Although we are constantly creating and always on the move, our staff at The Florentine has been stuck in a rut lately when it comes to lunch. In efforts to shake off the stagnancy, we went searching for Florence’s Top 10 under 10 euro lunch spots. Buon appetito!
This is Florence’s best-kept secret and hardest-to-pronounce café. Established in 1903, Paszkowski is a Florentine institution, frequented by locals who know where to lunch. Check out the daily specials board (expect simple pasta dishes like tortellini with prosciutto, peas and cream), pay for your lunch at the till and take your receipt back to the lady who spoons out your food onto a proper plate. Eat at one of the few tables by the bar, walk up the narrow wooden steps and eat upstairs or take a seat on the right-hand side of the covered outdoor seating area and watch life go by in the piazza.
Piazza della Repubblica, 35R
A panini place run by a Tuscan uncle-and-nephew team near piazza Indipendenza. The down-to-earth, friendly pair fill rolls to order using fresh seasonal ingredients. Three fillings cost 3 euro per panino, plus 50 cents for extras. If you’re in need of more ample sustenance, LìxLì also serves daily pasta specials. It’s a popular hangout for language students, close to the university faculty.
Via XXVII Aprile, 42R
Trattoria Sergio Gozzi
Trattoria Gozzi, known by locals simply as “Da Sergio,” has been serving traditional Tuscan fare since 1915. The same locals eat lunch here every day thanks to fourth-generation Gozzi brothers, Andrea and Alessandro, who run the entire show. It is strictly open at lunchtime only. Try the ribollita or passata di verdure, the sublime stuffed rabbit, trippa alla fiorentina, braciola fritta with tomato sauce or veal stew with onions: it’s always so good that doing a “scarpetta” is a must—that’s wiping your plate clean with a piece of bread, in Tuscan speak.
Piazza San Lorenzo, 8R
Rosticceria Tavola Marocchina
A favourite among the guys at The Florentine. This Moroccan eatery tucked away in piazza del Mercato Centrale serves up flavour-packed beef or chicken tajines with vegetables, plus a side order of your choice for just 5 euro. Try the sardines, green beans, lentils or chick peas. The khobz flatbread is scrumptious.
Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 9
Osteria I Buongustai
Hearty eats in a humble joint with prices to match. At the height of the lunch rush, the narrow foyer can feel a bit like the Apple store on an iPhone debut day, but the staff puts on quite a show in the (tiny) open kitchen to the left, so there’s plenty to occupy your attention while you wait for a seat. It’s best to order from the daily menu, where the choices are more seasonally sound, and the pasta dishes, spanning Tuscan favorites to Roman staples, are portioned out particularly generously.
Via dei Cerchi, 15R
A hip and happening bistro that grabs your attention as you drive round piazza della Libertà. During the week at lunchtime local office workers and students from nearby private schools pack in for hamburgers and veggie burgers (5 euro), generous salads (6 euro) and pasta dishes (7 euro). Also good: the fried eggs with Casentino pancetta, grilled vegetables and potatoes, a catch at 6 euro. Pull up a seat outside and tune into the
Piazza della Libertà, 29R
A mainstay for Oltrarno residents since the 1970s, this no-frills trattoria and rosticceria serves simple, well-cooked food that you can take away or eat in. The roast chicken is succulent, the salads are seasonal and the primi are filling—plus it’s cheap as chips. In a nutshell, La Mangiatoia is a home away from home, a ravenous stride from the Pitti Palace.
Piazza San Felice, 8R
The perfect solution for when hunger pangs hit and you’re stuck between piazza Duomo and a hard place. Le Mossacce is an unfussy, family-run eatery frequented by savvy Florentines, many of them downtown workers who head here for the fresh fare and honest prices. A few beats away from the Bargello, you’ll find classic Tuscan standbys such as ribollita and simple, substantial seconds.
Via del Proconsolo 55R
A long-standing favourite for its aperitivi and nightlife, since Accà took over the kitchen “the Slowly” has boasted a well-deserved reputation among lunch goers. The lunch menu costs 10 euro for a plate of pasta or generous salad, dessert, water and coffee. If the mozzarella risotto is on the menu, make sure you order it. Perfect for a casual business lunch or for a long chatty mezzogiorno moment among friends.
Via Porta Rossa, 63R
Despite its location around the corner from the Duomo, Nuvoli’s prices are as low as its cantina, where the sit-down di- ning takes place. The ground floor level dishes out its famous crostini, polpette, mini quiches and other snacks, along with sandwiches piled with meats, cheeses and pickled veggies. Take them to go or savor at a countertop seat. Ordering a first course and house wine from the full menu downstairs will rarely set you back more than a tenner.
Piazza dell’Olio, 15R