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aperitif bites

Best aperitif in Catania: top bars for your Sicilian happy hour

When it comes to happy hour in Catania, there’s no shortage of excellent bars to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a classic Negroni or something more experimental, the city has it all. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best cocktail bars in the city for aperitif, highlighting the top happy hours in Catania and what makes them stand out. So, if you’re looking for a great happy hour spot in Catania, read on to discover the best of the best.

From cozy and intimate spots to trendy rooftop bars with stunning views, there’s a happy hour venue for everyone in Catania.

Happy hour plus at Bar Magrì Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

Aperitif in Sicily: the happy hour Sicilian style

A typical aperitif in Sicily usually includes a variety of small plates, or “stuzzichini,” featuring local ingredients and flavors. These may include classic Sicilian dishes like arancini, fried rice balls filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, or panelle, chickpea fritters. Other common options include olives, caponata, a traditional Sicilian eggplant dish, and a variety of cured meats and cheeses. To wash it all down, locals typically enjoy a refreshing glass of white wine or a classic Sicilian aperitif like Aperol Spritz or Campari with soda water. Whether you’re looking to experience the local cuisine or just looking for a tasty pre-dinner snack, a Sicilian aperitif is a must-try when visiting this beautiful island.

Why should you try Aperitif in Catania?

Aperitif in Catania is a famous habit among locals for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a great way to socialize and catch up with friends after a busy day. In Italy, socializing is a central part of daily life, and aperitif is the perfect opportunity to unwind and relax with a drink and some snacks. Additionally, Sicily is known for its delicious cuisine, and aperitif is a chance to sample some of the region’s best appetizers and light bites. From panini to bruschetta, local ham or caponata, there’s no shortage of delicious food to enjoy during happy hour in Catania.

Local cheeses and Sicilian Salami in Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

Difference between Aperitivo and Apericena

In Sicily, aperitivo and apericena are both popular pre-dinner social activities, but they differ in terms of the food offered. Aperitivo typically consists of light snacks such as nuts, olives, and small sandwiches, accompanied by drinks such as wine, beer, or cocktails. It usually takes place earlier in the evening and is intended to stimulate the appetite before dinner. Apericena, on the other hand, is a more substantial affair, combining aperitif-style drinks with heartier foods such as pasta dishes, meat, and cheese platters. The apericena menu in Catania is very creative, with options ranging from traditional Sicilian dishes to international favorites like sushi and pizza.

It is often considered a full meal in itself and can be a great way to enjoy a night out with friends while experiencing the best of Sicilian cuisine.

Top 15 happy hour bars in Catania centre (and closeby)

Looking for the best happy hour bars in the center of Catania? Check out my top picks:

Mixology cocktail in Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

OSTELLO DEGLI ELEFANTI

The terrace at Ostello degli Elefanti is a real gem. Situated on the rooftop of the hostel, it offers stunning panoramic views of Catania, with the city’s rooftops and historic buildings stretching out as far as the eye can see. The terrace is a great place to relax and unwind after a busy day of exploring the city, with plenty of seating and a peaceful atmosphere. It’s also the perfect spot for a morning coffee or a pre-dinner aperitif, with the twinkling lights of the city providing a romantic backdrop. What’s more, the terrace is also used for events and parties, making it a great place to meet other travelers and socialize.

OXIDIANA

Looking for a unique and delicious happy hour experience in Catania? Look no further than the Oxidiana restaurant, where you can enjoy a sushi aperitif during their special sushi happy hour. This trendy and modern restaurant offers a variety of fresh and delicious sushi options, perfect for a light and refreshing aperitif. During their happy hour, you can enjoy sushi rolls and other appetizers, along with a wide selection of drinks to choose from. Whether you’re a sushi lover or just looking for a new happy hour spot in Catania, the Oxidiana restaurant is a must-visit destination for a sushi happy hour that’s sure to please.

BAR MAGRÌ

The cafè is located in Via Ruggero di Lauria, Catania’s waterfront. The aperitif menu at Magrì Cafe is fantastic, with a great selection of classic cocktails and to choose from. The food is also excellent, with a range of delicious appetizers and light bites that are perfect for sharing. Their formula for aperitivo or apericena is very rich: you can choose the meat based apericena with a wide selection of small nuggets, sausage, pasta and pizza or the fish apericena, based of a variety of seafood bites.

The cafè is a meeting point for many people in Catania especially during weekend!

Meat based apericena at Bar Magrì Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

FUDOn

Fudon is a popular aperitif spot located on Via Santa Filomena in Catania, known for its lively atmosphere and impressive selection of cocktails. What sets Fudoff apart is its popularity among locals, who flock to this trendy venue for a night out with friends. The cocktails at Fudon are expertly crafted using high-quality ingredients, and the menu is regularly updated with new and creative offerings. The venue itself is stylish and modern, with a chic industrial vibe that’s perfect for an evening of socializing and relaxation. Whether you’re a local looking for a regular aperitif spot or a visitor looking for an authentic taste of Catania nightlife, Fudon is a must-visit destination that won’t disappoint. So grab a cocktail, mingle with the locals, and soak up the vibrant energy of this top aperitif venue.

FIRST LOUNGE BAR

First is an iconic aperitif spot in the heart of Catania, known for its unique atmosphere and vibrant energy. Situated in the trendy San Berillo neighborhood, First is a hub of creativity and culture, with street art adorning its walls and live music adding to the lively ambiance. The cocktails served at First are some of the best in the city, with an extensive menu that caters to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking to sample some delicious cocktails, enjoy live music, or soak up the eclectic vibe of San Berillo, First is an iconic aperitif spot that should not be missed during your time in Catania.

Meats and Cheeses platter at First Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

AMOCU

If you’re looking for a happy hour spot with a touch of sophistication, Amocu in Catania is the perfect choice. Located on the upscale Corso Italia, this chic aperitif venue is housed in a stunning Liberty villa and boasts a beautiful terrace with panoramic views of the city. The atmosphere at Amocu is posh and elegant, making it an ideal destination for a special occasion or a night out with friends. The menu features a fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine, with a particular focus on sushi aperitif. The sushi at Amocu is expertly prepared, featuring fresh, high-quality ingredients that are beautifully presented. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic cocktail or something more creative, the bartenders at Amocu are sure to impress with their mixology skills. So why not treat yourself to a night of luxury and fusion cuisine at this top aperitif spot in Catania?

DOC

Located in the heart of Catania center, just steps away from Piazza Duomo, DOC is a top aperitif spot that’s not to be missed. What sets DOC apart is its focus on traditional Sicilian food and wine, with a menu that showcases the best of local cuisine. The apericena at DOC is a particular highlight, featuring a wide range of tasty bites that are perfect for sharing with friends. And of course, no aperitif at DOC would be complete without a glass of local wine, which is sourced from the venue’s own cellar. So why not experience a typical aperitif in the heart of Catania, surrounded by the flavors and aromas of Sicily’s rich culinary heritage?

Aperifish at Doc Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

CAFFE EPOCA

Bar Epoca is a beloved aperitif destination in Catania, located in a prime spot overlooking the picturesque Lungomare (waterfront) and just a short stroll from both Piazza Europa and Corso Italia. The venue is known for its apericena, a type of aperitif that includes substantial bites of food that are more like a light dinner than a simple snack. For those who want something even heartier, Bar Epoca also offers the aperitivo rinforzato, a fortified version of the classic aperitif that includes heavier dishes like pasta and meat. And if you have a sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed by the patisserie on offer, which includes some of the best pastries and cakes in town.

PUNTO

Punto is a trendy and stylish spot located in the heart of Catania’s bustling Corso Italia. The venue’s design is a perfect blend of vintage and modern, with retro touches that are sure to appeal to fashion-forward locals and visitors alike. The location is ideal for those who enjoy shopping, as the street is home to many fashionable shops and boutiques. Punto is also known for its outdoor seats, which are the perfect spot to enjoy an aperitif on a warm evening. The venue’s social table is a great place to meet new people, and the friendly staff make sure that everyone feels welcome. So if you’re looking for a stylish and social spot to enjoy happy hour in Catania, Punto is definitely worth checking out.

Mozzarella Salad at Punto Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

VERMUT

Vermut is a must-visit destination for those looking to experience Catania’s vibrant movida scene. Located on Via Gemmellaro, the venue is always buzzing with activity and is especially popular with young locals and visitors. The atmosphere is upbeat and energetic, with live music that ranges from jazz to rock and everything in between. The venue’s aperitivo menu features a variety of local food and drink options, including traditional Sicilian dishes that are perfect for those who want to sample the flavors of the region. So if you’re looking for a fun and lively spot to enjoy an aperitivo in Catania, be sure to add Vermut to your list.

Collage boutique bar

Collage Boutique Bar is a hidden gem located in the heart of Catania on Via Etnea, one of the city’s most bustling streets. The venue’s creative menu is what sets it apart from other bars in the area, with a range of innovative cocktails and tasty bites that are sure to impress even the most discerning foodie. The atmosphere at Collage is warm and inviting, with good vibes that make it the perfect spot to unwind after a busy day. The menu features a variety of small burgers and other bite-sized snacks that are perfect for sharing, making it an ideal spot for groups of friends.

Happy hour at Collage boutique bar,©Antonella Ravidà

Etna rooftop bar by UNA PALACE

Happy hour at Etna Rooftop Bar in Catania is an unforgettable experience. Located on the top floor of the luxurious UNA Hotel Palace, the bar offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the majestic Mount Etna. The modern and chic atmosphere is perfect for a romantic evening or a night out with friends. During happy hour, guests can enjoy a wide range of signature cocktails and aperitifs, accompanied by a selection of delicious finger foods. With its breathtaking views, impeccable service, and delicious drinks and food, Etna Rooftop Bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a memorable happy hour in Catania.

Razmataz wine bar

Razmataz Wine Bar in Catania is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious aperitif with friends or loved ones. Located in the heart of the city, the bar boasts a trendy atmosphere that is perfect for socializing. The bar specializes in a wide selection of local and international wines, paired with delicious and unique appetizers made from locally sourced ingredients. With its cozy atmosphere, excellent selection of wines, and delicious food, Razmataz Wine Bar is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to enjoy a delightful aperitif in Catania centre.

Razmataz Wine Bar Catania, ©Antonella Ravidà

A PutÌa dell’ostello

A Putia dell’Ostello in Catania offers an unforgettable aperitif experience in a unique and charming setting. Located in the heart of the historic center, this restaurant features a wide outdoor seating area where you can enjoy your drinks and snacks while listening to music. The menu offers a wide range of delicious dishes, including local specialties and creative international cuisine. In addition to the mouth-watering food, A Putia dell’Ostello boasts an extensive cocktail menu, with a range of classic and innovative drinks to choose from. One of the most unique features of this venue is its underground river, which adds to the magical ambiance of the place. With tables scattered throughout the square, A Putia dell’Ostello is the perfect spot for a relaxing and enjoyable aperitif in Catania.

Cocktails at Putìa dell’Ostello Catania,©Antonella Ravidà

BAR MANTEGNA

Pasticceria Mantegna, located on the waterfront in Catania, offers a typical Sicilian happy hour experience with a variety of delicious snacks and classic cocktails. The venue offers tavola calda Siciliana, where guests can choose from a selection of hot and cold dishes. The apericena is a highlight, featuring small pizzas called pizzette and local cheeses. The classic aperitif is also available, with a variety of classic cocktails to choose from. The atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing evening with friends, enjoying the beautiful waterfront and typical Sicilian happy hour fare.

Aperitivo Bar Mantegna Catania, ©Antonella Ravidà

Gluten – free Aperitivo in Catania

If you’re looking for a gluten-free aperitif in Catania, you’re in luck! Many bars and restaurants in the city offer gluten-free options, allowing those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to enjoy a delicious aperitif without worry. Some popular gluten-free options include caponata, olives, grilled vegetables, and fresh seafood. For those looking for a heartier option, many restaurants also offer gluten-free pizza and pasta dishes made with alternative flours like corn or rice. Some bars may also offer gluten-free beer or cider options. When planning your next gluten-free aperitif in Catania, be sure to check with the restaurant ahead of time to ensure they can accommodate your dietary needs. With so many delicious options available, a gluten-free aperitif in Catania is sure to be a memorable experience for all.

Vegetarian happy hour in Catania

Sicilian cuisine is rich in vegetarian options, and this also applies to the classic aperitif. The vegetarian version of a classic Sicilian aperitif usually includes a variety of delicious and healthy appetizers made with local and seasonal ingredients, such as roasted vegetables, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, caponata (Sicilian-style eggplant salad), and bruschetta topped with fresh tomato and basil. Cheese platters with locally produced cheeses and bread are also a popular choice. The aperitif is typically accompanied by a glass of local wine or a classic cocktail.

Aperitif in Catania, ©Antonella Ravidà
CONCLUSION

Catania is a vibrant city in Sicily with a variety of bars and pubs offering a unique atmosphere and aperitif options. Whether you prefer a trendy rooftop bar, a classic pub with local beers, or a cozy wine bar, Catania has something for everyone. With so many options to choose from, Catania is the perfect destination for aperitif lovers looking for a variety of bars and pubs to explore.

Antonella
Antonella

Ciao! My name is Antonella and I am a Sicilian Travel Designer based in Catania, Sicily. My mission here is to share my knowledge and love for this amazing island of Southern Italy and to help you tailor your dream trip to Sicily.

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6 Responses

  1. I visited Catania several years ago and I have clear memories of the excellent cuisine and the substantial aperitifs, so I can only confirm Antonella’s words and advise you not to miss the tasty specialties of this beautiful city. I would also like to underline one thing: traditional dishes deserve to be tasted, so if in a restaurant you see that the dishes only have chips and pizzas, change places!

  2. I am reading a book where most of the action takes place in Catania, and even if it’s not a book about food, there’s so much talk about food! I guess that in a place like Catania, food is the main character. I can’t wait to go there and taste everything that the city has to offer – and if I want to try all these spots, I guess I’ll have to stay at least one week 😉

    1. Yes it’s definitely all about food! 🙂 We like the idea of pairing our happy hours drink with tasty local products of all kind! You should try as many as possible!!

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