Where To Find The Best Street Food In Pisa
Pisa is one of the best-known Italian cities around the world, thanks in no small part to its famous Leaning Tower. Travel in Italy is all about enjoying art, history, great scenery, and fantastic food, and Pisa is no different. And while you'll find no shortage of restaurants offering great food throughout this fascinating city, sometimes it's nice to try something a little more portable. Whether you're strolling from one historic monument to another or heading out to explore the diverse neighborhoods of the city, street food in Pisa lets you try local specialties while on the go and provides a great way to enjoy the culinary scene in this Tuscan city.
Restaurants, food trucks, and local festivals will help you to explore this aspect of Pisa's culinary culture. There's much more to Italian food than noodles and tomato sauce, so don't be afraid to experiment and try some of these up-and-coming food vendors.
And while you're exploring Pisa's best street food, don't forget to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Pisa. Traveling light will make it much easier to cover more ground and enjoy what the city with its iconic Leaning Tower has to offer.
The best street food vendors in Pisa
Located on Via Carlo Fedeli 2, Mr Sgabeo is a Pisa street food institution. Pisa, Florence, and the whole of the Tuscany region are known as much for their sandwiches as they are for pasta dishes, and sandwiches like the ones served at Mr Sgabeo are just as much a part of Italian food as spaghetti and pizza. Mr Sgabeo offers an astonishing range of sandwiches that make for perfect fast food, including the Firenze with ham and mozzarella or the Orciano Pisano with Italian sausage, pecorino cheese, eggplant, and truffle spread. There are also sweet treats on offer like the Nutella sandwich. With dozens of options on the extensive menu, if you can put it in a piece of bread, chances are good you'll find it here.
I Porci Comodi
As the name of this small shop suggests, this is a carnivore's dream. I Porco Comodi, which translates roughly as Comfortable Pigs, celebrates the Tuscan taste for pork products with a range of ham and sausage-based snacks which make for authentic Italian street food. Try a sandwich made with wild boar mortadella or wild boar salami for a taste of the game of the region. Somewhat surprisingly, this meat-based sandwich shop also has a few offerings to make it at least a little more vegetarian-friendly. But it's best known for items like the classic Tuscan panino con la porchetta, which you'll find enjoyed by locals and visitors alike when they're out and about on the charming streets of Pisa.
Lou Lee Street Food
Ideally located in one of Pisa's top nightlife districts, Lou Lee Street Food has made a name for itself thanks to great food, a friendly atmosphere, and some very competitive prices. This compact counter restaurant offers the traditional meat-heavy Tuscan fare, including a plate loaded with cold cuts that lets you try some of the most popular meats from around the region. This restaurant also serves alcohol and offers beer specials that keep customers coming back for more.
Gao Street Food
It's not hard to find good sandwiches in Pisa. Gao Street Food is another of the many Pisa restaurants that puts their own spin on classic Italian street food. They do this by adopting a limited menu and focusing heavily on providing quality in each dish. Choose from the Tegame with roasted peppers, meat sauce, and potato chips, or the Toscanaccio with sbriciolona salami, olive oil, mozzarella, and liver pate. There's also the Fioso, made with tuna, green peppers, fried onions, and paprika mayonnaise, or the Damerino with baccala montecato, the iconic Venetian whipped salt cod. Finally, they offer a vegetarian sandwich made with asparagus, egg, and cheese. This menu celebrates some of the best ingredients from across Italy, making this a popular place to stop and fuel up before setting out to enjoy some of the best hikes in Pisa.
Street Food Gallery
If you're going to call yourself Street Food Gallery, you'd better represent when it comes to fast food. And yes, this Pisa restaurant serves the inescapable sandwiches. But they also offer a broader range of items on the menu, including pasta dishes like spaghetti alla vongole and cacio e pepe. If you're looking for a change from one sandwich after another, Street Food Gallery can expand your horizons outside the bun. Then again, if you haven't yet had your fill of Tuscan sandwiches, they can help you with that too.
