On Skype I talked with Katharine Johnson, who’s lived in Italy for 30 years and owns local Amalfi Coast tour company, Simply Amalfi (simplyamalfi.com) with long time Amalfi resident Salvatore Mocerino. She tells me it’s getting hard for tourists to find restaurants where local people eat. Italy’s weak economy means people eat out less.The Amalfi Coast road is heavily geared to tourism. Many high end hotel concierges recommend high end restaurants where you’ll eat well but may pay too much. If you want good, home cooked food—nothing fancy, you eliminate most Amalfi Coast road restaurants. Most local style eateries lie in smaller places outside tourist meccas, Amalfi, Ravello and Positano.
Little Pogerola sits on the hillside high above Amalfi with incredible panoramas. Just a 20 minute drive away from Amalfi, terraces of lemon trees and woods of chestnut trees surround it.
In Pogerola at Ristorante e Pizzeria La Capannina (ristorantelacapannina.com) you eat traditional family style dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients. They buy their fish from local fishermen. Their vegetables come from gardens on terraces facing the sea. Of course, they use the juicy, delicious local lemons. Specialties: grilled meats, fresh fish, local porcini mushrooms, wines from Campania and other Italian regions. If you’re in Amalfi, they’ll pick you up and take you back. Well worth the trip!
Just outside Amalfi where the coast road meets the road coming down from Agerola, Katharine likes G.A.S. Bar. They make their own pastries and amazing “panuozzo”, a big sandwich of pizza dough filled with cheese, prosciutto, tomatoes, vegetables. You can also enjoy pizza, pasta and salads. No web site. Find their Facebook page through Google. Trip Advisor reviews show photos of wonderful sea views from their deck.
In Agerola at the top of the mountains above Amalfi, Il Picchio Rosso is often full of soccer fans watching games on their TVs. At this simple restaurant, the family owners welcome you warmly and serve wonderful pastas, pizzas, fish, grilled vegetables. Mum and dad work in the kitchen, their daughter serves you and four and six year old nieces liven up the scene. Excellent Trip Advisor reviews.
On the Amalfi Coast road, towns of Atrani and Cetara get fewer tourists so ask local people where to eat. Fishing village, Cetara has excellent anchovies.
In Amalfi, many restaurants are bigger so change hands more often. No long time family owners imbuing the place with their spirit. Local people like to eat where they know the owner or operator and keep going to one restaurant for 20 years.
In Amalfi an exception is Taverna di Masaniello tucked away in an alley (Viccolo Masaniello 14 near the main piazza) off the tourist path. This friendly family style restaurant serves up delicious local pasta, pizza, vegetables. Great Trip Advisor reviews.
Buon appetito off the tourist track on the Amalfi Coast!