’ Trippaio di San Frediano.
While they do serve the traditional lampredotto sandwich and trippa, the menu also boasts several other sandwiches including hamburgers and hotdogs. You can even get a steaming plate of pasta if you are really hungry. The prices here are pretty reasonable and they offer a great selection of beer and red wine.
Location: Via dei Neri
Located near the Uffizi Gallery on the Via dei Neri which connects Santa Croce to the Piazza della Signoria, this popular street food vendor is best known for its irresistible panino. Follow them on social media for their sandwich of the day specials.
Expect to wait in a long line when you visit All’Antico Vinaio but they do have some of the best schiacciata that is then stuffed with wonderful Tuscan delicacies such as salami and hummus. There is a great wine shop right down the street where you can pick up a bottle of red wine to go with your schiacciata at the wine bar.
Trippaio del Porcellino
Location: Porcellino Market (Via di Capaccio)
Head over to the Porcellino Market and find the best food trucks in Florence. Spend time shopping at the market for splendid leather goods including jackets, belts, wallets, and leather bags. After all that walking around, shopping, and haggling, you will probably be looking for something to eat.
The food truck is very easy to find, there is almost always a long line of people standing in front of it. Most people do not mind waiting for one of their delicious sandwiches filled with locally sourced ingredients. Order a little extra to take home for a snack later.
Location: Piazza de Cimatori
L’Antico Trippaio is not your typical sandwich shop and has a lock on one of the best locations in Florence. This food truck is located in the Piazza de Cimatori but is within easy walking distance to Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio, and even the Piazza della Repubblica.
Serving authentic Tuscan street food, you can enjoy lampredotto and trippa standing on the sidewalk or seated at one of the tables the owner has set up in the street. The grilled sandwiches are even served with the classic Tuscan green sauce which adds a little something special to your meal.
Where to find the best Florence street food spots
It is unusual to see street food vendors lined up along the street in Florence. You may still see food trucks setting up shop throughout the city but most vendors who would traditionally have a food cart have set up shop in one of the famous street food markets throughout Florence. The vendors have stalls where they create their magic and you can come to breathe in the fragrant air while you wait in line.
Located right in the heart of San Lorenzo, the Mercato Centrale offers the traditional vendors selling meat, fresh veggies and fruit, and snacks on the ground floor. Easily reached from the Florence Train Station, the treasure trove of street food vendors can be found in the enormous food court on the second level. Vendors have set up their stalls and offer a variety of traditional Florentine delicacies as well as dishes from around the globe.
There are about five hundred seats in the food court to accommodate the large crowds and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the market. Some days even offer live music making it feel more like a festival than a market. There are vegan, vegetarian, and even gluten-free options available on some of the vendor’s menus as well as traditional foods.
Some of the fantastic vendors to check out at the Mercato Centrale include the Angelo and Emanuele Campomaggiore Dairy offering fresh, soft buffalo mozzarella cheese which is prepared right in front of you. Il Tartufo has several delicacies that have been created using the best white and black truffles in traditional Tuscan dishes.
Much smaller than the Central Market, this interesting market offers cheddar shops, fresh cut flowers, butchers, and fresh fruits and veggies. But there are also street food vendors offering delicious and filling fare. Most of the vendors here are cheap to moderately priced so you will not break the bank by sampling more than one or two vendors.
Being close to the train station in the Santa Croce region, the market sees mostly locals. Visitors are easily spotted. The vendors are friendly and will help you decide what you would like and some even will give you a small sample if you are not sure what something is.
Semel Street Food is located in the Sant’Amvrogio Market and is best known for its crostini. The crostini served will have different garnishes depending on the season but all of the garnishes deserve a mention. Their ability to use cooked pork, and sun-dried tomatoes or pecorino cheddar cheese and pear with truffle is mind-boggling.
Mercato del Porcellino
This rather famous market is best known for its fantastic calfskin products ranging from coats and shoes to packs and bags. There are also several vendors offering great souvenirs and small gifts. This intriguing market is also home to several wonderful street food vendors.
You can spend the entire day exploring and eating your way through the Mercato del Porcellino. While here be sure to give Il Lampredotto di Lorenzo Nigro a try. You can order a traditional lampredotto or one of the more interesting pairings such as adding hot sauce or Tartufo sauce. When the market is crowded, you may have trouble finding a place to sit and enjoy your sandwich.
Da’ Vinattieri is also located here and while it may be a little hard to find in the crowded market, you will definitely want to stop by and enjoy a delightful lampredotto sandwich with interesting fillings such as sheep cheddar, salami, truffle, and prosciutto.
Street food festivals in Florence
While Florence does not have any specific festivals that are dedicated to street food, you can bet that any festival held in the city will have several food trucks and street food vendors show up and offer wonderfully delicious dishes that will leave you fully satisfied.
Whether it is a small festival in the park or a city-wide affair, Florentines know how to throw a party and enjoy life through music, dance, and food. Anytime you see a festival in full swing, drop in and spend some time living life and chowing down on fantastic food. Afterward, head out for a night on the town in Florence!
Florence’s Festival del Gelato
So, while not a street food festival, this terrific festival pays homage to the rich, creamy gelato. Every sweet, decadent spoonful will leave you in heaven. Dig into a tasty cup, or two, of authentic Italian gelato while listening to live music and learning how this iconic treat is made.
You can take part in tastings and workshops at the festival which dates back to the early 1900s. Sink your teeth into traditional flavors such as hazelnut and coffee. Gelato itself can be traced back to the Renaissance era and has evolved into a scrumptious treat that Italians still love. The highlight of the festival is when the World Champion of Gelato is crowned.
The gelato festival is a favorite in Florence and it sees many visitors each year in September. You will find a few street food vendors here offering a delicious sweet treat or two that compliment gelato. When a large festival is held in the city, the street food vendors and food trucks will prosper as people flock to the city for the festivals.
Wonderful Tastes of Tuscany
When you are looking for a quick lunch and the best restaurants are not going to hit the mark, you will want to find the best street food in Florence where you can find pretty much anything at the food stands including organ meat, the best pizza, or flavorful sandwiches. Many Florentines love heading to the markets to find wonderful food stands with dishes that are bursting with flavor.