7 Best Restaurants in Palermo, Sicily

Comparucci

$ | Libertà Fodor's choice

One of Palermo's best modern pizzerias serves delicious Neapolitan pies from a big oven in the open kitchen—the genius is in the crust, which is seared in a matter of seconds. The owners make their money on a quick turnover (so don't expect a long, leisurely meal), but the pizza is delicious and the place often serves until midnight—later than almost any other restaurant in the neighborhood.

Via Messina 36e, Palermo, 90141, Italy
091-6090467
Known For
  • Pizza, pizza, and more pizza
  • Outdoor seating in summer
  • Late-night dining
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Take-away available

MadoniEAT

$ | Kalsa Fodor's choice

Only the finest agricultural produce of the nearby Madonie mountains goes into the simple but fabulous dishes served in this informal eatery attached to the Palazzo Butera art gallery. The frequently changing menu---dependent on the season and what's available from their suppliers---might include chicken breasts in orange sauce and almonds; vegetarian meatballs with ricotta cheese; or sausages braised in red wine with kale. Cheeses, cold cuts, and salads are also on offer, or you might settle for a "gourmet sandwich" stuffed with buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, anchovies, and mortadella. Many of these items are for sale in the small delicatessen inside, too, where there are a few tables in addition to the ones on the pavement.

Via Butera 20, Palermo, 90133, Italy
091-7521749
Known For
  • Seasonal, fresh, and locally produced ingredients
  • Convenient for lunch after a visit to Palazzo Butera
  • Gourmet sandwiches
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and 2 wks in Jan. No dinner Sun.–Tues.

MEC Restaurant

$$$ | Quattro Canti Fodor's choice

Here's a novelty for Palermo in the form of a superb modern restaurant located within a museum dedicated to Steve Jobs and Apple products, a surprisingly successful combination; you not only have the ability to revisit ancient IT devices and learn about the history of the tech company, but the food is pretty excellent. Each of the dishes is a revelation, from the pumpkin with miso and fermented black garlic to the ravioli with stewed veal cheek and pigeon with red-wine scented quince. Vegetarian options are as good as any that Palermo has to offer—best sampled in a set tasting menu. The elevated prices are commensurate with the sophisticated cuisine . The venue is also extraordinary as the restaurant is housed within the Palazzo Castrone, one of the city's finest old palaces, just steps away from the Cathedral and entered through a beautiful courtyard.

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Antica Focacceria San Francesco

$ | Kalsa

Turn-of-the-20th-century wooden cabinets, marble-top tables, and cast-iron ovens characterize this neighborhood bakery, celebrated for its Sicilian snacks and inexpensive meals. The big pot on the counter holds the delicious regional specialty pani cà meusa (boiled calf's spleen with caciocavallo cheese and salt), but the squeamish can opt for chickpea fritters or an enormous arancina (stuffed, fried rice ball).

Cappadonia

$

After experiencing the cozy but basic trattorias located down Palermo's twisting alleyways, take a sweet break at this modern gelateria along the main drag, which serves exceptional gourmet ice cream. The flavors change with the seasons, but don't miss the tangerine sorbet that bursts with sweet citrus tang or the classic zabaglione custard.

Via Vittorio Emanuele 401, Palermo, 90134, Italy
392-5689784
Known For
  • Delicious ice cream
  • Seasonal flavors
  • Central location
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.–Feb.

Casa del Brodo

$$ | Vucciria

On the edge of the Vucciria, this is one of Palermo's oldest restaurants, dating back to 1890, and still dear to the hearts of locals for its wintertime namesake dish, tortellini in brodo (in beef broth), the specialty of the house. There's an extensive antipasto buffet, and you can't go wrong with the fritella di fave, piselli, and carciofi e ricotta (fried fava beans, peas, artichokes, and ricotta). There's a good selection of offal dishes including oxtail, tongue and tripe, and hearty slow-cooked pork shank for the less adventurous.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele 175, Palermo, 90136, Italy
091-321655
Known For
  • Large selection of antipasti
  • Tortellini in brodo
  • Good choice of traditional offal dishes
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. Oct.–May, and Sun. June–Sept.

Pani Cà Meusa

$ | Kalsa

A civic institution facing Palermo's old fishing port, this standing-room-only joint has been serving its titular calf's spleen sandwich for more than 70 years. The original owner's grandsons still produce this local specialty sprinkled with a bit of salt and some lemon and served with or without cheese to a buzzing crowd of Palermo's well-weathered elders. The sandwich here may very well beat Antica Focacceria San Francesco's for the title of best in town, though not everyone will acquire the taste for it.