Best fine dining restaurants in Sicily from the Michelin elite 

Fine dining
Posted on 2023-02-24

    Sicily is home to some of the best fine-dining restaurants in Italy. There are endless options, from the capital city of Palermo to the stunning views of the restaurants in Taormina.

    This is our selection of unmissable experiences for those seeking excellence. A complete guide to the most remarkable Michelin-starred restaurants in Sicily in 2023, each offering something unique.

    Mec, a fine dining restaurant in Palermo

    Our selection of the best Sicilian restaurants begins in Palermo, Italy.

    The Mec is a restaurant located in the historical center, opposite the Arab-Norman Cathedral. The restaurant is inside Palazzo Castrone – a period building dating back to the end of the 1500s.

    What is unique here: It is part of a concept by the architect Giuseppe Forello. So during the day, eight rooms are dedicated to an exhibition of old Apple computers and memorabilia related to Steve Jobs. In the evening, the Mec gourmet restaurant opens its doors.

    The cuisine is Italian contemporary, based on some traditional local dishes revisited by Chef Carmelo Trentacosti, who recently achieved his first Michelin star. There is a choice between meat and fish, with some good pasta and desserts.

    Main characteristics: Period building, elegance, city center, contemporary Italian cuisine, one Michelin star.

    Mec Restaurant Palermo Dish
    The signature dish at Mec, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Palermo

    Gagini Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Palermo

    The location of Gagini in a popular area of Palermo, near the market, might be uncommon for a fine dining restaurant. Still, this is one of the sources of inspiration for its cuisine deeply linked to the territory.

    Gagini is mid-way between La Cala, the city’s oldest port, and La Vucciria, one of the oldest markets in town. The market has been active since the 12th century in an area full of noble palaces and art. Today the area has turned into a favorite nightlife destination in recent years.

    What is unique here: The restaurant is in what once was the art studio of the greatest Sicilian sculptor of the Renaissance, Antonello Gagini. Ancient walls, modern furnishings, and an open kitchen add to the Gagini’s casual elegance and create a relaxed, informal atmosphere in the restaurant.

    Mauricio Zillo is a Brazilian executive chef of Italian origins. He conquered his Michelin star in 2021 with a personal cuisine based on local, traditional ingredients. All dishes are well paired with a wide choice of wine from the restaurant’s cellar.

    Main characteristics: Period building, informal elegance, city center, creative cuisine, one Michelin star.

    St. George by Heinz Beck, the only two Michelin stars restaurant in Taormina

    Taormina is one of the best-renowned destinations on the east coast of Sicily, with some of the most exclusive hotels on the island. This is probably why there is such a high concentration of the best fine-dining restaurants in Sicily.

    Indeed, most of the restaurants in Sicily listed on the Michelin guide are located inside the luxury hotels in town. This is the case for St. George, part of the Ashbee Hotel – one of the luxury hotels in Sicily and one of the best restaurants in Taormina.

    What is unique here: Heinz Beck is a German chef. He arrived in Italy in 1994 and became executive chef at La Pergola on the top floor of the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel. In 2005 he turned La Pergola into a three-Michelin-star restaurant, and today still keeps those three stars.

    His wife, Teresa, is Sicilian, and in her honor, Beck acquired this restaurant in Taormina, which recently conquered two Michelin stars.

    In the kitchen, chef Salvatore Giuliano has been working with Heinz Beck for a long time. The restaurant proposes creative, contemporary dishes.

    The style of the restaurant is rather formal and British. Still, as soon as you look around from the beautiful panoramic terrace, it is immediately apparent that you are in Sicily!

    Main characteristics: Formal dining room, sea view terrace, closed in winter, creative cuisine, two Michelin stars.

    Principe Cerami, a fine dining restaurant in Taormina

    Visitors of Taormina can enjoy chef Massimo Mantarro’s talent at the Restaurant Principe Cerami, the pride of the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace Hotel. The restaurant is designed to host 30 guests, with an intimate, romantic atmosphere and a breathtaking view over the bay.

    The restaurant was initially awarded two Michelin stars, then lost them during long renovation works. Finally, it recently gained back one Michelin star thanks to the chef’s hard work and creative genius.

    What is unique here: Massimo Mantarro is a local chef, and Sicily’s abundance of great ingredients is the key to his creativity. He surprises guests with unexpected combinations, such as fresh aromatic herbs and ancient legumes from local traditions. He selects only the excellence of the territory, like the milk of the rare Girgentana goat or special tomatoes and niche vegetables from Ragusa.

    Something curious: Anyone who watched the TV series White Lotus 2, filmed in Taormina, probably wondered which hotel the fiction is set in. Well, it was filmed at the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace Hotel. So, if you enjoyed the visual experience of the series, you could live it in person at the Principe Cerami Restaurant.

