For a quick and delicious lunch or light dinner, these sandwich spots in Turin never disappoint.
When you travel, that usually means eating out—sometimes for every meal. Restaurant meals are a delicious luxury and part of the whole vacation experience, but all that rich food can be hard on the wallet and stomach. Enter the panino.
Italy is the queen of turning out incredible meals with simple, good quality ingredients. The epitome of this magical combination is the panino (this is actually the diminutive for the Italian word for “bread,” pane. For the record, panini is plural and panino is singular).
Avoid tourist menu traps—Turin doesn’t have many of those, anyway—and enjoy a quick meal at a casual spot where the locals love to go. Here are some of my old favorites and new discoveries with the best panini in Torino.
Turin’s best spots for a good panino
The first time I came here, I hesitated outside the door (it’s a tiny place and doesn’t look “gourmet”). A man walked out, asked if I’d ever been, and when I replied no he said fervently, “E’ paradiso,” It’s paradise. I’ve since returned many times. Master Sandwich serves the most classic Italian panino on a generous ciabatta; the bread comes from a very good local bakery (El pan d’na volta). Choose from over fifty combinations of meats, cheeses, house-made spreads, sauces, and vegetables—and all the ingredients are fresh, good quality, and generously fill up the ciabatta, which is lightly toasted. Heaven, indeed! It’s a tiny place, so the two inside counters might be full. If so, take your panino over to Piazza Castello and enjoy the view of the Palazzo Madama Cristina and the Palazzo Reale from the benches around the square.
Via Palazzo di Città, 6
Open 11 am-4 pm Mon.-Sat., plus 7-10 pm Fri. & Sat.
Tel. +39 347 849 8137
The Gofreria serves the most traditional Piedmontese “sandwiches” you’ll find anywhere. Mauro Dario serves up three different flatbread-type panini that originate from the Alpine foothills of Piedmont: gofri, a wholegrain waffle that originates in the Val Chisone; miasse, a toasty, crunchy cornmeal flatbread from the Canavese area; and miacce, buckwheat flatbread from the Valsesia. The tradition of making these flatbreads dates back to at least the 16th century for both the miasse and miacce, and to the 18th century for the gofri. The flours are stone ground every day, toasted to perfection, and filled with classic Italian and Piedmontese ingredients. Located in the charming and historical Quadrilatero section of the city, it’s perfect for a light but highly satisfying lunch.
Via San Tommaso, 7 (at the corner of Via Barbaroux)
Open Mon.-Sat. 11:30 am-7:30 pm
This place earns points for its central location and classy setting. It serves a classic panino on a baguette (whole wheat or white) filled with a variety of gourmet Piedmontese and Italian meats, cheeses, and spreads. How does prosciutto crudo from Parma with Alta Langa camembert and fig marmalade sound, or pancetta with Taleggio DOP cheese and bell pepper-arugula spread? The locale is small but warm and welcoming, and spills out onto the pedestrian Via Carlo Alberto. It’s location is ideal: on a street parallel to Turin’s main shopping street, Via Roma, and the popular Via Lagrange lined with shops, eateries, and museums. It’s central but without the crowds. Officine Panino also has a selection of wines, making it the perfect spot for lunch or aperitivo with friends. A white Roero Arneis like Tenuta Carretta’s Cayega is perfect to pair with a gourmet sandwich or for starting the evening out on an elegant note—balanced, fruity, and mineral.
Via Carlo Alberto, 18
Open Mon.-Sun., 11:30 am-10:30 pm
Tel. +39 011 454 6368
This new bagel place in Turin takes the art of bagel-making to the Italian level. Located just off central Via Roma, it was founded by Carlo and Gene (a chef from the show Hell’s Kitchen), and their approach is all about high quality ingredients, local produce, and a seasonally changing menu. Rather than importing an American product, they’ve looked to the bagel’s roots in Krakow and named their place after the year bagel-making was first documented: 1610. They use lievito madre for “better digestibility,” which leaves their bagels soft, even though the rest of the process is the same boiled and baked bagel-making method . They use unique flours, such as hempseed and “black bread” with vegetable carbon. Their servings are generous and the interior is warm and welcoming, due in no small part to the hospitality and smiles on the faces of the owners. If you get takeaway or have these delicious bagels delivered to your door, you’d do well to pair its traceable ingredients—“Slow Food Fast”—with a wine that is just as conscientious of its origins, the organic Ius Naturae: a Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Millesimato by Bortolomiol.
Via XX Settembre, 16/B
Open Mon.-Sun. 11 am-10:30 pm (closed Monday lunch)
Tel. +39 011 19877041
A crostone is a thick slice of crusty, toasted bread often used as a large serving size for bruschetta. Here, good quality sandwich ingredients are stuffed between two crunchy slices of crostone. This sandwich stop is another fairly new addition to Turin’s food scene, owned by Fabio and Enzo, and located on the other side of the Porta Susa train station. They have lots of different options, but their specialty is carne cruda paired with other savory ingredients—beef tartar, which they serve strictly from the razza piemontese, or the Piedmontese cow breed (known for its high quality). It’s a small place but there’s room to sit, so make sure you grab a glass of Barbera! As a bonus, stop by the gelateria La Romana afterwards, right next door.
Via Duchessa Jolanda, 1
Open Mon.-Sat. 11 pm-4 pm
Te. +39 331 392 5587