Amalfi Coast restaurants

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Al Palazzo

Price guide: Expensive
expert-rated restaurants in Amalfi Coast
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Experience Positano fine dining in a gorgeous stately hotel.

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Price guide: Expensive
expert-rated restaurants in Amalfi Coast
Expert overall rating:4.3 (out of 5)

Off Amalfi's beaten track, but worth beating a path to.

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Eating on the Amalfi Coast is one the best things about a trip to this area. The freshness and quality of the ingredients ensures that even the simplest meal, such as a plate of pasta with a tomato sauce, can be unforgettable. The combination of the good climate and fertile soil means that conditions are perfect for growing olives, tomatoes and lemons.. and, of course, grapes. Add the treasures of the sea and you've got the makings of a perfect meal. That's not to say you'll always get one; along with fabulous trattorie and high-dining establishments there are plenty of tourist traps selling poor quality food at inflated prices.

A few tips, some obvious, others not so:

  • Lunch is usually between 1.30-3.30pm and dinner is usually 7.30-11pm (though Italians tend to eat later so some restaurants may seem ghostly quiet if you arrive at 7.30pm but become much buzzier by around 9pm).
  • You don't have to order a whole bottle of wine with your meal. If you just want a glass of (usually perfectly palatable) house wine ask for 'un bicchiere di rosso/bianco' (a glass of red/white) or 'un quarto' (a quarter-litre carafe).
  • If you're ordering fish and it's priced by the kilo, be sure to check just how much fish you'll be served otherwise you could be in for a nasty surprise when the bill comes.
  • Unsurprisingly, the little, out of the way places often try a bit harder than those that are situated on the main drag. In Positano, for instance, prices are far higher than those in the little village of Montepertuso (literally 'hole in the mountain') that lies above the town. Obvious perhaps, but worth remembering when you're looking for fine food. If you're prepared to travel even further (say, a trip to Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi) your reward will be great indeed.
  • Another obvious one this, but watch where the Italians go: if the place you're looking at is full of tourists clutching plastic-covered menus showing dozens of pictures of meals that the kitchen can serve, you mustn't be surprised if the food isn't fabulous. If, on the other hand, you're handed a hand-written menu (menu del giorno) with a few dishes that will be prepared from scratch, your chances of having a good meal are much improved.
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Over the years I've eaten at a lot of restaurants (far more 'good' than 'not so good') and remain convinced that, thanks to the wonderful ingredients, you can have the best meals of your life in Naples and along the Amalfi Coast.

I've tried to include a mix of places that are cheap and convenient, along with real destination places. And new places are opening all the time; along with old-school chefs cooking traditional fare are the new bloods who are experimenting with their ingredients to create something entirely new; some very successfully.

I'll be trying out new places all the time and would welcome any suggestions (and, of course, any feedback on those I've listed is always welcome). My recommendations are not set in stone; if standards drop, so will my review.

Buon appetito.