10 Things to eat in Palermo and where

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Palermo is a city that boasts art, culture, beaches and nature, it has also been named the European Capital of Street Food for its variety of street foods such as the very famous arancine and the less known stigghiole.
A well deserved title for the city, which boasts a great range of local products and a truly rich typical cuisine ranging from Street Food to really inviting first and second courses, so much so that putting them together in a single article is really difficult.
Here are 10 things to eat in Palermo and where!


  1. Arancine
  2. Panelle, Crocché (Cazzilli) and Raschiatura
  3. Pasta with sardines
  4. Ca meusa sandwich
  5. Stigghiola
  6. Palermitana cutlet
  7. Sicilian Cassata and Cannolo
  8. sfincione
  9. Palermo-style rolls
  10. Pasta C'anciova and Muddica
  11. Where to eat in Palermo: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Arancine

Impossible not to know them! Arancine are the best known and most widespread Sicilian specialty, in fact the origin, name and shape are much disputed among the various provinces. In Palermo, for example, they are called strictly in the feminine: arancine!

Available everywhere as they are ideal both as an aperitif and as a single dish, these rice balls are stuffed with various ingredients and then breaded and fried. The two most popular versions are the one with meat sauce and the one with ham and mozzarella, but they leave room for imagination with more elaborate versions such as pistachio or squid ink.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: € 1,50 per piece
  • Main ingredients: rice, mozzarella, ham, meat sauce, breadcrumbs

2 - Panelle, Crocché (Cazzilli) and Raschiatura

The famous panelle are simple pancakes made with chickpea flour and preparing them is an art!
They are usually eaten in the midst of the typical Sicilian sandwiches covered with sesame: the mafalde or the ever-fresh!
The "cazzilli" are potato croquettes flavored with parsley and black pepper and fried in boiling oil. No, nothing to do with the frozen ones from the supermarket!
The scraping is instead a recovery recipe. Preparation involves a mix of remnants "scraped" from deep fryers after preparing the panelle and the potato croquettes. The two types of soft doughs, re-mixed with potatoes, parsley and other spices, allow to obtain a new dough to be modeled in the shape of triangles to be fried again.
You will find everywhere the street fryers where you can eat an excellent sandwich with panelle, cazzilli or scraping! Really unmissable!

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: € 1,80
  • Main ingredients: chickpea flour, parsley, potatoes

3 - Pasta with sardines

This first is very famous in Sicily. The two main ingredients are wild fennel and fresh sardines.
The combination of these strong flavors combined with saffron, the sweet taste of raisins and pine nuts, create a condiment with a unique flavor, usually associated with bucatini. Finally, a nice handful of muddica atturrata (or toasted breadcrumbs), makes the dish truly unique!

  • Recommended to: lunch
  • Average cost: from € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: sardines, wild fennel, saffron, raisins, pine nuts, breadcrumbs

4 - Sandwich ca meusa

This sandwich is the king of Palermo street food! What made it so is the special filling, made with a mix of offal including the meusa or the spleen, calf lung and cartilage of the ox's trachea.

Soft bread, covered with sesame, called vastedda, stuffed with entrails, can be seasoned with salt and lemon or ask for the addition of caciocavallo! Remember to accompany the sandwich with a nice iced beer, it will enhance its rich and intense flavor! Either you love it or you hate it!

  • Recommended to: snack, lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 1,50
  • Main ingredients: sandwich with sesame, spleen, lung

5 - Stigghiola

They are an unusual but very tasty meat dish proposed mainly as street food but also in traditional taverns and inns. It's the lamb intestines (sometimes also veal or kid), washed well with water and salt and simply cooked on the grill on a spit. Other versions, but not from Palermo, see them seasoned with parsley, lemon and preferably also onion.
On the street they are served in the special banquets of the "stigghiolari", stations that prepare only this dish from which comes a strong and unmistakable scent! However, if after reading what this particular food is about it seems strange to you and you are not convinced, then you should know that it has been included in the list of the Ministry of Agricultural and Forest Food Policies among the traditional Italian agri-food products!

  • Recommended to: snack, lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 1,00 per piece or € 8,00 per portion at the restaurant
  • Main ingredients: lamb intestines, salt and lemon

6 - Palermo-style cutlet

The cutlet is a very common dish in the Italian culinary tradition of which everyone knows the Milanese version, which is undoubtedly the most famous in Italy, but few know that the Palermo version also exists! The difference between the two recipes lies in the breading and cooking method which make it tastier, tastier and lighter. The breading of this cutlet is in fact enriched with pecorino, garlic, chives and parsley, however, starting from the basic element, breadcrumbs, which is coarsely grated at home. As for cooking, instead of being fried, it comes prepared in the oven or on the grill. A recipe that recalls an encore without guilt!

  • Recommended to: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 6,00
  • Main ingredients: slices of veal, breadcrumbs, pecorino

7 - Sicilian Cassata and Cannolo

They are the sweets symbol par excellence!
Cassata is a cake a base of sweet ricotta, sponge cake, marzipan and candied fruit! Sicily in one bite! Born as an Easter cake, today it is consumed all year round. The decorations are baroque and for this reason the preparation of this dessert requires a lot of skill!

