Street food is winning the heart of more and more people in Italy, especially in a University town like mine, where students needs to feed themselves without spending lots of money. That’s why I thought to write this post. And, in order to do it, I personally tested and tasted lots of street food in Padua. And I surely missed some spots. As usual, if someone feels left out, let me know! Many of the places are very close one another. But… this means you can try many different foods in a small area.
Best Street Food in Padua
I divided the places into 4 categories: Institutions, Sotto il Salone (those located under at the covered market), Pasta spots and Others.
First things first, I couldn’t but quote the historic kiosk selling traditional fish bites. The business was started in 1978 by Guido and Dobrilla Schiavon. Now their son Max and their daughter Barbara run the place. The fish comes from Chioggia fish market, bought fresh every morning.
They only open in the evening, from 5pm to 8 or 9 pm, be it winter or summer. But you better arrive early, eh! Their speciality is the folpo, of course, i.e. the octopus. But you can also find sarde in saor, baccalà mantecato and other delicious options. To learn more, read my post about La Folperia.
Where: Piazza della Frutta, under the arcade (Volto della Corda). Closed on Monday. Price range: items price starts from €1,20 but, if you want to taste a few things, consider at least €10/20.
The shop close to Prato della Valle dates back to 1922. Renato Orsucci, a young lad from Lucca, was in Padua for his military service. He liked the city so much that he decided to stay. And he opened this little shop to sell castagnaccio, a Tuscan chestnut cake. Some years after, he started to prepare pizza, too.
Now his nephews are still working in the shop, which mainly serves pizza, which is small and thin and beloved by padovani. But, during Autumn, also the castagnaccio. Inside there are only a few tables. It is mainly a takeaway spot. No pizza boxes though. Only paper to fold the pizze. You always find queue if you go at rush hour, especially during the weekend. It is only open in the evening, starting from 5pm.
Where: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 18. Closed on Thursday. Price range: from €1,20 of a bruschetta to about €5 for a small pizza.
Dalla Zita is an institution in Padua. It’s a tiny shop close to Pedrocchi Café. There is no sign, but you will immediately recognise it from the wall full of colorful slips of paper, displaying the names and the ingredients of the sandwiches.
150 years ago, Dalla Zita was a osteria (tavern). Then it became a sandwiches spot, thanks to the former owner, la signora Zita, who run the place for about 70 year (wow!). The sandwiches were then all porchetta based. Since the late 1990s, Roberta and her daughter Laura run the place. And they increased the offer. You can in fact choose among 200 different panini, with many vegetarian and some vegan options. So… it takes time to decide.
I chose a panino with porchetta, for old times’ sake. The name of my sandwich was Nibelungo (beautiful name): porchetta, mozzarella and olives pate.
I read somewhere that the owners are sometimes helped by their regular customers. It’s true. I personally witnessed this scene: Laura needed some oranges and a man offered to go himself to but them at the close market. Isn’t it lovely?
Better to avoid “rush hours” cause I saw long queues of students past 1pm. I tried at noon and I was immediately served.
Where: via Gorizia, 12 (Near Pedrocchi Café). Closed on Sundays. Price range: €4 – €6 (for the panino only).
Sotto il Salone (covered market)
Round shaped and steamed cooked focaccia Genovese, filled with… everything you prefer, from prosciutto to salame, from mozzarella di bufala to hazelnut cream. So, perfect not only for lunch or dinner but also for merenda. All the ingredients are high quality ones, including vegetarian options. Plus, the stall is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of the covered market. 😉 I also love the name Violante, which is the name of Elisa’s, the owner, daughter. For Elisa this place is a dream come true, so you should pay her a visit when you’re in town. If you want to learn more, read my post about Violante’s Deli.
Where: Sotto il Salone, entrance from via Squarcione, stall number 19. (Piazza delle Erbe) Closed on Monday. Price range: from €3 up, depending on the filling.
Until not a long time ago, the thought of eating raw meat worried me. But then I sampled their tartare and I never stopped. The owners are three young padovani, who knife cut the meat in front of the clients. There are only a few choices. The names are cute: Palla (ball), Padova, Tartare 18… But my husband’s favourite has the best name: Alla faccia tua (in your face). 😀
If you like it, you should try their version. They also have a new shop in Venice in Campo Santa Marina, not far from Rialto.
Where: Sotto il Salone, banco 18 (Piazza delle Erbe). One tartare €9.
OK. they’re precooked. But… I liked them very much. I tried my favourite combination, which is with duck sauce (sugo all’anitra), a very common sauce in my area. But you can find also pesto, tomato sauce, sardines and other yummy choices. They also have a shop in Venice, in Verona, in Vicenza and other cities.
Where: via Umberto I, 6 (near Prato della Valle). On Mondays only lunch. Price range: €5 – €6,50.
Located in Piazza delle Erbe, under the arcades facing the open market. They sell the pasta of the pastificio Al Torresino, located in the covered market. Their speciality are the ravioli (the fried ones are scrumptious). I tasted pasta with ragù (bolognese sauce). It was good, but there was not enough meat. Sorry. If you’re vegetarian you can choose tomato sauce. Price range: €5 – €7,50.
It is located along via del Santo, the street leading to Saint Anthony Basilica. You can choose among three different kinds of pasta and many sauces. I choose pasta all’uovo with ragù (bolognese). The pasta was very “al dente”, but I wasn’t crazy about the sauce. Price range: €3 to €6,50.
Other kinds of street food
Da Prette sells panzerotti. A panzerotto is basically a small calzone. Its fillings are more or less the same of pizza. I tasted the simplest one, with tomato and mozzarella. It wasn’t bad.
Where: They have 3 shops. One at the train station, one along via Dante (close to Piazza dei Signori) and one next to the Town Hall. Panzerotto: €2,50/€3.
Here you can have a toast, with lots of different fillings. It’s not that cheap for a toast, but it’s quite big. Problem is that the fillings starts about 1 cm from the border… in every direction. I liked it though. Price range: €4- €7.
Where: via Manin, 51
Of course it sells piadine. You can choose the one you prefer and it is warmed up at the moment. I liked my piadina (prosciutto crudo and mozzarella) but I had a hard time digesting it.
Where: Piazza dei Signori, 29 or via Falloppio, 67 (Hospital area). Price from €4,30 to €7.
It offers Neapolitan street food: fried pizza, panino napoletano, crocchè and sfogliatelle. Nothing light here. All rather tasty, but it would be better if eaten soon after the preparation. The lady at the counter was super kind.
Where: via Dante, 34. Price range: from €2,50 to €5,50.
Have you tried one of these spots of street food in Padua? Do you wish me to add a place on the list? Please, let me know!