The Complete Guide to Capri Part I

Undoubtedly one of the reasons you’ve chosen to go to Capri is because of the food. While pastas are certainly the star, the simplest of ingredients often made for some of my favorite meals. 

LUNCHES

Lunches in Capri are truly special because there are beach clubs (open to everyone) at which you can spend the whole day. My suggestion? “Go big” at lunch, then retreat to the villa for appertivos, vino, and relaxation. The beach clubs in Capri are absolute heaven on earth and cannot be missed.

La Fontelina:

La Fontelina Beach, Capri, Italy

See any pictures like these dot your Instagram feed this summer?

When you think of Capri, you may think of the blue and white striped umbrellas at this one-of-a-kind spot. La Fontelina is close to the Faraglioni, the iconic rock formations, and the restaurant is built into a cliff, while sunbeds and umbrellas lie on the soft rocks beneath. There is a cove to dive into, and swimming in this sea here has to be one of the happiest moments of my life. The food at Fontelina is classic Capri—seafood salads, prosciutto, and grilled fish. The food is good, but lounging on the beds is the real reason to come. La Fontelina is only accessed by either water taxi or by descending the hundreds of steps from Tibero Place. The best part? The restaurant doesn’t play music, which is so rare these days; you feel like you’ve almost drifted back in time.

Pro-tip: Reserve lounge beds when making your lunch reservation (or ask WIMCO to). The walk down to the restaurant is not for amateurs—bring comfy shoes and an extra shirt. Tip the beach boys as soon as you arrive (no need to go overboard, just a thoughtful amount), to ensure great service the rest of the day.

Il Riccio:

Heaven on earth, aka Il Riccio, a restaurant in Capri, Italy

Heaven on earth, aka Il Riccio

After descending down a long and winding road in AnaCapri, you’ll arrive at Il Riccio, a restaurant hugging the cliffs, offering a splendid view of the sea and the passing boats. Inside, the restaurant is boisterous and fun – almost like lunch at Taiwana in St. Barths during the holidays. Like Taiwana, Il Riccio also has a signature color (a few shades away from Tiffany blue) giving it an iconic look. Our favorite dishes were the trio of tartares—each with distinct flavor—and the lobster linguine. Before or after lunch, cozy up on the lounge beds overlooking the sea, or take your chance jumping in!

Pro-tip: Whatever you do, save room for desert. Tucked in the back of the restaurant, The Temptation Room is a desert lovers’ mecca, filled with almond cakes, fresh fruits, profiteroles, and just about anything else you can imagine. #help

Lido Del Faro

We went to Lido Del Faro on our first day for a late afternoon lunch. In the distance sits Anacapri’s lighthouse (faro), an area which you can also hike. There is a public “beach” (more like cliffs, as in customary in Capri) that young Italians swim and sunbathe at. It’s a charming scene. This was one of our best meals without any fanfare- the seafood pasta, seemingly so simple, was perfectly cooked.

The order: anything with tomatoes—the sweetest you’ll ever taste.

The view from Lido del Faro restaurant, Capri. Kids jump off the rocks in front.

The view from Lido del Faro restaurant. Kids jump off the rocks in front.

La Conca del Sogna

This restaurant will hold a special place in my heart, as my boyfriend, sister and brother in law spent 4th of July here. We always spend 4th of July on the water, but being in Italy was a treat, albeit different. This lovely restaurant is on the mainland of Italy in Nerano, and most people arrive here by boat. A tender will pick you up from your boat and bring you to the restaurant. (You’ll feel pretty fabulous).The zucchini pasta and eggplant parmesan were standouts, as was the peach sangria.

Pro-tip: See the section in Part II on renting a small boat for the day in Capri…my one “can’t miss” activity.

DINNERS

After a long day hiking and in the sun, most nights I longed to stay in, relax, have a simple salad or graze on cheese and prosciutto – such a benefit to staying in a villa. That said, here are three restaurants we loved. Remember that part of the fun of Capri is discovering tucked away gems that catch your eye!

Da Paolino:

Spend your first night in Capri at Da Paolino, the iconic lemon tree restaurant near the marina. There’s a spacious covered patio with lemons hanging overhead and twinkling light, and the service is familial and welcoming… a perfect start to the trip! I traveled with a pasta affiacnado, but surprisingly, our favorite dish here was the simple salad – iceberg lettuce (so very different in Italy!) with fresh parmagiano and tomatoes. You have not had tomatoes until you have them in Italy.

The order: Any simple salad, and the lemon pasta. Or the sausage pasta. Hard to go wrong, really.

You'll need one of these to get anywhere in Capri!

You’ll need one of these to get anywhere in Capri!

Villa Verde:

A lively restaurant in the heart of Capri town, with a large terrace and garden. One of my favorite dinner spots in Capri—it feels so carefree and distinctly European, reminiscent of the now-gone L’Escale in St. Barths. Waiters at Villa Verde turn down the lights, play a special song and clap on rhythm when it was someone’s birthday: a perfect combo of low-key and fun.

The order: The salt encrusted branzino. (Your one sensible meal?)

Aurora:

Like Villa Verde, Aurora’s a hotspot for celebrities (signed photos of Jay-Z and Beyoncé adorn both entrances). The restaurant sits in a small alleyway in Capri town, but offers several different ambiances in which to dine (tables on the street, on the balcony, or in its swanky inside). Aurora is one of the pricier restaurants in town, but attracts a cult patronage.

The order: The thin sliced pizettes – order the white or spicy version, which are off the menu.

Feeling full? Check out Part II of the Complete Guide to Capri where we chat hikes, boating, and shopping!

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