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Eating at the best restaurants in Catania offers you a taste of the unique flavors of Sicily, Italy’s largest island.
Traditional recipes rich in history and packed with flavor will make you swoon with every bite.
Pistachios from Bronte, swordfish and seafood in general, pasta alla norma, the best pasta in Catania must simply be savored.
Catania based for three months, we explored the local food specialties and wines. And, as we ate our way through the city, we explored the best pizza, pasta, seafood and everything in between.
While this is not a comprehensive list, we share our best restaurants in Catania for authentic food experiences.
To make it easy to navigate, we’ve divided the restaurants into six categories. You’ll find the best pasta, pizza, seafood, meat and horsemeat, fine dining and lunch restaurants.
Armed with a few additional tips to get the most out of your Catania restaurant experiences, get ready for stand out food experiences.
Here are our picks for the best Catania restaurants worth visiting.
What To Know About Eating at Catania Restaurants
To help you plan for your Catania restaurant eating experiences, we share below a few tips to be aware of ahead of time.
- In restaurants from casual to fine dining, you’ll find a coperto automatically added to your bill. This ranges from € 2 to € 4 per person and it is not a tip. It is a small cover charge or table setting fee. Don’t hesitate to ask for bread or breadsticks when you pay the coperto.
- Tipping on the other hand is not expected. The coperto certainly takes care of the tip. If you feel like tipping, it is not common but certainly appreciated.
- As soon as you sit down at any Catania restaurant, you’ll be asked right away if you want water. This is even before you are handed a menu. Even though it feels abrupt, know in advance if you’d like still or sparkling water as tap water is not served.
- Local wine, known as “vino locale” is an option you’ll find on menus. It’s cheaper than bottled wine, quite good, and available from 0.25 liters up to 1.0 liters. Ask for quartino, mezzo litro, or litro.
- Catania is well known for fish and seafood dishes. On the menu, you may find an asterisk indicating the seafood might be frozen. While it is required by law to note the frozen fish dishes, the menu is not often reprinted when the fish and seafood is fresh. Always ask your server for the fresh fish of the day.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you are only in Catania for a short time and would like to taste the local specialties, we suggest taking a food tour with a local guide. We recommend this Catania street food tour that we took. You’ll have a great time as you discover Catania and Sicily specialties at local gems while learning about the history and rich culture.
Best Restaurants For Pasta in Catania
It’s hard to have a bad pasta dish in Catania. Although we are only highlighting a few of the best pasta Catania restaurants, you’ll find good pasta pretty much everywhere.
Don’t miss pasta alla norma, which is Catania’s iconic pasta dish. And, the pasta dishes with fish and seafood are exceptional.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you are interested in learning to make some of the most iconic Sicilian pasta dishes, we recommend this cooking class with Deb. We made pasta alla norma, parmigiana and other delicious Sicilian recipes and savored them in her cozy home. Her class is also available to book on Viator.
1. Trattoria Cucina Casalinga “da Mimmo”
Serving some of the best pasta dishes in Catania is this quaint restaurant right in the city center.
Casalinga “da Mimmo” was referred to us by Deb, our Catania cooking class teacher. This is one of the few restaurants she told us that still serves Sicilian pasta dishes made in a traditional way.
It is a favorite of locals and travelers alike, well-loved for its friendly service, tasty recipes, affordable wines, and unmatched value.
Although it specializes in pasta dishes, Cucina Casalinga also offers other Sicilian and Mediterranean dishes.
We liked the cozy and quiet atmosphere inside, with several small corners to sit inside rather than a large dining room.
Visitors will appreciate the helpful service and the staff speaking English fluently.
I enjoyed the pennette salmone e pistacchio or small penne pasta with pistachio and salmon. This is a very flavorful dish with a rich creamy sauce, a bit heavy to my taste but heavenly.
While Rosemary ordered the spaghetti al sugo di gamberoni, a delicious pasta dish made with prawns and tomato-white wine sauce. The portions were generous and the quality excellent.
Other must-tries include the famous casarecce alla norma. Featuring casarecce pasta slathered in a rich tomato sauce and topped with fried eggplant slices, basil, and grated Ricotta Salata cheese. Just thinking about it is enough to make you salivate.
For seafood lovers, don’t miss on the casarecce with swordfish or the spaghetti in its delightful squid sauce.
