The experience of eating is vital to the Italian culture. Meals, especially dinners, are meant to be enjoyed purposefully and typically last for at least a couple of hours through the mingling and tasteful dishes. While I participate in these mingling dinners quite often, breakfast and lunch are usually on the go because of the busy afternoons with classes and homework. But there is something different about the on-the-go food in Italy compared to the on-the-go food in the United States.
Throughout the streets of Florence, there are tons of quality panino shops or cafes to choose from. Each provide a good variety of choices. A fresh panino with simple ingredients, a decadent pastry, or of course a take-away pizza made with love from a wood fired oven (hello Gustapizza!).
One of my favorite parts about Italy is the food and the convenience that comes with it without taking away the quality. Many students must eat their lunches between classes and locals need a quick bite before work.
In honor of my love for Italian “fast food,” here are some of my favorite spots to grab the best panini and baked goods!
- Amici Di’ Ponte Vecchio: one of the best sandwiches I have ever had oh my word. The owner makes his bread fresh and every sandwich fresh daily!
- Gustapizza: everyone’s favorite pizza that is fresh and molto bene!
- Caffe S. Spirito: Amazing caffe lattes and delicious paninis and pastries, owned by the sweetest couple!
- Mercato Centrale: Huge variety of food, from soup dumplings to pizza! Whatever you’re craving, it’ll most likely be here!
- Bar Pasticceria Piccioli: Lovely cakes and pastries! The croissants make my world go round.
- Pasticceria Baratta: BEST cannolis ever.
- Antico Forno Ghibellina: Super sweet staff and gives you just about every baked good you’d want from savory to sweet!
- Forno: Right on Via Ghibillina and has giant croissants and great cold cuts. My favorite is the chocolate chip bread!
May your pastries be flaky, your pizza be cheesy, and your body be contento.