Best places to eat in Tropea | Aeolian Islands
I know that the always winning option in Italy is pizza, and I won’t deny that I used this magic formula as well 🙂 However, please do enjoy the seafood! I lived in Spain, I travelled a lot in France, but I’ve never ate that soft octopus salad without any vinegar used!
So my beloved octopus salad was ordered in our first evening in Tropea, when we couldn’t find the restaurant recommended by TripAdvisor (one of my best friends) and google.maps (another best friend) couldn’t help. That’s how we found Il Vecchio Granaio – a restaurant with a beautiful terrace, I would even say patio surrounded by an XVIII century house, covered with climbing flowers. Elegant tables, wide matching umbrellas, located a bit away from the crowd, a bit hidden in the tiny Italian streets of this very touristic town, both waitresses were very kind and professional, and all the food (and especially wine!) was amazing! What else you need? I would say it’s a perfect choice if you want to have rest from the crowd & noise, enjoy your meal without being interrupted by anyone or anything. And I have no idea why the rating of this place is only #60 from 109 restaurants. You can check my review here
You can see our first bill on the photo below (and that was really a lot of food for two people!). You can also order a pizza here (which we did when coming second time) and it’s very good as well. You can see how it’s prepared if you take a table on the terrace just in front of the second entrance door to the restaurant.
If you are looking for a restaurant with a view (and you should because the views here are heartbreaking) I would definitely recommend Il Normanno. The restaurant is located in an old house with a beautiful interior (I can assure that you’ll enjoy going there in the toilet – the staircase will lead you to a very retro room with a fireplace, old-fashioned carpets and many other attributes of early XX’s century décor, and only then you’ll get to the restroom :)) The terrace is also very stylish with a crafty fence around and of course the view – on the right hand side green hills with a temple on the top, left hand side – the port and many many ships & boats, I could watch it endlessly! Especially it’s impressive at sunset time.
Another ‘specialty’ of the restaurant is the service – the staff was excellent, even I can’t find a reason to complain about.
We were here only once and ordered pizza which was great of course!
Talking about the busy central life – we went to a restaurant called La Lamia. And I still can’t decide whether I liked it or not. Again a beautiful part of the town, however with lots of people walking behind, between and in front of you – the tables are placed in a passage. The service is a bit messy – one waiter served for us the table but didn’t take the order, another waiter took the order, another waitress took away the cutlery, since she saw us only drinking, not eating, another waiter brought back the cutlery and the food. My goodness, this was too much for me! But that’s not all. We ordered two main courses and a salad to share, the salad came late when we were almost finishing the main course. Since it was an evening after sailing and we were a bit cold, we ordered tea – and I know it’s not a typical drink in almost Sicily, but why would you fill only half of the teapot with water!
The portions were enormous though. We were dreaming for the salad not to come 🙂
Now let’s switch to our islands!
Aeolian Islands | Isole Eolie
The best pizza in my life was served on Stromboli at Pizzeria da Giovanni – now I understand why even in northern cities like Bologna the best pizza is made in places run by Sicilians! The dough, the filling, the level of preparation – everything was perfect. Even though the service is a bit of rude (but I might call it a part of local experience), I would still go back for the pizza! By the way, besides pizza they also have pasta, risotto and other seafood meals.
From Stromboli to Lipari, to Ciuri Ciuri – a restaurant located on the main street of the biggest volcanic island in Tyhrrenian sea (Lipari). I really liked the staff and the drinks were served with nice appetizers which killed our hunger till the very evening. I would definitely go and try their food if I’m on the island again.
NB: in every single restaurant you’ll go in the area, you’ll find something called ‘coperto’ in your bill. As I understood, it’s the cost of the place/table/serving. It was for 2 people.
And not to forget about dolce vita!
Pastry shops, bakeries, coffee houses in Tropea
There were two memorable pasticcerias and both around our hotel. The first one is Peccati di Gola where we bought great cornettos and caffe freddo. It’s a purely local place, and very loved and visited by them. The waitress/barista was extremely friendly and helpful even though she didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Italian, we had no difficulties in understanding. And they have plenty of pastry types, it’s just us keeping an eye on our shapes, that we couldn’t try them all.
Another purely local place is Pasticceria Tre Stelle – great choice of sweats, outdoor and indoor tables and only local customers (and some smart travelers!). We ordered canolli siciliani which were better than one can expect, however the cappuccino wasn’t the best (Italy made me a very sophisticated coffee drinker).
And also they have very home-made looking cakes at 15 EUR/kg available at any time without pre-ordering. So in case you plan to celebrate your child’s birthday… By the way, why not? We have the cakes settled, and let me know, I’ll advise you a dozen of unique activities to make your baby’s (regardless the age) birthday unforgettable!