It is not surprising that Italy when it comes to its cuisine, is one of Europe’s most renowned countries. You can enjoy a variety of sweet and savory street foods while exploring the country. Street vendors and restaurants sell a variety of tasty drinks, as well as vegetarian options. Some of these are available throughout the country, but others are regional specialties that you must try if you go there! This list contains 20 Italian street foods that you should try on your next trip.
Sfogliatelle, or sfogliatella riccia, is a pastry shell that originated in Campania of Naples. It looks like clams and can even look like stacked leaves. The dough is flattened, brushed with fat, and rolled multiple times before being cut into disks. The pockets are usually filled with ricotta, candied citron peel, and almond paste. They are then baked until the layers separate. There is also a version called sfogliatella frolla, which is made from shortcrust and has no layers. The sweet dough and cheese go well together.
Cannolis, also known as cannoli siciliani, are tube-shaped Sicilian pastries that are deep-fried. They are also known as cannolis siciliani and are filled with sweet cream cheese or ricotta. The top is usually sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Arancini are essentially stuffed Italian riceballs. They originated in Sicily, but they’re a popular street food all over Italy. The little oranges are not made of any fruit. They are translated as “little oranges”. They are actually made from a mixture of minced meat or al burro, mozzarella cheese, and caciocavallo. They are usually served with arrabbiata.
4. Gnocco Fritto
Gnocco fritto, also known as piadina or torta fritta in Bologna and Modena, is an Italian pastry. The dough is flour, salt, and lard, with a leavening agent. It is traditionally cut into small rectangles and then fried until it looks like a pillow. The hollow center can be filled up with cheese or sliced meat. It can be served with a cappuccino foam that you can dip in.
Arrosticini is a popular Italian meat dish, which shepherds in Abruzzo and Molise first ate. The skewers are made from lamb, goat, or sheep meat and are grilled over a fornacella fire. The heart is then cut into tender pieces and mixed with fat chunks to make it more succulent. Arrosticini can be purchased at one of many street stands or restaurants in Italy.
6. Piadina Romagnola
Piadina Romagnola is an Italian flatbread originally consumed by people with low incomes in Rimini. It is often eaten as a sandwich. The bread is made mainly from maize flour and then filled with tomatoes, prosciutto, or creamy soft cheeses such as squacquerone, wild arugula, etc. It is best eaten hot after it has been prepared on a grill.
Porchetta, a delicious boneless roast pork that you should try in Italy, is an Italian street food originally from Rome and Argentina. A whole boneless carcass, mostly stuffed with rosemary, fennel, and salt and pepper, is roasted on a spit over wood for 8 hours. Some versions may also contain liver stuffing or no stuffing at all. The pork is thinly sliced and then served with bread to make a tender and juicy sandwich.
8. Cioccolata Calda
Cioccolata Calda is a must-have if you’re visiting Italy during the winter and you love drinks. This is a thick, creamy hot chocolate in the Italian style. It’s often topped with whipped cream. This is a great drink to have in cold weather.
Scaccia, a type of Italian flatbread stuffed with cheese and other ingredients, is characteristic of Sicilian cuisine. This dish is made with a very thin rectangle of dough, which is folded over itself several times. It is stuffed with different types of stuffing, such as sauce, onions, ricotta, tomato, eggplants, herbs, etc. It is baked. It can be served hot or cold.
Zeppole, a popular Italian dessert that originated in Naples, is something every dessert lover must try. The dough is deep-fried and filled with chocolate, honey, butter, custard, or cannoli pastry cream. The powdered sugar is sprinkled on top of the ball. Zeppoles are eaten in celebration of Saint Joseph’s Day.
Must-try street food originating in Rome, supply or suppli al telefono are breaded deep-fried rice croquettes. The rice is cooked in a tomato sauce with meat and mozzarella. Sometimes, ground beef is also added.
Lampredotto is the fourth and final stomach of a cattle. It’s a unique delicacy that comes from Florence. The lampredotto is cooked in a delicious broth that contains celery, tomatoes, and onions. It is typically served as panini de lampredotto. This sandwich is made with bread rolls filled up with sliced lampsredotto and some Italian salsa verde.
Panzerotti, or calzoni fritti, is a popular snack in southern Italy. It originates from Puglia. The crescent-shaped pastry is stuffed with fillings of various kinds, but the classics are mozzarella and tomato. Other combinations include olives, onions, and tomatoes; spinach, mozzarella, and ricotta; zucchini; and prosciutto. You may also find sweet mixes that combine ricotta or custard cream with strawberries, peaches, and plums.
14. Olive Ascolana
Olive Ascolana, or Olive all’ascolana, is a popular appetizer from the Ascoli Piceno area of Le Marche that dates back to 1800s. The dish is made by removing the pits from green olives, also known as Ascolano, so that they can form a ball around the meat. This could be chicken, beef, veal or pork. After being sauteed in sofrito (a mixture of diced vegetables), the heart is ground and stewed with white wine. It is then mixed with cheese. Finally, the olives are rolled in breadcrumbs and egg to be deep-fried. It goes well with white wine, lamb chops, or aperitifs.
Sfincione, a Sicilian flatbread or pizza, is typically served at New Year’s and during San Giovanni’s feast. This dish uses a flatbread with a fluffy and dense crust. It is then topped with anchovies and onions in a tomato sauce with oregano, followed by breadcrumbs and local cheeses like ricotta or caciocavallo.