I Cuochini is the ultimate antica rosticceria Palermitana; tucked away, but not forgotten, for nearly 200-years! This hidden gem is located in a small courtyard just off of the bustling shopping strip in Palermo’s centro storico. Still in its original location, I Cuochini is a tiny rosticceria or savory bakery that has been serving small “pezzi” in classic Palermo-style since 1826.
A rosticceria in Sicily is a place where you can buy hot food on the spot to be quickly eaten at the banco counter or taken away. Don’t expect sit down service or even proper plates and cutlery, most of their bites or small pezzi pieces are served in a napkin or as a sampling on a plastic plate. The prices are cheap, the quality is high, and I’ve never seen a more spotless kitchen inside one of these street food kiosks in all of our snacking history.
If it’s not already, we want to put I Cuochini on your radar. It’s a simple quick stop for a savory breakfast or a snack at lunchtime since they are open 6 days per week from 8:30AM until 2:30PM. Here’s what you’ll find in the window:
“panzerotti” - small fried calzones
The best ones are zucchini flowers with cheese or the mozzarella with cherry tomato and anchovy.
“timballetti” - fried bundles of angel hair pasta seasoned with meat ragu or béchamel and peas
“crocchettine di latte” - a carefully fried, savory mini milk crocchette made from bechamel with nutmeg
“pasticicini” - savory baked minced meat pies
“arancinette” - small arancine rice balls, stuffed with meat ragu and peas, or béchamel and cubes of cooked ham
“focaccine” and “brioscine” - a variety of small stuffed sandwich buns made with either pizza or brioche dough, then filled with local delicacies like chickpea fritters called “panelle”
Don’t sleep on the panzerotti or the timbaletti; they are the true treasures. Wash it all down with a cold Sicilian citrus soda called “Partannina”. Check out I Cuochini on Via Ruggero Settimo 68, just across from the Disney store and my favorite fresh flower stand.
I Cuochini, Via Ruggero Settimo 68, Palermo PA 90139
Saturday: 8:30AM-2:30PM and 4:30PM-7:30PM
closed on Sundays