This is dangerous territory that Im encroaching on. People have very strong opinions when it comes to saying “The Top” in any category. I hope that this does encourage some feedback so that we can all learn from each other. Hopefully this is helpful to you and everyone can share some more ideas of spots to try. We need all the help that we can get as Americans in Sicily. Especially when some of the best restaurants that we have tried here have exteriors that would normally prompt you to run in the other direction.
1. Blanc a Manger – This is a French themed restaurant in downtown Catania. A French place that has survived in Catania… If you know how dominant Sicilian/Italian restaurants are in Sicily than you understand how good this place must be to survive. Great change up. Link to Blanc a Manger Post
2. Il Tocco – One of my favorites to take out of town guests. This place is literally a modern tree house perched on the coastline in Acireale. The great views of the Ionian Sea are paired with great Sicilian food especially the pizzas. I had one of my favorite pizzas of all time here, unfortunately it was only a special that night. (it had small mounds of pumpkin, leeks, ricotta, mozzarella , and thats all I can remember right now… it was so different and tasty) Link to Il Tocco Post
3. La Siciliana – A classic location that local Sicilians consider one of the best. After our visits we can agree with them as they serve up an array of amazing Sicilian dishes with class. Link to La Siciliana Post
4. Mm!! – If you are in the mood for seafood this is my go to place. And living in this area you better like seafood or you might get a cross eyed “What’sa mater wit U?” Link to Mm! Post Update 11/2014 – Antica Marina, which is in the same square as MMm!, is our new favorite for seafood. Mmm! has been inconsistent the last few times we have gone. Here is a link to Antica Marina’s website : http://www.anticamarina.it/
5. Ninnetti – This is the surprise selection. Tucked away in the small town of San Gregorio in Northern Catania, Ninnetti is always a solid selection for Sicilian food. Great daily pasta dishes using “in season” ingredients or some of my favorite pizzas that I have had so far in Sicily. My favorite pizza is the Mortadella. Also their patate fritte (fries) are great here to start with. I know thats kind of random, but you might have noticed how popular fries are in Italy as a starter. Its pretty much on every table. Ninnetti’s fries are homemade “cottage fries” as I would call them back home, with my midwest roots. Link to Ninnetti Post
Il Cantiniere – This is a magical place for us winos. Literally surrounded by bottles of great wines I could just park here for a few months and sleep in the kitchen. The only reason no top 5 is because the food isn’t really the high point… If your focus is wine then this is the place. Especially for their “happy hour” times when they have a bunch of random bottles open for sampling.
Sushi Live – There is a piece of my stomach that is devoted to sushi. I know Im weird. When that piece of my stomach needs refilling Sushi Live is my favorite sushi place in Catania area. The sushi and tempura are as close to home as I have found, but stay away from the miso soup… They let the Sicilian get the best of them on the soup, with a langostine floating in your bowl.
Reitana – This is our neighborhood place that we take for granted. In fact I just realized I haven’t written about Reitana yet and we have probably been there almost 100 times. Their pizza’s are some of the best that we have had since moving here and a lot of the other items on their menu are also very good, including their steaks!