Italy is known for many things; the beautiful Riviera beaches where people love to sunbathe, the masterpieces of art from a history of exceptional painters, the cobblestone streets present throughout the city, and their special love for food. Yes, when you visit Italy, you visit a city that takes a special pride in its cuisine. Fortunately, if you are craving authentic Italian cuisine, then there is no need for you to spend your entire budget on Michelin-starred restaurants. Authentic Italian cuisine also includes “cibo di strada” or street food.
In ancient times, the poor people of Rome could only afford street food. Nowadays, top chefs have put their own spin on street foods and revolutionized it into a culinary treat. Street food is present everywhere now and its diversity is incredible. Every city has its own specialties. To sift through the massive range of street foods available, Mauro Rosati, Italian food editor and author of Street Food Heroes: Guide to the best Street Food has this to say, “Street food is now quality food. Street food also helps to socialize. Among young people, perhaps because of social networks, there has been a kind of alienation during meals. Now, people are more inclined to talk and eat together, and street food has helped in that.”
The street foods listed below are those which everyone should try while in Italy. They are the best, but still they are just the tip of the iceberg in the number of amazing cuisines present in Italy.
1. Take-Away Mozzarella Caprese Cone available from Momo Food in Caserta
This caprese (tomato salad and mozzarella) is shaped like a cone and can be a perfect treat for you if you’re in a hurry, but want to have some takeout. It’s a simple and elegant dish with roots in Italian cuisine.
2. White Flatbread Pizza with Sliced Meat at All’Antico Vinaio in Florence
The flatbread pizza with sliced meat at All’Antico Vinaio makes visiting Florence all the more tempting. All’Antico Vinaio offers rare local meats at reduced rates, making it a favorite of Italians there.
3. Chianna Beef Burger at I Torelli in Florence
One of the highest quality meats is considered to be of the Chianina; cattles of Italian breed. I Torelli prepares beef burgers by cooking them on the grill. These burgers are then served on a bun topped with sesame seeds alongside a delicious sauce stewed with onion, as well as ketchup, grilled vegetables, and mayonnaise.
4. Spiral potatoes at Ape Magna in Rome
A Piadaburger is two round flatbreads filled with sausage, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, caramelized onions and paprika accompanied with fresh chips. A must try for everyone!
6. Focaccia di Recco at Panificio Moltedo dal 1874 in Recco, Genoa
It’s a new take on a traditional American breakfast dish. These ‘puncakes’ are reinvented pancakes. They utilize five different types of dough like wheat flour, cocoa, chickpea flour, chestnut flour, and classic.
9. Pizza a Portafoglio at Di Matteo in Naples
This one is a transforming pizza. Never again do you have to be far from the taste of pizza in takeout when you are in a hurry because now you can simply fold it up and consume it like a sandwich. So much convenience!
10. Sfogliatelle at Mignon Eccellenze Napoletane in Milan
Sfogliatelle riccia is homemade filo dough with sweet ricotta, cinnamon, with a candied fruit stuffing. It’s sold in a little blue truck in Milan.