Cheap Food in Santa Croce

by Madeleine Felder (Sarah Lawrence College)

Italy is known for its delicious food, especially pasta and pizza, however living in a city like Florence, food can get expensive and fast. I go to school in the center of Florence, near Santa Croce, which gives me a lot of options but I also can’t be spending more than €5 for lunch every day. Here are the best, cheap places for lunch, near Santa Croce.



I’m originally from California and the one thing I miss most about my hometown is a good burrito. Istanbul serves up the middle eastern equivalent of a burrito in kebab form. For €5 you get a giant kebab filled with the meat of your choice (or with falafel for the vegetarians). Then it’s loaded up with a few kinds of sauces, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, french fries and hot peppers. Bonus, Istanbul also has a punch card so if you eat there enough eventually you’ll get a free kebab.

Istanbul; Via de’ Benci

Conad City

Conad is an Italian grocery store stocked full of necessities like shampoo, soap and chocolate. You can also buy lunch there for less than €4. Conad has a great selection of fresh breads, including their pizza foccacia which is about €2. They also sell fresh bread and cheese in their deli section, which is a favorite lunch among my friends and also pretty cheap.

Conad City; Via dei Servi

Panificio Brunori

This list would not be complete without mentioning this Sarah Lawrence favorite. It’s a bit farther than the other two, but the walk is worth it. For €2.50 you can get a panino filled with anything you want (or at least anything on the menu). My personal favorite is turkey, mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes. The shop also has a good selection of pastries that are only €1. If you want a sandwich get here before 1pm because after that the line stretches out the door. Although their sandwiches are good enough that I’ve waited.

Forno Brunori; Borgo Pinti

Pino’s sandwiches

Pino’s is another panino place, which is just as good. Although it’s a bit touristy, its the perfect place for a first day meal. The staff is very nice and you’ll find fellow American students there. The sandwiches at Pinos are all 3.50 and there are a lot of choices although you can always make your own.

Salumeria Verdi; Via verdi


This is the most expensive one on the list because its about €12 for lunch, but its a great place to go if you need a break from Italian food. Pingusto is an asian fusion buffet right near Sant Ambrogio market, €12 gets you a seat at a table and access to unlimited noodles, sushi, egg rolls and dessert. It’s not an everyday place for lunch like the others on this list but it’s worth a trip for a special occasion.

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