    Main characteristics: Exquisite dining room, sea-view terrace, closed in winter, modern cuisine, one Michelin star.

    Otto Geleng, a gourmet restaurant in Taormina for food and wine lovers

    Eight tables on a panoramic terrace of the luxury Hotel Timeo, overlooking the hotel’s park and the bay of Taormina.

    The name is a dedication to the German painter Otto Geleng. He had moved to Sicily in 1863, married a local woman, and dedicated much effort to making Taormina an international tourist destination. In 1873, Otto Geleng convinced the La Floresta family to open the first hotel in the city, so the Timeo Hotel was born.

    What is unique here: This restaurant offers a vast choice of wines. In fact, 400 wine labels make it an excellent choice for those who like to find the perfect combination between food and wine.

    The executive chef, Roberto Toro, one Michelin star, recently became a member of the Krug Ambassade. This is a network of structures that best represent the philosophy of the Champagne Maison Kruger. The chef is considered an ambassador of Italian cuisine.

    Also, thanks to his long international experience, he catered to some of Italy’s most important international events. He was also in charge of catering for the G7 Political Forum in Taormina in 2017.

    Chef Toro proposes a creative variation of traditional Mediterranean cuisine, influenced by memories of his childhood when he started cooking with his mamma.

    Main characteristics: Eight tables only on a sea view terrace, closed in winter, Mediterranean cuisine, one Michelin star.

    La Capinera, fine dining by the sea at Taormina Mare

    This is undoubtedly the right place for you if you fancy a good fish dinner in front of the sea.

    Chef Pietro D’Agostino selects the best local products: fresh fish, vegetables, and various types of local extra virgin olive oil. He then combines them into something creative, new, and at the same time, deeply connected to his Sicilian roots.

    What is unique here: Step out on the beautiful terrace directly in front of the sea. Now, listen to the waves, and smell the salted water. This fully immersive sensory experience perfectly complements the food-tasting experience that awaits you!

    Main characteristics: Sea-front terrace, local ingredients for creative cuisine, one Michelin star.

    Fish dish at MIchelin restaurant La Capinera
    Tasting at Michelin restaurant La Capinera

    Sapio, a gourmet restaurant in Catania

    Modern, essential, and traditional: the two rooms of the Sapio restaurant reflect the essence of the dishes proposed.

    Sapio is a family-run business managed by a young, local couple. Roberta Cozzetto welcomes guests and takes care of them throughout the experience, and Roberto Ingiulla is the Michelin-starred chef in the kitchen. The two knew each other from high school and together were able to give birth to one of the best restaurants in Catania. Sapio is also the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Catania, Sicily.

    What is unique here: Most of the ingredients used in this restaurant come from a piece of land at the foot of the Etna volcano. Here the chef Roberto and his father grow organic fruit and vegetables typical of the area. For example, cola apples, Etna pears, cherries, almonds, pistachios, prickly pears, and citrus fruits. In addition, they manage the olive groves from which they obtain the Etna olive oil.

    Main characteristics: Family-run business, modern cuisine, one Michelin star.

    Il Duomo, a 2-star Michelin restaurant in Ragusa

    Walking along the little street from the Cathedral of Ragusa, you arrive at Il Duomo, one of the best restaurants in Ragusa. Chef Ciccio Sultano leads the restaurant with his creative version of Sicilian dishes. This is the heart of Ragusa, the historical center named Ragusa Ibla, known as the capital of the Baroque.

    What is unique here: You will sit in the halls of what was once a bourgeois apartment. It was the set of a famous Italian film of the Sixties, Divorce Italian Style, starring Marcello Mastroianni. The atmosphere has remained welcoming, elegant, and discreet, just like home.

    Main characteristics: Period building, historical center, creative Sicilian cuisine, two Michelin stars

    Accursio, fine dining in the heart of Modica, Ragusa

    If you consider visiting Ragusa, you can include the nearby Modica, about 40 minutes away by car. The historic center of Modica is a Baroque jewel included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites.

    It is right in the center of Modica that you can taste the dishes of chef Accurso Crapario in his restaurant “Accursio.”

    The rooms have been obtained from the lower floors of an ancient noble palace with a colored checkered floor. The whole setting is elementary and almost familiar.

    What is unique here: Chef Accursio Craparo manages to unite the two souls of the island. He was born in western Sicily and gained work experience in western Sicily. He synthesizes traditional ingredients and obtains light and elegant, practically unrecognizable dishes.

    Main characteristics: Period building, historical center, creative cuisine, one Michelin star.

    La Madia: a Michelin-starred Restaurant in Licata, Agrigento

    Suppose you are planning to visit Agrigento’s remarkable archaeological site. In that case, you might consider reaching Licata. This is a small coastal town, one-hour drive south of Agrigento, where you can enjoy chef Pino Cuttaia’s talent at La Madia Restaurant.

