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. I had to delete half of this post’s places, they sadly shut down during Covid.
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)
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.
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!