I think this area was bombed in WW2 and seems never to have been rebuilt. Some of the houses look too dangerous to live in but are still inhabited. Located next to the Giardino Garibaldi, near the La Cala yacht marina; this is a pleasant spot where you can sit outside in the square at a candlelit table. They only had four customers when I went but the food was ok.
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The strawberries were lovely. Closed Sunday. This is a popular place with locals, mentioned in Italian guides. The waiters look like night club security but are actually quite friendly. The menu is fixed with three options for the second course.
To start you can select from the huge buffet, about 40 types of anti-pasti. The pasta is ok, but my spaghetti with pesto and crunchy almonds B- was a bit oily. Unfortunately it scored a D and sent it back and what I wanted instead. If you are on a really tight budget and not too fussy what you eat then this place, with its sticky plastic tablecloths, may be an option.
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I had Spaghetti all Acciuga Rosa C , basically pasta with tomato puree, garlic and raisins, which arrived suspiciously quickly. I followed this with Arrosto Panato C which I was told differed from Cotolet Milanese by being roasted rather than fried, but it tasted deep fried to me.
I scored the food C for edible as opposed to D for inedible. Probably best to go for simple stuff like a veal steak and boiled greens. Nice lady serving. You can get couscous in a lot of places in Palermo but I thought I would try out this long-standing Tunisian place and it was definitely worth it for the money paid. They do Italian dishes too but the best and most cost effective option is to get the four-course Menu Completo Tunisimo.
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The first course is Gilbena B, a veal stew with peas and potatoes , Mescuita C, a puree of grillend peppers and onion used as a condiment and Merghes sausage which I added to the couscous later. Second course is Brik B , a kind of crispy pancake with potato, tuna, egg and parsley and Cebtia C , a fried rissole of potato, veg and parsley which failed to impress. The third course was the couscous itself, I chose the meat version with vitello B and the accompanying semoule C which was made with the stock rather than being simply steamed which I prefer.
Ask for harissa to whip into the couscous stock if you like it hot. Finally there was a fruit macedonia. A Tamil restaurant selling Indian dishes. The interior looks very atmospheric although probably too warm, but you can sit outside on the street too. The starters I had pandered to the local taste for deep fried rustici, three balls of channa dahl, lentils, rice, with hot sauces, that were ok but nothing special. I opted for a thali of four curries, a delicious dahl and a nice fish curry but these were offset by a disappointingly flavourless chicken curry ,a rather bitter aubergine concoction and a very soft popadom.
Good if you know what to order. Actually Bangladeshi rather than Indian, with a rather grumpy owner but his family are nice. Great samosas to start and the tandoori mixed grill 4 pieces of chicken and a rather non-descript seekh kebab was delicious with yoghurt. One of the oldest eating places in Palermo, since , with a not particularly interesting Stile Liberty Italian Art Nouveau interior. You can choose to eat off plastic inside or off porcelain on the nice terrace in the square outside as I did.
I had the rustici rice balls, bechamel croquettes, chick pea fritters, pizza, caponata followed by Analleti al Forno pasta rings baked with tomatoes, mince, peas and parmesan , all delicious.
You can choose desserts from a tray brought to your table. The large cauldron in front of you as you go inside contains milza veal innards, specifically lungs and spleen an ancient Palermitan snack, served in a panino with shavings of caciocallo cheese and tasting rather like liver, actually rather nice. For that reason alone they should be supported. A nice place with an atmospheric off-street terrace, candlelit so not good for reading, and a soulful selection of cool sounds on the CD player. The food is good, a modern take on traditional classics.
The Lacerto veal in Agglace al Frebbiano onion sauce was delicious whilst the accompanying contorno of apple caponata was interesting but there was too much off it.
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A mid-range place in the Borgo Vecchio, recommended by Gambero Rosso and a local fixture for over sixty years. The location and interior decor is nothing special but the service was friendly. Every table was full when I arrived but I managed to get one after a few minutes wait. A good quality place recommended by the hotel, I went a couple of times till I found cheaper places.