    The restaurant has a welcoming room where the walls are entirely covered in wood. The menu includes dishes from traditional Sicilian cuisine that the chef has revisited creatively.

    What is unique here: Pino Cuttaia is a famous chef in Italy and a guest on TV shows. The signature dish he invented to celebrate Sicilian cuisine was presented at MasterChef Italia as one of the challenges for the show’s contestants.

    It is a very particular dish: the cuttlefish egg, uovo di seppia, and a cuttlefish cream in the shape of an egg. La Madia is a restaurant you would not expect to find in a small village, and however, it is worth the travel.

    Main characteristics: Family-run business, creative Sicilian, two Michelin stars.

    Traditional Cannolo at the Michelin starred restaurant La Madia
    A Micheline star Cannolo dessert served at La Madia

    Signum: Fine dining and sustainability in Salina, Aeolian Islands

    A top restaurant inside the Hotel Signum, a property resembling a small hamlet by the sea on the beautiful island of Salina.

    Salina is the second largest island of the Aeolian archipelago, also famous for its Nature Reserve, which occupies more than half of its territory.

    What is unique here: In a place where nature is so luxuriant, the Signum Restaurant, led by chef Martina Caruso, stands out for its cuisine. The chef was just awarded one Michelin star for high-level cooking and one Michelin green star for the sustainability of the ingredients.

    Forbes Italy named Martina Caruso as one of the 100 most influential women in 2020 and chef of 2022 by Michelin’s guide. One of her secrets? She sources ingredients directly from her vegetable garden and, of course, from Salina’s sea.

    She combines ethics, aesthetics, and taste. The chef today offers several signature dishes with an extensive range of ingredients that make all the difference between eating good food and having an outstanding culinary experience. All her dishes are well paired with the prestigious wines from the Signum’s cellar managed by her brother, Luca.

    Main characteristics: Family-run business, sustainable food, contemporary Sicilian cuisine, one Michelin star, and one green Michelin star.

    Complete list of Michelin-starred restaurants in Sicily 2023

    A complete list of all the restaurants in Sicily awarded 1 or 2 stars from the Michelin Guide.

    Palermo and its area

    Gagini Restaurant – 1 star

    via dei Cassari 35, Palermo, 90133, Italy

    +39 091 589918

    Mec Restaurant – 1 star

    via Vittorio Emanuele 452

    +39 091 989 1901

    Il Bavaglino – 1 star

    via Benedetto Saputo 20, Terrasini

    +39 091 868 2285

    Līmū – 1 star

    via Ciro Scianna 177, Bagheria

    +39 091 649 6288

    I Pupi -1 star

    via del Cavaliere 59, Bagheria

    +39 091 902579


    La Capinera – 1 star

    via Nazionale 177, località Spisone

    +39 338 158 8013

    St. George by Heinz Beck – 2 stars

    Restaurant of the Ashbee Hotel

    viale San Pancrazio 46

    +39 0942 23537

    Principe Cerami – 1 star

    piazza San Domenico 5

    Zash – 1 star

    strada provinciale 2 I/II 60, località Archi, Archi

    +39 095 782 8932

    Catania and its area

    Sapio – 1 star

    via Messina 235, Catania

    +39 095 097 5016

    Coria – 1 star

    via Infermeria 24, Caltagirone

    +39 0933 26596

    Shalai – 1 star

    via Guglielmo Marconi 25, Linguaglossa, 95015, Italy

    +39 095 643128

    Agrigento and its area

    La Madia – 2 stars

    corso Filippo Re Capriata 22, Licata

    +39 0922 771443

    Ragusa and its area

    Duomo – 2 stars

    via Cap. Bocchieri 31, Ragusa

    +39 0932 651265

    Locanda Don Serafino – 1 star

    via Avv. Ottaviano 13, Ragusa

    +39 0932 248778

    Accursio – 1 star

    via Grimaldi 41, Modica

    +39 0932 941689

    Aeolian Islands

    I Tenerumi – 1 star + 1 green star

    via Vulcanello, Vulcano

    +39 090 985 2555

    Il Cappero – 1 star

    via Vulcanello, Vulcano

    +39 090 985 2555

    Signum -1 star + 1 green star

    via Scalo 15, località Malfa, Salina

    +39 090 984 4222

    About Doriana Briguglio

    L'Isolabella - Managing Director & Founder
    Founder of L'Isolabella, Doriana has more than 20 years of experience in creating luxury travels, lifestyle experiences, and events. Constantly on the move, she divides her time between offices in Sicily and Malta or travelling around the globe. Always poised between her volcanic creativity and an equally natural tendency towards idleness, you can easily catch her with both a pen in her hand jotting down crazy ideas or with a glass, chatting about vineyards, vines, and wines. She is a professional sommelier, a member of AIS - Associazione Italiana Sommelier and WSET certified.

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