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Restaurants in Palermo

There are excellent pasticcerie (cake shops) and gelaterias (ice cream shops) all over Palermo. Make sure you try some of the local specialities, including pasta con le sarde (pasta with sardines), cassata siciliana (an ice cream with sponge cake, candied fruit and marzipan), cannolo di ricotta (pastry tubes filled with sweet ricotta, chocolate sugared fruit and pistachios) and frutta di martorana (fruits made from almond marzipan).

The restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and grouped into three different pricing categories:
Expensive (over €50)
Moderate (€20 to €50)
Cheap (under €20)

These prices are for an average three-course meal for one, with a half bottle of house wine or cheapest equivalent. They include service charges, but not tip.

Expensive

Belotero

Cuisine: Fine dining

This exclusive restaurant is always packed with locals. To gain entry to the airy basement dining room, customers need to ring a bell and get escorted down. One of the few Palermo restaurants to be listed in the Michelin guide, its creative and elegant cuisine offers an interesting take on classic Sicilian dishes.

Address: , Via Giorgio Castriota 3, Palermo, 90139
Telephone: +39 91 582 158.
Website: http://www.bellotero.altervista.org

Osteria dei Vespri

Cuisine: Italian

The freshly caught seafood here attracts diners in droves and its wine list is also one of the best in the city. From April to November, the sommelier works with chef Alberto Rizzo to make a tasting menu that is matched with amazing Sicilian wines. The rest of the time it becomes an osteria (a simple Italian eatery) serving more affordable, traditional dishes.

Address: , Piazza Croce dei Vespri, Palermo, 90133
Telephone: +39 91 617 1631.
Website: http://www.osteriadeivespri.it

Ristorante Gadir

Cuisine: Fine dining

Opposite the church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo, this Kalsa district restaurant is one of the city's most sophisticated with a vaulted ceiling, exposed brickwork and an exquisite menu. The wine cellar contains 200 different varieties of vino, including a good selection of Sicilian bottles. Its fine dining fare includes a wonderful sea urchin pasta.

Address: , Via dello Spasimo, 44, Palermo, 90100
Telephone: +39 91 610 1215.

Moderate

Antica Focacceria San Francesco

Cuisine: Sicilian

As the name suggests, this landmark neighbourhood bakery specialises in focaccia bread and serves a range of delicious regional specialities. Housed in an art nouveau building dating back to the first half of the 1800s, it still features wooden cabinets, marble top tables and cast iron ovens. No bookings.

Address: Kalsa, Via Paternostro 58, Palermo, 90133
Telephone: +39 91 320 264.
Website: http://www.afsf.it

Bellini

Cuisine: Italian

At the back of Teatro Bellini, this restaurant offers a romantic setting as guests sit outside underneath La Martorana Church. The food is decent, particularly the octopus caponata (cooked vegetable salad) and the prawn and pumpkin ravioli, but it's the location that draws the punters. Arrive early to beat the crowds.

Address: , Piazza Bellini 6, Palermo, 90133
Telephone: +39 91 616 5691.
Website: http://www.spaghettitaliani.com/pizzeriabellini.htm

Il Baro

Cuisine: Italian

This popular restaurant in the Liberta area has a beguiling choice of pizzas that are generally considered the best in town. Customers can choose between four different kinds of pizza bases, including a gluten-free one. Il Baro also dishes up an excellent pasta selection and some sublime desserts.

Address: , Via Mario Rutelli 20, Palermo, 90143
Telephone: +39 91 303 110.
Website: http://www.ilbaro.net

Cheap

Al Casato dei Ventimiglia

Cuisine: Italian

Situated in the shadows of the Palazzo dei Normanni, this restaurant has a tourist-friendly menu and a dark, cavernous, candlelit interior. They offer a choice of set menus at very reasonable prices, including a fish, meat and pizza one. Try the seafood risotto and the fish cooked in foil with grilled vegetables.

Address: , Via del Bastione 22, , 90100
Telephone: +39 91 213 921.
Website: http://www.alcasatodeiventimiglia.com

Antica Caffè Spinnato

Cuisine: Sicilian

Established in 1860, this high-ceilinged tearoom is always bustling. Open daily for a lunch of salads, pastas and sandwiches, people queue out of the doors for its bakery specials. Try the panelle (deep-fried chickpea fritters) and the arancini di riso (rice balls stuffed with savoury fillings).

Address: , Via Principe di Belmonte 107/115, Palermo, 90139
Telephone: +39 91 329 220.
Website: http://www.spinnato.it

Trattoria Da Calogero

Cuisine: Seafood

This wallet-friendly trattoria in the seaside resort of Mondello plates up excellent seafood pastas, fresh octopus, sea urchins, mixed fried fish and lovely langoustines. Popular with local families, it has a good selection of pizzas which makes it a hit with the kids too.

Address: Mondello, Via Torre Di Mondello 22, Palermo, 90151
Telephone: +39 91 684 1333.
Website: http://www.trattoriadacalogero.it

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Featured Hotels

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Grand Hotel Etes des Palmes

The sumptuous rooms of this historical, city centre hotel are decorated with antique furniture and fine fabrics. Founded in 1874, and renovated by one of the great masters of the art nouveau style, Ernesto Basile, in 1907, this has been the haunt of Italian socialites, writers, musicians and film stars for more than a century.

Hotel Garibaldi

In the heart of Palermo's shopping area, Hotel Garibaldi is a decent, moderately priced stay. Recently renovated, all rooms are now modern with funky fabrics and contemporary photographic prints bringing them to life. Wi-Fi, LCD TVs and tea and coffee making facilities are among the home comforts.

Centrale Palace Hotel

In the historic centre, near the Quattro Canti, this luxury hotel has 103 rooms and 11 suites, all tastefully decorated. Breakfast is served in a grand restaurant. There is a roof terrace for evening drinks and a grand red Sicilian marble staircase for those who like to make an entrance.

Hotel Principe di Villafranca

It may have just 34 rooms, but this stylish hotel makes up for size with an intimate restaurant and bar, and a cosy reading room with an intriguing collection of books. Located in the city centre, close to some top fashion boutiques, it is conveniently place for shopaholics. Expect a refined atmosphere and elegant furnishings.

Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

At Acquasanta, 3km (2 miles) north of the city, this 5-star hotel, restored by renowned 19th century architect Ernesto Basile at the end of the 19th century, is housed in a sumptuous art nouveau building. Seriously stylish accommodation, it offers original frescoes, decoration and furniture.

Grand Hotel Wagner

The luxury Grand Hotel Wagner is full of old-world charm. Recently restored, this early-20th century building boasts antique furniture, chandeliers, rare marble, rich carpets and old paintings. Rooms are exquisitely decorated and there's a laid-back piano bar and a fourth-floor terrace with stunning city views.