Capri, Positano and Ravello Recommendations
Hello! We are going on our honeymoon this June and are looking for great restaurants in Capri, Positano and Ravello. We'd love a mix of both casual and fine dining. Also, are advance reservations necessary in such a busy season? Thanks!
We were in Capri for our honeymoon this month and spent a lot of time in advance planning our dinners! We made reservations via email at Da Paolino, Auroroa, and La Campanina.
We were staying in Anacapri, at the Caesar Augustus, which was absolutely magnificant. We recommend it. They had a free shuttle to the marina, and you can just take the funiculaire to Capri town from there, so going back and forth from Capri to Anacapri was easy.
I recommend staying in Anacapri, as Capri is too touristy during the day. You can stay in Anacapri or at your hotel or sightsee during the day, then at night, when the tourists are gone, you can go into Capri to eat/go out.
Da Paolino is incredible. You do have to take a taxi there, as it's hard to find. The restaurant is outside and you sit under a trellace of lemon trees. It's just gorgeous. The restaurant gets busy at around 10pm, most people eat dinner at around 10-11pm. It's definitely a place to be seen, but the food is outstanding. They are most famous for their antipasto appetizer buffet. You pay 20 euros per person (for your appetizer) and you go up to the table that has over 50 unbelievable dishes to choose from. You only get a smallish plate, and cannot return for seconds, so pick wisely. You can choose from homemade mozzarella, proscuitto, carpaccios of different fish and meat, meatballs to die for, pastries with cheese, asparagus wrapped in brasaola, breaded salmon fillets- the list goes on. It was incredible. We then shared their Capri pasta (a lemon cream sauce over fetuccine) and then shared a ribeye steak. They split everything for us at no charge. It was delicious! Every tourist in the know wants to eat at this place, so make reservations in advance. It's popular with locals and celebs too.
Then we tried Aurora in Capri town. Aurora was stark white and modern with beautiful people all staring at each other. It's so clean and comfortable and very trendy. The menu is traditional Italian and it's really good. We started with an arugula salad that they brought with a bottle of amazing olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then we shared their lobster pasta with cherry tomatos- it was outstanding. Then I had filet of beef and my husband had veal milanese. We loved every bite. We had 2 desserts- tiramisu and classic Capri torte, which is a lemon and chocolate almond torte. This was a great place to eat- fun people watching, delicious food- we stayed there for over 3 hours.
Go to Anema E Core for a fun nightclub with live music- it's right near Aurora and La Campanina.
On our last night in Capri, we ate at La Campanina. It was the perfect conclusion to our Capri trip, as it was so different from Da Paolino and Aurora. La Campanina is very traditional, with traditional decor. Not trendy, but cute and comfortable and homey. Service was great- they were so attentive and sweet. We started with a plate of fried zuchini and fried breaded homemade mozzarella, and a green salad. Delicious. I had caneloni as my main, and it was so so so good. It was filled with beef, the tomato sauce was to die for, and it had just the right amount of cheese. Talk about comfort food! My husband had lobster risotto, which was very good. We finished with profiteroles, which were among the best we've had.
I'd definitely recommend these 3 places! Make reservations in advance.
Other fun things- spend a day at one of the private beaches on the island. They are acessible by boat (9 euros per person) and the water is incredible. It's warm and clear. One of the beaches has a well known seafood restaurant too, so you can have lunch there. Have a drink before dinner in Capri town's main square. Drinks are expensive, but they give you a plate of free snacks (nuts, potato chips, etc) and you are basically buying a seat to do the best people watching ever.
You must try Da Gemma in Capri:
Via Madre Serafina, 6
80073 Capri (Napoli)
Tel. +39 081 8370461 / 83
Da Gemma also has a small pizzeria, across the small tunneled alleyway that winds along in front of the main restaurant, and the pizzas are the best on the island. The dining room faces the Marina Grande side of the island and Gemma's location is just above the stairway that leads up from the piazza next to the church.
Every day the restaurant has fresh fish or veal prepared any way you wish, and a very lengthy menu that you can choose from, it all may be washed down with an excellent bottle of fresh, easy to drink, Capri white wine (10-5% -11% alcohol) in addition to the famous labels from around Campania that are offered on the wine list. Booking a table is essential in the evening! more: http://restaurantdiningcritiques.com
We were in Capri and Positano last June/July. Advance reservations are not necessary, but once you arrive at the hotel you should let concerge make reservations for the rest of the stay. In Capri, we liked Al Grottino, Pizzeria Aurora and Paolo for dinner, Addo Riccio and Fontelina for lunch. We also went to Campania but didn't like it. In Positano we liked Max, Donna Rosa and restaurant in the Hotel Pietro for dinner. We also went to Don Alfonso, but it is pretty far from Positano and very expensive. Not worth it. In Ravello we had lunch at Cumpa Cosima family run restaurant - inexpensive and very good. There is a great place for lunch called Conco del Sogno around Positano. The best way to get it is by boat. It is a delightfull little beach with great restaurant. Have fun and enjoy.
