Pizza, Pasta and Amore is everything I ever want when going to Italy. The latter was less successful so far but Catania opened my eyes to a whole new bunch of delicacies I didn’t know I needed.
Wanna know where to get them and how to spend a whole day just thinking about food? Keep reading on because by the end of this you’ll have your bags packed, ready for a serious food induced coma.
This is the perfect place for people watching right at Via Etnea and to start your day right with a classic Sicilian breakfast. I’m talking brioche and granita or cappuccino. I was sceptical this would be sufficient but gosh was I wrong. It is the perfect way to set off a day of exploring. It makes you awake and fills you up just right. Plus the location right at the busiest of all streets is the most amazing location to observe all the stylish Italians going about their day!
Pro tip if you fancy a real good pastry, take the one that is covered in wild strawberries. Vanilla cream topped with fragole di bosco is perfect for a dessert or to satisfy any cravings for that sweet taste of strawberries.
When I led my friend here she was shook, not only did we walk for what felt like an hour but also the location seems kind sketchy. We went for dinner but I would recommend it for a relaxed lunch. It should be sufficient to say we were the only non-Italians at the restaurant to convince you to go. You’ll get authentic Italian dishes for the price of just that. 3,50€ for a delicious Pizza Margarita is the real deal. Don’t miss out on the Pasta alla Norma a traditional Sicilian pasta dish with aubergine, tomato sauce and ricotta salata; hands down the most important addition to this dish!
On the look out for the cutest street and a real neighbourhood hang? I got you covered. This cute little spot is in one of the busiest streets at night and the mass of people in front of it totally make sense once you step inside or sit down in front of the place. It is perfect for an aperitivo and a light snack before dinner. Try the bread with ricotta and ‘nduja. The spicy sausage is perfectly balanced by the creamy cheese and soft bread. Or just order the semi-secco tomatoes and olives for a little nibble. As it is open late it is also amazing for some après-dinner drinks.
A little off the beaten path in a piazza where there’s a different restaurant in each corner. If you want fancier pizza this it the right spot. I opted for one with rocket, bresaola and parmigiano, it was amazing and totally worth it. The atmosphere sitting outside is great and you are not in the hassle of it all. There is no pasta on the menu in case you where wondering but I saw a guy on the table next to us eating some Pasta alla Norma, so I reckon they also have a small selection of pasta dishes.
This is the perfect spot for all the cocktail lovers, located in a side street just off Via Etnea with a cave like interior that feels very modern. They have bespoke cocktails but also mix you the classics and trust me you wanna go for one of their specialties. If you love a charcuterie board just as much as I do this will be your heaven as well, they have two people just cutting cheese and cured meats! I must have looked like I found my home on this earth because the super nice guy behind the counter gave us a sample platter for free!
Rounding up this list are some specialties you need to try while being there.
Arancini – are massive rice balls filled with minced meat. They are the perfect on the go snack and will fill you up until it’s dinner time. The ones at Savia are pretty decent so go ahead and give them a try.
Chinotto – is an orange fruit you will see around town on small little trees. I was really curious to try one of them and I highly recommend it. It is the by far the sourest fruit I have ever tried, but you somehow can’t stop eating it.
Cannoli – the most traditional of all Sicilian patries. Integrate it into your breakfast, as a sweet snack or dessert just go ahead and try it. I prefer the cannolo piccolo, the cream-shell-ration is more up my alley. However, the hazlenut-ricotta filled cannolo at I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza are perfect just the way they are.
Granita – but not like you might know it from beach huts in Spain or the north of Italy. The ice here is super fine and the syrups have a natural flavour to it. Specialty of the area is mandorla (Almond) but I also love coffee and lemon. You can see a coffee one in the picture for Prestipino Cafe, it’s the one that looks like a cola slurpee. This might sound like dessert but you can eat/drink it to any time of day, plus it is kinda healthy as it mostly consists of frozen water! You can see a coffee one in the picture for Prestipino Cafe, it’s the one that looks like a Cola Slurpee.
I guess there is nothing really stopping you from booking a flight and indulging in all the goodies they have in this amazing part of Italy.