A Guide to the Top Granita Bars in Catania, Italy

Aubrey Martin

In Sicily, you will never have a shortage of delicious treats, pastries, and ice cream varieties to choose from when craving something sweet. Yet one of the most traditional and token desserts known to Sicily is granita. A must-try indulgence that differs from regular ice cream, italian ice, or the more famous Italian delicacy, gelato. Granita has been a Sicilian delicacy for centuries; while the rest of Italy may imitate this incomparable cuisine, to find it in its truest is form, you must visit Sicily. Produced in an array of unique and enticing flavors, granita provides a delectable snack for everyone and Catania serves it up in tons. Follow our guide to the best places to stop in and try this distinctive and cultural refreshment.

1. Pasticceria Savia

Bakery, Cafe, Ice Cream Parlour, Patisserie, Pastry Shop, Dessert, Italian, Ice Cream, Pastries

Raspberry Granita
©Andreas Ivarsson/Flickr

Located on the bustling street of Via Etnea, sandwiched between the spires of historic buildings, glamorous retail stores, you will find this bar constantly abuzz. Stationed directly across from the idyllic entrance to Giardino Bellini Park, you can enjoy sitting in the Sicilian sun outside or within their ornate and elaborate interior. Savia has made a name crafting mouthwatering granita served with their fluffy brioche since 1987. A combination of beautiful street level sites of the city and park, getting to observe the daily lives of locals as they refuel at lunch time, and serving up some of the most scrumptious granita in all of Catania.

2. Pasticceria Privitera 1945

Bakery, Bar, Cafe, Ice Cream Parlour, Patisserie, Ice Cream, Italian, Mediterranean

Granita con brioscia
©rollopack/Wikicommons

Away from the crowded network of streets and shops, Pasticceria Privitera sits within an intersection beside Piazza Santa Maria di Gesu. A quieter square located near the Zoological Museum and University of Catania, canopied by leafy trees and with the sound of a nearby water fountain trickling between the traffic, this cafeteria style bar is a local treasure. Once you wade through the locals, you’ll approach the order counter to marvel at the heaps of traditional meals and desserts they create and rotate daily. After dining on some creamy gnocchi or pasta alla norma, their granita is the perfect dessert. Select one of their seasonal flavours, between nocciola, pistachio, fragola, or coffee. They will heap on a pile of freshly made whipped cream, and you have the option of eating it wedged between their soft warm brioche bun, or from a small glass goblet.

3. Pasticceria Mantegna

Cafe, Cocktail Bar, Ice Cream Parlour, Patisserie, Restaurant, Italian, Ice Cream, Pastries, Dessert

Granita di Limone
©yashima/Flickr

Back on Via Etnea, a few blocks down from the Giardino Bellini is the charming Mantegna Pastry shop. Having lived at that location for over sixty years, this establishment is well known to locals and tourists alike. Besides their incredible cannolis, Sicilian cassata, cassatelle, and cakes, they have some of the freshest handmade granita around. Carefully selected ingredients and local fruits combine to make this unique dessert. The smooth and creamy delicacy is often a meal for breakfast or lunch for locals here. Mantegna has mastered the original method of combining fresh fruit, nuts, or coffee with water and sugar, combined with the consistency of stirring for unparalleled texture.

4. Caffe Europa

Bakery, Bar, Cafe, Ice Cream Parlour, Patisserie, Italian, Mediterranean, Ice Cream, Dessert, Pastries

Granita brioche
©Sebastian Fischer/WikiCommons

Renowned as one of the leaders in pastry, cake, and granita production, Caffe Europa is an elegant and innovative establishment in Catania. Serving up traditional almond, coffee, and lemon flavours as well as some of their own delicious concoctions, Caffe Europa does it right. While enjoying your dessert you can browse through their colourful library, or relax in their charming tea room. They have mastered ancient recipes and traditions as well as incorporating their own zesty flavours and ideas into their work. Located in an industrial section of the city, and just a few short strides away from the sea, it is a perfect space to peoplewatch, recharge and continue on your day of exploring.

5. Ernesto

Bakery, Bar, Cafe, Ice Cream Parlour, Patisserie, Italian, Mediterranean, Ice Cream, Pastries, Dessert

Sweet Granita
©Creative Commons/MaxPixel

Whether you’re looking to cool down or craving something to satisfy your late night sweet tooth, the granita served at this chic bar and café will do just that. Located on a busy corner and bordered by the sea, this stylish venture is a pleasure to dine at. Enjoy beautiful vistas of the Mediterranean and the surrounding city, and peoplewatch as you lap up this delicious, icy treat. Meticulously selected ingredients, fast and friendly service, and original and trendy recipes perfectly match this cool yet classic space. Choose whichever seasonal flavour they are currently creating and you will not be disappointed.

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