On the Road: a Food-Lover's Guide to Italy's Amalfi Coast

Soak up Italy's stunning views during breakfast on a road trip around the Amalfi Coast
Soak up Italy's stunning views during breakfast on a road trip around the Amalfi Coast | Courtesy of Hotel Santa Caterina / Expedia
Photo of Nick Dauk
20 September 2021

Eat your way through Italy on this grand tour of coastal towns, ticking off Michelin-starred restaurants, age-old vineyards and cooking schools along the way.

There’s no doubt the Amalfi Coast’s shoreline is one of the world’s best road trips – its opulent cliffside buildings only rivalled by their incredible views and amazing food. But despite the grandeur of its infinity-edge hotels and poised places to stay, you don’t need to bust your budget to fill your belly in this iconic holiday hotspot thanks to family-run trattorias and charming coastal cucinas serving local bufala mozzarella, limoncello and seafood. From hungry honeymooners to gourmet travellers, here’s how to eat well while road-tripping through Italy’s most-coveted coast.

Start off by sampling Salerno

Hotel Montestella, Salerno

4.2/5 (392 Reviews)
Hotel Montestella, Salerno
Courtesy of Hotel Montestella / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $83 per night
Start your road trip in Salerno and spend days eating your way through the local specialties of this port city near Naples, using the Hotel Montestella as your base. The restaurants and trattorias surrounding your room will guide you on a journey through the Campania region’s cuisine, past and present, via plates of anchovy-packed colatura pasta and torta ricotta e pere (pear tart). With the marina only a block away, all you have to do is follow your nose to discover seafood caught that very day.
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Pizzaria Criscemunno

Pizzeria, Italian, $$$
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Before you fill your stomach with a boatload of fresh seafood, it’s obligatory to have at least one slice of pizza during your Italian stay. You’ll taste the past, present and future of the Amalfi Coast in every slice at Criscemunno. Once a 17th-century convent, the building served as a bread oven in the early 1900s before evolving once more into this artisan restaurant. Hand-selected local ingredients, classic recipes and innovative creations await you in the historical centre of Salerno.

Reach for the stars in Ravello

Palazzo Avino, Ravello

4.9/5 (16 Reviews)
Courtesy Palazzo Avino
Courtesy of Palazzo Avino
Though sitting under the Ravello night sky is unapologetically romantic, the foodies among your group will only care about one star: the Michelin star at their restaurant. Not only will you treat your taste buds with one of the best meals in Italy, but you’ll also feast your eyes on the incredible picturesque fishing villages that wade below the cliffside. Better still, all suites at the Palazzo Avino have sea views from either terraces or balconies.
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Profumi della Costiera

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Made from Amalfi Coast lemons, the eminently sippable citrus liqueur of limoncello is a sensory experience – and there’s no better place to smell, taste and feel this locally loved drink than at Profumi della Costiera. This distillery unlocks the history of the ancient Amalfi Coast PGI lemon and bottles it for your portable pleasure. Sample the fresh aroma and pack one for the road.

Marvel at mozzarella in Amalfi

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  • Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi

    4.6/5 (319 Reviews)
    Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi
    Courtesy of Hotel Santa Caterina / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $60 per night
    It’s not that the light and airy suites of Hotel Santa Caterina aren’t supremely comfortable – it’s just that, after one hour of drinks in their outdoor Mediterranean dining room, you’ll hardly want to leave this sun-kissed terrace. Planning on spending the day swimming in the sea water-filled pool at the hotel’s Beach Club? You won’t miss out on good eats: Restaurant Al Mare has fresh grilled fish and light snacks at the ready.
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    La Tramontina

    Sandwich Shop, Italian
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    Enter the oh-so soft and scrumptious world of bufala mozzarella at La Tramontina. For more than 70 years, this farm and dairy has produced Italy’s most famous cheese from buffalo’s milk, an ancient process that’s been perfected since 1952 and today dips every bite of their cheese in tradition. If you’ve yet to taste the artisanal cheese, head to the Piazza dei Dogi sandwich shop in Amalfi for the best take-away lunch of your life.

    Pause for views in Positano

    Le Sirenuse, Positano

    4.8/5 (121 Reviews)
    Le Sirenuse, Positano
    Courtesy of Le Sirenuse / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $897 per night
    The owners of celebrated hotel Le Sirenuse know that Positano will find a special place in your heart, especially after they introduce you to the foods that locals love. You’ll wake to sunlight streaming through soft white cotton curtains and look out to the sea from your window. It’ll be difficult to wait until dinner for a spectacular dish of pasta al pomodoro. Thankfully, Le Surenuse’s three bars will keep your stomach at bay with fresh oysters and negronis.
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    Bar Il Tridente

    Bar, Restaurant, Cocktails
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    Perfect Amalfi Coast views should never be out of your sightline, which is one of the reasons why Il Tridente cocktail bar is a fantastic place to sip and stare. Talented bartenders will never leave your glass empty, and the chef will prepare plate after plate of delicious appetisers to nibble on so you’ll never have to stop gazing at the horizon. As the sun starts to set, candles are lit and dinner at the adjacent restaurant is impossible to refuse.

    School up on cooking in Sorrento

    Maison La Minervetta, Sorrento

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    Maison La Minervetta, Sorrento
    Courtesy of Maison La Minervetta / Expedia
    Maison La Minervetta is your gateway to exploring Sorrento. Only a 15-minute walk from the historic centre and featuring a private staircase that leads to the Marina Grande fishing village, you’ll be tempted to leave the blue-hued decor of your guest room the moment you wake up. Your appetite will agree, so hang out until morning breakfast is served. This fresh Mediterranean brunch tastes best when gazing at the sea from the hotel’s terrace.

    Tirabuscio Cooking School

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    Take a few Italian recipes home with you after an afternoon spent at Tirabuscio Cooking School. You’ll choose from three menu options: a typical Sorrento meal featuring Caprese salad and eggplant parmigiana, a seafood menu with mussels and clams caught in the Bay of Naples, or a pizza class with a lemon-cake dessert. As you cook, you’ll sample local wine, olive oil and limoncello while listening to Neapolitan posteggia (street musicians).

    Drink in the best of Capri

    Hotel Villa Brunella, Capri

    Luxury, Hotel
    4.7/5 (130 Reviews)
    Hotel Villa Brunella, Capri
    Courtesy of Hotel Villa Brunella / Expedia
    Open-air living rooms and sea-facing private terraces make Hotel Villa Brunella one of the best hotels on the island of Capri for hungry travellers. The hand-painted majolica tiles and in-room massage treatments are spectacular touches, too – though most overnighters agree it’s the rooftop Terrazza Brunella restaurant that takes the cake. Candle-lit tables, soft music, delicious ravioli Capresi and romantic views of Capri’s shoreline twinkling below set the mood for an unforgettable dinner at the tail-end of your trip.
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    These recommendations were updated on September 20, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Nick Dauk

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