The best sandwich in all of Florence — so good, it’s illegal!?

We went on a family trip to Italy last spring. It was delightful, and you can read more about how the trip got started here, all our Italian trips and tips here and here. A bunch of time has passed since the trip, and to say we have been busy since is an understatement. So now, in November, I’m reflecting on how grateful I am for all the experiences of the past year with this set of recaps.

This is a review of the best sandwich I had while in Florence — read to the bottom to understand why it’s even considered illegal! I wrote it while standing in line alone, ordering dinner one night. This piece has a silly tone to it, probably because I was hungry and passing the time. Reading this post always makes me smile over the fun experience and super delicious sandwich. Enjoy!

The line experience

Word about the best sandwich in all of Florence is out. 

I’m writing this while drooling in line with about 518,491,153 of my closest friends (give or take a few million…)

All'antico Vinaio long lines for good sandwiches

It’s been about 20 minutes. Am I any closer to the door? Questionable. Is it ridiculous that I’m waiting this long for a sandwich at 8pm on a Saturday? Probably.

All’antico Vinaio a little closer to the door

Is it worth it? Why yes, yes it is. 

We have come here before, and while I’ve never waited quite this long, I know that it’s still worth the wait. 

The shop I speak of is called All’antico Vinaio. In fact, there are two locations diagonally across the street from one another. (Update: there are THREE locations that the curling lines have just opened up to reveal!) As far as I can tell, they are identical. At least the lines are, anyway...

All'antico Vinaio in all its glory

So what am I waiting in line for? A sandwich. This is a sandwich as big as your head. It requires both hands to manhandle into your face. Again, it’s worth it. 

What to order, what to order... 

The base is always the same, piping hot focaccia. I have heard that we aren’t too far from the birthplace of focaccia, so we know we are in for the real stuff.

All’antico Vinaio focaccia

They have an assortment of condiments. If you like truffles, go for it. If you don't like truffles, I'd avoid...that garlic-y smell will be tough to shake if you're not a superfan. I went with the spicy eggplant. OMG.

All’antico Vinaio condiments for the sandwich

Up next in order of importance, at least for me, is the cheese. Mozzarella for sure. Buffalo mozz if possible, but not necessary.

For veggies, some arugula and tomatoes are perfect for this masterpiece. AND because I’ve never tasted better fresh produce. Italy knows what's going on!


And finally, the paper thin prosciutto for my sandwich is cut on demand. I repeat, the melt-in-your-mouth briny goodness that is prosciutto is hand-cut each time a sandwich is ordered. Same for whatever other meat you're looking to place in your delicious sandwich. Perhaps that's part of the reason the lines snake through the streets for so long...

All'antico Vinaio meats

This is the long-awaited, and very-worth-it end result of standing in line for an hour. The best sandwich in all of Florence.

All’antico Vinaio delicious sandwich

PS: Did I mention that they have self-service wine? Two euros will allow you to pour your own wine. How awesome is that?!

Update: So good it’s illegal!?

Since our last visit to Florence, new laws have been put into effect to avoid the crowding in front of businesses and homes in downtown Florence. Many of the people crowding in said-spaces are said to be eating sandwiches from All’antico Vinaio. The shops have very little indoor space to sit and eat, so just be ready with your own plans to eat the most delicious sandwich in the city…legally!

All'antico Vinaio sandwich shop
best sandwich in all of Florence All'antico Vinaio