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Food and Drink, Sorrento

Many traveller’s flock to Sorrento, for its delicious cuisine, served both in the hotels here and at many local restaurants. Explore plenty of gourmet eateries on a holiday in Sorrento, with the Michelin star restaurant – The Don Alfonso 1890, taking centre stage for holidaymakers. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a little slice of home, there’s an array of Brit bars to choose from.

Beachfront Bars

The beaches of Sorrento are largely privately owned and therefore, the bars on the beachfront are usually part of the same complex.

One example of this is Leonelli beach at Marina Picolla which has a bar, snack bar and restaurant all situated on the terraces above the rocky beach. The bar here serves sodas, fresh fruit juices, cocktails, beers, spirits and wine and the snack bar offers a variety of fast food. Waiters are happy to take your order and bring your food and drinks down to you as you relax and sunbathe on the terraces and solarium, or if you prefer, you can eat in the dining room, overlooking the sea.

The Bar Ristorante Ruccio has an excellent position right on the front of Marina Picolla. The beautiful terrace here, which directly overlooks the sea is an ideal place to relax and have a drink or a meal whilst taking in the lovely views of the port.

A similar bar, but this time in Marina Grande, is the Wonderful Sea – a wonderful, cosy bar with a lovely terrace overlooking the sea, an ideal place to sit and watch the world go by.

Brit bars

There are not many actual ‘Brit bars’ in Sorrento, since most bars are typically Italian in style, décor and in the food that they serve. An exception to this is the aptly named – English Inn, situated on Main Street Sorrento. The bar is very cosy and there is also a spacious outdoor area with a beautiful garden and terrace. They serve a wide variety of drinks including English beers and a range of food including burgers, sandwiches and of course the good old English fish and chips.

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There are also a few Irish bars – Chaplins, is located just off Corsa Italia and although a small bar, it has a great atmosphere. You can get a pint of traditional Irish Guinness and there are a variety of other beers on tap.

The Split Irish bar is also to be found on the Corso Italia, and has a large selection of beers (including Guinness of course), spirits and cocktails, all at very reasonable prices. The pub has a lovely atmosphere, with music playing in the background or you can sit outside, have a drink and just watch the world go by.

Cheap places to eat

There is a huge selection of places to eat in Sorrento, including restaurants, cafes, gelato shops, pizzerias, and pubs. Some are very expensive but there are many that are ideal for those on a budget.

Da Emilia located in the fishing village of Marina Grande, is an inexpensive restaurant where you can order a platter of fried seafood and fish or a generous serving of spaghetti with clams for a very reasonable price.

Just off Corso Italia is the Da Franco Pizzeria which makes pizza by the metre. The waiter will ask how many servings you want and your favourite toppings, you will then be served one long pizza cut into different slices depending on the number of toppings chosen. The atmosphere is casual, with plastic tableware, shared tables, and fast service.

Da Lucariello is also located very near to Corso Italia and serves incredible hamburgers with fries or salad, as well as an Italian dish of the day. The food is excellent and cheap and the café is used a lot by the locals, too.

Gourmet eateries

There are many excellent restaurants in Sorrento but the Don Alfonso 1890, a gourmet restaurant with two Michelin stars is a name that is famous the world over. Run by the Laccarino family, this luxurious restaurant, housed in the 19th-century Neapolitan building is located in the heart of Sant’Agata.

The food here is excellent, with an imaginative choice of traditional and modern dishes, all produced from local ingredients. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and filled with Vietri ceramics, the service is excellent and the staff courteous and attentive.

The Dafne restaurant A La Carte, is another outstanding restaurant and is located inside the Grand Hotel Aminta, which is just a 10-minute walk away from Sorrento’s main Square. You are able to sit inside the restaurant or outside on the fabulous terrace with its stunning view of the Gulf of Naples and the town of Sorrento. They serve a great selection of traditional old and new style Italian foods, all of which are absolutely divine, along with an extensive selection of wines. After your meal you can sit on the terrace, listening to the live piano music and enjoying the beautiful sight of the sun setting over Sorrento.

Il Buco Sorrento

In the heart of Sorrento, find Il Buco Sorrento – housed in the cellar of a former monastery, and offering first-class cuisine in an attractively, informal atmosphere.

Being a Michelin-star restaurant, where the emphasis is on regional cooking with a twist, the chef will create dishes such as, gragnano spaghetti with ricotta cheese, anchovies, beet powder, walnuts and lemon; calamari and octopus, served on top of tangy guacamole; or seared bass served on crunchy cabbage with lentil caviar.

They also offer a ‘Trust Us’ five course taster menu, where the chef chooses the dishes for you, so you won’t really know what you are getting until it arrives, but you can be sure the food will have been created with skill and using the best fresh produce available at that time of year.

