We’ve been to Taormina many times over the years and enjoyed wonderful meals. There are so many eating options to choose from – from street food to pizzerias to fine dining. In fact, according to Tripadvisor there are 205 restaurants in Taormina so how do you ensure you choose the right ones so you’re not disappointed? Here are the best Taormina restaurants that I’d recommend – some we’ve been to many times.
The best places to eat in Taormina
Whenever we are in Taormina we always have to eat at Vineria Modi! Tucked away down a side street – Via Calapitrulli – you’ll find elegant tables outside on the street as well as art-deco inspired seating inside if you prefer.
The concept is modern Sicilian and it certainly achieves that. Chef Dalila has worked at three Michelin star restaurant Amador in Vienna and the three-starred Piazza Duomo in Alba and has brought back elegance, refinement and flair to Vineria Modi – you’re even served a delicious amuse-bouche before your meal. The food is really excellent! Plus, if you’re a wine buff they have a very extensive wine list and a cellar with around 1,000 labels.
Expect wonderful food, great service and an atmospheric setting. Price ££-£££.
Another firm favourite of ours whenever we visit Taormina is Ristorante Oliviero, which is situated in the five star Belmond hotel, Villa Sant’ Andrea. It’s not in Taormina centre but in Mazzarò, which is a short drive or you can get the cable car down, which takes a couple of minutes. Note though that the cable car stops running at around 8pm.
It has a gorgeous view over the bay of Mazzarò and you can go for lunch or aperitivo too (we’ve done both). The menu is seasonal and serves up sumptuous Italian dishes with the finest ingredients. My risotto with bottarga was absolutely phenomenal!
This is fine dining at its best! Great service, fabulous food and a gorgeous setting. Price: £££.
Hands down one of the best panoramic views in Taormina, overlooking the stunning swimming spot Isola Bella.
We’ve been coming to Il Gabbiano for lunch ever since we first visited Taormina many years ago. The decor used to be quite basic but they’ve redecorated over the last few years and it looks much more elegant now. The food is great too and I always order the spaghetti vongole – an absolute favourite.
What’s great about Il Gabbiano is that there are some favourites which stay on the menu – like spaghetti vongole – but that they change up the menu too. We had two new starters this time, one of which was an arancino with pigs cheek and hazelnuts. So good!
Stunning views, friendly service and delicious food. Price: ££
Casa Niclodi is a hidden gem tucked away just off the main street in Taormina. They have an absolutely delightful garden, which is beautifully lit at night, creating a lovely ambience.
My paccheri with monkfish and aubergine was absolutely gorgeous! The aubergine was like a cream that coated the pasta and made it even more sumptuous.
My husband loved his pasta too which he said was one of best he’d had in Taormina. There were also a few tables of locals celebrating birthdays, which is always a good sign!
The food was fantastic, the wine was perfectly chilled, the setting is truly beautiful and the service was good. Price ££ – £££
Lido da Angelo
If you head out to the nearby town of Giardini Naxos, you’ll find lots of restaurants – some of which are right on the beach. We had a delicious lunch at Lido da Angelo, although the setting is quite basic. The view from the terrace is fabulous and more than makes up for the lack of modernity.
The fish was a particular highlight. The sauce was so yum, I had to soak it up with bread – definitely the sign of a good meal!
Amazing view over the beach, friendly service and great fish. Price: ££
Ristorante Opera Prima
Another option for a meal in Giardini Naxos is Ristorante Opera Prima. Set just across the street from the beach, it still has great views. It’s also really nicely decorated in whites and blues with hints of yellow.
We ordered a simple Caprese salad to start along with grilled octopus on a chickpea cream. We followed those with swordfish with tomatoes, olives and capers and a sea bass fillet with a pistachio crumb. I loved how the swordfish came with some toasted bread to soak up the sauce!
Lovely view, great decor, yummy good and chilled wine. Price: ££
Although it opened in 2012, we only discovered Osteria RossoDiVino when I opened up our guest book at our AirBnB and lots of the guests raved about it. It’s down a little side street just by the ancient arched gate (but at the other end, near the Duomo) and it’s got one of the prettiest settings! The restaurant is next to Fondazione Mazzullo – a building that was built for the Duke of Santo Stefano in the 14th century and it is stunning.
As the name suggests, they have an extensive wine list. However, an ‘osteria’ usually serves quite simple food but not in this case! The octopus starter certainly didn’t look simple…
We also ordered the courgette and fish involtini, which were absolutely delicious. If you go and they’re on the menu, definitely order them!
Romantic setting, great wine list and yummy food. Price ££-£££
Bistrot du Monde
Don’t let the fact that Bistrot du Monde is situated in one of the most touristy streets in Taormina put you off (if you’re that way inclined) as it’s very elegantly decorated and sits next to another elegant restaurant – with lovely lighting at night.
Service could have been slightly better but the food was delicious and it has a great ambiance. The tuna tartare starter was a real highlight.
My paccheri il astice (lobster) was full of flavour and had a good amount of lobster too. My husband had the trofie with a white ragu made of pork and beef, which he really enjoyed.
Lovely setting, great wine list, beautifully presented and delicious food. Price ££-£££
Circe is fairly new to Taormina and serves Italian food with a Sicilian twist in a modern setting and they also have a deli next door. The menu ranges from meat and cheese boards to bruschette, salads and steak. We went three times for aperitivo, where we ordered bruschetta to accompany our wine.
One night we ordered the Mortadella and Pistachio focaccia, which was insanely good! Circe is a great option if you don’t fancy a big meal but still want to have great service, good wine and a modern setting. It’s also perfect for aperitivo! They have a balcony as well as indoor seating.
Modern setting, great menu, friendly service. Price £-££
Situated opposite Al Grappolo d’Uva, where we love to have aperitivo, is Gourmet 32. It has a lovely, large outdoor terrace which has adequate covering for if it rains, however the inside is really nicely decorated too.
My husband ordered the Pasta con le sarde, which whilst it wasn’t the most elegantly presented one he’d had, he said it was the best flavour-wise.
I ordered the spaghetti vongole with parsley pesto, which was fabulous. The pesto had so much flavour, I even licked the clam shells!
Despite being to Taormina many times over the years, this was our first visit to Gourmet 32 and we’ll definitely be back.
Lovely terrace, great decor, wonderful service, delicious pasta. Price ££-£££
So those are the Taormina restaurants I’d highly recommend! Have you been to Taormina? Which restaurants would you add to the list?