Catania is the largest city in Sicily after Palermo and is located on the east coast. Locals here know that good food is an essential part of life, from arancini rice balls, to pizza and fried chickpea polenta. Here are the 10 hotspots in the city that you have to try.
Osteria Antica Marina
Osteria Antica Marina is situated between Piazza Duomo and the Walls of Charles V, in an area of the city where fish and seafood restaurants are popular. The décor is somewhat rustic, the atmosphere is timeless and authentic, redolent of old times and good traditions. Fish dishes are the mainstay, as evidenced by the large boat-come-fish tank in the dining room. Customers can either choose à la carte or they can select one of the set menus on offer.
Il Pizzorantino is part of the Hotel Villa Paradiso Etna and is open only at weekends. It serves delicious pizzas with locally sourced ingredients; all of them drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, topped with oregano, and made from slow-risen dough that gives a heavenly crust.
Licciardello Fish Away
As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in fish dishes. These can be enjoyed either at one of the tables or can be taken away and eaten on-the-go. There’s also a selection of pre-prepared meals on offer to customers looking to eat in the comfort of their own home. Just drop in, pick from the seafood-rich menu and cook it in your own time.
This casual spot boasts pizzoli: a sort of pizza sandwich packed with classic and unusual fillings and toppings (the pistachio one is sublime). There are menus in English too, but guests should really let the aromas do the talking when choosing what to have in their bread. Expect oodles of local hams, cheeses, Italian artichokes and fresh veg to boot.
Al Tortellino is regarded even by locals as the home of home-made pasta. Expect penne and tagliatelle paired with egg plant and real buffalo mozzarella and a host of other local veg. Al Tortellino also serves pizza, a wide variety of Italian panini sandwiches, salads and fish dishes, all at low prices and in a welcoming atmosphere.
Mé Cumpari Turiddu
Cumpare was once a jovial moniker used to greet customers in the Sicilian vernacular, and it seems as if the folk at Mé Cumpari Turiddu have continued in the vein that their name implies. Aside from the friendly atmosphere and warm Italian welcome though, patrons here can expect a range of Mediterranean fish and seafood dishes, served up in an al fresco garden during the warmer months.
Il Timo Gourmet
Il Timo Gourmet is part of the Sheraton Hotel in Catania and boasts a modern, stylish decor and one experienced executive chef, Saverio Piazza. An expert of locally sourced food and a master of reinventing traditions in order to create dishes at once contemporary and classic, the flavors that issue forth from his kitchen here rarely fail to impress.
Km.0 originated from the passion and ideals of two brothers, who converted their grandfather’s forge into a restaurant. The focus is on locally-sourced ingredients: in fact, each and every ingredient they use comes from the area. The quality of the dishes is of paramount importance, while the overarching philosophy is towards traditional, earthy Sicilian recipes and flavors.
Trattoria Catania Ruffiana
For travellers searching central Catania for an authentic taste of rustic and traditional Sicilian cuisine, Trattoria Catania Ruffiana on Via Aloi is the perfect spot. Hidden behind a small and unassuming entrance, this earthy, home-cooking eatery specialises in recreating the island flavors of old. Expect oodles of Mediterranean fish and seafood dishes, plucked straight from the waters around the island.
Pizzeria Bella Napoli
Whether you are looking for a delivery pizza to enjoy from the comfort of your accommodation, or fancy a classic Neapolitan pie before hitting the beach, Pizzeria Bella Napoli has just the thing. With bargain prices as low as €1 for a pizza, this really is southern Italian value at its best. Expect crispy bases and oodles of locally sourced toppings to boot.
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