When you’re visiting Italy, you’re preparing in advance for the many types of delicious food you’ll be trying. Everyone who’s been to Italy knows that authentic Italian food is incredible, and in this country, it’s impossible to not eat a lot. And yes, you’re preparing FOR the delicious Italian pizza and pasta dishes at lunch and dinner, but what about the Italian street food? Want it or not, you’re most probably getting hungry at some point while you’re sightseeing, right? So why not know what is the best street food of Italy? What is the best street food in Florence Italy? Which is the best street food in Italy Sicily? Or the best Naples street food Italy? Learn about the Italian pizza street food! Here comes the list of Italian street food examples!
But not just that… If you’re living in Italy or spending a long time here, you will want to get some of the best street food in Italy from time to time. As with every Italian dish, street food trends are different all around the country. There are regional specialties but also local ones that you can find in just one specific town. With this list of Italian street food, I tried to collect all of the most popular types of street food that you can find in Italy. This list includes both street food that’s popular in the country, but also specific street food in Florence, the best street food in Rome, Italy, or the Emilia Romagna region. You’ll see what is the best street food in Milan, Italy, and also some highlights of street food in Sicily.
20 best Italian street food ideas
So here comes the best street food of Italy! Discover the most delicious dishes, sandwiches, pizza, sweets, and more. Italian street food, just as most Italian dishes are just amazing and I’m sure you will just love them! Find out which is the best street food in Florence Italy (Firenze Italian street food), Italian street food Rome, Italian pizza street food, or the best street food in Italy Sicily, Discover the greatest Italian street food examples!
1. Pizza al Taglio – Italian pizza street food
Pizza al Taglio is one of the best street food in Rome, Italy. Obviously not just there, as it is amazing in Naples, and in many other southern regions of Italy. In the north, especially in regions such as Emilia Romagna, the focaccia with different toppings are the alternative for pizza al taglio. In any Italian city, you’re visiting, you can see small shops for pizza al taglio. These are usually specialized on just this product, and there are always dozens of different types of pizza to choose from.
In cities like Rome, you can find pizza al taglio in some sandwich shops, and bars that have food for takeaway (asporto). Just keep your eyes open, because these shops, especially those specialized just on pizza al taglio might be hidden, without huge shopfronts. When you’re wandering around in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome, there’s no better companion than a delicious slice of pizza (pizza al taglio. When it comes to Italian street food, and especially the best street food in Rome, Italy, the pizza al taglio is my number one to try! Italian pizza street food is one of the best you could buy! Let’s see some more Italian street food examples!
Focaccia is definitely one of the most famous Italian street food, right after the pizza and gelato. This is a flatbread that’s really popular all around Italy. Though, in different parts of the country, the Focaccia is made in different ways, with different flavors. The Focaccia alla Genovese, the Focaccia which originates from Genova (Genoa) is one of the most famous and most popular ones. The Genovese Focaccia is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. This is my personal favorite, and I’m often making it for in-house Aperitivo with friends. It’s great near the cold cuts and cheese.
In other areas, the Focaccia with Rosemary is really popular, while in Puglia, the Focaccia Barese is really thick and it’s topped with cherry tomatoes and olives. There are many Focacceria’s, so Focaccia shops in every city and town. In bakeries as well, you can find focaccia with different toppings. The Focaccia is almost like a pizza, sometimes topped with ham, cheese, and tomatoes, or other toppings that are used on pizza too. Focaccia is definitely one of the best street food of Italy!
3. Gelato, Gelato, Gelato
Gelato… The one and only Italian “street food” that all of us dream about when thinking about Italy. Artisanal Italian gelato is something incredible! The taste of a real Italian gelato is unforgettable. Rich in taste, yet simple, creamy and you’ll never get enough of it. Italian gelato starts with a similar custard base as ice cream, however the higher proportion of milk and the lower proportion of cream and eggs (or without eggs). Also, the gelato is churned at a much slower rate, incorporating less air and leaving the gelato denser than ice cream.
The difference between Ice cream and Gelato is also that the gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature. This way, the texture stays softer and silkier. Also, thanks to the fact that the gelato has a lower percentage of fat than regular ice cream, the main flavor ingredient really shines through. This is why Italian gelato (especially the fruity ones) has such an intense taste.
Porchetta is a really popular Italian street food all over the country. The Porchetta is a pork roast stuffed with garlic, rosemary, black pepper, and other spices. Porchetta comes inside a ciriola or rosetta bread roll. It’s originating from the town of Ariccia, near Rome, Italy. If you’re looking for really special Italian street food, and you’re a meat lover, you should try this one!
