at a new type of Food Court
Florence Mercato Centrale a great food hall for solo travelers, no more restaurants with only couples!
The San Lorenzo Market may be best know for the lively local market on the first floor: meats, fish, cheese, fruits and vegetables.
The building dates from 1874 with soaring ceilings and windows with wrought iron.
After many solo trips to Italy I try to develop a list of restaurants I am comfortable eating solo.
Leonardos is one place I stop on every trip.
With the conversion of the second floor to a massive upscale 'food court' the Mercato Centrale has become my BEST SOLO dining location.
Early in the day I could choose a coffee at a bar on the first floor where many of the vendors were stopping for a quick espresso or take a a cappuccino and cornetto on the second floor where there are many tables and no rush to vacate your seat.
Byafternoon the market slows before the dinner rush. This is a good time to try beef at La Carne e Salumi, Il Pesce Fresco (fresh fish), La Mozzaella di Bugala, I formaggi (with a wide assortment of cheeses) and the tempting il Cioccolato and il gelato bar.
|Ramondo Mendolia, La Pasta Frsca|
La Pasta Fresca was my choice for an early dinner. You choose from the selection of fresh pasta and a sauce. the pasta is cooked while you wait and served with chees on top.
The owner Ramondo Mendolia, was working and kindly chatted with me while my pasta was cooking. Having his own business had been his dream. He is hands on and the hours are long, from lunch to the late closing 7 days a week. When many restaurants close one or two days a week it is wonderful for the traveler to find a place where you can find a meal at any time of the day. Pasta and sauce is available to take home and enjoy.
Fresh breads, rolls and of course CAKE
|Pizza by the slice with a variety of toppings.|
Solo Lunch: This is a much more crowded time of day and with limited Italian language skills I try to select something that is easy to pronounce or something I can point to. There is a pasta outlet with featured fresh pastas offered each day. Of course pizza, a vegetarian stand where you order fresh juices, soups and salads. I sampled the assortment of fried vegetables and chicken. I could not manage trying the fired rabbit........ So far the meals were all around $8 to $10 USA.
There is a cooking school in the market as well as several shops with kitchen products,
books and wine.
There is a large wine vendor where you can select a bottle or a glass.
The knowledgeable woman behind the counter knew exactly what to suggest to the man searching for a bottle.