Last updated on February 21st, 2024
We all know sightseeing is exhausting. After seeing countless sculptures, museums and paintings, there is nothing more welcome than some good old street food!
Whether it’s your first trip to Tuscany or your fifth, you should be spending some considerable amount of time indulging in Tuscan street food. But where to start? There are so many options in both Florence and in the whole Tuscan region.
It’s been almost 20 years since I started tasting my way through Tuscany and I can assure you that much of my time spent has been on the street with a glass of wine in one hand and a snack in the other.
In this article, I will share my insider knowledge on the most unforgettable Tuscan street foods to try while in Italy, including who each food is best for and my favorite spots to eat them in both Florence and Tuscany, giving you ample choice and opportunity to chow down no matter where you are!
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Best For: Adventurous and brave eaters
Where To Eat It In Florence: Sergio Pollini food truck next to the Sant’Ambrogio open air market, one of the best food markets in Florence
Where To Eat It In Rifredi (suburb of Florence): Lampredotto Aurelio food stand
Lampredotto is one of Florence’s most famous street foods made from slow cooked cow stomach that is then served on a bread roll with salsa verde, a green sauce made from capers, anchovies, parsley, lemon, oil, garlic and onion.
Insider Tip: Ask for your roll dipped in the cooking broth which brings the whole thing to a whole new level!
Best For: Foodies
Where To Eat It In Florence: Trattoria Da Rocco in the Sant’Ambrogio market
Trippa is one of Tuscany’s most beloved poor man’s foods made from the rumen and omasum parts of the cow stomach that are stewed for hours with tomato and soffritto, creating a tender and juicy stew that will warm your bones.
Best For: Sharing (schiacciata can be cut to order in small strips to share)
Where To Eat It In Florence: Cantinetta dei Verrazzano or Sforno
Where To Eat It In Montepulciano: Borgo del Forno
Schiacciata is a popular snack or merenda in all of Tuscany, particularly enjoyed after school or mid-morning. It’s also one of my favorite snacks to eat here in Italy while pregnant.
Look for sandwich shops, bars, or bakeries selling sandwiches made from schiacciata. Sandwiches made with schiacciata are much more flavorful than regular old panini!
Tip: If you are at a sandwich shop and would like your panino made with schiacciata, be sure to specify this. If you don’t, you will get a sandwich made with pane toscano or on a roll.
Best For: Vegans and vegetarians
Where To Eat It Florence: La Cranceria
Where To Eat It In Livorno: Torteria da Gagarin
Tip: You can either order it as is or have it in a sandwich called cinque e cinque in Livorno.
Best For: Meat-lovers
Where To Eat It Florence: Antica Porchetteria Granieri 1916
Where To Eat It In Greve in Chianti: Every Saturday from 8am to 1 pm at the open air market
Every region in Italy has their version of a spit roasted whole pig and in Tuscany, we do it with plenty of local herbs such as fennel, black pepper, sage and rosemary.
Order porchetta at any open air market either in slices and paid for by the weight or in a sandwich to be eaten as Tuscan street food.
Best For: Farm to table snack
Where To Eat It Florence: Organic Market every 3rd Sunday of the month in Santo Spirito
Where To Eat It In Lucca: Pizzeria da Felice
Sometimes known as ciaffagnoni, necci are thin pancakes made with chestnut flour made in the fall when chestnuts come into season in Tuscany. They are rolled into a tube shape and stuffed with fresh ricotta cheese.
Good To Know: You can also order a sweet version of necci which is made with honey!
Best For: Very hungry travelers looking for a hearty snack
Where To Eat It In Florence: Semel (Sant’Ambrogio market) or Ino (close to Ponte Vecchio), both on my list of Off-the-Hook Sandwich Shops in Florence
Where To Eat It In Siena: Osteria Il Grattacielo dal 1840
Tuscany makes some of the best sandwiches in all of Italy which can be ordered straight off pre-set menus or made to order, which is how I like to do it.
Usually you will be asked to choose your bread, a meat and a cheese to which you can then add any kind of sauce that they have or vegetable (salad, tomato, grilled zucchini, for example).
Good To Know: Sandwiches in Italy aren’t like ones back home. Don’t expect an Italian sub with three kids of deli meat. Rather, there will be one kind of meat paired with cheese.
Best For: Gluten-Free travelers
Where To Eat It In Florence: Gelateria Edoardo
Where To Eat It In Pienza: Fredo Pasticceria Gelateria Artigianale
Gelato may seem like a pretty generic Italian street food but I can assure you that Tuscany has some of the best around!
Florence Travelers: Looking to sample some of Florence’s finest gelato? Read Best Gelato In Florence – From A Local.
Tips For Eating Tuscan Street Food
Keep my top tips in mind for purchasing and buying Tuscan street food to have the best experience possible.
- Tuscan street food is meant to be eaten on the spot. Takeaway bags aren’t very popular in Italy so don’t expect to eat half of your trippa and get a box to eat it later.
- If you order a panino, many shops don’t like to cut it in half for you to share. Sometimes they will, especially if you have kids but it’s not typical.
- Gelato melts a lot more quickly than American ice cream. Eat it quickly! Learn more about gelato here.
- Many of these Tuscan street food double as great snacks to stick in your bag for energy between sightseeing. This is especially important if you are traveling with kids!
- Schiacciata is best enjoyed on the same day its made. It’s not bread that lasts long!
- Consider eating many of these street foods in place of a meal. It saves money and time. Panini, lampredotto, trippa, cecina and porchetta all make great lunch options.