Panino con la porchetta is a really popular street food especially in the Lazio region, and more specifically during local festivals and events. It’s also something that you can find all over the country though! When it comes to festivals and street food in the Lazio region, the most famous one is the Sagra della Porchetta in Ariccia. Translated this is the Porchetta Festival, a food festival in Italy dedicated to the famous pork roast. Let’s see some more Italian street food examples!
5. Panzerotti in Milan
The Panzerotti is typical Italian street food, originating from Puglia. So the first highlight for the panzerotti is to try it if you’re traveling to Puglia. Panzerotti is a really popular Italian street food in the north as well, especially in Lombardy. There are many panzerotti shops in Milan as well! The best of the best is definitely Luini! It’s a spot near the Duomo of Milan on Via Santa Radegonda 16.
But what is the panzerotti exactly? This is a stuffed, half-moon-shaped pastry that’s similar to a small calzone, just it has softer dough. A panzerotti is filled usually with either pesto, or cheese, and tomato, or ham and cheese. My personal favorite is definitely the ham and cheese one! This stuffed dough is then fried until it’s crispy and slightly flaky on the outside. The final result is a pillow-like deliciousness. If you’re looking for the best street food in Milan, Italy, make sure to pass by Luini for some panzerotti!
What is the best street food in Italy Sicily? Arancino is one of the best street food in Sicily. It’s really popular all around the country though, and you can find many shops where they make and sell on spot arancini. The arancini have more shapes and fillings. But what are the arancini?
This really popular Sicilian street food is basically a fried, breaded rice ball with different fillings. In the “feminine version”, the arancina is usually orange-shaped, while in the “male version”, the arancino is slightly conical, a shape that it’s known to be inspired by the Etna volcano. You can find arancini with cheese filling, with ham and cheese, and the best, with ragu.
The traditional arancini recipe is pretty simple, and if you like to cook, you can do arancini’s at home as well. It’s a ball of rice dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs, then deep-fried. Inside it’s filled with ragu (tomato sauce with minced meat), peas, and caciocavallo cheese. If you’re in Milan, and you’re looking for the best street food in Sicily, there’s a very popular arancini shop called A Vucciria.
Another one of the best street food in Sicily, and also one of the most popular Italian desserts. The delicious Cannoli originate from Palermo, Sicily. The crusty pastry dough is shaped into a tube and it’s fried. Inside it has a creamy filling of sweet ricotta cheese, and sometimes with chocolate chip mixed in the cream and piped into the tube.
The Sicilian Cannolini is finished after filling by dipping the two sides in different toppings, such as pistachios. Pistachios are really popular to use for plenty of desserts, such as in Tiramisu, filled brioche, or even pistachio cheesecake.
Then, a candled cherry on one end and a candied orange peel on the other. As this Italian dessert is super famous, you can find it all around the country. If you’re getting Cannoli in a shop and you’re planning to walk while you’re eating it, just make sure you have enough napkins. Canoli is definitely one of the best street food in Italy Sicily!
8. Cichetti in Venice
Cannoncini are another of the Italian street food, and Italian desserts that you must definitely try! An undisputed protagonist of the mignon pastry, the perfect dessert after lunch. Cannoncini is rolled up on a steel cylinder and cooked, however in the oven! Once it’s ready, it’s washed with caramelized sugar glaze (in many places this is really minimal). There are different flavors for Cannoncini is custard, but the chocolate and zabaglione ones are really popular as well.
Cannoncini, these mini Italian pastries originating from the Piedmonte region. If you’re traveling in this region and you’re craving some Cannoncini, remember that here it is called cannolo. My personal favorite is the one with chocolate, but lemon cream is a favorite too! Are you ready for more Italian street food examples?
10. Brioche with Cream / Chocolate / Pistacchio
Just before anyone gets confused, this list is really random. If I would’ve rank the Italian street food, the brioche would’ve been my second on the list. There is no perfect morning in Italy without a tasty cappuccino and a brioche with cream, pistachio, or chocolate. At this point, I must highlight if you visit San Gimignano, stop by at the bar called Marcella. It’s a family business where they make their own pastries, but also pistachio and chocolate cream. After living in Italy for a year, and visiting 30+ places, I must say that at this bar in San Gimignano I had the best ever brioche in my life!
In Italy, breakfast is almost always something sweet. Always some type of pastry or biscuits. The salty breakfast isn’t completely avoided but it is definitely less popular. When you go in the morning for a coffee to a bar in Italy, you’ll always see that each bar has a variety of pastries and brioche to choose from on the side of your coffee. As I said, when it comes to Italian street food, the mornings are perfect just if you’ve got yourself a brioche!
