The third-largest city in Sicily, Messina is located on the eastern end of the island. With a rich history and elegant architecture, it is a must-visit destination for anyone who visits this beautiful Italian island. We pick the best spots here for a bite to eat after sightseeing.
Inspired by the name of the sword of Roland, a hero of medieval romance, La Durlindana is located in the heart of Messina, behind the local courtroom and some 300 meters away from the Duomo. Housed in a wonderful villa named Villa Luna, this restaurant will guarantee a perfect atmosphere to anyone who likes comfort and style. They specialize in local seafood as well as Sicilian wines.
Situated in central Messina, Ristorante Piero has been a household name in the city for 50 years. It specializes in grilled dishes, seafood and fresh fish caught daily, with traditional Sicilian recipes coming up here and there in the menu. It also offers a diverse buffet of entrées as well as an elegant setting where customers can enjoy the quality of the food and the cordiality of the staff. For those who are looking for some extra innovation, Ristorante Piero also boasts some sashimi dishes.
With a professional front of house, Trattoria La Sirena will enable any tourist to enjoy a friendly meal in a great atmosphere and a lovely setting. Located halfway between Lago di Ganzirri and the sea, this restaurant gives travelers a different view of the island while still enjoying sea breezes. The menu comprises local seafood in wonderful Sicilian dishes that never lack freshness and quality.
Located near the local theatre, I Ruggeri is a boutique restaurant with an elegant décor and an enchanting atmosphere. It serves great quality food served with a particular attention to detail. The menu is largely Mediterranean but not exclusively Italian, with influences from the Far East and European countries. The chef, Franco Ruggeri, organizes his menu according to the seasons.
Located close to Messina’s port, La Tonnara is a restaurant specializing in fish and fresh seafood. The staff greet patrons as if they were members of the family and the atmosphere is a good reason to come here. The décor is simple but elegant and all the dishes are prepared with the best ingredients; best accompanied by local wines.
With a friendly, youthful staff buzzing with enthusiasm, Il Tagliere is a restaurant where customers are invited to enjoy a tagliere (Italian for “chopping board”). Chopping boards are good alternatives to dishes in Italy when it comes to serving cold meat, cheese or other genuine and authentic Italian finger food. So, expect oodles of olives, Parma ham, cheese et al.
A pitone is a Sicilian dish not too different from the inland panzerotto in that they are both small, fried calzoni with various fillings. La Pitoneria, as the name suggests, specializes in pitoni and boasts oodles of fillings and flavors, ranging from the classic with anchovies, tomatoes, and basil, to other more substantial combinations.
Located near a historical tower dating back to the 16th century and enjoying a breathtaking view of the Aeolian islands, L’Antica Torre is a restaurant with an enchanting atmosphere. Opened in 2010, it is popular with locals for its wood-fired pizzas (high praise), but there is also a good selection of Sicilian dishes on offer which vary according to the season. All the bread, pasta and desserts are home-made.
For those who are looking for a simple meal accompanied by a great beer, Birroteca Mercury is a fine choice. Located in the heart of Messina, it serves a diverse selection of beers, both imported from abroad and craft beers from the area. Foodwise, the burgers are huge and are made of quality meat and fresh local ingredients, but there is also a selection of sandwiches, paninis and piadine for those who want to keep closer to the Italian tradition.
When travelling to and around Italy, it is always important to bear in mind that authentic Italian food is most likely found in earthy, unassuming trattorias. Here, the décor is generally rustic and the food is exactly like that which Italians eat on a daily basis. Taverna San Paolo is one of the best trattorias in the area, and is certainly worth a visit when searching for the most authentic flavors of Messina.