Charlotte Laborie: My list of the Top 5 restaurants in Palermo

I traveled to Palermo the weekend after I went to Prague, and my oh my thought did I wonder why I went
to Prague when I could be in dreamy Italy, where people are joyful and the food out of this world – needless to mention that I was wearing shorts for the four days I was there in November (No-vem-ber!!!).

Palermo, the vibrant capital of Sicily, is not just a feast for the eyes with its stunning architecture and lively markets, but also a paradise for your taste buds. Let’s embark on a culinary journey through the
winding streets of Palermo, exploring the 5 best restaurants that promise not only delectable dishes but
also a healthy serving of Sicilian charm.

Bisso Bistro

Nestled in the historical Libreria Dante, Bisso Bistrot is the brainchild of someone who believes in bringing people together through good food. The ambiance echoes the spirit of a traditional tavern, where Palermitans from all walks of life once convened.

The most expensive main dish on the menu is 12 euros, so this shouldn’t break your wallet.

Bisso Bistro

Address: Via Maqueda , n.172 A
Open everyday from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Ferro di Cavallo

The story of Ferro di Cavallo unfolds like a vintage family recipe, with Franco Ciminna at the helm, crafting dishes that have stood the test of time. From the humble post-war beginnings to the present, this trattoria has evolved into a haven for those seeking authentic Sicilian fare.

The menu boasts old-time favorites such as bollito di vitello and polpette di carne, served in a rustic yet charming setting.

Ferro di Cavallo

Address: Via Venezia , n.20
Open from noon-3:30 p.m. on Mondays-Tuesdays, and from noon-3:30 p.m. and 6:30-11 p.m. on Wednesdays- Saturdays

Frida, the 2nd-best pizza of Italy

Antonio and Ornella, with two decades of gastronomic expertise, present Frida – a pizzeria that marries quality cuisine with attention to detail. The pizzas, crafted with high-grade ingredients and natural leavening, are the stars of the show. The elegant ambiance invites you to savor not just the pizzas but also a carefully curated selection of beverages and delightful desserts.

The average price on the menu for a pizza is about 12 euros.


Address: Piazza Sant’Onofrio 37
Open everyday from 7 p.m. until midnight, closed on Tuesdays

Osteria Nonna Dora

For those seeking a more down-to-earth and authentic experience, Osteria Nonna Dora is the go-to spot. Expect huge portions of homestyle Sicilian dishes, served with a side of mixed reviews on the service, although when I went there the staff was lovely and friendly – I just read that in the reviews.

Despite the occasional quirks, it’s a place where the flavors feel like they’re straight from an Italian grandmother’s kitchen.

Osteria Nonna Dora

Address: Piazza Colonna n.7
Open everyday from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 7:30 until 11:30 p.m. apart from Mondays

Trattoria Al Vecchio Club Rosanero

The Vecchio Club Rosanero is a treasure trove of genuine Palermitan fare, offering a taste of Sicilian tradition at an affordable price. Dive into generous portions of seafood delights, such as swordfish and spaghetti with urchins and red shrimp. The ambiance is unpretentious, inviting you to relish the essence of Sicily without burning a hole in your pocket.

Trattoria Al Vecchio Club Rosanero

Address: Vicolo Coldomai
Open on Mondays-Wednesdays from 1-3:30 p.m., and from Thursdays-Saturdays from 1-3:30 p.m. and 8-11 p.m.

In Palermo, where history mingles with flavors, these restaurants are not just places to eat but experiences that linger, leaving you with a taste of Sicily’s rich cultural tapestry. Also, Sicily is well known for pistachios, and more specifically pistachio cream, which is my favourite thing in the world and the reason when I went to Sicily: don’t forget to grab a pistachio cream filled croissant for breakfast, you can thank me later.

So, embrace the Sicilian way of life – mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto (eat well, laugh
often, love much)!

Ciao bambino ….


Read more about Italy here in Dispatches’ archives.

See more from Charlotte here.

Charlotte Laborie grew up in England, Belgium and Switzerland. Charlotte then moved to Paris and graduated from Sciences Po Paris. She is still based in Paris, where she works in marketing.

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