Address: 14 Via Conte Ruggero, Catania
Hours: Open daily, except Wednesdays and Sundays, from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and 7:00 – 11:30 pm
Price: Pasta dishes and main meals start at €8 (approx, $8.80). All offerings come with a reasonable €1.50 (approx. $1.65) coperto that gets you good bread.
Pro Tip: if you haven’t tried the cassata specialty from Sicily, leave some room for the Sicilian cassatina dessert at Cucina Casalinga.
Deliziosa is a cozy and charming restaurant in the famous Via Crociferi in the center of the city.
This Catania restaurant might not have the most extensive a la carte selection though it delivers on freshness and quality.
Don’t miss out on the delicious and generous aperitivo Deliziosa offers before 8:00 pm. Served with local wines or tasty craft beer, we were presented with the tagliere di salami e formaggi.
This platter featured tomato bruschetta, a selection of Sicilian cured cheeses and meats with local Sicilian jam pickles and more.
If you are not full by the time you finish the aperitivo, try one of their pasta dishes.
Rosemary enjoyed a savory pasta dish while I went for the local panini. The pasta dishes are made with local ingredients such as pistachio from Bronte or pork from Nebrodi.
With a friendly service and cozy atmosphere, Deliziosa makes for a wonderful al fresco dinner in Catania Sicily.
Address: 77 Via Crociferi, Catania.
Hours: Open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 7:00 pm – 12:00 am
Price: Aperitivo platter is only €4 (approx. $4.40) before 8 pm. Pasta and mains starts at €8 (approx. $8.80)
Pro Tip: While there is seating inside, we recommend dining al fresco in the quiet and quaint Via Crociferi. The outdoor seating area offers heat lamps when nights are chilled.
3. Trattoria La Pigna Verde
La Pigna Verde is not the place to go for a romantic dinner or special occasion. It’s the kind of mom and pop restaurant where you go for homespun traditional Italian cooking.
On our way back from Taormina, we stopped by this unpretentious restaurant in the center of the city.
Our friend Jess had been there before and recommended it for its simple down to earth tasty Sicilian cuisine.
Starting with a traditional Sicilian antipasti, our plate was loaded with dry meat, provolone, olives, parmegiana and caponata. The last two are traditional Sicilian starters made with flavorful eggplant and tomato sauce.
Next, we had two simple traditional pasta dishes for the primi piatti or first serving. A Catanese pasta dish with anchovies and a lightly spicy Sicilian pasta dish.
Next was a flavorful grilled slice of veal with a Caprese salad. To go with it, we chose a mezzo litro of red wine, an easy-to-drink local table wine.
Although La Pigna Verde is a bit run down, it has a special homey atmosphere. While papa was cooking in the kitchen, the Italian nonna or mama, who only speaks Italian, served us.
Don’t be turned off by her seemingly cold demeanor, she easily sparked conversations with the locals in the dining room.
It is perfect for those seeking authentic homemade Catania and Sicilian foods with an atmosphere at an unbeatable price.
Address: 15 Via Carcaci, Catania.
Hours: Open everyday from 1:30 – 4:00 pm and 7:30 pm – 12:00 am
Price: Pasta dishes start at €5 (approx. $5.50), main meals at €6 (approx. $6.60)
Pro Tip: If you like spicy food, try the pasta a la Siciliana, made with Sicilian sausage, they bring a nice bite to the pasta dish.
4. Trattoria Serafino 1
This traditional family-owned trattoria in central Catania is highly rated for delicious good food, generous portions, and good value.
Located near Massimo Bellini Theater, this is a great stop after visiting the lavish theater dedicated to Catania’s most famous composer, Vincenzo Bellini.
Trattoria Serafino 1 is charming and inviting. You’ll find hanging nets on the wall along with characteristic Sicilian Moor head decor.
The typical Sicilian menu features an excellent selection of pasta dishes, fresh fish along with delicious local wines.
At this Catania restaurant, we recommend asking for dishes made with the fresh catch of the day.
It is our server who recommended spaghetti al nero di seppia, a spaghetti dish with fresh cuttlefish. This was one of our best pasta dishes in Catania.
In addition to pasta dishes, Trattoria Serafino 1 also has freshly caught fish and other seafood. The fresh selection of fish at the entrance will whet your appetite.
Match your pasta dish with local Sicilian wine and enjoy a wonderful dinner in a charming environment.
