A taste of Florence in New York

All’Antico Vinaio is known for its panini made with authentic ingredients straight from Italy. Check out the famous Florentine Sandwich Shop in Greenwich Village and Midtown.

When my semester abroad at NYU Florence comes to an end, I will miss a lot about this beautiful place—the art around every corner, the lush green hills that surround the city—but most of all, I will miss the food. Fortunately, when I return to New York, I won’t have to go far to visit my favorite Florentine lunch spot: All’Antico Vinaio.

All’Antico Vinaio was established in 1991 on Via dei Neri in Florence, around the corner from the famous Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio. The Mazzanti family originally opened the shop serving paninis and wine from the historic wine cellar. In 2014, their son, Tommaso “Tommy” Mazzanti, joined and between 2017 and 2021 turned the family business into a popular street food destination that reached far beyond Florence. Today, the store has permanent branches in Milan, Rome, Turin, Los Angeles and New York.

I first heard about All’Antico Vinaio after the buzzy sandwich shop opened its second location in New York last fall. At 225 Sullivan St., it’s just a block from the Kimmel Center for University Life. When I first visited, the panini lived up to the hype. Knowing that I would be in Florence next semester, I was excited to find out that I could get my favorite panini deven while studying abroad.

Both All’Antico locations in downtown Florence typically have long lines. The aromas of fresh ingredients greet hungry customers as they enter the panini shop. The glass display counter is filled with produce, a variety of cheeses and an endless selection of cuts, including the traditional Tuscan prosciutto crudo. Each sandwich is made with freshly baked bread called “sciacata”, the local version of focaccia.

(Photo by Blake Salezin)

The shop’s menu also has endless sandwich combinations to suit any diet. For a vegetarian option, I recommend the Vegetariana 2 – fresh sciaccia with stracciatella cheese, pistachio cream, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. My personal favorite, however, is La Summer: sciacciato bread topped with fresh prosciutto, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and a balsamic drizzle. You can taste every ingredient in every bite. With authentic Tuscan ingredients, from truffles to pecorino, you can’t go wrong with anything on All’Antico Vinaio’s made-to-order menu.

Expert in creating sandwiches create a fun and welcoming atmosphere as soon as customers enter. In my experience as a frequent customer of All’Antico Vinaio, which is near my hostel in Florence, I am always impressed when the cashier recognizes me and remembers my order. Each panini is made with a smile and wrapped in red and white All’Antico parchment paper. The store’s signature packaging can be easily spotted as customers take their sandwiches with them and wander the streets of Florence.

The All’Antico Vinaio sandwich has become part of my routine here in Florence. On days when I don’t have classes, I always wander there and eat a panini on the piazza steps before heading to the Biblioteca delle Oblate outside to do the “learning” part of my study abroad. And luckily, when I return to New York next semester, not much will change.

If you’re looking to get a taste of Florentine culture before studying abroad or just want a really good sandwich, be sure to check out the New York City locations. Not only is it the perfect lunch spot, but NYU students get a 10% discount. You might not get views of the Duomo, but you can travel to Florence in one go.

Contact Roxane Solartash at [email protected]

Source link