The 5 Most Flavorful Italian Street Foods

Nick Young  ·  7 / 12 / 2018

What could possibly be better than exploring the gorgeously quaint towns and stunning cities of Italy? Well, how about exploring while stopping for incredible Italian street food to snack on along the way?

Nobody does street food better in Europe than the Italians, so we’ve listed some of the absolute, can’t miss, calorific delicacies you can look forward to sampling as you fall in love with Italian food again and again and again.


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1/ Arancini

These deep fried balls of risotto and assorted, delicious, savory fillings are almost too ridiculously good to be true. Derived from the Italian word for “orange”, due to their being approximately the size of an orange and their orange color given by the crispy fried bread crumbs that coat the outside, arancini are the perfect snacks to munch on as you walk from piazza to piazza. Typical fillings include ham and mozzarella cheese, a meat ragu sauce, mushrooms with béchamel, or sometimes even pasta with tomato sauce. Once you try one you’ll be hooked.


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2/ Focaccia

One of the great delights in Italy, particularly for those who love a bit of a savory breakfast on the go, is a big piece of freshly baked focaccia. This semi-thin, bubbly bread has a wonderfully chewy texture and a sturdy base that allows it to be stuffed with incredible ingredients like rosemary, sundried tomatoes, and olives. Typically brushed with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt, you can also level up and go for variations covered in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, or the legendary northern Italian style covered in fresh pesto.


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3/ Panzerotti

Another over the top offering which originates from southern Italy, Panzerotti or deep fried calzone, is a treat to be enjoyed when taking a day off from your diet. Filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella or ricotta cheese, with any number of ingredients such as ham, mushrooms, sausage, or anchovies depending on where you are getting them, these light, delectable treats are a can’t miss when you need a quick, but substantial meal for your walk.


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4/ Porchetta Sandwich

A porchetta sandwich is one of those basic, blue collar, Italian street foods that would be considered fine dining in almost any other European country. Consisting of tender, slow roasted pork with crispy skin, stuffed with rosemary, garlic, and fennel served inside a soft white roll, it seems hard to believe that you can get a meal like this for a few Euro and often served from a food truck on the side of the road. But sometimes it’s best to not ask any questions and just indulge yourself.


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5/ Pizza

You must have known that this was coming. No list of the best Italian street food could ever be complete without including pizza.

In Italy, pizza al taglio (by the slice) is often sold according to its weight and comes in all of the classic flavors, from the original plain mozzarella Pizza Margherita, to the spicy and flavorful Diavola covered in salami and spicy peppers, to a delightful vegetarian pizza covered in zucchini, eggplant, artichoke heart, and porcini mushrooms.    

Pizza is often so cheap in Italy that in certain places such as smaller towns, it can be difficult to find available by the slice. In this case, have no fear as you can grab an entire pizza “da portare” (to go) to be enjoyed in a park or at the foot of a fountain on the square. Just ignore any dirty looks you might get from locals while you eat your meal outside, as they’re just jealous that they aren’t eating pizza, too.


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In Italy you really can’t go wrong with any food you eat. But be sure to give at least a couple of these favorites a try so you can discover for yourself why Italian street food is the best.


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