Our first visit to Ischia was back in 2009 and we’ve been back many times since. We always discover something new – like a vineyard on our last visit! It’s quite a big island with lots of different areas to explore, as well as being a good base for a day trip to Capri or Procida. It’s also famous for its thermal waters and there are lots of thermal water parks that you can visit during your stay.
But where to eat?
As with everywhere, there are good restaurants and average ones. Here are the best restaurants in Ischia that we love and go to time and again.
I’ve broken them down into areas of Ischia – Ischia Ponte, which is near the castle, Forio on the western side and Sant’ Angelo, which is in the south.
Ischia Ponte is the island’s most famous area as it’s the area by the castle. It’s where the fisherman used to (and some still do) live. There are lots of restaurants, shops and bars in this area and it’s where most of our favourite restaurants are.
Ristorante il Monastero
Hands down one of the BEST views in Ischia is to be found at the restaurant at the il Monastero hotel in the Aragonese Castle. As well as a stunning view and beautiful outdoor setting, it also has amazing food.
The restaurant uses produce from their own vegetable garden and orchard and they source their seafood from the fishermen just meters away. For everything else, they buy from the best producers in Campania.
The food is very elegant, refined and beautifully presented. This is a very special restaurant and one you really must book when you’re in Ischia. Be sure to go a bit earlier to enjoy an aperitvo.
Another firm favourite of ours is Gardenia Mare, which is located in a small bay overlooking the castle. For some strange reason I don’t seem to have any photos of the restaurant itself but it’s lovely and the food is fabulous.
Due to its popularity, they have now expanded the restaurant with more tables outside. Note that you have to walk down quite a few stairs to reach the restaurant so it may not be suitable for people with mobility issues. However, you can get a water taxi instead and avoid the stairs!
Il Giardino Eden
Again, I stupidly didn’t take any photos of the restaurant itself but have a look at their website – it’s fabulous. Giardino Eden is extremely popular so you really need to book it in advance. It has gorgeous views of the castle, and is in fact in the same restaurant portfolio as Umberto a Mare and Ristorante il Monastero so the food is excellent.
You can either drive here or get a water taxi from near the castle. You can ask the restaurant to book it for you.
These fried dough balls with tomato and basil were absolutely delicious! And quite different from other starters on offer at other restaurants.
The saute di vongole was also excellent. And of course all the seafood is sourced locally. Overall, expect an excellent meal in a truly beautiful setting with great service.
Located on the roof terrace of the five star Miramare e Castello hotel, is La Lampara. Its name comes from the light source that was used in ancient fishing methods and it’s a homage to Ischia’s history.
A very elegant setting, with stunning views of the castle and looks breath-taking at dusk. Top tip – request a table at the edge, for the best views.
Chef patron Ciro Calise and his team create beautiful, delicious dishes using the freshest ingredients.
Usually there is linguine al riccio is on the menu, so do yourself a favour and order it! The urchins come from the rocks around the castle so are so fresh. La Lampara is a must for a fine dining experience in Ischia.
Sant’ Angelo is not actually a town in itself but is part of Serrara Fontana. It is an old fishing village and is characterised by the colourful houses and a jutting rock. It’s situated on the south of the island.
Casa Celestino is a hotel restaurant, although it’s located opposite the hotel with a fabulous view over Sant’ Angelo and the colourful beach umbrellas from the beach clubs.
The food is wonderful, with lots of seafood choices. Lovely setting, great food and excellent service – definitely one to try if you’re in Sant’ Angelo.
Forio is Ischia’s largest town and sits on the western side of the island. It has a lovely beach, Baia di Citara and a historic town centre. You can also get direct ferries to Naples from Forio.
Umberto a Mare
We’ve been to Umberto a Mare many times for lunch and once for dinner. The restaurant for dinner is much more formal than the lunch restaurant. Umberto a Mare is actually the sister hotel and restaurant to il Monastero.
Expect fabulous, fresh food and stunning views of the sea from every table.
The menu at lunch is not very big but is perfectly formed. We had one of the best bruschetta ever here! The tomatoes come from nearby and are packed full of flavour.
If you spot pasta with sardines, raisins and pine nuts on the menu – order it! I’m not even a fan of sardines but this pasta is absolutely gorgeous – highly recommend it.
Tenuta c’est la vie
A fairly new discovery for us is Tenuta c’est la vie, which is a hotel and restaurant with its own vineyard! Arrive for aperitivo at around 7pm and have a walk among the vineyards before dinner.
The area where aperitivo is served is really cute, with beach club vibes. The actual bar is in a little hut with a straw roof. You also overlook a really lovely pool.
It’s also perfectly positioned to watch the sunset as it sets right in front of you. Isn’t it just stunning?
The restaurant area is away from where aperitivo is served and has a decking area with a lovely view over Forio. We didn’t actually eat here as we’d on found out about it when we arrived in Ischia – from a local -and we’d already booked our restaurants but it’s definitely on our list for when we return. It has great reviews!
So those are the best restaurants I’d recommend in Ischia. Have you been to Ischia? Which restaurants would you add to the list?