Panini, the Italian-style sandwich is probably one of the most popular Italian street food worldwide. Many bars, restaurants, and fast food shops make Italian Panini and we all love them. Italian Panini may vary from one region to another, depending on the local specialties.
Italian panini, like every other Italian food, is simple, tasty, and fresh. The bread is always delicious, and the filling is usually mozzarella, tomato, basil. There are different panini with ham and cheese, or Prosciutto Crudo (raw ham), and so. This is the type of Italian street food that you will find anywhere. It’s great for a quick lunch if you don’t want to stop to eat at a restaurant.
12. Olive all’Ascolana
In Le Marche, a region that lies between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Olive Ascolana is the culinary signature. The olives stuffed with ground meat and then lightly breaded and fried originated in Ascoli-Piceno, a town in the southern part of the region, and spread north. The green olive used to make Olive Ascolana is a special variety only grown in this area of Italy. You’ll find them on the menu at various wine bars and trattorie in Le Marche and they can even be bought in cartoccio (a paper cone) to eat on the go!
You might pass up a bag of these unremarkable-looking golden nuggets being hawked all over the streets of Le Marche, but that would be a huge mistake. Under the crisp, breaded coating, you’ll find a little gastronomic jewel: a delicate Ascolana olive stuffed with spiced ground meat and sometimes parmesan. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bite-sized snack that packs such an intense flavor punch. I personally am not a huge fan of olives, but this Italian street food is definitely a must-try!
A must-try of Florentine cuisine and Italian street food! The Lampredotto sandwich is something amazing if you are crazy about meat! The Lampredotto is nothing but beef (the stomach to be exact) boiled in broth. This Italian street food is about the beef, consumed in around sandwich bread and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a sauce made of eggs, capers, and anchovies. This is also considered one of the best street food in Florence, Italy (Firenze Italian street food).
You’ll have to get behind a long queue of locals if you want to sink your fangs into some tasty lampredotto, the ultimate Florentine street food. If you’re looking for something rather simple, or with types of meat that it’s not beef stomach (many of us don’t like that), you can consider going for Schiacciate, which are also typical Tuscan sandwiches with different ham or salami and other fillings. As all over Tuscany, the Schiacciate are considered also being one of the best street food in Florence, Italy.
When it comes to Italian street food, and the best street food in Rome, Italy… There’s no way I would ignore the Tramezzini sandwiches, as I love, love, love it! Tramezzini are triangular sandwiches without the crunchy part of the bread. They are present in each and every bar or shop in Rome where they sell sandwiches (panini).
If you want to get a Tramezzino, you can also choose between many varieties. There are (my favorite) with ham and cheese, but also with eggs, tuna, or simple ones with tomato and mozzarella. When you buy a Tramezzino ask them to grill it a little bit, especially if you’re getting one with cheese inside. That will make the Tramezzini perfect and super delicious. Amazing Italian street food that you can find in many parts of Italy, but mostly in the capital it’s famous. So if you’re looking for alternatives for the best street food in Rome, Italy, well the Tramezzini are what you need! Tramezzini are definitely one of the best street food of Italy!
15. Sfogliatella riccia
Best Naples street food Italy? The Sfogliatella Riccia is originating from Salerno in Campania region. This Italian sweet is characterized by its infinite thin and crunchy layers that cover a filling very aromatic, juicy, and spongy textured. In the convent’s kitchen, preparation was made that consisted of wheat semolina with limoncello, sugar, and nuts. This filling was then placed between two pieces of dough and baked, giving rise to a sweet called Santarosa, taking its name from the convent where it was created. Today this sweet Italian street food is mostly known as Neopolitan street food, but we shouldn’t forget the origin. In any case, if you’re looking for sweet Italian street food, and especially street food in Naples, try the Sfogliatella Riccia definitely!
16. Schiacciata / Scaccia
Scaccia or Scacciata is a type of Sicilian flatbread, stuffed with several different ingredients and folded on itself. The stuffing varies from ricotta cheese and tomato to onion, potatoes, sausage, anchovies, and different types of vegetables. You can eat the traditional Scaccia in Ragusa or Siracusa, although you will find it in many variations all over Sicily. If you’re looking for Italian street food, besides the Arancini the Scaccia are definitely one of the best street food in Sicily.
As I have previously mentioned, in Tuscany there’s another version for this, which is called Schiacciata. It is the same rule, with flat bread (focaccia) and fillings, however, in Tuscany, you’ll find the Schiacciate stuffed with different types of ham or salami. In any case, if you wish to get one without meat, there are options for that too. Schiacciata is something I really suggest not to miss in Tuscany if you’re stopping by in Certaldo, they make them there absolutely amazing, but it’s also a really popular street food in Florence, Italy (Firenze Italian street food).
