Arancino or Arancina?
Before you find out where to eat the best arancini in Palermo, you should learn how to call it. If you call it the right way in the right city you will make a lot of friends, if you don’t, you will make a lot of enemies.
It’s Arancina (singular) and Arancine (plural) in the north-west of Sicily. Sicilians from the provinces of Palermo and Trapani use the feminine noun and you better learn this fast! The shape is rounded like an orange.
It’s Arancino (singular) or Arancini (plural) in the rest of the island. So if you are in Agrigento or Catania, call it using the masculine form with -o. The shape is pointed like the Mount Etna.
What is an Arancina or an Arancino?
It’s a rice ball stuffed with veal meat, breaded and deep fried. In the west of Sicily you will find inside a dried ragù sauce, peas, carrot and onion. In the east of Sicily the Arancini are filled with shredded meat, tomato and mozzarella cheese. Do you want to get Mamma Streaty’s recipe? click here!
Where can you buy Arancini?
You can buy arancini at any Bar (local cafè), at a Friggitoria (local street food shop) or at new franchise Arancini shops.
What is a good arancini for Sicilians?
A good arancini must be crunchy on the outside, rich and tasty inside and the rice should not be overcooked.
What kind of arancini do you find in Palermo?
In Palermo you normally find only two kinds of arancine: a’ccarne and a’bburro.
A’ccarne means stuffed with minced meat, peas, carrot onion and little tomato.
A’bburro means stuffed with mozzarella cheese and pork ham.
Where to find the best arancini in Palermo
📍Bar Italico (our top pick)
Bar Italico is located on the port promenade of the city, about 15 minute walk from the train station. The arancina at Bar Italico is mouthwatering. Overfilled and well cooked, the breading outside is thin but crunchy, and most importantly, the rice is yello as tradition dictates. The arancina a’ccarne is unbeatable.
📍Bar Touring in Via Lincoln 15 (the legendary bomb arancini)
This place is an institution for arancina lovers in Palermo. Their legendary “arancina bomba” has stuffed Palermitan bellies for ages. It’s huge! If you are hungry and wanna get a memorable Instagram shot to shock your followers, Bar touring is where you wanna go.
📍Da Mimì di Guglielmo Damiano (the authentic recipe)
5 minute walk from the Cathedral of Palermo, this friggitoria serves without any doubts one of the best arancini in Palermo. Totally unknown by tourists and still not very popular among all Palermitans, Luciano and his mum make authentic miracles in the kitchen. This is also the only place in town where you will find the original arancina recipe, which means without tomato at all!
Well…there is another place downtown that keeps the secrets of the authentic arancina’s recipe. Come join our Palermo street food tour . We are frying the best arancini in Palermo just for you!
📍Bar Marocco (in front of the cathedral)
The arancina a’bburro of Bar Marocco is probably the best arancini that you can find around the touristy area of the city center. The phone wire of the mozzarella makes you wanna call Mum to say “Mum, I am happy”. Take a sit in front of the Cathedral to enjoy the beautiful architecture and let your taste buds make love with the tasty rice!
📍Ke Palle (for vegetarians)
In the past 10 years many shops specialized in arancini opened up downtown giving vegetarians the chance to savor this delicious Sicilian street food. Honestly speaking, we would not have an arancina in any of these places except one: Ke Palle. Located 5 minutes away from the opera house Teatro Massimo, Ke Palle brought to the market a wide variety of arancine. You can get arancine with fish, vegs, pistachio and many more. Our favorite is Arancina alla norma with eggplant, tomato and smoked ricotta cheese. Worth to try!
📍Bar Turistico (along the coast half way to Mondello beach)
The bar Turistico have conquered the heart of Palermitans for few years now. It’s not only about the arancina itself but also about the location. Palermitan foodies get an arancina take away a go eat it at the little port of Acquasanta (right opposite). We do prefer their arancina a’bburro over the one with carne.
📍Touring Cafè (Mondello beach)
If you are planning to spend a day in Mondello, the Touring Cafè will play its part in making you happy at lunch time. Try their delicious arancine with mozzarella and ham. You won’t regret it.
Sicilian Arancini are highly addicting. If you eat too many arancini you become what Sicilians call an arancina chi peri which means a walking arancini! LOL!
This article has been written by Marco, the founder of Streaty tours, born and raised in Palermo.