Address: 12 Via Monsignor Ventimiglia
Hours: Open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 12:00 am; Sundays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Price: Pasta dishes range in price from €10 to €15 (approx. $11 to $16.50)
Pro Tip: Be sure to check your receipt to make sure your bill reflects the menu price
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPE: To prepare your taste buds before your trip to Catania, try our simple recipe with explosive flavors. Pasta alla Norma Authentic Recipe: Taste the Most Famous Pasta in Sicily
Best Restaurants For Pizza in Catania
Pizza in Catania is a very special experience. Sicily has a long tradition of bread making, including pizza using the regional flour varieties.
There are more than 50 different local flours in Sicily and the native varieties are used in pizza making.
As a result, the pizza you’ll find in Catania has a different consistency that you might be used to.
At the following best pizza restaurants in Catania, savor pizza made with the native flour.
5. La Capannina
We first met Chef Nunzio of La Capannina at a fun pizza making class in Catania. Impressed by his passion for pizza making and deep knowledge of Sicilian grains, we made it a point to visit his restaurant.
La Capannina is located near Giordano Bellini, the large urban park in the city. The modern yet casual restaurant has a fantastic rooftop terrace with amazing views.
Pizza is the star on the menu and you’ll find two main types. You’ll find a selection of pizza made with traditional dough.
And, another set of pizzas made with the ancient Sicilian durum wheat flour known as Perciasacchi.
Not knowing what to select, we let chef Nunzio prepare his favorite pizza for us. Shortly afterward, we each got a pretty large large pizza made with perciasacchi dough.
Half the pizza had prosciutto and pear with blue cheese. And the other half was layered with cauliflower, olives with anchovies.
While initially surprised by the contrasting flavors, the combination worked surprisingly well. The pizzas were delicious and among our favorites in Catania.
The friendly staff, generous servings and delicious pizzas makes this one of the best restaurants in Catania for pizza.
Address: 110/ 116 Via Sant’Euplio
Hours: Open daily from 7:00 pm – 12:00 am
Price: Individual pizza prices range from €8 – €12 (Approx. $8.80 – $13.20)
Pro Tip: Skip ordering a starter to make room for the generous pizzas. Book ahead especially if you want to sit at the terrace.
6. Pizzeria Squib
Pizzeria Squib was one of the first restaurants we heard about when we arrived in Catania.
A trendy restaurant, it was recommended by locals for its diverse pizza menu and non-traditional toppings.
The restaurant which opened about 4 years ago is located in the heart of Catania behind the main shopping street, Via Etnea.
We tried going to Squib a few times but were unable to dine in because we never made advanced reservations. We ended up settling for pizza to go which we picked up at the restaurant.
The restaurant’s interior is modern with a minimalistic style. The large open kitchen behind glass faces the dining area.
Like watching live theater, you see the fresh ingredients as the chefs perfectly assemble and cook the pizzas.
The pizza dough which rests for 24 to 48 hours is made with 100% organic semi-wholemeal flour. Only high quality seasonal ingredients and produce from regional farmers are used for the toppings.
We had two different pizzas from their contemporary options. The most interesting was the crudo e bufala or raw ham with bufala cheese.
As the pizzas were being packed to go, we were surprised to be handed the raw ham separately to place on the pizza later.
Some locals say Squib is the best restaurant in Catania. It is very popular and has two Spicchis on the Italian version of the Michelin Guide, the Gambero Rosso.
While we enjoyed the quality ingredients of our pizza, we found them on the smaller side relative to other pizzerias. Squib is also pricier than other local pizza spots but the quality is high.
If you plan on going to Squib be sure to book in advance and better yet, avoid the weekends.
Address: 9 Largo Paisiello
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 pm – 12:00 am
Price: Pizzas and other foods range from €10 to €30 (Approx. $11 to $33)
Pro Tip: If you have to wait for a table Squib you can kill time at the nearby Bellini Gardens. It is a beautiful garden and one of the symbols of Catania.
7. Pizza & Waffle
Pizza & Waffle was the very first restaurant we visited upon arriving in Catania. Tired after a long flight, we stumbled on this unassuming little joint while looking for a traditional trattoria.
Despite the unimpressive name, Pizza & Waffle offers quality pizzas at affordable prices. We ordered a platter which consisted of a mini pizza, olives, cheese and home cut fries.
To go along with it we ordered an incredibly fresh and tasty caprese salad. Every bite was delicious and juicy with the seasonal ingredients.
The ambiance was comfortable and low-key and the service friendly.
This little pizza gem is located on Via Crociferi, a small street with a dense amount of Baroque-style churches and palaces.
You can get to it easily from Piazza Duomo in Catania’s historic center.
