Food and wine are among Sicily's main attractions and if you're on a diet before you arrive you'll certainly regret it. Sicilian food is bolder, spicier, and sweeter than the food in other parts of Italy. Considering it's an island, the focus is on seafood and lots of it. Grilled swordfish is probably the most popular dish but the selection is huge. Try the Seppia (cuttlefish) served in its own black sauce with pasta.
The wine is also characterful and full in body. The
reds whose vines are draped over the lower slopes of the Volcano are
world renowned. Sicily is now producing wines of real character and
individuality. The region has taken the lead in winemaking in the modern
South, as producers are determined to live up to the promise of the
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Antica Foccacceria San Francesco: [Via Alessandro Paternostro, 58 Tel:91 320 264] One of the most beautiful restaurants in Palermo with elegant décor and a covered terrace. This is a haven for food lovers alike. Now driven by the Italian Slow Food movement famous for it's push for sustainable farming, local, seasonal ingredients, and "real" food. A result has produced a kitchen that's both out of this world and cheap. Dessert is essential.
Cana Enoteca: [Via Alloro, 105 Tel:91 610 1147] Located behind Piazza Marina, this is the place to sample some of Sicily's best wines including many from small producers. It's like a small grotto and very intimate. The food is simple including cold meats and cheeses.
Da Pina: [Via cassari 69] Cheap and an experience not to be missed. This fish restaurant is down by Piazza Marina. It's been in business for 70 years and still going strong. Choose your meal from the daily catch of the day and watch it getting cooked in front of you. Only Italian or Sicilian is spoken here.
Kursaal Kalhesa: [Foro Umberto I, 21 Tel:091 616 2282] A fantastic bar/restaurant/bookshop and jazz venue located inside Palermo's defensive walls with a very Arabic feel. You'll be greeted by a huge arched space with very cute and romantic cubbyholes to hide out in. [Closed Sundays]
A zammara: [Cia Filli Bandiera 15, Tel: 0942 24 408] Fantastic Sicilian menu where you can eat in a garden of orange trees. With Roman artifacts and a glass floor with inserted pottery shards, this has to be one of the most romantic restaurants on the island. The meatballs grilled in lemon leaves are to die for. [Closed Wednesdays and the winter]
Al Duomo: [Vico Ebrei/Piazza Duomo Tel: 942 625 656] Eat fantastic traditional Sicilian cooking while admiring the beautiful view of the Duomo, it doesn't get much better. Great fish, pasta and desserts are on the menu and the wine list offers some excellent local wines.
Casa Grugno: [Via S. Maria dei Greci 0942 21208] They've got a cool thing going at Casa Grugno. Taste a fusion mix of Northern European with traditional Siclilian fare on the terrace of a 16th Century palazzo. Cooked up by an Austrian-born chef…it's not cheap but it's definitely good. Booking essential.
Granduca: [Corso Umberto, 172 Tel: 0942 24983] Probably the best pizzeria on the island with the best views to match.
Jonico: [Riviera Dionisio Il Grande, 194 Tel: 931 65540] Very traditional home Sicilian cooking right by the sea. If you like swordfish then this is the place to come. There's a selection of local wines on offer.
Trattoria La Folgia: [Via Capodieci, 21 Tel: 931 66233] A restaurant leaning towards vegetarianism in Sicily is a strange sight indeed but the Pravato family' has been doing it for years. Rich soups, pastas, and simple fare on offer here. The strange yet homely décor is a treat in itself.
Don Camillo: [via della maestranza 96, Tel: 0931 67133] Typical Syracuse dishes are served in a very lovely restaurant with open brick ceilings.
Pocho: [Isulidda Makari, Strada Custonaci-San Vito Tel: 0923 97 25 25] Relax on a grand terrace with Monte Cofano and the bay before you while you sample cous cous, the house speciality, and a wine list full of small Sicilian producers. [Closed Tuesday and winter]
Hotel Capo San Vito: [via San Vito,
1 Tel: 923 972122] A beautiful romantic setting with views of the whole
bay. Chef Beppe Buffa serves up some fantastic seafood and simple Sicilian