Padua has a very interesting and various food tradition. Starting from local dishes, like the typical tramezzini and Spritz, to the traditional osterie.
Linked to the seasonality of its products, Veneto’s cuisine is simple and rustic. Among the products to try: radicchio trevisano, Bassano del Grappa’s white asparagus and the Montagnana ham; all great ways to have a taste of Veneto.
Walking down the streets of Padua, you might be surprised at the many shops selling quality food like cheese, wine, meat and vegetables. Start your food tour with a slice of Montagnana ham, perfect to be eaten with melon or figs or with soppressa vicentina, a typical salami to eat zabaione with bread or with polenta and mushrooms.
But one of the food landmarks of Veneto’s cuisine is Polenta. You can find it in every restaurant of Padua and it’s used as an accompaniment to meat or sliced.
Padua has also a great fish tradition, based on the Venitian food legacy. Among typical dishes you can find scallops, small crabs, octopus with pesto and sardines. The best way to try these foods is to enter in an osteria or in a Venice Bacari and taste it in spunciotti (or spuncetti or cichetti),small dishes very similar to Spanish tapas.
7 Foods to Try Once in Padua
- Bigoli: the most traditional pasta is bigoli, a thicker spaghetti-like fresh pasta. This is usually prepared with meat sauce, duck sauce or anchovy sauce.
- White asparagus: during spring time, this is the “king” of Veneto’s cuisine, typical from Bassano. There are many ways to try it: with rice, lasagna or with eggs. Try it also with a good glass of Breganze Vespaiolo, a white wine with a very fresh taste.
- Radicchio trevisano: a dark red radicchio with a delicate and bitter taste. The best way to try it is with risotto, or simply grilled and seasoned with salt and oil.
- Baccalà alla vicentina: this is probably the most famous dish of Veneto. The cod used for this is prepared by bathing the fish for few days and cooking it on a slow fire with onion, milk and oil. It is often served with polenta and ate as a single dish.
- Fegato alla veneziana: a delicious plate of liver cut into slices and cooked with onion, salt and pepper.
- Zaletti: rustic biscuits prepared with yellow corn flour and sugar.
- Festival sweets: from the famous Pandoro di Verona, this Christmas sweet is now exported all over the world. Try the fritoe, white flour fritters with eggs, sugar and oil fries, often stuffed with vanilla or eggnog cream: so tasty!