The famous cannolo is a ricotta-based dessert! A fried waffle wraps a filling of sifted and sweetened sheep ricotta. Candied fruit or chocolate drops and a sprinkling of powdered sugar are added!

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: € 1,00 per piece
  • Main ingredients: sponge cake, marzipan, candied fruit, sheep's milk ricotta, wafer

8 - Sfincione

Could the people of Palermo also miss their own version of pizza? The sfincione is just that: a recipe similar to that of bread and pizza. The dough is almost the same, it varies only in consistency which is particularly porous, high and soft, reminiscent of a sponge. In fact, the name derives from the Latin spongia which means sponge. The traditional condiment includes tomato sauce which is often enriched with salted sardines, onion, cheese and oil. An ideal recipe as a snack and snack, but also served as an appetizer and aperitif. Some claim that it is even better than pizza ... Seeing is believing!

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost: € 0,80 per piece
  • Main ingredients: water, flour, brewer's yeast, tomato

9 - Palermo-style rolls

These rolls are one of the best dishes of the local cuisine, a simple but tasty recipe.
The veal slices are stuffed with caciocavallo, raisins and pine nuts, while the outside is wrapped in a crunchy breading flavored with salt, pepper and aromas.

However, cooking is the highlight of the dish, which takes place in the oven or on the grill by arranging the rolls alternating them with bay leaves and onion to enrich the flavor even more.

  • Recommended to: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 12,00
  • Main ingredients: slices of veal, caciocavallo, raisins, pine nuts, breadcrumbs

10 - Pasta C'anciova and Muddica

First of all the meaning: pasta with anchovies and breadcrumbs! A first course that revisits the classic recipe of pasta with sardines enriching it with tomato extract (attention, not concentrated but extracted, or dry sauce) and breadcrumbs. The idea of ​​this dish was born to offer a poor dish for which canned products are used, as well as basic ingredients available everywhere.
In fact, it is said that this typical Sicilian first dates back to the years of emigration to the north when people left bringing the preserves with them so as not to miss the products of their land, so from a mix of these ingredients a new recipe was born. The pasta used is mainly linguine!

  • Recommended to: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 7,00
  • Main ingredients: linguine, anchovies, tomato extract, onion, garlic, pine nuts, raisins, breadcrumbs

Where to eat in Palermo: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

In a city like Palermo where many typical foods can be tasted quickly and are also offered on the street, the best places to taste these delicacies are undoubtedly the local markets. If we talk about Palermo we can only mention Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo, the three large colorful and crowded markets with a huge variety of foods for a mixture of scents that leaves you speechless. These areas are also very popular among the Palermitans themselves! The inns and trattorias are the masters in the city, but there is certainly no shortage of gourmet restaurants and other types of places such as pubs and breweries. Here are some places to eat in Palermo, for all tastes and budgets!

1 - Taverna Azzurra

  • Description: historical place with Sicilian home cooking, street food, local wines and craft beers
  • specialty: sfincione
  • Average price: from € 12,00 per person
  • Address: via Maccherronai, 15 - Get directions / tel: 091304107

2 - Trattoria da Totò

  • Description: Sicilian cuisine at 0 km with generous portions, cheap prices and a lot of wine choices
  • specialty: pasta c'anciova and muddica
  • Average price: from € 15,00 per person
  • Address: via Coltellieri, 6 - Get directions / tel: 3333157558

3 - Friggitoria Minà

  • Description: Sicilian menu ranging from appetizers to desserts with particular attention to street food proposals
  • specialty: arancine
  • Average price: from € 5,00 per person
  • Address: via Pannieri, 28 - Get directions / tel: 091585168

4 - Ballarak

  • Description: craft brewery and pub, offers home-grown beers and a menu with pizzas, sandwiches and meat dishes
  • specialty: Palermo-style cutlet
  • Average price: from € 20,00 per person
  • Address: via Saladino, 7 - Get directions / tel: 3440108559

5 - Pastry Costa

  • Description: refined and elegant pastry shop, close to the center of Palermo, specializing in Sicilian cannoli and cassata
  • specialty: Sicilian cassata
  • Average price: from € 30,00 per cake
  • Address: via Maqueda 174 - Get directions / tel: 091 9807927

6 - Buatta Popular Cuisine

  • Description: historic restaurant with modern furnishings, open kitchen and Palermo menu prepared with organic ingredients
  • specialty: bucatini was launching
  • Average price: from € 20,00 per person
  • Address: via Vittorio Emanuele, 176 - Get directions / tel: 091322378

7 - Osteria dei Vespri

  • Description: rustic restaurant with wooden furnishings, various fixed menus at a good price, creative and renewed according to the season
  • specialty: pasta with sardines
  • Average price: from € 30,00 per person
  • Address: piazza Croce dei Vespri, 6 - Get directions / tel: 0916171631

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