Where to Eat Out in Calabria

A little while ago (what are a few weeks among friends?) I was tagged by Karla and Irene, and it goes a little something like this:

1. Link to the name of the person who tagged you.
2. Include the state and country you’re in.
3. List your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location (locally).
4. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

We don’t eat out very often, but I have managed to come up with five places that have all the courses covered here in my corner of Calabria, Italy (that’s sort of like a state, right?).

Provinces are in parentheses after town names.

Oh, and I’ll end the suspense here and say I won’t be tagging anyone–however feel free to store this idea away for days when you have nothing else to say. Is that why I’m choosing this lazy Friday to finally post this?

I’ll never tell.

So here are five of the best places to mangia mangia! in bella Calabria (other than my house, of course):

1. Diavolo Rosso, Badolato Superiore (CZ)

Run by one of P’s very bestest friends, Mimmo, Diavolo Rosso is our pizzeria, our Saturday night place, our home away from home if you will. My favorite pizzas are the tonno e cipolle (tuna and onions) and the prosciutto crudo, grana padano, and rucola. Yum!

In the summer, you need to reserve a table ahead of time if you want to eat outside on the terrace, and believe me you do.

And if you’re really lucky, Mimmo will break out his guitar and sing traditional Calabrese folk music from his band Marasa‘s CD.

2. Excalibur, Santa Caterina Marina (CZ)

Excellent seafood year round, but especially in the summer when if you don’t get there early enough in the evening, you may be stuck ordering the (also delicious) veal. Poor thing. Great outdoor seating as well.

3. Soverato Dolci, Soverato (CZ)

Makes the best pastries I’ve had since I’ve been here–and yes, I have been to Sicily. They also do a really nice aperitivo so long as you order at least one alcoholic drink among your group. Not usually a problem in my groups.

4. Golosia, Gioiosa Ionica Marina (RC)

Homemade gelato in an impressive, creative collection of flavors. Hands down the best gelato I’ve had here, although the tartufo from Pizzo (VV) ain’t half bad either. Someday, Sara, I’ll get there with a camera in hand to join the Tour del Gelato, I swear!

5. Le Terrazze, Copanello-Stalettì (CZ)

The first and only time I’ve eaten here was last week as part of the 2-day conference I had to attend. We had a six or seven or was it eight course meal (can’t remember I was so stuffed), and every single thing was fabulous. It was fish-themed (seafood salad, risotto with shrimp, swordfish, grilled prawns, and much more); perhaps some photos of the place will give a clue why:

So, yeah, even if the food sucked, this place probably still would’ve made my list. The views are just unreal. We happened to be there on the night of the full moon, and that was amazing to see over the sea–didn’t get a great photo though because of the glare, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Buon appetito!


28 Beans of Wisdom to “Where to Eat Out in Calabria”
  1. JennieBoo

    Okay, I’ve just decided to come and visit. I, of course, want to meet you, but the dining out sounds heavenly!

    To be honest, though, I think I would prefer your cooking. From what I’ve seen, it looks wonderful!

    Man, I wish I could go to “your corner of the world”. It seems so exquisite!

    Happy Weekend and Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. alexmom

    This post will go into the file for our next trip (which, sadly, won’t be this summer)
    Are they opened in the fall?

  3. goodthomas

    I hate you, Sognatrice, and I mean that in the best possible way.

  4. sognatrice

    Jennieboo, come on over! We eat pretty well at home, I have to say, but these five places are definitely great when we want something a little different (are are feeling a little lazy) 😉

    Alexmom, you know I think all the places I’ve listed are open year-round, although I know Mimmo is only open on weekends in the off-season. Other than that, I’m pretty sure they’ll be available for your dining pleasure. That last one is actually in a hotel, and I know you’ve seen it from the outside (it’s right on the main road going away from Soverato toward Catanzaro), but you’d *never* guess that’s what’s waiting inside. I sure didn’t!

  5. sognatrice

    gt, sniff sniff. And I mean that in the least pathetic way 😉

  6. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    Looks like some wonderful places! Next time you get to the pizza place can you take a few shots of the Pizza for my Roman who so misses his pizza?

  7. Paolo

    Poor thing, you have to go all the way over to Reggio for good gelato? 😉 Very a propos to the article I sent you (here is a link to the original and a really crappy English translation), and I hope you have a lot of smiles very soon.

    We’re planning on stopping by Palmi (where my nonna was born) next year, so maybe we can meet you guys for gelato while we’re in the “neighborhood!”

  8. Wanderlust Scarlett

    Deep sigh… I will reiterate, you are a wonder with a camera in your hands.
    I LOVE the looks of the place you live. Serendipitous, really.
    Thank you ever and ever so much for sharing it with us.
    I truly appreciate your perspective and fun tidbits.


  9. Karina

    So, that’s your local pizza place huh? Hmm…I’m looking at our “local” pizza place outside my office window, which is located in a parking lot, on a main road…yep, yours is prettier! HA!

    All those places sound and look wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Ms Adventures in Italy

    Da bookmarcare 😛

    Though now I know you have a favorite gelato place, I’m going to be bugging you for the TdG!! 🙂 Maybe you shouldn’t have said anything. hehe.

  11. Cherrye

    These places DO look great. I haven’t been to any of them…I need to catch up.

    I’m going to save your list to add to our list of places to send our B&B guests.

