Photo: Antonio Gravante/Shutterstock

This Cafe Supposedly Has the Best Sandwiches in All of Florence. Here's How to Get One.

Florence Restaurants + Bars
by Matador Creators Jan 13, 2023

Located just steps from Palazzo Vecchio (home to an infamous copy of Michelangelo’s even more famous statue of David) is supposedly the best paninis in all of Florence. The restaurant is called All’Antico Vinaio, and it’s been praised far and wide for its sandwiches.

@foodwtf This sandwich shop is known for having the best #paninis in #Florence 📍All’Antico Vinaio 🎥 @Shirene #Italy #foodtravel #foodie #italianfood #paninitok ♬ L'italiano – I Mandolini Italiani

The sandwich shop opened in 1989, and the name combines two Florence specialities – wine and panino. The shop is such a hit that there’s even an outpost in New York City (though rumor has it the sandwiches don’t compare to those at the original location). There are nearly 31,000 reviews of the shop on Tripadvisor – it’s one of the most widely reviewed restaurants on the site.

When you walk up to the deli counter at  All’Antico Vinaio, the first you’ll notice is that there is a line out the door. So be prepared to wait. Of course, Italian food is already considered the best in the world, but this cafe is especially legendary, and people line up to get their hands on a sandwich from this shop (people who have been there before report waiting as long as 20 to 30 minutes). However, first-timers should be aware that there are actually three windows where you can order, so it might be worth navigating the crowds to find the shortest line.

A woman holding two sandwiches from All'Antico Vinaio in Florence, standing next a man holding a cup of coffee

Photo: Antonio Gravante/Shutterstock

Once you get to the counter, you’ll be pleased to behold a multitude of fresh Italian ingredients, from pecorino cheese, to eggplant, salami, prosciutto, porchetta, and artichokes. The freshly baked bread (known as Schiacciate, the name for Tuscan focaccia) is another reason All’Antico Vinaio has become so legendary.

The sandwiches are notoriously well priced and the portions are huge and filling, meaning you get your money’s worth and more.

There’s no seating but with the Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio close by, you can take your sandwich to go and enjoy it while taking in some of the most stunning views in the world. However, if you happen to find a standing room only spot inside, a glass of Tuscan red wine is the ideal accompaniment to your sandwich.

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