Look for the crowd on the sidewalk spilling into the street tearing into fully loaded plate-sized slabs of focaccia sandwiches and you’ll know you’ve found Antico Vinaio. This popular sandwich shop is no secret. It is the most reviewed restaurant in the world on Trip Advisor! EXPO 2015 even selected them as one of the Top Ten Businesses in Italy. It is hard to argue with the generous portions, quality ingredients, delicious toppings and budget pricing. Combine the value with the casual convivial atmosphere and you have a truly unique and enjoyable experience. And unfortunately really, REALLY, long lines.
Once you make it up to the front, which could be well over 30 minutes in high season, the boys behind the bar will grab a hefty slice of fresh, soft and chewy schiaciatta, slice it in half and put together the sandwich of your dreams. Slather on a homemade spread of salty which could be Crema di Pecorino (Pecorino Cheese), Tartufo (Truffle), Carciofi (Artichoke), or even a combination of the other sauces available; just don’t ask for Pesto, they are quick to point out they don’t have it. Top this with a hearty portion of sliced cured meats, more generous than what you typically encounter. Add sliced tomato, cheese or hot & spicy eggplant, and you have a sandwich that can double as lunch and dinner.
A large selection of wine is available by the glass ranging from basic table wine to more prestigious labels; or grab a bottle and a plastic cup from the window and pour your own wine for only 2 euro. Small pre-made sandwiches and topped crostini from 1-3 euro each are perfect for a small snack to accompany a late afternoon snack.
They often shut down early because they have run out of bread.
Signature Dishes: Hefty Schiaciatta Sandwiches bursting with homemade spreads and cured meats
Get It!: Sandwich with Crema di Pecorino, Salsa di Carciofi, Finochiona and Hot & Spicy Eggplant
TIP: Avoid the line and hop across the street to the rosticceria, with the same owners, the same ingredients, and a full restaurant, including sandwich counter.
Via dei Neri, 74r, Florence. tel: +39 055.2382723