All the food we ate while staying in Castellammare Del Golfo was amazing. We did not have a bad meal during our 8 night stay in this gorgeous little Sicilian seaside town. We enjoyed everything from huge filled croissants for breakfast to freshly caught fish by the harbour as the lights of Castellammare twinkled in the distance.
Italians usually have a sweet breakfast accompanied by a coffee, which I fully embraced while I was there. At first, I enjoyed a little trip to the nearest deli to buy supplies for the day including some lovely, local fresh bread. Wandering through the quiet streets early in the morning was no chore at all. We then all enjoyed bread and jam on the balcony of our accommodation which luckily caught the morning sun.
However, half way through our stay I discovered a little cafe that sold cornetti, which are Italian croissants, that can be filled with sweet fillings such as chocolate, caramel and pistachio. Pastries are my weakness and these were some of the best I’ve tried. I could not resist ordering a cappuccino and sitting on one of the little tables on the cobbled street watching the world go by. True bliss!
Best View – La Timpa
We stumbled upon La Timpa on the day we arrived in Castellammare del Golfo as we wandered through the narrow streets near to the castle. It was Friday lunchtime and the restaurant’s terrace, which was right next to the sea, was packed with tourists and locals alike. The view over the bay is spectacular and we were so close to the sea we could hear it gently lapping on the shore below us.
We ordered a selection of pizza and pasta dishes each of which did not disappoint. It was evident that they do not just trade on the beautiful view but take pride in the fresh ingredients they use to create delicious dishes.
Best Atmosphere – Egesta Mare
As soon as we stepped inside this ancient monastery we were made to feel welcome. Seated in the middle of the restaurant we sat and absorbed the setting as we tried to decide what to order off the extensive menu.
The restaurant had a cosy feeling, with quirky decor and extremely friendly staff. The menu was full of traditional Sicilian dishes and everything we ordered was excellent. I ordered a pasta dish, which was a speciality of the house (I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as couldn’t really work it out from the description) but I have to say it was one of the tastiest pasta dishes I had during my stay, and I had many!
We left the restaurant with full bellies and a warm fuzzy feeling, due to the scrumptious food and the friendly ambience.
Best Pizza – Gusto
I thought best pizza would be a hard choice, until we visited Gusto. We had read that it had won an award for “Best Emerging Pizza in Sicily in 2022.” so we were really keen to try it out. By this point, we’d had a few fantastic pizzas and thought you couldn’t top them. The most recent was at Pizzeria Mon Amour located on the pedestrian street where we could enjoy our pizza while people watching.
Gusto is tucked away in a little square called Piazza Europa with a cute little fountain in the middle. It has outdoor seating as well as lots of indoor tables which we opted for, as it was very windy the day we visited. We actually got a table with a bird’s eye view of the kitchen perfect to keep the children entertained.
The menu is split into two sections, red pizza and white pizza. My husband and I opted to share and have one off each side, as I often find white pizzas a bit rich. I am so glad we did as both were absolutely delicious but I have to say my favourite was a white pizza with truffles and bresaola (as seen in the picture). There were lots of interesting flavour combinations but also enough standard pizza toppings to keep the children happy.
Best Seafood – Salvinius
Many of the harbour front restaurants have cases displaying their fresh seafood, which fascinated my youngest daughter every time we walked past (she was a particular fan of the lobsters). As we were so close to the sea we sampled lots of seafood and it was all delicious. However, the place we enjoyed the most was Salvinius with its central harbour side position and extensive wine list.
We simply ordered their “catch of the day” which we chose to have grilled (you could also have it baked in salt). When it arrived they presented it to us and asked if we wanted it serving. Not really knowing what this meant, we said yes and were delighted when they filleted the fish and placed it in front of us ready to eat. No worrying about bones!
The fish was expertly cooked, leaving it succulent and tasty with no need for anything else to accompany it as it was so good!
When you think of Italian food ice cream is up there with tiramisu and pizza. Italian ice cream or gelato is to die for. We again felt the need to sample a fair few ice creams during our stay and tried many of the flavours at Gelateria Ventimiglia on the pedestrian street, Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi.
A simple cone with their rich dark chocolate ice cream or a zingy lemon sorbet made the perfect afternoon snack on a sunny day.
We visited the local supermarket right at the beginning of our stay and stocked up on essentials, such as snacks for the kids. After that, we enjoyed visiting the local delicatessen or a grocers store to get fresh supplies daily. My walk up to the deli every morning was one of the highlights of my day. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of Castellammare del Golfo first thing in the morning before it started to get busy and also enjoyed challenging myself to order in Italian (with a lot of pointing!).
The deli that I visited had a vast array of cheese and meat to choose from and a selection of antipasto such as olives, pickled mushrooms and roasted vegetables. Every day I tried to come back with a few different items to taste as that’s one of the things we love about travelling. Some days we found things nobody was that keen on, but often we found a new favourite such as Caciocavallo. Caciocavallo is a traditional Sicilian cheese which my daughter renamed “the best cheese in the world.”
Food in Sicily is a very important part of life, as it is in our family. This is probably why we are already planning a return trip as soon as possible.
Laura loves travelling across the UK and abroad. She has two children and a husband who are often her travel companions. Beach holidays, cosy cottages, treehouse adventures and brunching are just a few of her favourite ways to spend her travel time.