Restaurants in Sicily
I'm taking my family to Sicily in early December. We're going to be staying in Palermo and Taormina and would love any restaurant recommendations. Does anyone know any can't-miss places on the drive between these two cities?
when you are in palermo, definitely eat at osteria dei vespri. my advice is to graze on street food one afternoon. the ballaro' market in particular has great panella sandwiches. if you are up for it there is also pane ca meusa (boiled spleen sandwich) which is a local specialty. another place for finding good authentic cucina povera is the borgo vecchio, a market area between corso sciria' and the harbor. grab a sfincione at spinnato in the new city on Via Principe di Belmonte (or any of the bakeries in borgo vecchio).
there is a fantastic osteria towards the eastern end of via cassari near the vucciria market. its one of those places with no name. it is the only place on that part of the street and just head inside and find a table and they will serve you delicious antipasti misti and fish grilled in their entrance vestible/kitchen. i also quite like divino rosso (Via Salita S. Antonio 9), not far from the 4 canti, for lunch.
in taormina, my favorite place to eat is L'Arco dei Cappuccini just outside porta messina on Via Cappuccini 5 (off Via Costanino Patricio). it is fabulous, moderately priced and the fish is excellent.
if you take the coastal road between palermo and taormina, stop at cefalu' for lunch (la brace is a good choice) or la tartaruga in capo d'orlando.
Very much enjoyed our meals at Sant' Andrea. It's basically in the Vucciara market area on a very tiny piazza with a bunch of scaffolding on the building across from the restaurant. We were there in September so were able to sit outside; obviously in December you'll be inside but the place looks quite cozy. Make a reservation.
We also had one dinner at Cucina Papoff which has had a lot of very positive reviews. We found the meal rather meh, and while it wasn't expensive, it was more than the Sant' Andrea which we enjoyed much more.
I am only familiar with Palermo. A great spot for a quality classic Sicilian lunch is Sant'Andrea, I believe the square it is at is also called Santa Andrea. For a somewhat more modern interpretation you might want to go to Osteria dei Vespri at Piazza Croce dei Vespri (service is friendly but a bit erratic sometimes). In Palermo's beach town, Modello, there's the great Bye Bye Blues. Some people report positively about Cin Cin – personally I don’t feel it’s all that special. I myself hope to be in Sicily again in January, and then I will, amongst else, pay Lo Scuderio at via Turati a visit, since I heard good stories about it. Enjoy!