The 6 Best Bars in Sicily, Italy

©Wine Dharma
Photo of Gillian McGuire
16 August 2017

The Italian version of happy hour is an entirely more stylish affair. All over Italy, early evening is aperitivo time and Sicily is no exception. What that means is having a glass of wine or a spritz and a small snack. You should also know that the aperitivo’s main purpose is to whet your appetite, so don’t fill up on all the lovely plates that often accompany your cocktail. These are some of the best bars in Sicily for an aperitivo.

Vespa Cafè

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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You will find this warm bar on a small street in a Palermo neighborhood that locals refer to as champagneria near the famous Sicilian landmarks Teatro Massimo and the Teatro dei Pupi. Images of Vespas and walls filled with bookshelves decorate the inviting space. The Vespa Cafe is famous for something called Apericena which is a more elaborate (and filling) aperitvo. The word is a combination of aperitvo plus cena, which means dinner. There is a good wine selection both by glass and bottle.

Timoleone Café

Bar, Cafe, Cocktail Bar, Italian, $$$
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Wooden crates filled to the brim the island’s famous citrus and brightly painted signposts with a fun list of cocktails create the holiday vibe that permeates this cafe in Taormina. Sit in a garden lush with greenery and flowers, while you choose between an Etna wine or a signature cocktail garnished with a flower. There are also craft beers on offer and a shisha section.

Cortile Verga

Bar, Cafe, Pub Grub, Italian, Vegan, $$$
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Tucked into a gorgeous plant filled courtyard in the already ridiculously pretty Ortiga come here for an elegant start to your evening. The extensive cocktail list ranges from classics like a Negroni, served in a heavy cut crystal glass to more obscure cocktails created only at the Cortile Verga like the Clover Club made with lime, gin as raspberry syrup. There are light meal options here like sandwiches and salad plates.

MOON Ortiga

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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The name of this cafe stands for Move Ortiga Out of Normality and reflects the ethos of this hip place. They describe themselves as a physical space and virtual space for artists and individuals who love Ortiga and the sharing of creative ideas. Located in between the sea and the town’s cathedral, there are spaces for visual art shows, workshops and live performances. There are often live jazz evenings here. The courtyard is a relaxing space for a glass of wine and a plate of bruschetta. The kitchen is particularly hospitable to people with food allergies.

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Bar, Pub Grub, Italian, $$$
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If you are looking for a night out in Trapani, Rakija is the place to be. Live DJ sets and cold beer on tap are the vibe here. If mixed drinks are your jam, find the knowledgeable Vito and Diego behind the bar creating cocktails. The central location in one of the town’s main piazza’s, San Domenico means there is almost always a crowd.

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