It is a family owned pizza restaurant where everything is made with care. The menu has over 25 different options to satisfy every pizza craving.
You’ll also find local Sicilian beer and wine to go with your meal. Don’t let the bland name put you off.
This quickly became one of our favorite pizzerias and it is worth visiting whenever you are in Catania, Italy.
Address: 37 Via Crociferi
Hours: Open everyday, except Sundays, from 8:00 pm – 12:00 am
Price: Mini pizzas cost €4, while a pizza good for a family is worth €7 to €10.
Pro Tip: There is limited seating available. Go early or outside of the busy dining hours.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Learning how to make pizza in Italy is a must do for food lovers. In this cooking class in Catania, you’ll learn how to make authentic Sicilian pizza. We took several cooking classes with Deb in this Sicilian cooking class and enjoyed learning traditional Sicilian recipes. Ask for a pizza making class and eat light beforehand as the pizzas you’ll make will be copious.
Best Restaurants For Seafood in Catania
Catania has one of the largest fish markets in Sicily. With the bounty from the sea readily available, you’ll find plentiful of fish and seafood dishes.
Some of the local fish specialties you don’t want to miss are swordfish, anchovies and octopus. You’ll also find other favorites like mussels, clams, sea urchins, fresh fish and much more.
The fish and seafood options you’ll find during your visit to Catania will depend on the season.
8. Scirocco Sicilian Fish Lab
In the heart of Catania’s fish market, the flavors of Sicily along with quality and tradition come together at Scirocco Sicilian Fish Lab.
Created by Sicilian entrepreneurs, they brought the concept of gourmet street food to the fish market along with a new modern energy.
Located at the corner of the fish market, Scirocco offers a blend of quality, tradition with fresh seafood from the nearby market stalls.
The fish-based street food includes fried calamari, crispy fresh fish, mixed seafood all served in a traditional “coppu” or paper cone.
Scirocco also offers tantalizing fish based sandwiches made with marinated cod, grilled swordfish or shellfish.
The first time we went to Scirocco we ordered the sandwiches and were blown away by the fresh flavors.
Later, when we went back, the flash fried sea cone with a mix of shrimp, squid and fish was some of the best we’ve had.
To complete your meal, you’ll find a wide selection of Sicilian beers, local wines and organic fruit juices.
A much loved restaurant in Catania, Scirocco is also rated as one of the top 50 restaurants in Italy. It is the perfect place for lunch though it does get busy and they don’t accept reservations.
Address: 7 Piazza Alonzo Di Benedetto
Hours: Open everyday from 10:30 am – 11:00 pm
Price: Fish and seafood cones range in price from €5 – €7 (approx. $5.50 – $7.70) and octopus, fish arancini, sardines for €4 (approx. $4.50)
Pro Tip: If there is no available seating, take your meal to go and enjoy it at Piazza Duomo at the elephant fountain or fontana dell’elefante.
9. Vuciata Kitchen Market
Vuciata, “the kitchen in the market” in the heart of Catania’s fish market is easily one of our favorite Catania restaurants.
Specializing in typical Sicilian food, we like their focus on traditional flavors and the use of organic and traceable ingredients.
Vuciata offers two different experiences depending on the time of the day. When the fish market is open, you can escape the hustle and bustle in the cozy restaurant.
For dinner at night, the vibe is more intimate and refined. Regardless of when you visit Vuciata you’ll enjoy amazing food and great service.
Our trip to Vuciata was for dinner and we enjoyed an outstanding evening. The food was excellent and in particular a parmigiana starter with swordfish.
Parmigiana is a typical Catania eggplant dish and the twist with swordfish, another specialty, was heavenly.
Our pasta dishes were fresh and flavorful, especially the pasta with clams or pasta con le vongole.
The servers are attentive and they’ll make sure you have everything you need for a wonderful experience.
We appreciated a nice touch at the end of our meal with two glasses of limoncello, the popular lemon flavored liqueur.
For fresh seafood dishes made with Sicilian local products, Vuciata is one of the best restaurants in Catania not to miss.
Address: 8 Via Gisira
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am – 11:30 pm
Price: Main dishes range from €6 to €20 (approx. $6.50 to $22) and desserts from €4 to €6 (approx. $4.40 to $6.60)
Pro Tip: During the day, grab a seat on the outdoor terrace and enjoy views of the umbrella covered alleys around the market. Be sure to make advanced reservations.