I've been following posts about Capri since we're going to a wedding there in June. Based on some favorable reviews, I was hoping to try La Campanina. Would you mind going into more detail about both it and the places you loved? We only have a couple of days there, and limited meals aside from the wedding events, and so want to pick carefully - especially b/c the euro is so strong and prices, I gather, are high.
Aurora had delicious food and the service was impeccable. We told our waitress that we'd be sharing the two appetizers and they actually split our dishes for us and served them one after the other. Our waitress was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable about the food and wine. The restaurant had a nice atmosphere and buzz as well, i.e. in Capri, means a lot of gorgeous people, haha. But most of all, the food was excellent. We had a seafood salad, a pasta with zucchini flowers and parmesan, grilled langoustines and a margherita pizza, all of which were delicious. The food was just simple but perfectly prepared.
Add'o Riccio has a gorgeous location over looking the Blue Grotto, try to go at lunch and ask for a table by the sea. The seafood is amazingly fresh and perfectly prepared. We had a Caprese salad, some fresh local shrimp that was sauteed in olive oil and garlic and linguine with spiny lobster (the lobster cost an arm and a leg, but was amazing), all of which was prepared perfectly. Plus, you really can't find a more gorgeous place to sit in the sun overlooking the turquoise sea :-)
On the other hand, I found La Campanina had a really tacky decor, the walls are all covered with photos of celebrities! The wait staff wear white shirts with the name of the restaurant printed all over in red letters, haha!! Also, we found the service quite inattentive as we would be left for prolonged periods where we were completely ignored. We patiently waited for nearly 20 mins for someone to notice that we were ready to order our food, and another 20 mins when we were done with our meals and to offer us dessert or at least the cheque. As for the food, I had an appetizer that was on the special daily menu, a whitebait and shrimp salad, and it was COMPLETELY tasteless, I mean it was not just bland but it had no taste whatsoever. Usually local shrimp is very sweet but they seemed to have managed to blanch all taste out of it... maybe it was frozen. If you look carefully on the menu, you'll realize that several of the dishes specify that they use frozen seafoods! Which, IMHO, seems not like what a respectable restaurant would choose to serve. Having said that, my boyfriend ordered two pastas, the Caprese ravioli and the house specialty linguine with scorpion fish, both of which were pretty good, but nothing spectacular. I had the baked fish with potatoes for main which was also ok.
Make sure you make reservations for all your meals in advance as it gets very busy, and yes, prices are high in Capri (esp. the wines, we found the same wine in Capri was way more expensive when compared to the same in Rome and Naples) esp with the exchange rate!
Oh, and one more thing (just in case you didn't already know) they dress up for dinner at Capri, so it's not nearly as laid back as you'd expect, or at least we didn't, haha (exactly how the Italian ladies manage to walk around the cobbled stones on slopes in five inch stilettos still amazes me, haha).
Hope you have fun in Capri, we really enjoyed it :-) One really cool thing to do is to rent a boat and sail around the island. Our hotel concierge arranged it for us, but you can also just rent one directly at the marina.
We stayed at the Capri Palace which is in Anacapri as well... we actually didn't eat anywhere around there since all the good places seem to be in Capri. Anacapri side is definitely more quiet... the only pain is that if you eat in Capri, you end up taking a cab back to Anacapri which costs like $25 Euros for a very short ride (and you thought NY was bad, haha), not sure what time the buses run till... maybe your hotel will have a free shuttle service, our only had one going to Capri and it ended at 7 pm. The buses always seem very crowded...
The restaurant at Capri Palace is supposed to be very famous, think it had a michelin star or sth... and the artist bar is quite interesting with lots of modern art pieces there.
Allison -- There are a number of posts on Capri and Positano in the last several weeks ... just search for Capri in the "search this board" space above, and you will find SEVERAL great listings ... same for Positano ... and Ravello as well. Then, when you find several listings that sound good to you, why don't you post your tentative list of lunch and dinner choices ... mention what hotels you have reserved at ... and people will be able to give you some feedback on restaurants near to your hotel choices and matching your preferences for casual or fancy dining. Then you will get a LOT of responses to your post. In Positano -- where I spent a few days in March, you have to go by the the Hotel Le Sirenuse (very fancy, very expensive, especially during high season) and have drinks or lunch on the patio ... in my opinion the food is VERY expensive, but the view is a once in a lifetime stop and for my money, you have to have drinks on their patio at least. Also in Positano, we loved the restaurant Max's -- wine bar in Positano ... down the street from the church ... everyone knows where it is and it was lovely and food was VERY good. Others on this board had GREAT suggestions for Capri and you will find your way to lots of good choices with a few searches ... spend a few minutes and let me know if you don't come up with some world class choices to choose from when you get there. And, yes, if you are set on one place or another, do make a call or send an email and make a reservation -- not needed in the winter, but you are entering summer (HIGH SEASON) and you will need to reserve for dinner -- maybe not for lunch. Have a great time ... these are beautiful places, worth an effort to research the best stops and worth the time and money to go !! Ciao!!