Restaurants in Ischia: The Ultimate Food and Wine Guide

Restaurants in Ischia are famous for their quality, flavors, views, and service. In general, you can expect extraordinary quality in every aspect.

Ischia is the largest island off the coast of Naples, and is often referred to as the Isola Verde for its lush landscape. It’s a volcanic island, originally settled by the Greeks around 770 B.C.

The culture of the island is similar to Naples, with some variations in food and wine. It’s worth mentioning that wine is especially delicious on Ischia. The volcanic soil makes for excellent cultivation of both regional varieties and many varieties unique to the island.

You already know what Naples is known for. Now, read on to discover everything you need to know about these unique varieties, plus other amazing wine tour tips, and local specialties for eating the best food on Ischia.

Restaurants in Ischia with Church in the Background
Discover the charm of Ischia and its unique flavors. Photo credit: Nati

Dining on Ischia, traditional dishes

On Ischia you can find all the classic Neapolitan seafood dishes. The seafood pasta is especially good. We recommend trying anything allo scoglio, which indicates a mix of shellfish caught fresh. There are also some foods that are unique to the island that you will certainly want to try during your stay.

Coniglio all’ischitana

Because of its wild terrain, one of the main delicacies of Ischia is the coniglio all’ischitana. As the name says, it’s rabbit, cooked the way of the people of Ischia, or Ischitani. Tender pieces of wild rabbit are slow cooked with tomatoes and spices for a flavor that tastes just like you feel during your holidays on the island: perfect.

Every little village and area on the island has its own variation on the dish, but the base is always the same. By now, even the coastal restaurants serve coniglio, but in order to get a more rustic experience, we recommend that you head up slightly into the hills.

There, you’ll find some of the most authentic restaurants in Ischia, like Trattoria Il Focolare (Via Cretajo, 3) or Agriturismo Malvisiello (Via Santa Maria al Monte). Your best bet is to search for any agriturismo, which are small farms with restaurants.

Coniglio in Italy, rabbit
Seafood is, of course, great, but don’t brush off these rabbit dishes without trying them. Photo credit: Fabiana

Zingara

For a quick lunch in Ischia, many locals opt for a zingara. It’s a simple but delicious sandwich of crusty bread with fiordilatte (mild mozzarella), tomatoes, lettuce, and prosciutto. It’s what we would call a grilled panino.

It was invented in the 70’s by one of the island’s coffee bars, and has become ubiquitous on all restaurants in Ischia. It’s a great beach-day lunch!

Zingara Italian Sandwich on Ischia
Zingara will make your beach day infinitely better. Photo credit: Like_the_Grand_Canyon

Cornetto all’ischitana

Moving backwards to breakfast in Ischia, a cornetto all’ischitana is definitely the best choice on the island. It’s a combination of a croissant and brioche with different filling options, like pastry cream or nutella.

It was first invented by the Pasticceria Fratelli Calise (Via F. Regine Avv., 25), but you can find it in any good pastry shop or coffee bar on the island.

Brioche cornetti filled with nutella
Brioche cornetti filled with nutella are a great breakfast in Ischia. Photo credit: kochtopf

Drinking on Ischia, wine guide

Before we get into the various amazing Ischian wines, we’d be remiss to overlook Rucolino. Love it or hate it, it’s a mainstay on the island. Rucolino is a bright green digestif made of arugula. Yes, you read that right. Wild arugula grows abundantly on the island. It has been used for generations to make this liqueur. It’s bitter and herbaceous, and people in Ischia drink it after a big meal to improve digestion. Give it a shot after a delicious meal in any restaurant in Ischia, especially after a traditional coniglio.

Let’s get into the wines of Ischia. In general, you can easily detect mineral notes in all wines of Ischia, because of the volcanic soil. They’re easily drinkable, and tend to be on the lighter but flavorful side.

The most common whites are Ischia Bianco DOC, Biancolella, and Forastera. For reds there are Ischia Rosso DOC and Piedirosso, also known as Per’ ‘e Palummo in dialect. Fun fact: Per’ ‘e Palummo means pigeon foot, because the vine leaves resemble the shape of pigeon feet.

There’s also a delicious Ischia Bianco spumante, or sparkling wine. Some other common blends are Epomeo Rosso and Epomeo Bianco. These are grown on the slopes of Mount Epomeo, the highest volcanic mountain of the island.

Woman dining Italian food with red wine, restaurants in Ischia
Restaurants in Ischia will have an extensive selection of varieties from the region for you to try with your meal. Photo credit: Nadin Sh

Experiences on Ischia, wine tastings and tours

Ischia is such a great destination for wine lovers because of the high number of producers on the island that offer tastings and tours. Tours usually include a walk in the vineyards, an explanation and tasting of several wines, and some local bites to eat, often grown on the farm, or nearby.

Four of the best producers on the island are Casa D’Ambra, Tommasone, Cenatiempo, and Pietratorcia. All of them offer tours, and any one of these wine experiences will give you a real feel of the island, and a chance to enjoy the fresh air and delicious hyper-local wine.

Keep in mind that Ischia gets really hot in the summer, though. The best time to visit is the cooler fall, around harvest time, or in spring. If you’re visiting during summer, make sure to stay hydrated. If you’re traveling during Christmas time, keep an eye out for the Presepe and other traditions.

Insider’s tip: The best way to book wine tours on Ischia is directly by email, which you can find on each website. We recommend asking ahead of time about the availability of English tours, and the types and prices of tours offered, which can vary by season and year.

Wine maker pours a glass of red wine for a guest at his vineyard in Spain
Enjoy a wine tasting experience to get a real feeling fo the island and its wine, food, and people.
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