Restaurants in Sicily: When to go!
The island offers all sorts of food experiences, from excellent Michelin star restaurants to nice trattorie, from pizzerias to interesting street food. But my guests are often puzzled about the most appropriate time to go for a meal in Sicily.
Well, if your plan is to go for dinner at 6.00pm, forget about it! As they say 'When in Sicily, do as the Sicilians do', or was it about the Romans;-)!
Anyway, in case you do not want to embrace the local habits, you need to understand how to navigate them and, trust me, no restaurant's door is opened at 6.00pm in Sicily.
At lunchtime, restaurants in Sicily open around 12.00am -12.30am and close around 3.00pm. Going at 12.00am sharp is perfectly ok, but you might have to wait a little longer than usual to be served, as the majority of Sicilians would go after 1.00am.
At dinnertime, they open around 7.00pm and close around 11.00pm. Again, if you walk in at 7.00pm you might be the first customer in the restaurant for a while as the majority of the locals wouldn't go to a restaurant earlier than 8.00pm. In the summer, it is very common for Sicilians to go out for dinner much later, even around 10.00pm-10.30pm.
If you need to grab something to eat during restaurants closing times, a good option is to go to a café or a bar (Italian style bar serving also coffee, food and snacks ) where you can usually find a good selection of panini, sandwiches, salads and what we call 'rustici' which are a selection of fresh sweet and savoury pastry, and bakery products.