Whenever I travel, I always try to find one place off the beaten path that has consistently positive online reviews. While visiting Sarasota, I kept coming across reviews for Piccolo Italian Market and Deli and knew I had to give it a try. One visit and I can see why everyone loves the place so much.
Piccolo Italian Market
The first thing I noticed when walking in was the friendly atmosphere. Piccolo's is truly a neighborhood market where locals who know the food scene go to eat. As we were eating I couldn't help but pay attention to the conversations between the staff and patrons. Most of the diners were regular customers that had good relationships with the staff. That alone speaks volumes.
I visited Picollo Italian Market and Deli with my two sons, ages 4 and 2, while we were on vacation in Siesta Key. The deli is kid friendly and offers a good selection of sandwiches to satisfy any kid. My boys started out with ham and cheese subs.
While they were happy with the sandwich, I was delighted to find out that my younger son likes calamari! On Fridays, Piccolo Italian Market and Deli serves fresh seafood specials. Hand breaded calamari was the special of the day while we were there and it was perfect. It was crispy and fresh. I still can't believe it was so good that my 2 year old even loved it.
I love that the calamari came with both small octopi and rings. It makes it much more fun and enjoyable to eat when you get to choose between the two.
The sandwich menu is a delight too. With so many warm and cold sandwiches to choose from, it was hard to pick. I asked the owner what he liked the best and he recommended The Godfather, a cold sandwich with Italian prosciutto, hot capicollo, Genoa salami, hot sopressata, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, oil & vinegar and topped with hot giardiniera. Every bite was flavorful.
Piccolo Italian Market and Deli is more than just a place to stop in for a bite. You can also buy fresh pasta, sliced deli meat, Italian groceries, and order a pizza. We enjoyed walking around the small market area while we waited for our food.
Italian may not be on your mind when visiting a beach destination like Sarasota, but Piccolo Italian Market should be on your list of places to eat. It's a hidden gem that locals love. Stop in for a bite to eat, or swing by for some authentic Italian groceries. Make sure to stop by on a Friday if you can so you can take advantage of the Friday seafood specials!