Our favorite things about our Cagliari trip

We just love Italy, and not just because Sean is part Italian. It’s a country, culture, and food that many just adore for one reason or another. Since there are so many different parts of Italy, we are slowly exploring them.

For our anniversary trip this year, I was the one to plan it. I’m not even sure what drove me to book the flight there, but we are both so glad I did! It was everything we wanted and then some.

Sean and Jess Basilica

When you travel, you have your list of stuff to do, you have your guidebook and a Google map will all the pins, but you can’t predict how a place will make you feel or you connect with people.

This post is more personal but if you want to read our other posts, read about our day trip to Aritzo and spending time with a Sardinian family, or our e-bike tour where we saw dolphins and flamingos. If you’re looking to spend only a day in Cagliari, we have a post for that, too.

Our favorite places to eat and drink

Obviously, this is not comprehensive. We didn’t try every place in the city. There were a few we wanted to get to, and didn’t. But, when we go back, I’ll try and remember to update this so you always have our favorite spots listed right here.

Maverick Cafe Cagliari

For breakfast, we always went to Maverick Cafe. It’s a fairly new spot next to an old favorite — Caffetteria Tiffany. When we first found this place, Caffetteria Tiffany wasn’t even open, so we didn’t know about it. But the Maverick Cafe is pretty traditional for breakfast. Grab your coffee or tea and a pastry, have a seat and head out on your way. Nothing really stuck out here except the people were nice, everything was tasty and it felt comfortable. It’s a solid place to stop for your morning start.

Buffhouse Sean and Jess

While we were eating breakfast, we noticed another restaurant just down the street called Buffhouse Wine bar and bistrot. We Google everything to check ratings and they seemed really good, so we popped a pin there so we’d remember for later. After walking around for hours and being ready for lunch, we made our way back and were the first people there for lunch.

Special at Buffhouse

The staff was so kind and the specials menu looked delish, so we each got one of the specials and local wine. Nothing beats good food, and this was incredible! Everything here impressed us. He even talked us into dessert and a final taste of the local spirit. You’ll see more of this breakfast and lunch along with our reactions in our YouTube video of that day.

Our host recommended a pizza spot called Pizzeria Federico Nansen because it was close to the apartment and delicious. Not to mention, you can get a variety of slices (in squares!). We visited the first night and the woman couldn’t have been nicer. The second time, she remembered us and was telling her colleague about us. I wasn’t feeling well the third time so Sean went alone and he said goodbye for the both of us. I was legitimately sad that I couldn’t say goodbye.

Restaurant Flora Cagliari

For a super traditional lunch, we stopped by Flora. It’s listed in our Marco Polo guide book, and has very high ratings so it seemed like a good spot for lunch (usually lunch a bit cheaper). It looks and feels a bit fancy, but we weren’t dressed up and nobody made us feel like we shouldn’t be there. Have you ever watched Mark Wiens? He makes this incredible face when he tastes something good. I’m pretty sure I made the same face while eating here. Everything was just so lovely — but a bit pricier. I think it would make an excellent spot for a date night if you want an evening to be a bit elevated.

wine tasting cagliari

One of the biggest surprises we had was going to the L’Enoteca Biondi 1959 wine bar. It was an evening we won’t soon forget. Again, we were the first people in there since we haven’t shaken off our Americaness of eating and doing things earlier than many Europeans.

Jessica at wine shop

After we walked in, we were greeted by Pippo, the man running the store. We asked if we could do a tasting and he set us up with a table for two, and then asked us about which kinds of wines we would like to try. You should always try to local stuff no matter where you are, so after gauging our tastes, he grabbed a few bottles and let us start. The charcuterie plate itself was mind-blowing. You may pay a little premium here, but this is a case of you-get-what-you-pay-for. I wish I knew the words to describe that night. But you can see my reaction on our highlight reel of Cagliari if you really want to. If you go to no other place, go here.

Awesome shops for souvenirs in Cagliari

Innoi Sardinia has beautiful and creative items created by Sardinians. You can find everything from prints, to purses, to jewelry and so much more. We bought three different prints because we couldn’t choose between the three. Always tricky!

Nearby is another shop which is full of food, wine, and spirits as souvenirs…but somehow I didn’t get the name and it isn’t on Google yet. But you can find it here (it’s a pin on Google maps). The entire store was tempting. We ended up buying some bottles of the local spirit to bring back because that’s another thing we like to collect and share with friends. If you are hungry while here, they have a small cafe as well! So, dig in.

Experiences

In case you missed our other posts, we did some awesome things when in Sardinia!

Sean with pizza oven

The first one was a day trip inland for The Family Experience. So, definitely read more about that! Long story, short, it was absolutely incredible. We made bread and pasta, saw ancient ruins, explored the cutest town, met a talented woodworker, and had lunch with our guide’s family. Dream day achieved!

Jessica on ebike

Our next day adventure was on an e-bike tour just outside of Cagliari. I loved that it was active, but not too much so. I told myself I wouldn’t use the electric motor because I wanted to get back in cycling shape for Amsterdam. But, that went out the window when we went up proper hills! Super cool experience with a great guide, dolphin-spotting, flamingo-spotting, drinks next to the water, and epic views. Read more about the e-bike tour we took.

General observations

We just didn’t know what to expect when we arrived. It was evening, we walked out of an area under construction and had to walk uphill to get to our accommodation. I feel like those first moments are so disorienting. We were so grateful to our host who met us and gave us the low-down on the area.

Cagliari street

Turns out that Cagliari is a very walkable place despite the hills. There are plenty of places to eat and because it’s not super touristy, it’s highly likely you’ll find good food. Of course, our first night went against the odds. The restaurant was beautiful and the staff was amazing, the food, was not. Didn’t suck, but wasn’t anything to write home about. Oh well. We made up for the throughout the week! Just always check reviews online if you are concerned.

I’ve said this a few times, but the people are so nice here. I always seem to feel like everyone hates tourists. Living in an over-touristy city has skewed my opinion a bit. Even in Amsterdam, people don’t tend to hate tourists, they hate disrespectful tourists — and there is a BIG difference there.

Not everyone will be able to speak English perfectly, but many people do. Like anywhere, learn the key phrases like “hello,” “goodbye,” “thank you,” and something about what you might need, like “two tickets, please.”.

We cannot wait to go back! Next time we will go to Cagliari for a few days and then rent a car and drive around the island to experience more of the Sardinian culture and hospitality. This whole experience re-enforced exactly why we love to travel.

Ssean and Jess sunset in Cagliari

That’s exactly why we wish you joy and travels!


Ready to take the trip?

Here’s your toolkit full of links so you don’t have to go searching!

Now, go and have an AMAZING time! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram (@awanderlustforlife) so we can see your memorable experiences.

Walking tour of Venice, Italy
Visit Trentino for a foodie trip to Italy
11 things to do in Cagliari, Sardinia
One day in Cagliari: Your guide to sightseeing
Sightseeing in Cagliari: e-bike tour to see flamingos
Ultimate authentic day trip from Cagliari: The Family Experience

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