Walking down via dei Neri these days, you'll find a number of panini joints eager to take spillover trade from the hordes of punters who flock towards the famed All'Antico Vinaio. It's almost confusing where to stop to eat. But if I had a favourite panini place in this neighbourhood, it would be La Prosciutteria. Tucked halfway down the street, past the long queues of other establishments, it’s easy to miss. Although the signage is clear, in bold red with small lights, you’ll need to duck inside to really see what this place has in store.
Walking under clusters of hanging prosciutti and salami you enter a narrow, long room. A big glass cabinet houses saucepans of condiments for your panino: fresh focaccia is stacked in rows; rounds of pecorino cheese sit ready to be tasted. Established in summer 2012, La Prosciutteria’s philosophy is to serve the best Tuscan food and wine, locally sourced and prepared in the traditional regional style. They specialise in made-to-order sandwiches or platters using a carefully curated selection of fine of meats, cheeses and accompanying sauces from a small farm in Tuscany. Many of the products are organic and the producers pride themselves on traditional methods.
Wine is also local and by the glass, from Chianti Classico to famed Tuscan white, Vernaccia. It’s good food at good prices: there is no cover charge even if you decide to sit on one of the few seats made from recycled crates. Tables are made from old wooden wine boxes, lampshades made from tin cans and walls are filled with artefacts from Tuscan days of old. The interior styling is a nod towards the heritage of the venture; all food comes via a sister company based in Montespertoli just outside Florence run by a line of farmers dating back 400 years.
Respecting traditions of the past and taste combinations is key. Just asks your panino maker for ideas of pairing, from finocchiona salami with soft ricotta or simply devour prosciutto on its own, they can recommend the best taste matches. You can buy to take away or grab a seat in the artfully cluttered space. There are also food products to take home including pasta, sauces, wines and olive oil. For a light bite, panini is a great Italian tradition and Florence is full of hole-in-the-wall joints. But for quality food, wine and a lively atmosphere, La Prosciutteria wins hands down.
Via dei Neri 54r
(+39) 055 265 4472
Daily 10.30am - 11pm