10. Restaurant Lognina
Restaurant Lognina is located a few miles away from the city center, in the small port of Ognina, by the Mediterranean sea.
That said, this traditional Sicilian restaurant will please any seafood lovers. The menu offered on a chalkboard in Italian is centered around seafood dishes.
The staff is helpful and the restaurant has a nice quiet and welcoming atmosphere with a modern rustic feel.
While the quality is indisputable, a few customers mentioned the relatively small portions compared to the price paid.
The restaurant overlooks a small nearby harbor and the Mediterranean sea. And, on a clear day you are to see Mount Etna over Catania.
Address: 26 Via Marittima, Catania
Hours: Open Saturdays to Sundays from 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm and 7 pm – 11:30 pm; Tuesdays to Fridays from 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm
Price: Main starts at €16 (approx. $18)
Pro Tip: If you come by car, parking is free right across the restaurant. Walking the lungomare, taking a taxi or the local bus are the other options to reach this restaurant.
Best Catania Restaurants For Meat Dishes and Horse Meat
If you are craving meat dishes in Catania, you find typical and unusual options. Restaurant menus will feature dishes made with Sicilian meats. And, you’ll also find horse meat, a Catania specialty local food worth trying. You’ll see it identified as carne di cavallo or horse meat, mostly in the form of meatballs, hamburgers or steak cuts. Check out our Youtube Short eating horse meat in Catania.
11. Il Borgo di Federico
One of the reasons we like and recommend Il Borgo Di Federico is for their wide array of typical Sicilian dishes.
Meat eaters will love their selection of meat prepared in a variety of styles. Delicious cuts of meat will greet you at the entrance where they are impeccably displayed in dry aging refrigerators.
This is also one of the best restaurants in Catania serving delicious horse meat dishes. In addition, you’ll find traditional Sicilian dishes like caponata, parmigiana, pasta, pizza and more.
Tempted by the horsemeat, we tried their polpetta di cavallo a la pistacchio or horse meatballs with pistachio. Perfectly cooked and well seasoned with a light pistachio flavor, they were delicious.
Il Borgo Di Federico has a reputation for serving good food at affordable prices. As such, it is quite popular with locals.
It gets very busy after 9:00 pm and can be a little disorganized. It took us over 20 minutes to get our bill sorted out and pay.
This popular Catania restaurant is located near the ancient castle of Ursino. It’s a perfect location to stroll around the castle by night as you digest your dinner.
The restaurant is cozy, modern with an inviting vibe. Book your table ahead of time for a wonderful feast on Sicilian specialties.
Address: Piazza Federico di Svevia
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 pm – 12:30 am
Price: Dinner for two with house wine will set you back €23 (approx. $25)
Pro Tip: While the menu offers many options, go for the grilled meats which is their specialty.
12. FUD Bottega Sicula
Hamburger lovers and meat-eaters, in general, will appreciate this hip and trendy Catania-based restaurant.
You can describe it as a gourmet sandwich shop with a fast food approach using the best products from all over Sicily.
FUD is very popular amongst locals and there is always a hungry crowd waiting outside. Locals we met describe it as one of the best restaurants in Catania for their outstanding burgers.
Their unique specialty burgers include horse, buffalo and Sicilian beef. From local producers, ingredients like the black ham is from Nebrodi, Ragusa buffalo burgers, Chiaramonte Gulfi donkey burgers, salami and more.
Seeking to avoid waiting, we went early at about 7:00 pm to taste the famous specialty burgers.
As we made our way to our table, we appreciated the modern yet casual decor and the vibrant energy in the open space.
On black boards around the walls were names of popular menu items written in their style that mimics English and Sicilian.
For example, Am burgher instead of hamburger, Ors burgher instead of horse, Cis burgher for cheese burger, etc. The restaurant name, FUD, which we learned is pronounced FOOD is also a play on Siculinglish.
Going for the burgers, Rosemary had a classic Sicilian beef burger with bacon and egg. And, feeling adventurous, I went with the donkey plate from the “plates” menu.
Rosemary’s Sicilian beef burger was good, but not exceptional. I was surprised by the donkey plate which was presented as a deconstructed burger with no bun.
Even though we added fries to our meal, we found the portion sizes to be on the smaller side.
FUD is an experience worth having in Catania. The restaurant has several awards for their gourmet street food or upgraded fast food experience with exceptional local produce.
If you go hungry, order the big burgers or start your meal with appetizers. The drinks menu also features a wide selection of local beers and Sicilian wines.
