The Ballarò street market in Palermo is one of those markets you should find randomly. The market is close to the Church of the Gesù (chiesa del Gesù), and like almost every destination in Palermo, getting to the Ballarò street market means making your way through narrow streets that gives you the feeling of being lost after two seconds.
After having visited the church for a dose of that good old Roman-Catholic display of guilt and self loathing, I knew that the market was around somewhere, and thus I started the aimless-but-no-so-aimless way of getting to know a city which I cherish so much.
Moving past some dodgy fellows sitting on their motorbikes staring at me for no reason, I saw something happening ahead. Good reason to pick up the pace and get past these Sicilian gangstas as fast as possible and get my hands on some food.
Under the impression that this market was chock full of street vendors making dishes on the go, the disappointment was unfortunately present when I saw that the market was more focuses on selling goods instead. It was still a great market for food souvenir shopping, so I picked up things like olives, chickpea flour, sun dried tomatoes and those kind of things.
But hold on. At the tail end of the market I spotted a stand making something fresh over the counter, and got mad excited when I saw that the guy was making porchetta sandwiches. Pretty awesome. The couple of hours spent at the market ended in a street bench right beside the stand, eating the juiciest porchetta sandwich the Ballarò Street Market had to offer.
I say the juiciest but I guess I mean the onliest. Maybe the market has more live food stands during the summer (I went in February), but sitting at a bench looking at kids play soccer and locals getting their daily food shopping done while sipping on a Moretti beer is so worth the experience.