Wonderful off- the -beaten -track EATERIES on the Amalfi Coast!
As the years fly by from when I first moved to the Amalfi Coast (yikes! over 30 yrs ago now) many things have changed in the culinary arena all up and down this magnificent coastline.
When I first arrived in Positano the best meals you could find were generally in a local Nonna’s kitchen or a next door neighbours back yard, and this is still valid today. But when you are a traveller and dont know the next door neighbours or a local ‘Nonna’ what do you do? I was always amazed at how delicious these simple and traditional dishes were, the local restaurants I found back then………were not so amazing.
I had come from living for a few years between Milano and Firenze where the restaurants were excellent, so I was deeply spoilt. But today things have changed, it’s hard to get a bad meal anywhere on the Amalfi Coast today, the restaurants generally excel in all areas; food, service and ambiance. Hence my one of my happiest projects was to write Amalfi Coast Recipes (Penguin 2012). I felt driven to share this fascinating mix of simple folk and their inherited cooking skills with some extraordinary chefs who had put their talents to serving exquisite dishes to the public by opening excellent restaurants or simple eateries.
Today the Amalfi Coast restaurants offer delicious dishes at all levels, whether you are wanting a fine dining experience, a large long and slow meal on a hill top or overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with friends & family or even a full day out blending a seaside excursion with amazingly good food. …..AND there really is something for every budget!
Here are some of my favourite off the beaten track eateries on the Amalfi Coast. Naturally there are also the nominated classic spots that TripAdvisor will promote, which are sometimes valid, but certainly not aways! So here are a couple of amazing dining spots which I think are a must when visiting.
Naturally getting to all these ‘out of the way’ places is not alway simple, but today everywhere along the coast is accessible with one form of transport or another.
To make it easy for you, I can organise all these bookings with transport to and from these wonderful venues, just let me know the day you’d like to go…….even if I haven’t organised your accommodation. email@example.com
A PARANZA – Atrani.
My advise for a great meal in the spot is;
Hop on one of the many hydrofoils or ferries from the main beach in Positano heading to Amalfi. When you get off here (apx 1/2 hr) , there is a quaint little pathway that leads to Atrani from behind the main Cathedral of S. Andrea right in the heart of town. This is an apx short walk of 20 mins and so pretty! You will pop out in the main piazza of Atrani and just down the road from A Paranza restaurant. OR if you do not want to do this short walk, let me know and when I make your restaurant booking, I will advise the owners of A Paranza that you will require a pick up from the ferry in Amalfi.
After lunch a wander around this delightful jewel of a town is a must. A coffee in the piazza or a swim down at the towns very accessible beach very close by the main piazza and restaurant are must- dos.
Heading home you can hop on another ferry or hydrofoil in Amalfi, (make sure you pick up the time table when you head over to Atrani form Positano as it may change from season to season) OR a Sita bus that goes right through Atrani every hr will have you back in Positano in apx 30 – 45 hr. Tickets have to be bought from the bar when you get your coffee after lunch.
This is a charming daytime distraction from the bustle of Positano.
ACQUA PAZZA – Cetara
This adventure is a full day out right up the other end of the Amalfi Coast, apx 1 hrs drive by taxi OR apx 1 1/2 hrs by bus. A lunch in this spectacular fish based restaurant is a worthwhile day out.
Acqua Pazza restaurant is nestled in the heart of the tiny fishing village of Cetara, one of the only coastal towns which do not rely on tourism for their income, they still have their small fleets of fishing boats which go out each day…mainly for tuna and fresh anchovies, the town specialty. This is what Acqua Pazza do best, they actually have their OWN fishermen who fish exclusively for them and prepare some of the most mouth watering and sophisticated seafood dishes I have ever tried!
However I would first head to the next town (and the last one on the Amalfi Coast), called Vietri sul Mare where they produce some of the most exciting ceramics in Italy. I can organise a car to take you hear, wait for you to shop and then bring you 10 mins back to Cetara for a delicious meal before heading back to Positano or Praiano.
Vietri are brilliantly organised with exceptional shipper to transport your purchases back home, wherever you live on the planet! while you enjoy a delicious meal back in Cetara they will be wrapping your goods madly for transport!.
Naturally if you are on a budget and would like to avoid the taxi charges, all the above can be done on the Sita bus with a little organisation & extra time. Let me know and I will book your restaurant for you. I would however suggest a short taxi right between Vietri and Cetara to your luncheon destination as the Sita buses only travel every hour or so. Then a Sita bus home to Positano or Praiano
Buon appetito!…and believe me, your appetite WILL be bigger in a smaller hidden away spot!
PS MORE Amalfi Coast off -the -beaten -track restaurant recommendations in our next Newsletter and Blog!