Great position overlooking the sea, suggestive panoramas, the famous Greek-Roman theatre and an enviable cuisine make Taormina one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island of Sicily. With its exceptional ingredients and ancient tradition, the Sicilian city shows off its thriving territory at the table, combining riches of sea and of the soil. Here are the must visit restaurants in the city.
Taormina’s best restaurants in 2020
In the restaurant at a stone’s throw from the Ancient Theatre, chef Andreas Zangerl offers dishes with clear, authentic flavours that enhance high quality ingredients. Paccheri from Gragnano dressed with tuna from the Messina Strait, mint and green beans, for example; or spaghetti with shrimp and red Mazara del Vallo prawns. Plus tuna tataki, fish stew with Etna saffron, black pork with pear sauce, all paired with carefully selected wines, mostly local. professional and courteous service complete the scene.
Andreas Restaurant – via Bagnoli Croce, 88 – andreasrestaurant.it/
Elegant restaurant located just outside the center, managed by Pietro d’Agostino (together with his sisters), chef and entrepreneur who also owns Kisté and a line of gastronomic specialties bearing the “Io, Pietro d’Agostino” brand. At Capinera, where in summer guests can eat on the terrace overlooking the Ionian Sea, it’s possible to appreciate the personality of the chef’s cuisine based on technique, experience, research and product awareness. Excellent seafood dishes, such as Artemide black rice or turmeric cuttlefish, and also non-seafood dishes, above all the caramelised duck with chestnut honey, Bronte pistachio and candied oranges.
La Capinera – via Nazionale, 177 – pietrodagostino.it/la-capinera/
An informal dining room decorated in dominant pastel colours and soft shades, and a terrace with breathtaking views of Taormina: these are just some of the strengths of this restaurant. The cuisine is solid, traditional and speaks Sicilian in every part of the menu. All the classics of the island repertoire are therefore present, think fava bean “macco” puree, crispy fried Tuma cheese, caponata and parmigiana. Also, pasta with sardines, stuffed squid, meat chops and typical sweets. The wine list is in line with the gastronomic offer.
Al Duomo – vico degli Ebrei – ristorantealduomotaormina.com/
Timeo at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Roberto Toro is not happy simply proposing the great island classics – all presented in Sicilian dialect – so reserves a part of the menu for more creative and original dishes, such as buffalo ricotta gnocchi with raw almonds and grape tomatoes; Paccheri pasta with courgettes with mint, clams and sea urchins, or turbot fillet glazed with endive cream and caviar. All served on the terrace overlooking the bay of Giardini Naxos and Mt Etna, in a unique position of rare beauty.
Timeo del Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo – via del Teatro Greco, 59 – belmond.com/it/hotels/europe/italy/taormina/belmond-grand-hotel-timeo/dining
In an alley behind the Duomo, owned by Pietro D’Agostino and located in an elegant 16th century building Kisté is the younger brother of La Capinera. The menu is always inviting, but simpler than the cuisine normally proposed by the chef. Here he goes for an informal version that he defines as “easy gourmet”. There is no shortage of well-made surf and turf dishes created from high-quality ingredients, but you can also stop for a delicious aperitif, with the food specialties branded “Io, Pietro D’Agostino.”
Kisté – via S. Maria de Greci, 2 – kiste.it/
Recently opened restaurant in the heart of Taormina, which welcomes guests in an intimate and well-kept environment, with a pleasant outdoor space where guests can taste above all seafood. The preparations are all seasonal and delicious, made with first choice ingredients: raw fish, parmigiana, mussel sauté, fried anchovies and spaghetti with seafood ragù. The wine list is also interesting, with a particular focus on regional labels.
Ostera RossoDiVino – vico de Spuches, 8 – osteria-rosso-divino.com/
St George Restaurant by Heinz Beck at The Ashbee Hotel
Welcome to the southernmost “Beckian” outpost of Italy, with a terrace boasting panoramic views and an interior space that’s elegantly decorated with colourful furnishings. Assisting in the cuisine is Giovanni Solofra, who rethinks some traditional Sicilian dishes in a modern key, without ever distorting them. Examples include tortellini with sardines and garum fish sauce and consommé; or a soufflé cassata. Service in line with the context and the gastronomic offer; good selection of wines.
St George Restaurant by Heinz Beck del The Ashbee Hotel – viale S. Pancrazio, 46 – theashbeehotel.it/st-george-restaurant/
The goal of Luca Casablanca, chef and owner of the restaurant, is above all to make guests feel at home. In fact, the restaurant is decorated in a simple and essential fashion, with all the typical elements of a trattoria. The service is informal and courteous, and the general atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. Equally familiar is the cuisine, with authentic flavour given by traditional cooking techniques and refined ingredients. There are wild fennel meatballs, stockfish salad with stuffed artichokes, fava bean macco with seasonal vegetables, meatloaf with sauce, and busiate pasta with tuna ragù. There are also all the holiday dishes, such as trusceddu during the Easter period.
Tischi Toschi – Vico Cuscona-Paladini – tischitoschitaormina.com/