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20 Best Italian Street Foods to Try at Home

Are you curious what the best, most delicious Italian street foods are?

Save yourself the cost of an expensive flight, and read this roundup to find out!

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Fried Risotto Arancini with Ketchup

Do you dream of cannolis? How about creamy gelato?

Then you’ll want to check out this list of the most popular Italian street foods.

They’re super fresh and tasty, and from sweet to savory, there’s something for everyone here.

So buckle up and get ready to go on a culinary adventure!

Buon appetito!

20 Most Popular Street Foods in Italy

1. Arancini 

Arancini is one of my favorite Italian finger foods. I mean, what’s not to love about a soft rice ball with a cheesy center and crisp exterior?

Of course, you can fill arancini with whatever your heart desires! That includes meats and other cheese.

So if you’ve got a hankering for some ham, toss some into the rice mixture before rolling it into balls.

Or you can add some spinach and mushrooms for a healthier twist.

No matter what you’re craving, you certainly can’t go wrong with arancini. If you’re a big fan of risotto, you’ll fall in love with this dish.

2. Sfogliatelle 

If you’re unfamiliar with sfogliatelle, let me introduce you to your new favorite dessert.

Stemming from the Campania region, these funny-looking puff pastries are no joke. 

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It tastes like your favorite cannoli but has a flakey, crispy shell resembling a lobster tail or clam.

Inside, you’ll find a yummy filling of either custard, almond paste, or a simple whipped cream.

You’ll even find some variations of sfogliatelle that include candied peel or dried fruit inside the creamy mixture.

If you’re intimidated to try this sweet masterpiece, I feel you. In fact, I should warn you that this recipe takes over 4 hours to make.

But the decadent results are oh-so worth it.

3. Piadina 

Piadina is a soft Italian flatbread that gives naan a run for its money.

All you need is flour, milk, oil, baking soda, and salt – no yeast in these tasty flatbreads!

You can even make it on the stovetop. It’s that easy!

Use piadina to create a scrumptious Italian flatbread sandwich. Stuff it with prosciutto, mozzarella, basil, and tomato! Yum!

4. Calzone

The classic calzone goes beyond your favorite late-night snack. 

If you love pizza, you must try this recipe out. It tastes exactly like your favorite slice except folded over and sealed in a flakey dough.

You can stuff calzone with whatever toppings you like, be it pepperoni and cheese or feta, mushrooms, and onions for a Mediterranean flair.

Calzones are also super easy to make, so you can spend less time cooking and more time munching.

5. Mozzarella in Carrozza

Do you go gaga over grilled cheese? If the answer is yes, you’ll be swept away by this fantastic Italian street food.

Mozzarella in carrozza is essentially a fried mozzarella sandwich, complete with an ooey-gooey center and crispy exterior. 

How does it differ from the classic sandwich we all know and love?

Before frying, you’ll dip the whole thing in a mixture of flour, milk, and eggs. This method creates a rich, crispy exterior that’s super drool-worthy. 

Expect each bite to be extra-indulgent. Warning: you may never look at a grilled cheese the same way. 

6. Farinata

If you think Italian street food is all about carbs and cheese…you’re right. Except, there is an exception.

Farinata is a tasty flatbread made using chickpea flour, olive oil, and fresh herbs. So it’s gluten-free, vegan, and ultra-delish.

Rumor has it, farinata was invented by accident during the battle of Meloria.

Sailors were transporting prisoners on board a ship when the weather took a turn for the worse.

Food was scarce, and the sailors were given bowls of pureed chickpeas and olive oil. However, many refused to eat it, leaving it to dry in the sun.

And just like that, farinata was born!

Over the past century, it’s gone from a survival food to a super tasty street food beloved by the masses.

But staying true to its roots, it’s effortless to prepare – no sailboat needed.

7. Cannoli

Who can resist a crunchy, sweet, and creamy cannoli? Can you think of a more decadent dessert?

I love swinging by my local Italian bakery and can’t say no to a 12-pack of these bad boys.

When you sink your teeth into these heavenly pastries, expect creamy ricotta, crispy fried dough, and sweet chocolate chips.

Just thinking about this indulgent dessert makes my mouth water. 

Making them from scratch might take a while, but the extra effort is well worth it.

8. Cioccolata Calda (Italian Hot Chocolate)

Would you consider yourself a “chocoholic”? If so, this might be your new favorite drink.

Ciioccolata calda is an ultra-rich hot chocolate that’s liquid enough to drink but rich enough to enjoy for dessert.

Each sip coats your mouth with velvety chocolate. And it’s only lightly sweetened, so you can enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of cacao.

Best of all, this Italian hot chocolate takes just 10 minutes to whip up!

Try adding a dash of instant coffee to create a mocha version that’s out of this world. 

9. Gnocco Fritto 

Calling all charcuterie board enthusiasts! The next time you host friends, consider adding gnocco fritto to your board.

This fried bread consists of flour, water, lard, and yeast. Every bite is flaky on the outside, airy on the inside, and melts in your mouth.

I first had it on the Italian coast with a plate of cheese and meats, and let me tell you: they’re to die for!

Best served warm, you don’t want to make these in advance, Instead, get the dough ready and fry them up just before serving.

10. Zeppole  

Zeppole is one of those foods I can eat until I’m bursting at the seams; it’s just that good.

