Palermo Food Tour: Sicilian Markets and Street Food

Taste the rich history of Palermo's culinary culture
From US$518 privately
Book a Tour
Tour Details
4 hours
Product Type
  • Capo Market
  • Immacolata Concezione
  • Ballaro Market
  • Santa Caterina
Photos & Highlights
  • Palermo street food tour led by an expert in culture or local chef
  • Includes samples of arancine and sfincione
Tour Description
An old Roman proverb says, “cook like a Sicilian, eat like a Sicilian." Nowhere is this more celebrated than in Palermo. In a city that is rich in history, art, and architecture, Palermo also boasts distinctive culinary traditions influenced by multiple empires over centuries. For an introduction to one of Italy’s most exciting cities, we will join an expert guide to discover Palermo’s historic markets and winding alleys to learn about its unique street food and how this food culture relates to the past and present of the Capo and Ballaro districts. 
  • Capo Market
  • Immacolata Concezione
  • Palermo's Cathedral
  • Ballaro Market
  • Santa Caterina
  • 4 hours with a Ph.D. or MA level guide
We will meet our expert guide just across from Porta Carini, in the center of the city, and proceed to learn about the Capo and Ballaro districts, two of the oldest districts in Palermo. Here we will have the opportunity to admire and possibly visit some of the most outstanding Palermo baroque churches, tucked away amidst fish, vegetables, and fruit stalls. With help from our expert guide, we will taste Sicily’s fresh produce and have the chance to indulge in Palermo’s famous street foods. Afterward, we will explore some of the city’s most precious churches, built by powerful religious orders to display prominently in the wake of the Counter-Reformation.

Our guide will explain the history of the food markets as we wander. We will learn about the culinary traditions and recipes that are associated with local feasts, some of which date back to medieval times, as well as the harvest and fishing techniques in use for centuries. Strolling through the markets, we will stop at various stands to indulge in delicious Sicilian cheeses and olives, as well as savory snacks such as arancine (fried rice balls filled with either meat ragù, béchamel, ham, or butter), sfincione (deep pan pizza with fresh tomato sauce, onions, anchovies and cheese), and pane e panelle (fried chickpea flour pancakes seasoned with lemon juice). By the end of the walk, we will have a deeper appreciation for Palermo’s unique food and how it relates to the city’s history.

To continue your explorations of Sicily with Context, we recommend our Introduction to Palermo tour.


What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.

Where do we meet? Where does it end?
We meet near Porta Carini, Via Volturno. Your route may differ according to your guide. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with with a map.

Is this tour walking intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible?
We do cover quite a bit of ground on this tour and therefore we recommend contacting us with any mobility questions; we will be happy to advise if the itinerary will be appropriate for you or propose modifications where necessary. Please feel free to contact us.

Can this tour cater to those with dietary requirements? 
Let us know what your dietary requirements are and we will try our best to accommodate. 

Where You'll Start
15 Reviews (4.81)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Excellent and delicious tour.
Our time with Valentina was fantastic! She was so knowledgeable, friendly and we ate very well!