Fodor’s Restaurant Picks:Taormina
Here are a sampling of restaurants around the classic Sicilian town of Taormina. According to Fodor’s food critics, these 5 eating establishments represent some of the best in Sicilian cuisine.
> Bella Blu
A: Via Pirandello 28, Taormina,; Tel#: 0942-24239; W: www.bellablutaormina.com; Hours: Closed Jan.–Mar.
Fodor’s Review: If you fancy a meal with a view but don’t want to spend a lot, it would be hard to do much better than to come here for the decent €20 three-course prix-fixe meal. Seafood and pizza are the specialties; try the spaghetti with fresh clams and mussels or the pizza alla Norma (with ricotta, eggplant, and tomatoes). You can also opt for the €9 pizza and drink menu. Through giant picture windows you can watch the gondola fly up and down from the beach, with the coastline in the distance. Families will especially enjoy the casual, convivial atmosphere and friendly service.
> L’ Arco dei Cappuccini
A: Via Cappuccini 5A, off Via Costantino Patricio, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-24893; Hours: Closed Wed. and Feb.
Fodor’s Review: Just off Via Costantino Patricio, by the far side of the Cappuccini arch of the name, lies this diminutive restaurant. Outdoor seating and an upstairs kitchen help make room for a few extra tables—a necessity, as locals are well aware that neither the price nor the quality is equaled elsewhere in town. Indulge in the veal cutlet with Etna mushrooms, pasta con le sarde, or a simple slice of grilled pesce spada (swordfish). Reservations are usually essential for more than two people.
> La Giara
A: Vico La Floresta 1, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-23360; W: www.lagiara-taormina.com; Hours: Closed mid-Nov.–mid-Mar. No lunch.
Fodor’s Review: This restaurant, named after a giant vase unearthed under the bar, is famous for being one of Taormina’s oldest restaurants. The food’s not bad, either. The kitchen blends upscale modern techniques with the simple flavors of traditional specialties. It specializes in everything fish: one spectacular dish is the fish cartoccio (wrapped in paper and baked). You can also extend your evening at the popular, if touristy, piano bar, or at the dance club that operates here on Saturday night (and every night in August). There’s a terrace with stunning views, too.
> La Piazetta
A: Vico Francesco Paladini, off Corso Umberto, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-626317; W: www.ristorantelapiazzettataormina.it; Hours: Closed Nov. and 2 wks in Feb. No lunch Mon.–Thurs., June –Sept.
Fodor’s Review: Sheltered from the city’s hustle and bustle, this elegant little eatery exudes a mood of relaxed sophistication. Classic dishes such as risotto ai frutti di mare (with seafood) are competently prepared, the grilled fish is extremely fresh, and the service is informal and friendly. The modest room has simple white walls—you’re not paying for a view.
> Vecchia Taormina
A: Vico Ebrei 3, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-625589; Hours: Closed Wed. and Jan. and Feb.
Fodor’s Review: Warm, inviting, and unassuming, Taormina’s best pizzeria produces deliciously seared crusts topped with fresh, well-balanced ingredients. Try the pizza alla Norma, featuring the classic Sicilian combination of eggplant and ricotta—here, in the province of Messina, it’s made with ricotta al forno (cooked ricotta), while in the province of Catania, it’s made with ricotta salata (uncooked, salted ricotta). The restaurant also offers fresh fish in summer, and there’s a good list of Sicilian wines. Choose between small tables on two levels or on a terrace.