I mean, how do you turn down fried donut holes smothered in powdered sugar?

Every time you pop one of these bad boys into your mouth, it’ll immediately melt in your tongue with buttery, sugary goodness.

You’ll find this Italian street food at carnivals or seaside promenades, but you can easily make them at home. 

They’re perfect for birthdays, dinner parties, or even movie nights.

11. Olive all’Ascolana 

Olive all’ Ascolana is the ultimate addition to your antipasto plate. How can you go wrong with fried stuffed olives?

If you’re looking to shake things up at your next party, give this sensational Italian street food a try.

You’ll love how many mouthwatering flavors are packed into each tiny bite.

And it’s all down to the meaty filling, which consists of a mixture of ground beef, chicken, and Italian sausage.

If that’s not enough, you also add eggs, flour, breadcrumbs, and white wine to the mix.

That’s to name just a few ingredients. But while the ingredient list is long, it’s nothing you can’t handle.

The directions are super easy. And after a round of stuffing and frying, these olives are ready to delight the masses.

12. Gelato

Who doesn’t love gelato? Not only is it healthier than ice cream, but I’m willing to argue it tastes better too.

If you’re unsure about the difference, let me clarify: ice cream uses cream and sugar, whereas gelato uses milk, cream, and sugar.

It’s a small difference, but when you taste it, you’ll know.

Gelato translates to “frozen” in English and has been pleasing the palates of Italians since the 16th century. 

If you want to try making your own gelato, it’s pretty easy if you have an ice cream maker.

All you need are three ingredients to make a simple version of this frosty treat. From there, go nuts with flavors!

I adore pistachio, but anything with mango is always a hit.

Pani câ Meusa

13. Pani câ Meusa 

If you’re a meat lover, you go bananas for this simple sandwich. 

This Italian street food hails from the Palermo region and consists of bread, fried calf’s spleen, and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

I know, I know, but you have to try it!

It’s dead easy to make, and the taste immediately transports you to the rustic region.

You’ll typically find this sandwich sold by street vendors throughout the city. But if you can acquire the proper cut of meat, you can make it yourself at home.

14. Pizza Al Taglio 

If you’ve ever visited Sardinia, you’ve probably heard all about piazza al taglio.

It looks like a folded pizza, but the taste goes far beyond that. It’s double-baked, so you know it’s extra crispy.

You can add any toppings your heart desires, but the traditional Sardinian rule of the land is to use tomato sauce, mozzarella, capers, anchovies, and basil.

This recipe shows you how to recreate the taste of Sardinia in your very own home. Try it once, and I know you’ll be hooked!

Sgagliozze (Fried Polenta)

15. Sgagliozze (Fried Polenta)

This simple Italian street food will blow you away.

It’s easy to make, requires only four ingredients, and goes with just about anything.

You’ll combine boiled cornmeal, salt, and oil, cut into squares, and then fry them.

They’re basically polenta fries (depending on the shape) and make a terrific french fry alternative for kids.

Gobble them up on their own, with a generous coating of garlic and Parmesan, or dip them into marinara sauce. Delish!

Panino con la Porchetta

16. Panino con la Porchetta

Panino con la porchetta is a wonderful meaty sandwich best served alongside an Aperol spritz or glass of vino.

It consists of seasoned pork shoulder, sliced Provolone, and mustard layered between thick slices of focaccia bread.

How delicious does that sound? 

17. Panzerotti 

From the picture alone, you might wonder, what’s the difference between a panzerotti and a calzone?

Well, panzerotti is typically smaller, and…that’s about it.

Both are stuffed with yummy fillings and can be fried or baked. And both versions are incredibly delicious.

A panzerotti will serve you well if you’re looking for a quick snack. This handheld delicacy is portable, making it the ultimate Italian street food.

18. Pizza e Mortazza 

Pizza e Mortazza is an Italian sandwich you make using high-hydration pizza dough (dough with a high water ratio). 

Essentially, we’re talking about a wet dough that creates super flakey bread.

Imagine sinking your teeth into that airy bread alongside some flavorful mortadella, smoky Provolone, and tangy mustard.

Is your mouth watering? Mine too!

19. Focaccia 

If there’s one Italian street food that always has a place in my kitchen, it’s focaccia.

It is super easy to make, and the taste is outstanding.

And yes, they have it everywhere! When I was in Italy this summer, it was the go-to breakfast and snack for almost everyone.

Focaccia has soft, doughy dips that make the perfect pockets for olive oil and other tasty toppings.

My favorite morning focaccia had tomatoes, onions, mozzarella, and pesto smothered over the top.

But let’s be honest, it’s delicious with nothing more than a bit of rosemary and sea salt.

20. Suppli

Italians have leftovers all figured out. This fantastic suppli recipe is the perfect way to recycle last night’s risotto into something delicious.

Imagine biting into one of these doughy balls and being met with a crispy crust, soft rice interior, and a gooey cheesy center.

So, why not revamp your risotto into something scrumptious? Did I mention they take just 40 minutes? How quick is that? 

20 Best Italian Street Foods to Try at Home

Are you curious what the best, most delicious Italian street foods are? Save yourself the cost of an expensive flight, and read this roundup to find out!

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Italian Street Foods

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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