If you choose to sit outside, the tables are grouped in little areas of three tables, making it a very romantic and intimate setting in which to enjoy your meal. The staff are very friendly and helpful, and make every effort to ensure your visit is enjoyable.

Local cuisine

Tasty food is part of Italian culture. From fine cheeses, cured meats, risottos and pasta, you’ll be spoilt for choice and Sorrento in particular, is famed for its seafood. Choose from gamberi (lightly floured calamari and fresh shrimps), Spaghetti e Vongole (spaghetti with clams), spider crab soup or even octopus’ casserole.

A great local favourite is gnocchi – potato pasta smothered with a fresh tomato sauce and covered with delicious treccia cheese and some fresh basil as garnish. Oil, tomatoes, mozzarella and spices are the basic ingredients of dishes like cannelloni, parmigiana di melenzane and of simple light meals such as a Caprese salad.

Of course, for many people Italian food means pizza, and Sorrento has many bars, cafes and restaurants where you can buy this popular fare, choosing from a wide range of delicious toppings, most of which are locally sourced. Ideal as a snack at lunchtime, or as a main meal when served with chips and salad or side dishes of vegetables.

L’Antica Trattoria

L’Antica Trattoria is located in the heart of the ancient centre of Sorrento, and is said to be the finest restaurant in the town. The décor of its upstairs terrace is amazing – a haven of peace and tranquillity with traditional tiling, delightful plants and flowers and the vine-covered pergola that covers the terrace.

The restaurant offers wonderful dishes, including pistachio-crusted wild salmon with Prosecco orange sauce, and spinach risotto and fettuccine with smoked salmon, shrimps, garlic, and brandy creamy lobster sauce. The starters and desserts are all delectable and there is a wide selection to choose from. The restaurant also has set menus of three or four courses which include vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Particular favourites are pasta with monkfish, olives and capers, calamari, lasagne and linguini.

The food is beautifully cooked, using traditional recipes and methods, the wine list is extensive, the staff are attentive and friendly and the service is excellent.

L’incanto Lounge Bar

L’incanto Lounge Bar is situated on a busy street, in the heart of Sorrento, overlooking the pedestrian area of Corso Italia. A relatively new bar, it has a very colourful décor, with its distinctive blue and white tiled walls and colour co-ordinated tables and chairs grouped outside on the pavement.

The staff here are very friendly and welcoming and serve fantastic iced coffees, wonderful cappuccinos, great cocktails, lovely wines and a good selection of beers, all at very reasonable prices. They also sell a variety of salads, and fresh fruit platters as well as the usual bar snacks and nibbles.

With the added benefit of a TV in the bar so that customers can watch popular sports events and free Wi-Fi, the L’incanto is popular with locals and tourists. This is a great place to have a few drinks with friends, watch the match or unwind for a while.

Piazza Tasso

Piazza Tasso is lovely open square, surrounded by bars, restaurants and pavement cafes, situated in the heart of Sorrento, being popular with both locals and tourists.

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The Bar Syrenuse serves drinks, snacks and meals and offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, as well as traditional Italian dishes. It does get a little busy, but reservations can be made in advance.

Or, if you are looking for a pizza, then the Ristorante Pizzeria Tasso is a good place to choose. Here, they offer unusual toppings such as truffles; their pizza sauces are to die for, too. The service here is fantastic, the prices are reasonable and the food is delicious.

For something different, why not try a meal at the Aurora Light? Here, they serve unusual salads like fennel with pink grapefruit and traditional dishes with a twist, including mini rabbit-burgers and lemon and turkey kebabs with couscous and beansprouts. What more could you want than a delicious meal, in a perfect setting?

Seafood restaurants

There are many excellent seafood restaurants in Sorrento especially those located near to the harbour. One such restaurant, is the Porta Marina, at Marina Grande which gets its fish fresh from the harbour each morning. Fresh fish beautifully cooked, delicious chips, friendly staff, gorgeous location by the water’s edge – you couldn’t ask for more.

Another good choice would be the Soul & Fish Restaurant, also at Marina Grande. Here, you select your fish directly from the ice box containing the catch of the day. Your meal is prepared in front of you and you can choose from dishes such as the fish of the day, sautéed shellfish and a delicious lemon and lobster risotto. The service is great, the staff friendly and the food sublime. Looking out over the sea and eating fresh and inventive seafood…bliss.

The Ristorante Ruccio, situated just off Piazza Tasso, also serves lovely seafood meals along with other traditional Italian dishes and the most amazing homemade ice cream. The service is wonderful, the food delicious and the prices are reasonable.