Address: 35 Via Santa Filomena
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm – 1:00 am
Price: Burgers and french fries for two with drinks will run around €40 (approx $44)
Best Restaurants For Fine Dining
There are not many traditional Sicilian fine dining restaurants in Catania. As we did our research including recommendations from locals, we found the experiences to be either hit or miss. Restaurants either had great food but poor service or menus that did not justify the price.
The fine-dining restaurants we’ve listed below are ones where you’ll eat well and have a great time.
The restaurant, as the name suggests, focuses on using locally sourced ingredients to create Michelin-worthy dishes.
It is one of the best restaurants in Catania for an exquisite experience and modern Sicilian cuisine.
The modern and minimalistic restaurant is run by two brothers in the former shop where their grandfather forged metal.
Our trip to Km.0. was to celebrate a special occasion. While you can order off the menu, we opted for a 5-course tasting menu.
We began our feast with amuse-bouche mini arancini with grissini and local bread with ancient grains and focaccia bread.
Gambas with onion in raspberry sauce followed, fueling our imagination of what comes next.
We relished the next courses which featured beef tartare and surprisingly tender donkey meat. Finishing off our fine-dining experience, we had several desserts.
Although the cheesecake was our least favorite, all the other sweet bites were tasty.
Fabio, the brother in the front of the restaurant will make you feel right at home. Don’t hesitate to ask for a Sicilian wine recommendation for your meal, or choose the Etna wine pairing option.
The dining experience is intimate with only seating for 25 people. Be sure to book your reservations in advance.
Address: 26/28 Via Antonina Longo
Hours: Closed Wednesday, Open Monday to Sunday for dinner; 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Price: A four-course tasting set costs €45 (approx $50) with an extra €20 – €25 (approx $22-$28) for wine pairings. A five-course dinner costs €55 (approx $61) and a seven-course menu €70 (approx. $77)
Pro Tip: Splurge on the Chef’s Tasting Menu for a uniquely different yet complementary Sicilian tasting and fine-dining experience.
14. Sikulo Restaurant
Sikulo is one of the few well-rated restaurants in Catania, favored for its impeccable service, excellent foods, and cozy ambiance.
Located a few blocks from Teatro Bellini in the center of Catania, you will find this restaurant slightly off the main streets.
Although the area might not be the most appealing, Sikulo stands out with a welcoming menu at its entrance.
Right away, you will notice the elegant well-lit modern interior without being pretentious and its vaulted roof.
The menu focuses on fish and seafood dishes and you can choose your meal off the large buffet of fresh seafood on display.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, taking the time to explain any dish to first timers.
The restaurant has a strong Sicilian tradition while incorporating a high level of finesse one can only see at Michelin establishments.
One of the must-have is the sea urchin pasta, freshly made with a generous portion of sea urchin. Spaghetti al nero di seppia or cuttle fish pasta is also a favorite.
They also have a nice selection of Sicilian and Etna wines to pair your meal with.
For dessert, the tiramisu is a hit, if you have left enough room for a sweet finish.
Overall, Sikulo’s offerings are very reasonable for the level of quality you get. A definite wonderful choice for those open to walk outside the main drag.
Address: 83 Via Antonino di S. Giuliano, Catania.
Hours: Open Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Wednesdays to Fridays from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Price: Main starts at €12 (approx. $14)
Pro Tip: This is a perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner or to celebrate any occasion in a quaint atmosphere.
15. Il Sale
A long standing and iconic restaurant in Catania for 20 + years, Il Sale is a reference point for outstanding Siclian cuisine.
Amongst locals, Il Sale is famous for its lovely ambiance, impeccable hospitality, and generous serving portions.
The name Il Sale draws on the restaurant’s heritage in pizza making. The simple ingredients of flour, oil, salt, water and a pinch of sugar to make delicious pizzas.
Even though the restaurant’s pizza reputation is well known, the menu offers a lot more.
While the menu changes seasonally, the ingredients are local to Sicily. You’ll find dishes made with Nebrodi ham, sausages from Brolo, pistachios, almonds, citrus and more.
Fresh fish and seafood pasta, and local vegetables are incorporated into the exquisite meals.
Craving for pasta and pizza, we ordered the traditional pasta con le sarde or pasta with sardines.
And, the “leggera” pizza with delicious bresaola or salted beef, arugula and buffalo mozzarella cheese.
Both were outstanding and full of flavor. The soft and crunchy pizza crust was exceptional and easy to eat on its own.