Etna Street Food
Named after one of Italy's most famous volcanoes, Etna brings Sicilian street food to the streets of Pisa. If you think all Italian food is the same, prepare to have your opinion changed. Sicily is known for having some of the best street food in all of Italy, and this restaurant does its best to represent the southern island with classic Sicilian dishes that stick to your ribs. Try one or more of their impressive selection of arancini, breaded stuffed rice balls that come with ingredients like spinach, prosciutto, tomato, and mozzarella. They also serve cartocciata, a Sicilian specialty similar to a small calzone and stuffed with a variety of fillings. If you want a break from Tuscan sandwiches while still sticking to authentic Italian cuisine, have a taste of Sicily in the shadow of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Primo Pasta and Street Food
No matter where you go in the world, pasta is synonymous with Italy. Every region of Italy has its own pasta specialties, and Tuscany is no different. But ordinarily, you might not think of pasta as a street food dish, but more as something you would eat in a sit-down restaurant.
However, you'd be wrong. Primo Pasta and Street Food offers an extensive pasta menu in its restaurant location, but it also makes what they call CrustyPasta. Sometimes known as a timballo or timpano, this is a baked pasta dish served in hearty slices you can hold in one hand and eat on the go. This is a fantastic way to enjoy classic Italian cuisine on the go, and one of the best street food options in Pisa without a doubt.
Where to find the best Pisa street food spots
In any city that gets the number of tourist visitors that Pisa does, it can be difficult to avoid mediocre and overpriced food served to undiscriminating palates. For that reason, restaurants around the main attractions of Pisa like the Leaning Tower can sometimes be places to avoid. However, if you look a little deeper, you'll find certain parts of the city that are packed with great street food vendors. Here's a quick guide.
Mercato delle Vettovaglie
The main market in the heart of Pisa, Vettovaglie spills out of the piazza that shares its name and into the surrounding streets. At this market, held every day but Sunday, you'll find vendors selling some of the best produce of the region, and local chefs rubbing shoulders with Italian grandmothers to pick out the best produce this fertile region has to offer. As well as the many snacks and treats on offer from the vendors themselves, you'll find plenty of street food restaurants in the streets surrounding the market. Take in the lively atmosphere and enjoy some of the best street food Pisa has to offer at this iconic location.
The University of Pisa has been educating students since 1343, making it one of the oldest educational establishments in the world. And to this day, the University brings young students into the city every year, keeping its neighborhood along the north shore of the River Arno bustling with life. Where there are students, you'll find bars and cafés, and where you find those, it's a good guess you'll find street food. Explore the bustling streets of this lively and central neighborhood, and you're bound to discover some favorite local street food establishments where you can try traditional favorites or bold new flavors.
Piazza dei Cavalieri
This impressive public square is worth visiting for its architecture and lively atmosphere alone. But head just north of the square toward the Leaning Tower and Pisa Duomo, and you'll find yourself in some heavily touristed but also interesting streets. Conveniently close to most of the major attractions you might want to see in Pisa, the neighborhood around the square is packed with some of Pisa's best street food vendors, so you know you won't go hungry here.
Street food festivals in Pisa
Pisa Street Food Festival
The name says it all. Pisa Street Food Festival is held in June and is one of the city's best places to try excellent street food. Vendors come from all over Italy to show what they can do at this festival, and you'll find everything from classic Tuscan sandwiches to vegetarian-friendly Asian-inspired street food to classic fried treats in a paper cone. Take advantage of outdoor seating and street performers to enjoy the unrivaled atmosphere of this festival and try some new favorite treats that will give you an amazing experience of street food in Pisa.
Pisa Food and Wine Festival
This upscale festival takes a broader approach to celebrate all the flavors and cuisines of this gourmet region. You'll find street food vendors here, but you'll also find representatives from some of the best restaurants in Tuscany. You can enjoy demonstrations and cooking classes, and try the latest dishes and fine wines that celebrate the culinary heritage of the region. If you're visiting Pisa during mid-October and you care about food at all, you can't afford to miss this incredible event.
The cuisine of Italy enjoys an enviable reputation around the world, and it's one that is well-deserved. Wherever you go in Italy, you can rest assured that you'll eat well. Italian food makes the most of the incredible produce of the region where it's made and lets the ingredients speak for themselves. That's true whether you're enjoying fine dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant or taking some street food to go while you explore the city.
And in a city with so much to see and do as Pisa has, taking advantage of all the street food options on offer is never a bad idea. You'll be able to try a variety of different dishes and still cram in as much sightseeing and fun activities as you want to get the most out of the city. To make things easier on yourself, drop off your bags first at a Bounce luggage storage near Pisa Centrale. Trying to eat delicious street food with one hand while carrying a suitcase with another is not the way to make the most of your trip. Instead, store your belongings so you can focus fully on enjoying yourself in this unforgettable city.