Sailing the Aeolian Islands? Here’s Seven Restaurants NOT to be missed!
The Aeolian Islands, found to the north of Sicily and home to various active volcanoes, are extremely popular to visit, and with good reason. Not only are the eight islands all naturally stunning with coastlines that we sailing-types dream of, but they are also rich in history with the whole region being a UNESCO World Heritage site. Even better though is the fact that Aeolians really know how to cook! This post looks at the seven best-rated restaurants on the Islands so you can sample the best of Aeolian cuisine on your Italian yacht charter.
Ficodindia Pane Cunzato e Sapori Eoliani – Vulcano
While the name admittedly doesn’t roll off the tongue, the food at this restaurant, located on the island of Vulcano, certainly sends taste-buds tingling! Everything on the menu is fresh and local, from salads to open paninis to the varied daily specials. Vincenzo the owner makes everyone feel like a special guest, and every aspect of the service and atmosphere has a traditional family-feel that makes a meal there memorable. Ideally for sailing holidays, the restaurant is located just moments from Porto Di Levante, which has plenty of room to moor up for the evening.
Didyme – Salina
The island of Salina, north of Lipari, is home to Didyme. This restaurant is not the cheapest on the island, but everyone who visits agrees how good value it is, and that is simply because of how amazing the food is. It is a hidden-gem that is just a five-minute walk from Porto Di Santa Marina; the main port on the island with plenty of room for yachts. The menu includes freshly-caught seafood and steak amongst various other dishes and is complemented by a fantastic wine-list. We particularly recommend the sharing platters – ideal when you can’t decide!
Ristorante del Agriturismo Galletta – Salina
Another restaurant located on Salina, Ristorante del Agriturismo Galletta can be summarised in four words – food with a view! Located towards the centre of the island, the restaurant offers stunning vistas of both the sea and the peak of Monte Fossa delle Felci. The menu offers relatively simple dishes, but they are all cooked to perfection using home-grown ingredients from the farm that the restaurant owners also own, and many visitors particularly mention how incredible the vegetables are! As mentioned, it is more inland than the previous two restaurants, but can be accessed easily by bus or taxi from Rinella or Malfa.
Ristorante La Forgia Maurizio – Vulcano
Ideally located moments from Vulcano’s Porto Di Levante, Ristorante La Forgia Maurizio is a cosy restaurant that offers a varied menu of Aeolian dishes, including some local speciality desserts. We recommend the cannoli di ricotta, but you won’t go wrong with anything on the menu. For a full experience of the local cuisine, consider the popular and reasonably priced tasting menu. Lastly, have a chat with the owner, Maurizio, who is brilliant and will help you pick your meal if you need any advice.
Gilberto e Vera EnoPaninoteca – Lipari
This restaurant is perhaps unlike any other that you will have been to before, in that it specialises in pairing paninis with wine! However, don’t assume that this is simply somewhere for a quick lunch – there are in fact over 20 varieties of panini to choose from, all of which are home-made using local ingredients and fantastic fresh bread. The wine meanwhile needs no introduction! The menu also includes antipasto, making this restaurant ideal for sharing amongst larger groups. The restaurant is down a beautiful tiled street near the sea, making it an easy place to reach from your yacht.
Malvasia Pane Cunzatu & Restaurant – Vulcano
Located near Porto Di Levante but also Vulcano’s two northern beaches, Malvasia specialises in an Aeolian speciality. Pane Cunzatu is a flavoured bread dish, seasoned with herbs, local cheeses and served with a range of ingredients including seafood. The brothers Carmelo and Maurizio who own the restaurant are masters of making Pane Cunzatu, and we highly recommend trying it for yourself! They also make the speciality dish gluten-free, so hopefully nobody is left out of the experience.
Trattoria da Pina – Vulcano
Last but not least, Trattoria da Pina is a very small family-run restaurant on the southern coast of Vulcano. Far from the mass tourism experienced in some areas of Aeolian Islands, this restaurant is very much off-the-beaten-track – although it is in fact far easier to find from a yacht. The restaurant is located on the seafront with a wide pier allowing you to moor up literally on the doorstep. Unsurprisingly given its location, Trattoria da Pina specialises in fresh seafood, and is a traditional Aeolian culinary experience like no other.
Please note – all images are generic Italian food images and not from the specific restaurants mentioned in this article.