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Even the gas stations off the highways are good places to eat. I had many a delicious panini at these roadside oasis. You can get a gelato or other frozen popsicles, coffee, espresso, but best of all are the wide variety of paninis.
Favorite Dish: Panini, the perfect handheld lunch.
Updated May 31, 2007
A bar in Italy is usually a family owned business where you can purchase coffee drinks, wine and liquor, and pastries, gelato and painini sandwiches not like a bar in the states.
The bar is the center of social life, and like with the TV show Cheers everybody knows your name. People may visit their local bar several times a day for coffee, and again later evening for a before or after dinner drink.
Prices range based on whether you sit or stand, it will cost more to sit at a table and even more if the table is outside, than if you stand at the bar.
You pay the cashier first then take your ticket to the server. I learned this by watching the locals after standing there not being served.
Favorite Dish: I loved the espressos, cappuchinos and the pastries.
Updated May 31, 2007
If there is one thing that I like (actually there are many, but that is not the point right now) about Siciliy, it is the quality of the sweets/deserts... My absolute favorite are the "Paste di pistacchio", small pistacchio pastries that are to die for! They should be consumed fresh (3-4 days at a maximum) as they are still moist on the inside.
Most "pasticcerie" in Catania will make them as the Pistacchio grows on the hills of the Etna volcano and is widely available, but the ones from Savia are the absolute best.
In addition, you will find other traditional delicacies such as the "Cassata siciliana", a ricotta-based cake and also small almond paste fruit.
Don't forget the "cannoli", which are also hard to beat.
There are also "Pasta di mandorle", which are just like the Pistacchio ones that I mentioned earlier, but are made out of almonds.
However, and quite surprisingly, one of my favourite things are the "Profiteroles". They are not easy to get though as you must order on the day before, but I recommend doing so if you are staying for some days.
Service is very efficient, but don't expect to get more than what you ordered. I suspect they have strict orders not to smile! The cashiers are the most irritating people I know (which seems to be the case with all cashiers in Catania).
If you get on the waiters good side, however, they can be very nice.
Everything is of excellent quality and very fresh - you really can't go wrong.
Take a look at the website which is quite nice. The intro even has some very old pictures of Catania (Savia has been open since 1897)
Written Apr 26, 2007
Address: Via Etnea, 302-304 - Via Umberto 2-4-6
Phone: 095 322335
I really like this place. I mean inside it's nice like a big 'cave' with lot of beautifull bottle of wine. Outside your have sun and 'il duomo' front of you! In the big place of el duomo. On other funny thing is you can only see the ass of the elephant scultur in the middle of the place.
People serving you are very great.
Favorite Dish: Fish and wine!
Written Nov 10, 2006
Address: Piazza del duomo
This seems to be quite a hip place as it was full when we got there and it seems reservation is recommended.
Service was quite good with the exception of one rude waiter, although everyone seemed a bit too serious.
Food was good and they cover a broad range of Italian specialties, from Pizzas to pastas and "secondi" (meat and fish). Most dishes are quite elaborate, both in terms of ingredients and presentation.
I personally had the tuna with a thin slice of lard, which was in my opinion a bit dry, but a really nice combination and very tasteful.
My friends had tagliatelle with almonds, steak and Pizza and were all quite happy with their choice.
As a dessert I had a chocolate cake with warm chocolate sauce inside, accompanied by pistachio icecream. Take a look at the picture to see how nice the presentation is, the restaurant logo is actually made of chocolate powder - nice.
At about 28 Eur per person (including wine), it was not cheap, but seems to be just about average
Written Oct 14, 2006
Address: Via S. Filomena 10
Phone: 095 316 888
This is a modern restaurant in the center of Catania, with a very nice, stylish decor.
Almost everything I have eaten here is good (Pizza, pasta, risotto, etc) and the menu seems to change quite often. I even had a good, thick (for Italian standards) steak here, which is quite rare.
However, there is just no excuse for the poor service. Waiters/waitresses are rude and extremely slow. It usually takes 20-30 minutes just to get someone to come over to your table, after which you have to wait quite a while for the main course as well. If you are brave enough to complain or at least point out that you have been waiting long, you are treated with indifference in the best case and get a somewhat rude reply in the worst.
If you are not in a hurry and do not get frustrated easily, you can have a good meal here (well, it is Sicily, so that is more or less standard).
Pizzas/pastas cost less than 10 Eur and mains are slightly more expensive. Expect to pay 15-20 Eur for a two-course meal with wine.
Favorite Dish: I had an excellent tuna risotto with peppers once. It was absolutely delicious.
One of my favourite pizza's, Parmiggiana, is also available here. I think it is typically Sicilian, so you will probably not find it anywhere else in Italy.
Written Aug 27, 2006
Address: Via delle Scale 16, Catania
Phone: 095 7151409
I am afraid, I don't remember the name of the gelateria.... BUT, there is only one. The memory of the place is so fresh, I can describe the place very clear...
At Noto, you pass from the old gate, the straight road is in front of you. When you come to the road where there is a flower show each year, (also the famous balconies are on the same road), on your left, at the corner, there is a good gelateria, pasticeria.
Favorite Dish: They make the best ever granita. Try the 3 flavor one. They have a big good portion. We tried arange rosso (a bir bitter red orange), mullberry and mandorle (almond) these are perfect..
Written Jun 26, 2006
This is the most gastronomic restaurant in whole Sicily. The owner is invited to all clunary shows to represent Sicilian cuisine.
They not only have the best local dishes, but also the most creative usage of well known vegetables like aubergines. (Cooked with honey and served as dessert).
They are mainly specialised in funghi di bosco and wild pig dishes.
Written Jun 25, 2006
Address: Via della Confraternite Castelbuono
This is the oldest pasticeria in town. They offer you a wide variety of cookies made with almond, and they are all delicious. They also have several marzipane fruits. They have a small garden behind, under a fig tree.
Their granita is not the best, but you need a mulburry / mandorle one after soo many cookies. Don't miss the giant finger cookiesMostaccioni , very hard, with cloves, cinnamon and of course almond. These should be dipped to milk while eating.
Favorite Dish: Almond biscuits are delicios. Especially Sospiri, Bellibruttiand Bocconcini.
Written Jun 25, 2006
Address: Via Vittorio Emmanuele, Erice
We stopped for a cannolo and some icecream at Piazza Armerina before going to Villa İmperiale del Casale. This pasticeria is famous for its cannolos, made before your eyes for you. This is realy important, as if made ahead, the pastry can soften, or the delicate cream can get sour.
They also have a wide variety of icecreams and granitas.
You can have your cannolo, with pistachio or chocolate dipped.
They also have a chocolate spcialty with rasin, but due to hot season, they stopped doing it.
Favorite Dish: Cannolo, cannolo, cannolo..... :)
Written Jun 25, 2006
Address: Piazza Armerina
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