Sorrento: an insider’s guide to the gastronomic scene

28 July 2023
Written by
Teresa Cremona

Discover the culinary delicacies of the territory

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the Sorrento Peninsula is the spectacular panorama, with the high and rocky coast jutting out over the Gulf of Naples, and the contrast of colours, the green of the terraced vineyards, olive groves and citrus trees and the blue in all its hues. 

The peninsula thrives in gastronomy, renowned for its lemons from which limoncello is produced, walnuts with which nocino liqueur is made as well as the large and ribbed tomatoes and of course Gnocchi alla “Sorrentina” with tomato and mozzarella. Cheese is as much protagonist as fish, above all the Provolone del Monaco, obtained from the milk of Agerola cows from the Lattari Mountains in the Vico Equense area. And then, of course, there are the homemade desserts such as La Delizia al Limone and small cannoli filled with custard. 

With regards to wine, Sorrento is known for two great reds: Lettere and Gragnano and finally the EVO oil obtained from the centenary trees.

Delizia al Limone

The first village you’ll encounter towards Sorrento is Vico Equense, a great spot to discover the traditional gastronomy of fresh fish, vegetables and dairy. In the centre make sure you stop at Cremeria Gabriele, known for its artisanal ice cream but also for the cheese selection and desserts. Then, head towards the bistrot Tradizione, where the De Gennaro family have an all day dining concept as well as selling numerous preserves and products from the territory.

In the heart of Vico Equense admire the gothic style Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata with its pink façade and nearby, the hamlet of Massaquano that’s worth visiting for the 14th century frescoes in the Chapel Santa Lucia. A masterpiece by one of Giotto’s anonymous students. 

Along the road, at Bar Ristorante Belvedere Monte Faito order a lemon granita and enjoy a sublime view across Naples and the islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri

On the coastline head to Il Bikini, a beach club that combines beauty and elegance with a refined dinner menu. As for hotels, the waterfront Hotel Capo La Gala is a five star resort with a private beach. 

For fresh, healthy cuisine with ingredients homegrown with natural farming methods, you must visit Villa Chiara – Orto e Cucina, where among vineyards, orchards and citrus groves you’ll taste the dishes of Fabiana Scarica made with local and seasonal produce.

Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata, Vico Equense
Antica Osteria Nonna Rosa

As you head toward the sea, La Torre del Saracino, nestled on the beach, and Antica Osteria Nonna Rosa pay tribute to traditional and local recipes. Ravioli filled with Provolone del Monaco, pears and truffles by Gennaro Esposito and Spaghettini with water and lemon, oil and Provolone del Monaco are just to name a few of the dishes you must try.

Laqua Countryside is Antonio Cannavacciuolo’s restaurant, immersed with a vegetable garden and olive grove, where you can also sleep in the contemporary designed rooms. 

Vico Equense is also the home of pizza sold by the metre, with the renowned Gigino Pizza a Metro.

Just before you reach Sorrento, make a quick stop in Meta at the Cooperative Solagi where you can purchase high quality limoncello whose trees are an integral part of the coastal landscape.

At the entrance to Sorrento in Sant’Agnello, Don Geppi of the Majestic Palace Hotel offers a tasting menu curated by Chef Mario Affinita that evokes the flavours of the territory. 

At Marina Grande cross under the Porta Greca which, according to a legend, is said to have made all the sailors fall in love with local women. 

Among traditional lace and marquetry workshops, in the ancient via San Cesario, the Correale museum is worth a visit, where you can discover the collection of minor arts from the 1600s and 1800s.

At Trattoria dei Mori and at Zì Ntonio try the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, while the Antica Trattoria 1930, Terrazza Bosquet and Il Buco, offer a culinary journey to discover the region, with authentic cuisine, attentive to seasonality, sustainability and waste. 

Laqua Country. Ph. Credits

In Corso Italia, the Bistrot Basilico Italia has over twenty oven-baked pizzas on its menu. One to try is the Pesto di Noci di Sorrento created by Maurizio Mastellone, patron of the restaurant: extra virgin olive oil, provolone del Monaco and Neapolitan basil. 

Inside the Grand Hotel Continental, the exclusive Vittoria Terrace from where you can enjoy the view over the entire Gulf of Naples, chef Eugenio Cuomo offers a farm-to-table culinary approach. 

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