The friendly and helpful staff will put you at ease as you settle into the modern dining room. It is a popular restaurant with locals and advanced booking regardless of day of the week is recommended.
Address: 10 Via Santa Filomena, Catania
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 pm – 12:00 am
Price: Pizzas and pastas cost €6.30 – €12.30 (approx. $7.00 – $13.50)
16. Quattro Archi
About 15.5 miles north of the Catania city limits is the charming village of Milo. It is a small commune and a popular base for hiking around Mount Etna or visiting Etna wineries.
We discovered this culinary gem while in Milo on a winery visit and weekend hiking trip to Mount Etna.
4 Archi Osteria is a slow food restaurant with an overarching philosophy that celebrates local and seasonal ingredients along with traditional food practices.
The vibrant flavors of natural and genuine food along with Sicilian recipes and excellent local wines are featured.
A rustic restaurant with wood and stone interior exudes charm and history. The ambiance is casual, making it appropriate to visit wearing hiking gear.
The menu changes seasonally and we recommend asking your server for the daily specials. On our visit in the winter, we started out with a platter of delicious Sicilian cheese and cold cuts from Nebrodi.
Their twist on the traditional Sicilian arancini sitting on a celery puree with an exceptional ragu sauce is not to be missed.
Our main dish, lamb, from local producers who raise their animals sustainably was tender and cooked to perfection.
Accompanying our dinner was an excellent Etna wine from their extensive selection of Etna and Sicilian wines.
You’ll also find a selection of pizzas made in a traditional wood-fired oven and a variety of fresh pasta dishes.
A visit to this gem of a Catania restaurant is perfect on your escape to Mount Etna. And be sure to make reservations ahead of time
Address: 9 Via Francesco Crispi, Milo
Hours: Open weekdays, except Wednesdays, from 7:00 pm – 12:00 am. Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm – 12:00 am
Price: à la carte menu €100 (approx. $100) for two with a bottle of wine
Pro Tip: If you are not familiar with Etna wines, ask your server for a recommendation and sip on delightful volcanic wines.
Best Catania Restaurants for Lunch
Lunch, known as il pranzo, is typically served anywhere from about 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. While you’ll find several spots in the city, we’ve listed four of our favorite eateries for good food and authentic experiences.
17. Pasticceria Savia
Pasticceria Savia, known locally as just Savia, is one of the most famous pastry shops.
Founded in 1897 by the husband and wife team, Angelo and Elisabetta Savia, the family legacy lives on.
Ask any local for the best tasting cannoli and arancino and they will point you to Pasticceria Savia.
While the arancini is considered among the best in the city, the typical Catania and Sicilian sweets and pastries are celebrated.
You can enjoy the Savia experience in one or two ways. The first, which is light on the wallet, is to take the arancini and a few other Cantanese specialties to go.
Across from Savia is Bellini park where you can savor the goodness in the sun.
The other option is to grab a seat either inside or outside on the patio. Do keep in mind that Savia is constantly busy and getting a free table will require patience as reservations are not accepted.
We went to Savia during the off hours and were able to snag a table. The famous arancini with ragu sauce, cannolo with fresh ricotta and almond granita with brioche were on our agenda.
We loved everything we had. The flavors were exceptional and incredibly fresh.
The arancini was nothing short of exceptional. Perfectly crunchy, not greasy and with a very tasty meat sauce, this was our favorite arancini in Catania.
The delectable cannolo with fresh ricotta was sublime. Every bit as delicious as we had expected. The ricotta filling was not overly sweet nor heavy and it married well with the crunchy cannolo.
A Sicilian tradition, the fresh brioche with a mix of chocolate and almond granita was refreshing and scrumptious. The almond granita which we had again several times was our favorite.
Savia’s reputation is well deserved. Whether you are looking for a sweet treat or something savory, you’ll enjoy the fresh flavors and efficient service at Savia.
Address: 300/302/304 Via Etnea; 2/4/6 Via Umberto I
Hours: Open daily, except Mondays, from 7:45 am – 9:20 pm
Price: Pastries and savory items run between €1.60 – €3.20 (approx $1.70 – $3.50)
Pro Tip: Granita with brioche or ‘granita con la brioche’ is a typical Sicilian breakfast. Eat like a Sicilian with this unusual but refreshing combination.
18. La Salumeria Fratelli Zappala
This delightful Catania restaurant is located near Piazza Carlo Alberto, the location for one of the oldest Catania outdoor markets.