The Busiati al Pesto di Pistacchi di Bronte pasta twists in a pistacchio and bacon sauce was original B and the Risotto al Nero di Seppia con Salsa di Fasolari risotto in squid ink with chargrilled clams was very good A. Open Sundays. This is a satellite restaurant of the fantastic original in Mondello see below , one of my favourite restaurants in Italy. You can sit outside or in. After an amuse bouche of mussels and clams in a courgette sauce and a mini sfincione like pizza but different dough? I had a Passito sweet wine with dessert and an Amaro di Capo digestivo too.
They also sell deli items, both local and international. Recommended by a local businesswoman, this is the place to take your industry contacts to impress them. The food is good but pricey, you are basically paying for the service I prefer to pour my own wine. The Pasta alla Norma B was pretty but I had better elsewhere, the seared tuna steak also. Carducci, 15 mins from the Hotel Principe. Recommended by both hotels I stayed at, but with overpriced and often badly made food. The waiter I got was brusque and unhelpful, though the others were ok. The Antipasti della Casa included some lovely grilled sweet peppers and caponata but the rustici and mushrooms were horrible.
Got some free, very dry fig rolls and amaretti at the end. Had to make them switch off the music because the speakers were so bad on the small terrace. My starter of Vari Antipasti varied between A for the deep fried calmaretti, B for the marinaded anchovies and Polpo alla Greca octopus with olives, capers and basil and C for the worst chick pea fritters so far and piece of fish with raw garlic.
My replacement primo Casarecce Salsiccia e Pomodoro was ok. I was going to score them a C but then the bill arrived…. Red chequed tablecloths in a tunnel like room. Owner was rather pushy. Other food and places probably better.
This place has an atmospheric courtyard with palm trees and a South American feel. They do food prices look reasonable but I have only had drinks here. It was also the only bar I found that had fresh limes and could consequently do a half-decent caiparinha, although the sugar is a bit coarse. A nice place for an apertivo or a digestivo. Opens 6. Via dell Orologio, along with the next parallel street and the square at the end, is a good spot for bars and light night drinking.
I liked the Moroccan vibe of Caffeteria il Siciliano at 37 Via dell Orologio which has outdoor floor cushions in the adjoining alleyway. Another good place for take home treats is Antica Drogheria spelling? Antonello, the shop manager his auntie owns it , is a great salesman and an excellent English speaker and wannabe teacher!
He proudly showed me an article on his shop in the Sunday Times magazine and was over the moon when I countered with his accolade in the Easyjet in-flight brochure. Many of the products pesto in particular are homemade by his family. There are cheaper Bangladeshi-run internet places opposite each other on Via E.
This is in the Borgo Vecchio, a vibrant multi-cultural slum, with lots of street food and market stalls where you can see whole tuna and swordfish being chopped and sold. You also get a free welcome glass of Prosecco if you give the barman the small gold disk by your bed.
There is a public swimming pool near the stadium, but you need some kind of pass to use it. A good sweet white untried is apparently Bianco di Scandiano, and the drier Pignoletto. The local pasta to try is Capelleti filled with a pork ragu, particularly famous in Ferrara and Tortelli, which look like Ravioli but have vegetarian fillings as opposed to meat.
Via Roma seems to have most things you might might need, a macrobiotic restaurant at number 55c, a salumeria at 53, internet at 56, a curry house at 40, North African food at 35, barber at 29a, tabbacheria at 30b, supermarket in the basement at no 1 and an antique street market on Saturdays. I walked out after 10 mins of waiting for the menu and being ignored.
The town centre is very relaxed, I counted four bars in the centre that were playing chilled house or live blues with the speakers out on the street. Most of them have comfortable seating areas outside.
I love this place, mainly for the wonderful Parisian cafe atmosphere low lighting, wooden cabinets dark red painted walls, booths, quirky pictures, accordion music but the food is also very good. There is no name on the outside and you have to ring the bell to be let in. I had Gnocco Frito, a typical Emilian starter of pastry that puffs up when deep fried , accompanied by some excellent Grana cheese put the Balsamic on it and Parma ham, followed by Fileto di Cafe Paris a steak with a sauce of 10 herbs and roast potatoes , all excellent.
Only the Malvasia Secca a local slightly sparkling white wine was disappointing. A bright, modern place with an outside courtyard. I had hand cut chips with rosemary to start and the wonderful Spaghetto al Chianti con Funghi Porcini, Speck e Fontina. A good wine list but sadly bereft of local tipples, the half bottle of the local dry lambrusco was ok.