Mercato Centrale, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Florence, 50123
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Families with younger children, Seasoned travellers, Singles, No fuss, People watching, Shopping
Best for Cheap eats - Expert review of Nerbone
This place is a real Florence institution and a great choice for a cheap, filling meal and plenty of local colour. More canteen than trattoria, Nerbone dates from 1872 and exists principally to feed hungry market stall workers whose pre-dawn start to the day means that they are ready for lunch around the time that you or me would be considering breakfast. The fact that it’s located in the middle of the central food market means that it attracts shoppers and tourists too, but that’s beside the point; this is a corner of authentic Old Florence.
Nerbone is famous for its offal, and although innards are not my favourite lunch choice, you really should give it a go at least once. The classic dish here is a lampredotto (cow’s intestine) sandwich which is served with a generous glug of piquant salsa verde. Tripe (trippa) is another regular and comes stewed in tomato sauce and topped with a sprinkle of parmesan. Less risky choices include simple pastas and soups plus secondi such as arista (roast pork) and hearty spezzatino (beef stew). The red plonk is rough, ready and dirt cheap.
This place is located right in the middle of the city’s busiest produce market so it’s noisy, atmospheric and very basic. I love the fact that first thing in the morning the counter is crowded with locals tucking into cow’s tummy sarnies and a glass of red wine; it makes my stomach churn but is fun to watch. You can join them at the bar or sit at one of a few formica-topped tables across the aisle and watch the show.
It's as rough and ready as the wine.
It's on the ground floor of the Mercato Centrale near the side entrance on Via Sant’Antonino.
A panino con lampredotto and a glass of red plonk costs 4 euros. You can eat a simple two-course meal for 10 euros including a glass of wine. That’s about as cheap as it gets in Florence.
Stand at the bar; it's more fun.
More information on Nerbone:
- Price guide:
- Bar, Restaurant, Takeaway
- Italian, Traditional
- Mercato Centrale, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Florence, 50123
- Breakfast, Lunch
- Opening times:
- Mon-Sat 7am-2pm. Closed Sundays and August.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Not possible
- Free tags / Keywords:
- authentic, Cheap, offal