The market, known as Fiera di Catania or Fera ‘o Luni was the farmers market we frequented on an almost daily basis.
Located at one end of the market is this unassuming salumeria Zappala with excellent Italian cheese, salami and other cured meats.
The attached rustic restaurant is on one end with a menu that features typical Catania or Sicilian dishes.
The daily specials of pasta with sardines or pasta con le sarde and seafood spaghetti or spaghetti allo scoglio tempted us.
While both were very good, the seafood spaghetti was outstanding. Featuring market fresh mussels, shrimp, clams and squid. The true masterpiece of the dish was the sauce.
Fresh flavors from the sea cooked in a delightful wine and tomato based sauce.
Beyond main dishes, you’ll also find a variety of Italian sandwiches known as panini. The sandwiches are filled with your choice of ham or cold cuts in a soft, crunchy local bread.
The historic Catania market is fascinating and worth visiting for a local experience. When you are in the area, we highly recommend getting the daily lunch special at La Salumeria Fratelli Zappala.
Address: 16 Via Grotte Bianche, 1 Via Umberto
Hours: Open Mondays to Saturday 8:15 am – 2:30 pm
Price: Prices range for sandwiches to main meals. Expect to pay between €5 to €15 (approx. $5.50 to $16.50)
Pro Tip: Visit the impressive Baroque style Madonna del Carmelo church at the nearby Piazza Carlo Alberto.
19. Trattoria Aldo
Eating off the beaten path at restaurants only locals frequent is one of the most exciting aspects of traveling local.
We had spotted Trattoria Aldo while shopping at our regular Fiera di Catania farmers market.
While the restaurant is located on the second floor, the daily specials are listed on a chalkboard on the street level.
One afternoon, looking for a casual place for lunch, we gave in to the temptation of their daily specials.
We made our way upstairs and were welcomed into a large airy restaurant with a warm and welcoming Italian home ambiance.
The menu was simple and featured seasonal pasta dishes. Rosemary went for a delightful pasta dish from Palermo with anchovies and raisins. And, I ordered vegetarian zucchini and cheese pasta dish.
In both cases, the pasta dishes were fresh with vibrant flavors and generous in size. We enjoyed the casual vibe, friendly staff and simple menu.
If you are looking to get off the beaten path for lunch, Trattoria Aldo is your home in Catania.
Address: 2 Piazza Giuseppe Sciuti
Hours: Open everyday, except Sundays, from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Price: Pasta dishes range in price from €6 to €14 (approx. $6.60 to $15.40)
Pro Tip: At the restaurant entrance is a buffet of appetizers or Sicilian antipasti. Start out with delicious small plates of traditional starters.
20. Antica Rosticceria Catanese dal 1907
Serving typical Sicilian cuisine and Catania food specialties, Antica Rosticceria is one of these hidden gems near the pescheria fish market.
Being close to the city’s largest fish market, Antica serves only the freshest catch of the day. Everything is made fresh on a daily basis and you can choose from a wide variety of offerings.
This unassuming Antica gastronomia is popular for lunch both for the good food, friendly service and affordable prices.
The daily specials are written on a chalkboard and there are also some buffet-style prepared dishes.
We devoured two local specialties: caponata and eggplant based side and spaghetti with cuttlefish ink or spaghetti al nero di seppia.
The servings are generous though don’t expect gourmet style food. The food is homemade and simply prepared.
Frequented by locals, the restaurant gets busy especially during lunch hours. There are a few tables inside and on the sidewalk and you may have to wait for one to become available.
Antica Rosticceria Catanese is an institution in Catania and a great place to immerse yourself into the local food scene.
Address: 5 Via Pardo, Catania.
Hours: Open daily, except Sundays, from 7:00 am – 5:30 pm
Price: You can get local specialties like arancini, fresh fish and pasta for less than €6 (approx $6.6)
Pro Tip: Not well known amongst tourists so you’ll be rubbing elbows with locals. Go before noon or after 2:30 pm to avoid the crowd. However, be aware that they may run out of some dishes the later you go.
Map of Catania Best Restaurants
While the best restaurants in Catania may all have different specialties, they share one thing in common. Catania restaurants honor the region’s rich produce and bounty and celebrate it with delectable dishes.
While this is not an exhaustive list, we trust this Catania restaurant guide will introduce you to new unforgettable flavors.
Savor Sicily at any of these best Catania restaurants.
Have you visited any of these Catania restaurants before? If not, please let us know in the comments below which ones you’d like to try.
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest