What are Spiedies?

Binghamton is the pits … and that’s not an insult. Our barbecue pits come in handy when grilling up spiedes, Greater Binghamton’s signature contribution to the culinary world. Spiedes (pronounced speedies) are marinated cubes of meat cooked on a skewer and typically served up in a long roll.

They’re delicious.

Imported as a delicacy from Italy, it’s widely believed that spiedies are strictly a Greater Binghamton phenomenon. It’s widely known that they are a phenomenal meaty treat. Originally restricted to lamb, today’s spiedies are created from lamb, pork, chicken, veal, venison, and beef.

Now, let’s go get a bite.

For decades, the word “spiedies” (based on the Italian word for “spit”) has been synonymous with “Lupo.” The Lupo family pretty much blazed the trail for the upstate delicacy and continues to serve up top-notch sandwiches at Lupo’s S & S Char Pit. With spiedies, it’s all about the marinade and Lupo’s has become the standard-bearer with its sauce.

The Spiedie and Rib Pit has grown into a go-to for Binghamton’s favorite sandwich for more than 20 years. What makes it so unique? The Pit is home to the “Spiedie Specialty,” which essentially turns the marinated meat into a canvas for gourmet toppings. Buffalo wings, Greek fare and Ceasar-style chicken inspire just a few of the unique flavors. Widely regarded as the best spiedie spot in the tri-city area, the Pit obligates first-time visitors to give it a try.

Of course the ultimate spiedie celebration is the annual Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally. More than 100,000 come out each summer to watch majestic hot-air vessels rise and elevate their taste buds as well.

There are plenty of must-eats (and drinks) in Greater Binghamton for adventurous palates to sample. The self-proclaimed “best bar between 56 and 58 Court St.,” The Colonial is home to 21 beer taps and the 32-ounce Bloody Marge that includes mozzarella sticks, sliders, grilled cheese, bacon, wings and veggie skewer. No, we’re not kidding.

The Nezuntoz Café (pronounced “knees and toes”) is head and shoulders above your typical bagel joint. Local favorite Burger Mondays is notorious for serving up crazy portions and cranking out the area’s best meat-and-bun combinations. Top off your tasty travels at the cleverly named Czech Pleeze as well known for its desserts as it is for Eastern European cuisine.

But, if you’re going to eat one thing, make it a spiedies sandwich. Whether staying a few days or just passing through, you simply can’t leave town without grabbing the food that made Greater Binghamton famous.