il vagabondo: A great cooker!
It does not seem a restaurant, but it seems an emporium where you can find everything from fruit to the bathing costume.
The cuisine is perfect, really Tropeana, the wife of the owner is a perfect cooker:t a troupe of Italian television, that has spent many months for a movie in Tropea, usually have dinner here and they leave a 'diploma' to thanks the cooker fo rthe cuisine.
The owner, in addition to serving the tables, day out with his fishing boat and carry tourists during trips in the most beautiful places on the coast.
Favorite Dish: All the dishes are good, but ask for the fresh fish or cath of the day...for exemple there are season where it's impossible to find big shrimps....
If you want to taste a perfect plate ask for 'dentice in umido'....you have to ask for it a day before....they prepare for you as second plate, but with the dentice sauce they can serve you a fileja pasta dishes, a local hand made pasta that you have to taste absolutely.
Remember that all the disches are big, don't order too much things.....and rememeber to ask abut spicy plate cause pepper in Calabria is in every dishes....and it's very hot!
Giardino del Mare restaurant: Big but like in the family
The restaurant is managed by a large family. His father, after spending many years on merchant ships, is the pizza and the pizza is very good, cooked in a wood oven ... the kitchen is run by a mother and child during the day leaving by boat for fishing fresh fish for the restaurant. During high season the whole family helps in the restaurant, two other sons and their wives, while the grandchildren get a pass in the garden.
The first night we arrived there was no guests because it was low season and the family was preparing their dinner table. We asked if they were open and we were told that are always open because the restaurant is like their home ... if they can cook for them, they con do for us! My daughter Nina, 22 months, was immediately taken by the grandchildren who have maintained while we had dinner and at the end she was at the table with all their family eating chicken and chips with the other kids!
Favorite Dish: Try the fish fried named ‘Pettine’, is a local little red fish with a fantastic taste, the fileja (local hand made pasta) with meat, warm fish appetizer with octopus and squid and the big ‘grigliata di pesce’ (great grilled fish ).
Remember we do not order too many things because their dishes are immense.
Everywhere: Don't miss N'duja
In every restaurant u can find local dishes with this ingredient inside....i't very hot and spicy but it traditional here.
N'duja is a special soft sausage that u can put like 'majonaise' on the bread!
Keep attention because this sausege is full of Peperoncino, red hot chili pepper!
But is wonderfull......in the pasta tomato sauce, inthe fish dishes, ......u have to try it.
and u have to try the Tropea Onion that have a particular flava, unique......and the red calabria wine, solid and strong like the people of this land!
And at the end of your meal try the Amaro del Capo or Liquorice liquer, the best end for your full stomach!
Enjoy your meal!
Favorite Dish: go to this italian web site to learn more on the Tropea product
Prodotti casarecci, Largo Vaccari (just beyond the Piazzetta Panoramica that leads to the city center).
Cesarina Stupia sells all kinds of local specialties: onions, anchovies, sun-dried to-matoes, olives, eggplants, local tuna in oil, artichokes, capers, dried or baked figs, olive spread, peperoncino (dried or in oil) and 'nduja.
Ditta F. Schiariti, Via Campo Superiore 13, 88038 Tropea, tel. and fax 0963/61675.
Just outside of town, a leading grower and shipper of Tropea's red onions.
Fruit and vegetable stand, Corso Vittorio Emanuele 6 (corner of Viale Regina Margherita).
Here is the place to buy red onions and local fruit. The flavors will amaze you. It also sells local wine and almond paste.
During high tourist season most restaurants are open every day.
Trattoria al Timone, Piazza del Duomo. No telephone. No credit cards. Moderately inexpensive.
This nice place faces the attractive Duomo on what is a relatively quiet piazza, except for the occasional passing motorino and the sound of children playing soccer in the courtyard. There are outdoor tables and good fragrances that greet your arrival. Start with bruschetta all'inferno, a toast topped with a spread of tomatoes, oil, and peperoncino. The filej, instead of being sauced with pork, come with a delicate combination of tomato, garlic, piquant green pepper, and grated pecorino. The spaghetti al nero di seppie (with cuttlefish ink) are also very good. The trattoria also serves spaghetti al uova di pescespada (swordfish roe), which I did not sample. You should certainly have the insalata tropeana-tomatoes, olives, bits of cheese, oregano, and the famous onions. The secondi feature all the local seafood. I was encouraged to try the surici, delicious little white fish caught locally and delicately batter-fried. You must beware of bones. Some people eat these fish whole; I preferred to cut off the head, split the fish lengthwise, lift out the bones, squeeze some lemon, and then eat. (The fish heads were a princely meal for a mendicant cat.) Local fruit was a good dessert. The waiters were the young sons of the family, barely into their teens, who are already more ex-pert than many professionals.
Favorite Dish: Ristorante Trr Fontane, Via Labirinto (just off Corso Vittorio Emanuele on a small piazza), tel 0963/603076. MasterCard, Visa. Moderate to moderately expensive.
Good for filej and swordfish.
Trattoria Vecchia Tropea, Largo Barone. No telephone. No credit cards. Moderately inexpensive.
Go down Largo Duomo to Via Vulcano. Turn left and go past the doorway where the old lady and small children are watching TV. You will reach a small piazza at Largo Barone. This back alley is a very suggestive spot that probably matches some preconceived idea you've had about what small-town Italy looks like. This is a great spot for outdoor dining on local specialties.
Ristorante Pimms, Largo Migliaresi, tel 0963/666105. MasterCard, Visa. Moderately expcnsive.
The food is good but the main reason to come is the panoramic view of the Norman castle and beautiful sunsets over the sea
For a small town (population seven thousand), Tropea has many food specialties, thanks to fertile land and a generous sea. The red onions of Tropea are the most famous specialty, and the eggplants, capers, tomatoes, and fish are also excellent. The local pasta is filej, short macaroni that look like thick string beans and are chewy in texture. They are served with a spicy pork sauce. Other specialties are pasta con nero di seppie (with cuttlefish ink), swordfish, peperonata (cooked peppers), almonds, and almond paste (pasta di mandorle). Add to this abundance the town's relative isolation from the main byways of Calabria (so that a local culture could develop without outside influences), and you have a place to be treasured. Tropea receives enough tourism to have a steady income, but it has not sacrificed its values and virtues. The Piazza Vittorio Veneto still fills with locals each evening. Hotels run north and south of town, and though there is some tackiness, the ambience is nice.
Favorite Dish: Bars and caffes
The Piazza Vittorio Veneto, with its four big outdoor caffes, pulsates with life. This is the place where the people of Tropea meet.
Cafe del Corso, Corso Vittorio Emanuele 14.
A nice place for morning coffee with good paste (breakfast rolls). They also sell local almond paste.