Bologna is the capital of Emilia Romagna, a region in Northern Italy known for its epicurean lifestyle revolving around gourmet food and wine-making tradition.Whether you looking for flavor-packed food, craft beer, or local wine, you can find all that and some more in Bologna. This gastronomic city is packed with eateries serving the best street food in Italy.
From fresh pasta to cured meat, pizza, panini, gelato and cannoli, it's no surprise Bologna earned the nickname The Fat City, or La Grassa meaning The Fat One. While most street food places are located in the city center, there are more than enough in each neighborhood.
But before you go and search for the best street food in Bologna, Italy, don't forget to drop off your belongings. You can do that at a Bologna luggage storage service and carry on with your day without having to worry about your large bags, extra shopping purchases, and luggage.
Let's see where you can find the best street food in Bologna!
Pizza is popular street food in Italy. And it tastes way better than the pizza everywhere else in the world. Located in the heart of Bologna, Pizza Casa is open every day until the wee hours in the morning, giving hungry party-goers the chance to fill their bellies before calling it a night. It is close to the University, which makes Pizza Casa popular among university students too so the place is always jam-packed.
This means you may have to wait for your order, but it is all worth it in the end. Prices are not bad either, starting at about $3 for a pizza Margherita. You can eat your snack inside or grab it to go and wander around the main streets, enjoying a view of the Two Towers, the key landmark of Bologna.
Hours:Monday-Thursday& Sunday 10.30 am - 1 am; Friday- Saturday 10.30 am - 2 am
Mercato delle Erbe
Out and about shopping at the markets? Local farmer's markets In Bologna are one of the best places where you will find an excellent selection of street food. And right in the historic central district of the city, is Mercatto delle Erbe (vegetable market), the most popular market in Bologna with specialty shops selling anything from fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, burgers, salads, local pasta, cured meats, and fresh baked pastries. Home to several cafes, restaurants and bars, Mercato delle Erbe provides a variety of street food for hungry locals and tourists.
One of the most visited places to eat is Cafe Zamboni. Here you will find an impressive aperitivo buffet which will cost you only $12. Technically, you buy a drink for $12 (Aperol spritz is a must), but you have full access to the buffet, and you can eat as much as you can. From finger food and small plates of pasta to deli meats and cheeses, this is where you will find the best street food in Bologna.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 7 am - 12 am; Closed: Sunday
Italy is famous for desserts like cannoli, tiramisu, Panna cotta and of course, gelato. Similar to ice cream, an artisanal gelato in Bologna has more milk and less cream than ice cream and it is usually creamier and denser than regular ice cream. So if you are walking the streets of Bologna and the scorching heat calls for something more than a cold shower, head down to Cremeria Cavato. Located near Piazza Maggiore, on Via Farini, this ice cream shop serves the best gelato in town.
And don't stop at one scoop. Try a combination of flavors like lemon and biscuit, mascarpone and chocolate, almond praline, cremini pistachio or cherry, chocolate with rum and more! One small cone with 2 scoops will cost you about $3. If gelato doesn't curb your appetite, try the famous dessert Torta di Riso. This sweet rice cake originates from the Emilia-Romagna region and is a staple of any bakery in Bologna. Pair it with a strong espresso and you are set for the day.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12 pm-11.30 pm; Sunday 11 am-11:30 pm
If you are looking for proper Italian street food, this is one of the best places in town. Located near Piazza Maggiore, close to Cattedrale di San Pietro, this hip cafeteria is the perfect street food stop when you are walking through the city centre and you get the munchies. From local specialties like lasagne, tagliatelle al ragu and tortellini in broth, Ca 'Peletti will give you the ultimate Bologna street food experience.
For those with a sweet tooth, grab a slice of a blueberry cheesecake dessert or try their crepes full of chocolate and whipped cream. While the prices are average, portions are anything but.
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 am - 11 pm; Saturday-Sunday 9 am - 11 pm
Cremeria Santo Stefano
Just a few minutes walk from Saint Stefano square is the most delicious storefront in Bologna, Cremeria Santo Stefano. Opened in 2006 by the Cavallari family, this artisanal ice cream and chocolate shop is not only full of flavors but it's full of coziness too. If you are looking for the best sweet shop in the city, this place fits the bill.
From fruit jams and jellies to focaccias, cannoli and croissants, Cremeria Santo Stefano is one of the best street food in Bologna (if you have the munchies for sweets). The shop is small, and luckily no huge crowds. Prices are normal, starting at around $1.50 for a scoop of ice cream.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 12 pm - 11.30 pm
Mo Mortadella Lab
For authentic Bologna street food head down to Mo Mortadella Lab, just a short walk from the Local History Museum. Don't let the long lines discourage you, they only mean this is where the good food is. Better arrive with an empty stomach as this place will fill your belly with the real taste of Italy for only about $7.
