Where to eat in Messina. The best restaurants chosen by Gambero Rosso

Feb 26 2024, 12:31
The ancient Zancle, named by the Greeks, is no longer just a port of passage. In addition to art and architecture, there is good cuisine blending tradition and innovation that food enthusiasts cannot miss

The city of the Strait, located at the northeastern tip of Sicily, was founded by the Greeks and retains the imprint of its ancient history. On December 28, 1908, it experienced one of the most devastating earthquakes of the 20th century, after which Giovanni Pascoli, who had been a university professor here, wrote: "From this hidden power from which ruin and crushing radiate, so much history, beauty, and greatness have been nullified here. But it remains like the imprint in the sky, like the echo in the sea. Here, where history is almost destroyed, poetry remains."

Today, Messina is a city rich in artistic and architectural features - among the most fascinating works are the Cathedral and the mythological-themed fountains. It has an eclectic landscape, ranging from the Nebrodi and Peloritani Mountains to the sea. It is a transit city due to its port, but also a recommended destination for a vacation where good cuisine is a central attraction, given the richness of the local resources, the long tradition, and a culinary scene that includes classics as well as new and interesting establishments. Here are the best according to Gambero Rosso.

Where to Eat in Messina


Restaurant. It defies a long-standing cliché: Bellavista (which fully honors its name) is located right between Scylla and Charybdis, and has always been a great place to be. With the support of a family team (dad in the kitchen, son efficiently managing the dining area), it offers a cuisine rooted in local and marine traditions but revisited and updated in terms of weight and well-presented dishes. The establishment also provides an effective catering service and organizes gatherings and events. Good wine cellar, with a focus on sparkling options.

Bellavista - loc. Torre Faro - via Circuito, 126 - 090 326682 - bellavistaristorante.info

Casa & Putia

Trattoria. A beautiful, bright room tastefully decorated is the business card of Adriana and Nino Mostaccio, passionate gourmets who have been running this lovely place with a cuisine firmly anchored to the territory but with excellent creative ideas for over ten years. The menu does not distinguish between appetizers and mains; you can compose it as you like. In the summer, for example, there is always a different proposal of raw fish and fried dishes. Then, marinated bluefish, dry but under salt and sugar, with Etna extra virgin olive oil and Nubia garlic, as tasty as the homemade egg pasta with fish ragout. The wine list is of a decent level, mainly based on carefully selected Sicilian labels from bio wineries, but there are also some valid options from the rest of Italy.

Casa & Putia - via San Camillo, 14 - 090 2402887 - casaeputiaristorante.it

'A Cucchiara

Restaurant. Set in the eighteenth-century Calapaj D'Alcontres palace, right next to the Cathedral, the restaurant offers not only an indoor room with exposed stone but also a quiet summer outdoor area overlooking the Cathedral. The cuisine, on the rise, is Mediterranean with innovative touches and classics like the hearty stockfish stew. Good selection of wines.

' A Cucchiara - l.go San Giacomo, 19 - 090 711023 - Facebook


Japanese. An eclectic address where the experience is always stimulating. Japan and mixology, sushi, rolls, but also excellent grilled meats and a good Sicilian cuisine revisited in this international address that caters to a wide range of audiences. There is also a noteworthy beverage offering, which, in addition to the bartender's creations, includes a well-curated selection of wines and good beers.

Kajiki - via XXVII Luglio, 112 - 090 6402915 - kajikimessina.com


Grill. Recently opened, this carnivore's paradise is located in a secluded area, Villa Dante. The centerpiece of the menu is the chops, accompanied by burgers, sausages, and horse meat. But the specialty of the house is undoubtedly the "python," especially the one with ground horse meat, beaten vegetables, and red wine. The fried options are also good, with new openings in the city planned.

SteakhouseMe - p.zza Dante Alighieri, 86 - 351 6304550


Restaurant. Piero is an institution in the city, an establishment from the 1980s in atmosphere but with authentic and tasty Messina cuisine. The menu is long and classic: seafood salad, tartare, mixed fried fish, "lesse" mussels, gratin, marinara, trenette with scampi or lobster, or penne "alla liparota," swordfish rolls "alla ghiotta," roasted stuffed squid, and shrimp in white wine. There are also meat dishes to please everyone. Always reliable.

Piero - via Ghibellina, 119 - 090 6409354 - ristorantepiero.com

I Ruggeri

Restaurant. It speaks of a doubly special relationship, between the father as the restaurateur and the skillful son as the manager, the sign says. And for some years now, the heir (with his partner working together and piloting the kitchen) has been holding the reins of this measured and refined establishment, centered on a composite cuisine, not exclusively seafood, with good personal inspiration and enhanced by a contemporary and attractive mise en place. Here, among the many possibilities, you can find tuna meatballs in sweet and sour sauce and "beccafico" of prawns with pistachio; a tasty "cacio, pepe e fichi" and ethereal linguine with sea urchins; the revisitation of the stockfish totem, but also the Cinta pig shank. Sweet and pleasant ending. Well-managed wine cellar. Punctual and courteous service.

I Ruggeri - via Pozzo Leone, 21 - 090 343938 - iruggeri.it

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