    You mean you didn’t like the SMURF gelato at Marron Glaces?

  12. Erin

    Mmmm…gelato…pizza…sounds absolutely heavenly. Especially on a lazy Friday!

  13. Bongga Mom

    How wonderful! Your choices are great because their beauty feeds the soul while the great food feeds the tummy 🙂

  14. Gil

    I am getting hungrier and hungrier be the minute! My wife and I leave for Napoli on July 4th. We can’t wait for the seafood.

  15. cheeky

    One of my favorite topics, food!
    It’s so good to read your blog, again. Yeah! I have a lot of catching up to do.
    Pizzeria sounds the best to me. The atmosphere sounds delightful.

  16. sognatrice

    Jenn, hopefully we’ll get some pizza this evening, and I’ll hook you (well, your Roman) up.

    Paolo, well, we have good gelato nearby, but the *best* is in the province of Reggio. My town is on the border betweeen CZ and RC, so actually it’s not too far–a good hour and some change drive though. I’ve never been to Palmi. We don’t venture into CS too much, but yes, we’ll have to meet up for a gelato or something. Thanks for the article 🙂

    Scarlett, grazie! Honestly so much of my alleged skill has to do with the scenery. Sometimes you just can’t go wrong 😉

    Karina, yes, this pizza place has a pretty great location. There are lots of great ones right on the beach as well, but I’m more of a mountain gal 😉

    Sara, like I said, someday I’ll make it down there with my camera. In the meantime, there are some places closer that are pretty good too–it’s just that they’re seasonal, so I’ve had to wait until summer. Now I have no excuse 😉

    Cherrye, um, the Smurf gelato was…interesting…but anyway, I thought you might want to include that place on your list (should you do one someday), so I didn’t want to hog Catanzaro places 😉

    Erin, as it turns out, pizza also sounds good for a lazy Saturday!

    Bongga Mom, I have to say that the atmosphere of a place greatly affects my dining experience–perhaps that’s why I like eating at home so much 🙂

    Gil, I just love the summer for the seafood here–soooo good. July 4th is getting closer and closer!

    Cheeky, good to see you around again as well! Pizza’s on me when you make it down here 😉

  17. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    These photos make me want to book a flight, presto. sigh.

  18. a far away friend

    Your corner of the world looks prettier and prettier every day. What a view for a pizza place!! You make it very tempting to want to visit Italy. Great pictures!

  19. Ale

    i dont know what it is about italy– almost seems unfair that so much beauty is concentrated in one country! gorgeous

  20. sognatrice

    NYC, well I’m sure not going to stop you 😉

    Friend, glad you enjoyed the photos–lucky for me the scenery does all the hard work 🙂

    Ale, I might be a little biased, but I’m going to have to agree with you on that.

  21. lacey kaye

    Thank you for sharing. I always love your pics–they keep me coming back!

  22. sognatrice

    Thanks Lacey Kaye! Glad you enjoy them 🙂

  23. Karla

    DAYum. Now I’m just jealous.

    I think of all the great food I have had in Italy and now I am even MORE jealous…..


  24. sognatrice

    Karla, no need to be jealous…book a ticket!

  25. IRENE

    thanks for posting. You are a great sport!
    I think my favorite place would be the pizzeria. As I’ve said before, nothing beats a pizzeria with a view…
    Once on a trip to the N of Italy, to meet some friends, we had dinner at the most improbable place in the middle of nowhere, under lots of bubble lights and a just lovely pizza. Oh I miss them now, I ‘ve got to post about that!
    Have fun, and take deep breaths of that fragrant Italian air…

  26. Kristen

    Oh wow…I can only imagine dining in such a beautiful place!

  27. Jér

    I had rucola for the first time in my life on top of a pizza, and ever since then I’ve been hooked. Which is bad, because I’ve never found a place here in the States that can cook a good rucola-topped pizza. Either the greens come out too crisped and dried or they are dumped on top raw, like a salad, and with all the tough stems still attached.

    And no, I’m afraid I’ve never actually tasted the tartufo in Pizzo. I always meant to, and we continually made plans to go get some, but those plans were always disrupted or blocked, to the point where the tartufo took on a mythical, larger-than-life quality that any real ice-cream confection would have a hard time living up to. But who knows? Maybe it is exactly as good as I’ve come to believe it must be.

    As far as pastries go, I lived in a few different places in Sicily, and I have to say that I had some of the best pastries I ever tasted in Catanazaro, Calabria. There was a bar on corso Mazzini that sold the most delicious ciambelle that were filled with an exquisite crema pasticcera that had a slight hint of orange zest. I still dream about them.

    Great. Now you’ve got me all hungry and bothered. LOL

  28. sognatrice

    Irene, yes, post about it! I’d love to read it!

    Kristen, the view truly made the meal even more special, especially as the sun was setting *sigh*

    Jér, isn’t rucola just the best? I never would’ve thought of it, but luckily I have pizza gurus around to show me the way. As for the tartufo, well now I’m afraid you’d be disappointed, so perhaps it’s better to let it live in myth? Nah. It *is* that good, trust me.

    I agree with you on the pastries, btw. I’ve preferred many pastries in Calabria to the ones I had in Sicily–I’ll have to ask Cherrye over at My Bella Vita if she knows about these ciambelle etc….



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake