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Best non touristy restaurants in Catania historic centre

Generally, finding a good typical Sicilian restaurant in the historic centre can be a challenge for those travelers who do not want to seat at the touristy tables.

That is why I selected 10 best restaurants in Catania city centre which are very popular amongst locals and deserve your visit!

As a Sicilian girl from Catania, I like to try new places in town or go back to the ones I loved. So I periodically amend and update the following list of places where to eat great Sicilian food in Catania.

The restaurants order is random as each of these places is unique in its cuisine and style, however I also suggest you to get an insight into the food specialties Catania is known for to help you choose your next meal in Catania!

1. OSTERIA ANTICA MARINA

This fine seafood restaurant is located inside the popular Pescheria di Catania (fish market). The meals served are a mix of traditional Sicilian fish recipes with a modern twist.

Being in Catania food market, you can expect fresh ingredients and care in the preparation of dishes. There is an indoor area and a small space for outside tables facing the market stalls, a very characteristic ambience if you like it!

There is also a small shop to buy pasta sauces and condiments, such as the traditional caponata sidedish.

Closed on Wednesdays.

Address: Via Pardo, 29, Catania

2. TRATTORIA DEL CAVALIERE

Located in Via Paternò, very close to Via Etnea main street, this place could be defined as a typical Sicilian restaurant serving the most popular meat and fish dishes of Sicilian cuisine.

The restaurant has many tables and a covered outside terrace. Expect a long queue even if you book in advance (which I strongly recommend you do!), but once you are seated the serving is very quick and well organized.

Their main offer is roasted meat: grilled veal, skewers, sausages, meat balls; but they also have a fish menu, whose price is very competitive.

Excellent quality price experience in the heart of Catania.

Address: Via Paternò, 11, Catania

Grilled meat at Trattoria del Cavaliere, ©Antonella Ravidà

3. I SANTI PIZZA & MORE

This is by far on top of my favorite pizza restaurants in Catania town. You can find so many different pizza flavours, from the traditional ones such as Capricciosa or Margherita to the more elaborated like pizza with mortadella and pistachio or pizza with porcini mushrooms and smoked cheese…

The menu offers also meat dishes and a variety of appetizers. I love the familiar atmosphere and the owners are very friendly.

The restaurant has a very warm and cozy room and in summer there is also an outdoor courtyard.

Address: Piazza Angelo Majorana, 15, Catania

Pistachio pizza at I Santi, ©I Santi

4. MM!! TRATTORIA

A very welcoming environment literally between the fishermen stands at ‘A Piscaria in the heart of Catania. The trattoria that nowadays serves Mediterranean fish menu, used to be a Butcher’s shop! As a matter of fact it is also known as La Macelleria (butcher’s shop in italian).

A variety of tasty seafood plates, from calamarata pasta (a special ring shaped pasta cooked with squid rings) to parmigiana di pesce spada (swordfish parmigiana)…don’t finish your meal without ordering a dessert, such as the special cheesecake.

Closed on Mondays.

Address: Via Pardo, 35, Catania

5. BORGO DI FEDERICO

Borgo di Federico is one of the most popular restaurant in central Catania, where many locals love to go and enjoy mixed grilled meats. By the way, did you know that the consumption of horse meat is very popular in some areas of Catania, such as around Castle Ursino and in Via Plebiscito?! It is also a very famous street food in Catania!

 The position of Borgo di Federico is great, as the restaurant is in Piazza Federico di Svevia, facing the massive Castello Ursino.

This is the place to be if you want to eat like a local in Catania.

Address: Piazza Federico di Svevia, 100, Catania

Outdoor at Borgo di Federico,©Borgo di Federico

6. ME CUMPARI TURIDDU

If you are curious to try the authentic Sicilian recipes but also want to experience your meal in an original and smart casual setting, then this is the place to be in Catania centre!

The name of the restaurant refers to a Sicilian say “cumpari” meaning “very close friend” or even “brother” and Turiddu is the diminutive for “Salvatore”, also called “Turi” in Sicilian dialect.

The idea of this name, as explained by the owner in Stanley Tucci’s CNN series ‘Searching for Italy’, is that people dining at the restaurant should feel in a cozy place such as at a very good friend’s house.

Most popular dish: pasta alla norma!

Address: Piazza Turi Ferro, 36/38, Catania

Pasta alla Norma at Me Cumpari Turiddu, ©Me Cumpari Turiddu

7. FUD BOTTEGA SICULA

A very iconic and innovative culinary experience in Catania is represented by FUD (read it as “food”). The concept behind this project is to offer a modern and fun “fast food” inspired cuisine but using only great locally-sourced ingredients. You can order extremely tasty gourmet hamburgers or panini which resembles the globally known ones but are actually unique in their flavors and combinations of Sicilian food excellences.

Their brand is very strong and are getting more and more popular with new openings in Palermo and Milan.

The restaurant – located in the very trendy street Via Santa Filomena in Catania –  has also a great deli from which you can buy your favorite ingredients to bring home.

Address: Via Santa Filomena, 35, Catania

PARMIGIANA BURGER, ©FUD Bottega Sicula

8. SAZI E SANI

This pizzeria is located in Via Sant’Euplio, just next to Catania’s high street Via Etnea and Villa Bellini gardens. The pizza dough and the cooking technique used by Sazi e Sani guarantee a highly digestible pizza with incredible flavors!

There is also a great variety of beer selection as well as super delicious desserts and cakes to end up your dinner in Catania.

Address: Via Sant’Euplio, 122, Catania

9. RISTORANTE EUSEBIO

Very few tourists bump into this restaurant even if it is in the old town and this makes this place very unique and exclusive! Eusebio’s cuisine is a landmark for its top quality meat and the perfect cooking process that characterizes it.

The restaurant is located in a traditional Villa from which you enter through a narrow street – Via Fulci – and it is a very welcoming set either in summer or winter thanks to a lovely indoor courtyard.

Don’t miss a visit here if you are a meat lover but don’t forget to book in advance!

Closed on Mondays.

Address: Piazza Federico di Svevia, 100, Catania

10. TRATTORIA LA CANONICA

An historic restaurant in the very heart of Catania, next to Piazza Duomo. From the entrance door you will notice a very eclectic style with colored puppets, statues, Sicilian paintings where you will suddenly feel warmly welcomed.

Thanks to its position and unique atmophere, La Canonica is very popular either amongst locals and tourists because of the authenticity of its dishes respecting the Sicilian gastronomic tradition.

Address: Via Raddus, 7, Catania

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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4 Responses

  1. I was supposed to visit Catania a couple of years ago but then I had to cancel the trip due to Covid restrictions. So I am definitely still thinking about it but most of all I do hope to be able to see this city soon. Finding good restaurants and avoiding ending up in a tourist trap is never easy so your tips are really appreciated!

    1. Thank you Silvia, I think you should plan your visit to Catania now, the city offers many attractions and nice places to explore…The idea of this article was exactly to help visitors choosing the right restaurants in the city centre, where usually there is a bit of everything!

  2. Thanks for this….if you ever come to Enna…..come for lunch….Villa Isabella B&B & Cooking school…Pergusa, Enna

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