Sicily is world renowned for its sweet confections. Granita, shaved ice so fine it has a creamy quality, ricotta cream stuffed cannoli, delicately decorated cassata with its layers of marzipan, sponge, sweet ricotta and candied fruit are just the beginning of the sugary delights the island does so well. Make sure to include a stop at one the best cafés and coffeeshops in Sicily to see for yourself.
Bakery, Cafe, Pastelaria, Bar, Pastry Shop, Pastries, $$$
This has been a sweet spot in Palermo since the 1950s. Pasticceria Cappello is most famous for a pastry called setteveli. Named after the seven veils worn by Salome in the biblical story where she danced for Herod. True to its seductive inspiration, seven thin layers of alternating chocolate and hazelnut with some crunchy layers and some creamy and covered in a silky chocolate ganache. There are a few tables outside the shop where you can sit and enjoy your indulgence with a cup of coffee.
Four generations of the Assenza family have been making some of Sicily’s best gelato, granita and pastries. With Corrado Assenzo now at the helm you will find unique creations like the sweet savory granita mix of strawberry and tomato. The silky textured biancomangiare is made with almond and wheat starch. There is seating inside and outside on the sidewalk with views of Noto’s cathedral. Bring home boxes of torrone, a Sicilian style nougat.
You’ll recognize this bar from its presence in a scene from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. The doorway with the graphic font, the collection of rattan chairs and round-topped tables are exactly the same as in the famous film scene. Sit under the vines and have a cannoli and a strong cup of coffee and enjoy this slice of Sicilian village life. Savoca, close to the resort town of Taormina where Bar Savelli is located is included as one of Italy’s most beautiful borgo’s.
The almond paste creations called Frutta di Martorana that are displayed in the glass cases at Maria Grammatico Pasticceria are truly works of art. Each one is painstakingly hand made to look like prickly pear or an eggplant or a slice of watermelon complete with seeds almost too pretty to eat. But do go ahead and eat one (or two). They’re delicious with a glass of iced coffee. Try your hand at pastry making with a class that is offered here.
Courtesy Caffè Morettino Espresso d'Autore al Caffè del Teatro
This café is located inside the historic and grand Teatro Massimo in downtown Palermo. Caffe Morettino harkens back to the Belle Epoque glamour of Palermo’s café society with lots of lush red velvet and gilded flourish. There is also a shady garden outside. Choose from one of eight special coffee blends and roasts including a single estate from Ethiopia and the Reserve 1897, which celebrates the year the theater was founded. The café hosts live music and literary events throughout the year.
Casa Stagnitta located in the middle of the historic center of Palermo prides itself on the selection of impeccably sourced coffee; you can try dark roasts from Indonesia or delicate Hawaiian blends here. Start your day with a creamy cappuccino and a fluffy brioche stuffed with gelato and whipped cream or stop by after dinner for a late night cannoli. For something on the (slightly) lighter side, try yogurt with fruit and a crunchy sprinkle of pistachios.