Ciao travellers! After experiencing the beauty of Sicily, all that’s left to do is sit down and sample some of the typical dishes of the region. We are bringing all the flavours of this adventurous travel destination, the perfect antidote for everyday routines. One of the highlights of visiting Sicily is serving up delicious traditional meals and drinking a glass of Nero d’Avola wine (the most important red wine grape in this area). You should know that Sicilian cuisine is the most varied and fascinating of any Italian region.
From rustic trattorias, and pizzerias to fancy Michelin stars restaurants, Sicily has serious foodie credentials. Whatever you decide, though, you won’t be disappointed. So, where to have the best culinary experiences in Sicily? Below are 7 places to eat and drink incredibly well in Sicily. Let’s discover together!
Ristorante Quattro Mani
In terms of local delicacies, Ristorante Quattro Mani is a lovely modern restaurant with a sophisticated vibe and menu where you can taste dishes like pork with bittersweet pumpkin or sardine tempura starter. Located in Piazza Magione, all around there are green plants and the service and atmosphere of the restaurant are all equally exceptional. Also, very good value for money! All the products used are exclusively Sicilian, with the exception of some cornerstones of common eating, such as Parmigiano. It really embodies the flavours of the island. Don’t miss this fabulous location in the heart of Palermo.
When it comes to fine dining, L’Ottava Nota is definitely worth a visit! What more could you want out of a restaurant than delightful food, attentive service and lovely surroundings. The freshness and genuineness of each ingredient of each dish represent the basis of creating perfect plates. Try linguine pasta with broccoli, squids and sea urchin… is just to die for. If you are vegan, delight your senses with a serving of quinoa balls with raisins, pine nuts, smoked cheese, with beetroot yoghurt sauce. End your dinner with a glass of white wine – Catarratto and enjoy every moment spent here. You can reserve a table in advance if you are looking for a romantic experience with your loved one. Cheers!
La Cialoma Restaurant
Located in the fishing village of Marzamemi, La Cialoma is a charming seaside taverna with embroidered table cloths, turquoise-coloured wooden chairs and the freshest fish. No matter where you look, you’ll see picture-postcard views of Sicily all around. The menu changes every day because everything is fresh depending on the daily catch. On a typically scorching summer day, La Cialoma is the perfect spot for a delicious lunch under the white umbrellas with a splendid view over the sea. Also depending on the season, you can taste young tuna, a true delicacy for all of you. Excellence in simplicity! Don’t miss this place!
Dolceria Corrado Costanzo
Here, you’ll find the best ice cream in Sicily! Famous for its gelati, torrone (nougat), dolci di mandorla (almond sweets) and cassata (with ricotta, chocolate and candied fruit), you’ll experience some of the best desserts in this region. Another really cool thing is the fact that they make the “brioche con gelato” (gelato sandwich). Also, mandarin ice cream is just heavenly!
Tischi Toschi Restaurant Taormina
Located in Taormina, on Via F. Paladini 3, Tischi Toschi creates the perfect authentic atmosphere with its old-fashioned décor and excellent local ingredients. The name of this traditional trattoria is a reference to Sicilian emigrants who return home having forgotten their local language and traditional customs. But is certainly not the case here, where the food and the presentation are more than appetizing.
The prices are very friendly: 10 euros for antipasti, 12 euros for primi piatti, 15 euros for secondi, and 5 euros for dessert. We highly recommend trying Sarde a beccafico, sardines stuffed with pine nuts and fennel and served with lemon and orange… it’s so delicious! Also, big ravioli filled with ricotta and pecorino and topped with barely cooked tomatoes, parsley, and grated pecorino, is simply mouthwatering. Elegance and good taste characterize this beautiful place.
Casa del Brodo
In the old town centre of Palermo, you’ll found a lovely small restaurant, full of history and proper traditional food. The menu offered by Casa del Brodo is enriched with the skilfully harmonized tastes of the sea, with no recourse to anything that might affect wholesomeness and natural taste. Among the most requested courses is the frittella (broad beans, peas, artichokes and ricotta cheese), macco di fave (broad bean soup with fennel), casarecce (home pasta with sword-fish and aubergines, linguine con polpa di ricci (homemade pasta with sea urchin pulp), and Sicilian stuffed meat rolls… all of these tempting dishes are accompanied by the excellent wines stored in the restaurant cellar. Exquisite and friendly ambience! You can book your table online.
