Lunch has become my favorite meal of the day. Zoe and I have breakfast and usually dinner at home, but we go out for lunch everyday. When in the states lunch would be usually coffee and a muffin and a regular dinner. Now I have my main meal at lunch and a small dinner. It makes more sense. I have been perfecting the under €10 ($11.00) meal and it’s amazing how well you can eat on even €5. The key is to find where the locals go and stay out of the center of Firenze. My favorites places are on the other side of the river where we live.
When we were here last fall I discovered Chicco di Caffe and I still love it. It has long wooden tables and you see the same faces all the time with an occasional tourist. This is the kind of tourists I like who have gone out of their way to find this place. I’ve met some nice people here who I still keep in touch with. Two very lovely ladies from Canada who I hope come back to Firenze.
I usually order their vegetables because they have a nice selection, better than a lot of places.
A large plate of vegetables is €3, a carafe of wine €2 and sparkling water €1. A total of €9. Sometimes I only order one vegetable so that’s €6.
For variety I order the caprese salad with the best burrata (much better than mozzarella) and it is €6.
If I can I pick the table by the window for Zoe to enjoy either the people or the sun for a nap.
My other favorite local fine is L’Brindelleon, also not a tourist spot and it has long wooden tables. I love just sitting where ever there is room. This place is known for their beef and a popular dinner place but lunch is all local workman.
They have a fixed €10 lunch during the week which includes water, a carafe of red or white wine, a pasta and a meat or chicken dish. I pass on the main course, too much for me to eat and just have the pasta. They have pasta pomodoro and one or two other choices. I have become very fond of the pomodoro, it’s comfort food like having Mac and cheese.
It is always fun to see what pasta they use. Add some Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes and I’m in heaven. This costs me either €5 or €6, depending on who’s at the register.
Another good lunch spot is the neighborhood bar, where people go for their espresso and sweets in the morning, or their glass of prosecco before going home. Most have a nice assortment of sandwiches on either focaccia or hard rolls. You can have Ham, prosciutto, or salami. I usually have the tuna or tomato and mozzarella.
It is hard to believe that these cost either €3 or €4, add a cup of coffee for €1. I have to keep myself from asking “are you sure.”
i had to go to the next city over to pick up something at the post office and decided to try one of their bars for lunch and ordered a caprese salad with tuna not expecting too much. Salads can be a little boring in Italy. I was pleasantly surprised when I got this. They added cucumber and hard boiled eggs for all of €6. It reminds me I have to go back there.
i tend to order the same thing at some places I go opposed to trying everything on the menu. Lo Sprone Vinaino is one such place. I have only had their plate of grilled vegetables with grilled scamorza cheese. It is a vegetable lovers dream. I only go here on Sunday to make it extra special.
This is not only gorgeous to look at but extremely good. All they said on the menu at Culinaria Bistroit was beet and goat cheese salad. What a surprise when they put this in front of me.
Last night I decided to do take out from my neighborhood pizzeria Il Pipistrello. They are much more than pizza and I was in the mood for a really nice salad. Looking at their menu before going it seemed like a good possibility. When they handed me this pizza box I was a little confused and decided that they probably don’t get many people ordering salad to go.
I had ordered what they called Salad Norwegian with salmon and shrimp. The presentation in the pizza box was very nicely done.
I cut away the top and sides of the box so it would be more like a plate. It was a pretty good salad. Can you guess what that yellow glob is on the lower right? MUSTARD. Interesting. Is this a Norwegian thing or an Italian interpretation.
Eating can be so much more than just keeping you alive.