Ballarò Historical Market, Palermo

The historic Ballarò market is another of the three markets in the wider center of Palermo, which is definitely worth a visit. Compared to the Vucciria and del Capo markets, Ballarò is the largest. The market spans several streets and features a wide variety of fruit, vegetable, sweets, and especially street food vendors.

Fish seller at the historic Ballarò market

Local vendors shout in a specific way and try to sell their goods. As soon as you visit any market in Palermo or Catania, you will immediately recognize this custom, called abbaniata. Sellers outshout each other, trying to sell their goods or at least draw attention to themselves.

Little children enjoying grilled lamb strips

At one of the many vegetable stalls, you can watch little children enjoying one of the Sicilian delicacies – grilled lamb strips called stigghiola.

Boiled octopus

At another stall, it is immediately clear that you can try octopus here. They are boiled right at the market in a large pot, and the seller will gladly cut them into small pieces, which are incredibly tender.

Chopped fruit

At another stall, you can buy a mix of chopped fruit, while a grandmother standing nearby offers freshly squeezed orange or pomegranate juice.

Woman frying chickpea patties in oil

A woman standing nearby fries chickpea patties in a large pot of oil and invites you to her stall, where she has many types of food on display.

Raw shrimp

During my visit to the historic Ballarò market, I couldn’t resist the fresh raw shrimp. The saleswoman peeled the shrimp right in front of me, drizzled it with a little lemon, olive oil, and seasoned it with an unknown spice mix. The raw shrimp were great, tasting slightly sweet. The portion cost 3 EUR.

Freshly caught oysters

At the same stall, I couldn’t miss the oysters freshly caught from the sea.

Opened oyster

The lady opened the oyster right in front of me, cleaned it, and drizzled it with freshly squeezed lemon juice. One oyster also cost 3 EUR.

Baked sheep's ricotta

And I finished my breakfast with baked sheep’s ricotta from the Sicilian town of Corleone with marmalade, honey, and pistachios for 3.50 EUR.

Bon appétit!

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