There are over 24 sandwiches to choose from, all made with fresh ingredients and fresh baked bread. Choose from a mortadella, provolone cheese, or mozzarella, pepper, and tomatoes, and don't be surprised if you get full fast, as the sandwiches are huge. Since there is no place to sit, just a few small tables to stand next to, you can grab your sandwich to go, find a good spot nearby, eat and watch the people go by.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 12 pm - 4 pm; 7 pm - 9.30 pm; Sunday: 12 pm - 6 pm
If you are a fan of Middle Eastern food, this is where you will find original Lebanese recipes. Located on Via delle Moline near Basilica di San Martino, this place attracts meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans too. All meals are made with fresh products and come with fresh made Lebanese bread.
Falafel is also made fresh on the spot. Try some Halloumi (typical Lebanese grilled cheese), Waraa Arisch (vine leaves stuffed with vegetables), Fattoush (mixed salad with fried Lebanese bread with pomegranate sauce), or the house specialty Tahini (homemade sesame spread). Prices are great too as a large Beirut platter and a drink go for about $10. A must-visit for the best street food in Bologna!
Hours: Monday-Tuesday 12 pm - 11.45 pm; Wednesday-Thursday 12 pm - 1 am; Friday-Saturday 12 pm - 3 am; Sunday 12 pm - 12 am
Bologna street food doesn't revolve around panini, deli meats, pasta and pizza. It is a lot more than that. If you like the taste of Asian street food, you will find plenty of mouthwatering food at Wok Around. A great change from Italian food, this Chinese restaurant is conveniently located in the student quarter making it popular among students.
Service is fast, their beer selection amazing, and the portions are big enough to feed two adults. You can make your meals based on your preference combination. The options for the base are rice or noodles, meat or fish for the main dish, and you can pick side orders of your choice too. From curry noodles and ravioli to plenty of snacks and salads this place will surely satisfy the most demanding palates. But Wok Around is small and since it's always busy it's hard to find a seat. That shouldn't be a problem either, as you can order takeout and eat it anywhere you please.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11.30 am - 3 pm; 6. 30 pm - 11 pm; Closed: Tuesday
L'Antica Bottega Bologna
Located in the lively Mercato di Mezzo, this small food court is the perfect spot for a quick bite when you are walking around Piazza Maggiore. The place is always full with locals enjoying local delicacies like a platter of cured meats and cheeses, especially Parmigiano Reggiano, pasta drowning in hearty Bolognese sauce and traditional sandwiches. Accompanied with local red wine, it equals one of the best food experiences you will have in town.
Prices are reasonable, but the place can get really busy. Prepare to wait a bit when there are huge crowds, but it is all worth it. If there are no seats left, you can grab the food to go and eat somewhere else. You'll be in a central neighborhood (a good place to stay in Bologna) so will find lots to do,
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10 am - 10 pm; Friday-Saturday 10 am - 11 pm
Though not really popular street food in the city, the barbeque in this place is to die for (if you are a meat lover, that is). Located near Palazzo Palavicini Palace and Art Museum, this restaurant serves authentic Abbruzzese food of Southern Italy. Besides grill, you can find many Bologna and Abbruzzese classics like antipasti, Timballo (savory casserole), pasta Tagliatelle al ragu, and many more!
Expect to pay about $15 for a good portion of Tagliatelle al ragu. Not the cheapest prices in the city, but the food is full of flavors and you will only be looking for more. Eating in this small restaurant is possible, but you can order takeout too.
Hours: Monday-Friday 7pm - 11 pm; Saturday 12.30 pm - 2 pm, 7 pm - 11.30 pm; Sunday 12.30 pm - 3 pm, 6 pm - 11 pm
BoPu fast food restaurant is located in the heart of the city, making it an ideal rest stop for sightseeing tours. This place serves authentic Apulian food - rustic and full of traditional flavors. Food on the menu includes anything from parmigiana, Apulian focaccia, zucchini or eggplant meatballs, croquettes, all kinds of pasta, and bowler hats (rolls with a stringy cheese heart) which seem to be the favorite. They have an excellent selection of craft beer too, ideal for pairing with your cheeses and croquettes.
Be ready to pay anywhere from $2-$20 for a meal. You may have to wait a bit but you can always pick some of the prepared foods. Eating is possible inside the cozy and intimate restaurant but you can always order takeout. In BoPu there are various products for purchase, like extra virgin olive oil, biscuits, and taralli (Italian snack food). The owner who is also the cook, is very helpful and kind, making this place even more inviting.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 12 pm - 3 pm, 5.30 pm - 10 pm; Sunday: closed
Bologna Street Food
It seems that you can never eat enough in Bologna, Italy. Trying some Bologna street food is an inevitable part of your stay. Luckily, the city is known for its gourmet food, served not only in the restaurants but in almost every eatery in Bologna. Every day locals and tourists get to enjoy tasty street food and cheap too. So the next time you fly into Bologna Airport to visit Bologna La Grassa, keep this street food guide handy and you too will know exactly where to go and what to eat.