Thursday, 29 October 2015

Travel: Street Food in Florence

My favourite night in Florence was another occasion when the Internet let me know about something I would never have found. I'd read a review of a street food vendor specialising in seafood on Yelp and then I spotted them on Instagram. Through twitter I found out that they are part of a small group of traders selling their food in a park next to the Arno. This was only ten minutes from our apartment but we probably would never have headed down that way.

We found a charming little set up with three street food vans, a bar, lots of seating and fairy lights. The atmosphere was very relaxed. There were a few international students there but we were probably the only tourists. Most people were local couples, families or groups of friends.

Another slap in the face for the 'where real Italians eat' lie!

We got ourselves a bottle of white wine (I accidentally ordered this in Spanish rather than Italian but he knew what I meant!) and had a think about what we wanted to order. Although there were only three vans, there was plenty of choice.

Pescepane have the most adorable little van which you can see at the top of the page. They had only three items on the menu so we decided to have one of each and share. After googling 'one of everything' in Italian, Edd went up to the van to order.

The guys behind the counter were really friendly and forgiving of our Italian attempts. The food was fresh so it took a little while but this meant it was piping hot.

The un-exciting looking brown thing at the front is their name sake- 'pesce-pane'. It's basically a deep fried cheese sandwich with anchovies in. The anchovies add delicious saltiness.

On the left, Pescepane's version of fish and chips. This was really interesting. The Baccala fish was coated in polenta rather than batter. The chips were just out of a packet but it was nice to have chips when I hadn't for a while.

Finally, my favourite, Fritto Misto. This was an amazing little pot of fried seafood- king prawns, small prawns and calamari with slices of carrot and celery. This was perfect street food.

After a break and a couple more glasses of wine, we decided to get a burger from the other van La Toraia. They had a bigger menu but we decided to stick to cheese burgers. The beef was fantastic- juicy and tasty, enclosed in a soft squishy bun. The lettuce was crisp and made a big difference.

After a relaxing evening we decided to pick up ice cream from the final van to eat on our way home.

We had an amazing evening. This was one of my favourite evenings in Italy. I love street food at home but this was a much different atmosphere than Digbeth Diner for example. It felt like street food isn't so much of a thing yet in Italy but that it soon will be. Delicious seafood, an oozy burger, creamy gelato, cheap wine and a relaxed and beautiful environment. If you're in Florence, I'd recommend checking out Pescepane on twitter to see if they are still next to the Arno with La Toraia. It's worth following Pescepane on instagram for their cheerful pictures too.

Photos by myself and Edd. We didn't have a DSLR with us but I still wanted to share photos from a super evening.
Everything paid for by us.

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