Al Fogher, Piazza Armerina
Authentic. Unexpected. Harmonious – Welcome to Al Fogher Restaurant, located in the heart of Sicily, in Piazza Armerina where the traditional specialities fuse with the sense of fine dining. The restaurant was made from an ancient railroad house placed on rail tracks actually removed, bringing people from Dittaino Station to Caltagirone. In a friendly and relaxing ambient, you can taste some of the best dishes of Sicilian cuisine.
For a gourmet treat like sliced wild salmon lying over a cantaloupe coulis and strawberries bed with its salad – it’s good value for money. Also, if you arrived here, tell the waitress to bring you a portion of rabbit in bread crust with figs and cherry compote accompanied with a bottle of Nerello Mascalese wine. Feels like a great big hug on your plate!
Another good thing is that you can read online its own wine and spirits list. Soon you will be able to choose and reserve in advance the bottle to enjoy your meal.
Sicilian food is a real mixed bag – a fusion cuisine that’s influenced by French, Arabic and North African settlers. Don’t leave Sicily without trying…
Caponata: It is said that caponata is one of the peaks of Sicilian cooking. Made from stewed Mediterranean vegetables, this dish has an intense taste that will delight all of your senses. There are about 10 different kinds of caponata and everyone has a different recipe using the vegetables that are available, but cooked aubergines are always at the base. Serve it with rosemary focaccia bread. So yummy!
Gattò di patate: The combination of mashed potatoes enriched with eggs, butter and grated cheese will leave you speechless. Also, there are countless variants: ragout and peas, sauce and fried eggplant, ricotta and ham, cheese and mortadella, vegetarian with broccoli sauce and provolone. But, the only secret stays in potatoes: must be transformed into a delicious yellow pasta with boiled eggs.
Spaghetti ai ricci: Have you ever eaten sea urchins? In Italy, they are called ricci and considered a delicacy for all nationalities. The chef doesn’t cook the sea urchins, they are mixed with hot spaghetti at the time of serving for an indescribable aroma. It’s a little bit expensive, but that’s because it takes about 15 sea urchins for one portion of pasta.
Pasta alla Norma: One of the most famous classic Sicilian dishes, pasta alla Norma is an appetizing combination of eggplant, tomato sauce and salted ricotta. Named after an opera written by Puccini, this local dish isn’t hard to make it, but all the vegetables used must have an amazing texture full of flavours and colours in your bowl. Put some basil over the pasta and be ready to pamper your senses.
Granita: After all these special delicacies, a granita is welcome! On a hot summer day, this semi-frozen dessert made from sugar is the perfect refreshment for anyone. Can be found all over Italy with different flavours like almond, coffee, lemon or watermelon.
Cassata siciliana: Born in Palermo, cassata is a traditional sweet decorated with candied fruits, pistachios, and ricotta. It’s consumed in the cold seasons and it’s covered with a shell of marzipan, and decorative designs for a unique taste. The traditional shape of this dessert is made in the form of a rectangle, square, or box.
Frutta Martorana: Wherever you’ll go, you’ll find these exquisite marzipan sweets which are perfectly reproducing vegetables and fruits. After 500 years from their invention, they appear in almost every Sicilian pastry-shops window. What’s the legend? In the Middle Ages, the nuns were waiting for an esteemed visitor: the Archbishop of Palermo. Being early November, the front garden was empty, without any kind of flowers or leaves in the trees. So, they decided to sculpt fruits from marzipan and hang them from the trees to impress their guest. Everybody was so excited and since then, the Frutta Martorana has become famous throughout all the region.
Each region of Sicily has its own influence from the Arabs, Greeks, Spanish and French settlers contributing to the unique Sicilian taste. From a variety of pasta and dishes teeming with sardines, tuna, anchovies and prawns to stewed vegetables, cheeses and sweet ice cream, it is impossible to forget the amazing cucina siciliana. Hope we’ve awakened your appetite and you are ready to prepare your luggage for a truly gourmet experience right here in Sicily! The secret ingredient is always good company and a glass of red wine. Don’t stress! Do your best! Forget the rest!
We are waiting for you in Sicily!