Corso Vittorio Emanuele 175, Vucciria, PalermoPhone: 091/321655One of Palermo's oldest restaurants. It sits on the edge of the Vucciria and dates back to 1890. Specialties include pasta alle sarde or the risotto with mushrooms or asparagus.
Via Paternostro 58, Kalsa, PalermoPhone: 091/320264A bakery with turn-of-the-20th-century wooden cabinets and cast-iron ovens is a local favorite. It serves the snacks that locals love -- and from which you can make an inexpensive meal, like regional specialties such as pani cu' la meusa (boiled, sliced calf's spleen with Parmesan-like cacciocavallo cheese and salt). The timid can opt for the panelle (potato croquettes) instead. Reservations not accepted.
Via Mariano Stabile, 58, PalermoTel.: 091 325 943Newly renovated with a lovely garden for al fresco dining during the warmer seasons. Pizzas and regional Sicilian dishes including local wines.
Via Michele Amari 4, TaorminaPhone: 0942/23491Just behind the castle, this place takes its name from the dragon tree in the garden and is ideal for an alfresco meal. The mezze lune (half-open ravioli) and dishes with zucchini are excellent.
Vico La Floresta 1, TaorminaPhone: 0942/23360Known throughout southern Italy, this is one of Taormina's oldest restaurants, elegant and classical in style. The kitchen blends upscale modern techniques with the simple flavors of traditional specialties. Try the involtini di cernia al finocchietto selvatico (stuffed grouper with wild fennel). You can extend your evening by taking an after-dinner drink at the popular piano bar.
Piazza Municipio, LipariPhone: 090/9811002Considered the archipelago's best, this restaurant specializes in seafood: the zuppa di pesce and the antipasto platter of smoked and marinated fish are absolute musts. Leave some room for the local version of cassata, accompanied by sweet Malvasia wine from Salina.
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