Are you searching for Italian street food Rome? While Sicily has arancini, Rome has supplì. Both recipes are similar, as supplì are also balls of rice covered in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. So here’s another one for your list of the best street food in Rome, Italy. The Arancini and the Suppli differ, however, even if they are super similar. In the Suppli, the rice is combined with tomato sauce, then the shape of it is more cylindrical. Suppli has a thick hooey center filling of melter mozzarella and it’s eaten hot when the melting mozzarella is stretching from one half to the other.
From this fact, the suppli got a nickname “suppli al telefono” which means suppli on the phone, as the two halves are connected by the mozzarella cheese, that’s recording us about the old fashion telephone. This is another Italian street food that you must definitely try, especially if you love cheesy food as much as I do! And now, let’s see some more Italian street food examples!
I never thought I’m going to say this, but Arrosticini is definitely one of the best street food in Italy. If my mother couldn’t convince me to try sheep meat in 26 years, but then I tried Arrosticini and fall in love with it… Believe me, it’s amazing! Arrosticini is definitely one of the most beloved dishes of Italian cuisine, the Abruzzese Arrosticini. As any street food lover will probably already know, roasts are succulent skewers of grilled or grilled sheep meat. It’s a super easy, full-meat Italian street food originating from the Abruzzo region, and it’s something that every meat lover who’s passing by in Italy must try!
19. Piadina Romagnola
While I live in Emilia Romagna, and the Piadina is an Italian street food originating from this region, I still didn’t rank it high. The reason being that I love to try new things as well, so I decided to give priority to the best street food in Italy from other regions. Still, the Piadina is one of my favorite food, just I am making it at home now. A Piadina is a thin flatbread typical from the Italian region Emilia Romagna, made with white flour, olive oil, salt, and water. While it’s traditionally from the cities of Rimini, Cesena, Ravenna, and Forlì, through the decades it became popular all over Italy.
As Italian street food, the Piadina is usually filled with a variety of cheese, cold cuts, and vegetables. The combinations of ingredients are endless, and depending on where you’re eating it you will find special versions of it. Imagine the Piadina as the other types of Italian panini or Schiacciate, just the cover is changing. If you love kebab or gyros, you’ll quickly recognize the Piadina, as the bread is almost like the ones used for kebab, just it’s a bit more think than that, so you can’t fold it as much as you would fold a Gyros. In any case, it’s one of the best street food in Italy that you must try if you’re in Emilia Romagna, the food heaven.
The best thing about the piadina is that it’s so versatile and you can get the perfect version for your taste. You can also find it as a dessert, filled with jam or Nutella. Anyhow, the piadina is definitely one of the best street food of Italy!
A Calzone is basically a pizza folded in two, with various fillings starting from ham, cheese, vegetables, parmesan, ricotta, basils, and even eggs. One of the most famous Italian street food all over the world, Calzone is originating from the region of Campania. The same region where the pizza is originating from! It’s known to date back to the 18th century when in Naples a calzone was commonly known as a folded pizza.
A traditional calzone is oven-baked. Different regions, as with all types of Italian street food have their own versions. Sometimes these versions differ a little bit in outlook and filling as well. For example, in Puglia, there’s the Panzerotti that I have mentioned previously. You can find calzone all around Italy, though it’s more popular in the southern regions of Italy like Lazio, Campania, Basilicata, and Sicily. Calzone is not just street food in Italy. You can also order it in many pizzerias around the country.
Wrapping up the 20 best Italian street food list
So what is the best street food of Italy? Or the best street food in Italy Sicily? I didn’t want to rank the best street food in Italy, so this list is put together randomly. Because I do believe that everyone has different tastes, and my taste might differ from many of you, it’s best to give each of the best Italian street food the freedom to be considered the best on its own.
If you’re in Italy, and you’re looking for the best street food in Rome, or the best street food in Florence Italy (Firenze Italian street food), or Venice, street food in Naples, and the best street food in Sicily, make sure to memorize the ones you’ve loved from this list, and try them. We’ve covered also Italian pizza street food, Try as many as you can. Italy is famous for its delicious food.
In the everyday lives of Italians, everything is floating around food. We don’t say we meet in the afternoon, or in the evening. We say we meet for Aperitivo, we meet for lunch, dinner, or a coffee. Also, in Italy, it’s not a common thing to just go out and not eat. If you want to go “just for drinks” that’s something that Italians do after dinner time. Before, in Italy, everything revolves around food and eating. The passion for food created these amazing Italian street food types as well. And they are all special and delicious! I hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the best Italian street food examples!