The Best Bars in the Coastal City of Cefalù, Sicily

Cefalù is brimming with spots offering al fresco drinks and eats
Cefalù is brimming with spots offering al fresco drinks and eats | © Stephen Hughes / Alamy Stock Photo
Lucy Thackray

The atmospheric Cefalù hides one of the best beaches in Sicily and a parade of sophisticated drinking dens along its storied streets and squares.

A riot of russet rooftops and honey-coloured facades dropping off to rocks and the Mediterranean, Cefalù is the romantic, old-fashioned northern heart of Sicily. Skip through the city’s palm-shaded streets with a gelato in hand, stumbling across mosaic-clad cathedrals and rustic piazza restaurants, along with fabulous art museums and a lively urban beach if you have a few days to play with. After dark, start (or end) your evening in one of these charming Sicilian bars to master the art of the aperitivo and mingle with stylish locals.

1. Maljk Beach

Bar, Snack Bar, Wine

The city beach is sandy, sun-drenched and backed by dramatic mountains – but it can get crowded down by the water’s edge. You can sidestep the madness at this elegant beach club set on a wooden deck, with a Balinese-style thatched pavilion and glowing lanterns. There’s a full-size pool to dunk yourself in, alongside a crowd of twentysomething, streetwear-clad Italians sipping Aperol spritzes and nibbling bruschetta in style. After dark, the party cranks up, with beats thumping on until 3am on weekends.

2. Piper

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Snack Bar, Cocktails

Duck off a charming cobbled alley to find this sultry pre-dinner hang-out, with tables spilling out onto the pavement. You’re furnished with an only-in-Italy spread of aperitivo-hour snacks (smoked salmon bruschetta, crisps, charcuterie, sliders) as you work your way through a menu of mojitos, Disaronno sours and lageritas (beer, tequila, Cointreau and lime). Football screenings and live-music sessions keep the atmosphere light and relaxed. Try the smoked gin and tonic, which arrives in a mini bell jar.

4. Jureka Wine Bar

Bar, Wine Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

Sit outside with a view of the sea at this swanky cocktail bar on the coastal road out of the old town. Presentation is everything here. For example, a tequila creation might come bearing a colourful Day of the Dead skull in its foam, while racks of test tubes contain fruity shots. Also, edible flowers top totem-like tiki cups. Strike up a conversation with owner Marco; if you tell him which spirits and flavours you like, he’ll prescribe you the perfect potion.

5. Kalapinta Craft Beer

Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Snack Bar, Beer

The bearded, tattooed gents serving you at Kalapinta wear loud Hawaiian shirts and denim – the vibe is Hairy Bikers on holiday. It’s a beer shop and taproom that doesn’t mind you stopping for a pint or three, with fiery jalapeño-laced hotdogs to fill your belly once you’ve indulged in the hoppy stuff. Grab a seat on wooden benches just outside or at the handful of tables inside, featuring Victorian goth and steampunk design details, including brass pipes and skeleton lamps.

6. La Cantina

Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Beer

It’s good to have an al fresco pit stop near the main sights, and this chilled spot has streetside tables almost opposite the majestic cathedral. The interior is tiny, so head outside where you’ll find big barrels to rest your drinks on and views of a charming leafy alley, plus a gossiping crowd of after-work drinkers. Blend in by ordering a zesty Sicilian pale ale, Bruno Ribadi, for notes of grapefruit, caramel and pink pepper.

7. Enoteca Rossorubino di Valenziano Alessandro

Wine Bar, Wine

In a hub of great restaurants and bars in the city centre, this chic, grown-up wine bar has slender, high wooden stools and minimalist aperitivo snacks served in smooth glass ramekins. Check out the vintages served by the glass on the blackboard in the entrance, most for a few euros a serve; the knowledgeable staff can advise you on the palest, driest rosé or the spiciest, most full-bodied red in the house.

8. Al Chiosco Cefalù

Bar, Restaurant, Italian

Naked festoon lights trim the thatched white pavilion at this charming waterfront hang-out, or kiosk, on the grassy slopes above the city beach. Its top-quality tipples are created with love – a sprig of mint here, a decorative frangipani flower there – but the overall vibe is boho-relaxed, with patrons slinking off the sands with salt-scrunched hair for sunset drinks. Huge salads, pizzas and oil-drizzled burrata satisfy any munchies along the way.

Haven’t found your place to stay in Sicily? Book one of the best hotels on the island or a base that gives you the local experience through Culture Trip now. Spend time discovering the top things to see and do, or for the more adventurous, try one of the hiking trails on the island. At the end of the day, wind down and treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of the best restaurants in Sicily before heading out to the bars.

Article by Lucy Thackray, with contribution from the Culture Trip Travel Team.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article