A trip to Sicily is a must-do for any serious traveler. Yes, there are others wonderful places in Italy, but if you want true, authentic people, incredible landscapes, a volcano or two, and great food, do yourself a favor and get to Sicily. When you do, Taormina will probably be a wonderful town you’ll find yourself in and that means you’ll have to eat! I did a ton of research, asked a few locals, and did a lot of tasting to make sure you knew exactly what foods to try in Taormina when you visit.
I hope you have a positively delightful trip to Sicily, and if you need more inspiration, you can watch our video series on Sicily right on our YouTube channel. This island needs at least two weeks to visit if you only get one chance to see it. We plan to visit a few times to take it all in and give you a thorough look, but for now, let’s talk about food.
Foods to try in Taormina
Let’s start with the most obvious one first, shall we? We certainly did! I tried the special chocolate flavor with SEVEN kinds of chocolate inside. But a speciality of the area is the pistachio so we had to have that as well. Let me tell you…get the pistachio! It’s light, creamy, and delicious.
While it doesn’t matter which flavor you’ll get (because they’ll all be incredible), I think it’s only right that I make sure you know what THE flavor is to try. If you are staying a few days, maybe you can give every day a new thing to taste! Besides, it’s often warm in Sicily, so a fresh, cooling treat is just what you need and C&G – Cioccolato e Gelato is a great place to try it.
Mmmm. Just thinking about this has me craving it! The best way to explain granita is that it’s similar to Italian Ice — made with sugar, water, and with an added flavor. But in Sicily it’s a bit more coarse in texture and is served with a brioche bun (yes! really!). They also like to put fresh whipped cream on top. It’s a unique experience and the first time you try the granita and brioche at the same time, you may be surprised! But it’s really good.
Almond is the flavor to get here, but coffee is great too (from what Sean tells me!). If I had to choose between granita and gelato, I’d choose granita because it’s a whole experience. You must try it at Bam Bar while people-watching. One of the things I love about travel is watch people go about their day and the location of Bam Bar’s outdoor terrace (with its massive awning that saved us from a torrential downpour) makes it so easy.
This almond cookie is divine. Oh my goodness. The texture inside is a bit like a dense cake — I think of it like a pound cake with a bigger crumb. But I think it in the cookie form with the little bit of powdered sugar on top with that delicious almond flavor. It’s a new favorite for me!
I often get surprised by cookies. I mean, I like them, but there aren’t many that wow me. This cookie is just so comforting without being sugary-sweet but still packed with a ton of flavor! We had them at Bar Pasticceria Etna and would highly recommend them.
Is this even a proper list of foods in Sicily if you don’t include a cannolo? It might just be one of my favorite foods, ever, with its crunchy tubular outer shell and sweet ricotta inside and sometimes topped with goodies like candied orange, mini chocolate chips, or pistachios. It’s food Heaven in a bite and I could eat at least 2 each day!
Ok, yeah, I DO actually eat 2 a day when in Sicily. But I don’t usually get them any other time, so it’s a-okay. The most important thing to me, when eating a canolo, is that it’s actually ricotta cheese inside. Has anyone else been fooled by the instead of one? On this last trip, I accidentally got peanut butter ice cream in one. To be fair, there was one canolo left, I pointed and the woman gave it to me. I hated it, but Sean loved it! For a perfect one, Bar Pasticceria Etna, was excellent. We went back a couple of times and ate them while strolling the main street. It was Sicilian perfection.
I wish we had these balls of goodness in Amsterdam! Simply put, this is a deep-fried ball of rice coated in breadcrumbs. Traditionally, you’ll find them stuffed with ragu, cheese, and peas, and sometimes ham. Of course, like anything that becomes well-loved, the assortment has only increased, but I LOVE the traditional ragu ones.
Things to know: 1) arancini is plural, and arancino is singular…usually 2) apparently if you get them on the east coast of Sicily, they are coned like a volcano and in Palermo, they are more likely to be round.
We’ve found that the shape may depend on the flavor you get. Either way, it fits in your hand and is a meal in itself! If you’re looking for a good one (and who isn’t?!) head to Da Cristina and enjoy. It’s seriously comfort food and I wish for everyone in the world to try one!
This list of foods to try in Taormina is one to get you started, but as always, dig deeper. Talk to locals and maybe even book a food tour. We worked with Sicily Activities for our time in Taormina and they gave us so much good advice, but also helped us get into a restaurant that we couldn’t seem to make a reservation at. This isn’t an ad at all, but it’s always nice to have a local contact when in a new place, and they also happen to do food tours (among other tours like our adventure up Mt. Etna!).
Sicily is worth a visit and I hope you get to spend some serious time there. Staying in Taormina was great and we wished we had stayed longer! Not surprisingly, there were more food stops we’d like to visit, more lookout points, and next time we’ll hit the beach.
It’s so great to think ahead and get excited about travel. So, keep Sicily in mind because I doubt you’ll be disappointed!
Wishing you joy and travel!