Best street food in Venice: El Pecador

December 04, 2019
Camilla Feiffer
Tour leader @
Venice Urban Adventures

Just a stone’s throw from the beach, El Pecador enjoys an enviable location on Lido Island. The unusual thing about this place is that it’s a 1960’s London bus. It’s the perfect place for a quick foodie pit stop, not to mention one of the most popular street food vendors on the Venetian islands.

Loud music? Check. Colourful lighting? Yup. Features like these give this place an evocative vibe, making it a popular meeting place, especially for young people out enjoying the nightlife. Staff here are super-fast to prepare your food. And while you might have to wait a tiny bit longer on a Friday or Saturday night, the servers here are always welcoming and great fun.

El Pecador has been in business for around 25 years. They offer a huge selection of panino, all made using the freshest, local ingredients. And here’s a fun fact – many of the dishes on offer here have been given unusual names. Their most famous panini is the ‘Te Spiego’, which translates to ‘I’ll Tell You’. It’s made with brie, bacon, eggs, arugula and pink sauce – and we can safely say that this panini is a triumph of both taste and colour!

‘Toni’ is made with tuna sauce, lettuce, mozzarella and tomato, while ‘Bombardo’ (which literally means ‘the bomb’) is filled with cheese, tomato, lettuce, eggs, onions and ground meat. ‘El Pecador’ (‘the sinner’) has bacon, stacchino (soft) cheese, eggs, tomato and lettuce.

Each year, El Pecador introduces new menu choices. 2019 is the year of ‘Ingorgo’, which means ‘Greedy’ – it includes double meat of your choice (chicken, sausage, steak or bacon) accompanied by lettuce, caramelised onions, cheddar, nachos and guacamole. Another new addition is ‘Carlitos’, which contains pork, cream cheese, zucchini, salt and mustard.

Vegetarian options include the ‘Stracologico’ with stracchino and grilled vegetables or ‘Basegò’ (basil), with tomato, mozzarella, olive oil – and, of course, basil.

Since El Pecador is only open during the summer months, the locals often choose to stick with their favourite choices, rather than trying something different. And apart from the ‘Ingordo’ which costs €9, all other options are just €7.

Tempted? You should be. Best of all, if you want to ‘eat in’, you can enjoy your panini on the benches at the front of the bus, or on the upper floor of the bus itself. This is a real novelty, and you’ll be able to enjoy the added bonus of spectacular views of the Adriatic Ocean, too.

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