/S Francesco Sucks & Other Palermo Observations

S Francesco Sucks & Other Palermo Observations


Yesterday I got an email that read, “Hi Katie, I found you via a posting about food in Palermo on Chowhound. Thanks for the tips! You mentioned that ‘S Francesco sucks’. It was recommended to me by the Sicily expert on TripAdvisor. I was disappointed to read that it sucked.” I laughed. It sounded as though I had blasphemed the stigmatized saint from Assisi. It wasn’t poor St. Francis I was condemning, but the vomitous Antica Focacceria di San Francesco in Palermo.

For some unknown reason, some people (including so-called Palermo experts) recommend this vile establishment that serves soggy overpriced street food to tourists who don’t know any better. For the real deal, there are so many other great options. I have already posted on street food in Palermo in the past, but I will reiterate here: the best food in Palermo is the cheapest. Fresh, light, fried snacks eaten on the go are where it’s at. For a posh meal head to Catania or Siracusa and slum it when you are in the street food capital of Italy.

You can find more of my snide comments (and occasionally even some helpful dining info) posted to Chowhound here.

2016-01-09T13:33:01+00:00 September 10th, 2009|Categories: Carbs, Gastronomic Traditions, Sweets & Dessert|9 Comments


  1. Conchita Vecchio September 10, 2009 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    I can only wholeheartedly agree with what Katie says. I live in Palermo and can assure you that the aforementioned eatery is really only thriving on a reputation it has created to rake in tourists based on reasons that have nothing to do with the culinary. They pride themselves on the fact that they have spoken out against organized crime, but the fact remains that their prices for so-called “street food” should be indeed illegal!

  2. Katie September 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    Conchita you crack me up! And you are right. That “no pizzo” publicity stunt hasn’t worked on us. that place is terrible. Cant wait to get some REAL street food with you soon!

  3. Peter @ italyMONDO! September 11, 2009 at 9:41 am - Reply

    “For some unknown reason, some people (including so-called Palermo experts) recommend this vile establishment that serves soggy overpriced street food to tourists who don’t know any better.”

    Thank God for the unbiased, tell-it-like-it-is Italian Blogosphere! We’re here to set the record straight 😉

    As for eating in Sicily, food lovers should definitely try to make it to Trapani… or Ragusa. Two truly fantastic food cities.

    Up a little farther in boot? Campobasso, believe it or not, has one of the best concentration of world-class eateries in the lower half of Italy!

  4. Megan September 11, 2009 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Totally agree- I do acknowledge the historical importance of the place itself but any attempt to sanitize (read: actually eating at tables and high prices) Palermitan street food is beyond me. I would much rather go to the guys who fry panelle on the side of the highways! At least there you know you are getting the real thing- not a watered down, faux bohemian experience. My father in law fondly remembers the stands that dotted the road out the airport that would sell the best sfincione in the city…ah, those were the days. I do, however, like Spinnato. Even though it has branched off into franchise-type operations the quality has remained high.

  5. Tom September 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Katie: Just a side note…because the word
    “sucks ” is in the title of your post, my partner cannot access your site from his work computer; the firewalls at his place of employment have blocked your site as being “pornographic!” I think this is a hoot, but it’s a shame he can’t enjoy your latest posts. I guess he’ll just have to wait until he gets home!

  6. Katie September 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Tom that is hilarious. i always thought of parlafood.com as food porn but now it’s official.

  7. […] suffice it to say that you can eat better out of a gutter everywhere else. I’ve dedicated a brief post to my […]

  8. Ryan August 12, 2017 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Hey Katie,

    I am Canadian and have lived in Palermo for 5 months now, and I can’t believe I found your post about S.Francesco. It is brutal, a total tourist trap complete with taxi’s shuttling families in and out. Probably the worst arancina and croché I’ve had since I’ve been here. The place itself is obviously nice inside, and the Piazza is beautiful, but the food stinks. Keep up the good work!

  9. willem December 9, 2018 at 3:40 am - Reply

    This is so true. This place deserves a ban. Big trap in a wonderful city.

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