EATING IN CAGLIARI
Cagliari offers the full range of Sardinia’s food culture. Dishes and products of the island’s farming and pastoral tradition, and fish dishes which are Cagliari’s version of Mediterranean cuisine. Here good cuisine begins in the small trattorie and restaurants of the historic quarters. There is no lack of stylish restaurants and creative chefs who rely on the local produce to prepare delicious and surprising dishes. The town’s food markets and food stores are a feast of tastes and flavours, in which each ingredient has its own history and is offered in many different varieties. For a quick snack you can choose between artisanal ice-cream parlours, pizzerie and pastry shops. Walking along the shore of Su Siccu, you can find stalls selling sea urchins fresh from the sea, to be enjoyed with only bread and wine.
WHAT TO TASTE IN THE RESTAURANTS
Fregola with clams: small spheres of semolina rolled by hand, cooked together with clams in their juice, with a dusting of bottarga.
Delicious spaghetti with sea urchin roe, from autumn to spring.
Scabecciu fish: semolina-coated fried fish dressed with a sauce of garlic, tomato and vinegar.
The most famous meat dish is porceddu: suckling pig spit-roasted over a bed of glowing embers.
There is a vast choice of wines, from the famous Cannonau and Vermentino to the lesser known but equally delicious Girò, Nasco and Monica.
THE CIVIC MARKETS
The city’s gastronomy is all to be discovered in the town markets: Santa Chiara, Via Quirra, Sant’Elia, Is Bingias. But the largest and best known is San Benedetto. On the lower floor it offers an array of seafood, from fish for making fish stews to lobsters, passing through prawns, shellfish, tuna and swordfish. The upper floor is the realm of fresh and cured meats, cheese, local types of bread and pastries, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Some stalls also offer take-away food, from mixed fried fish to delicious seafood salads.
WHAT TO TAKE HOME WITH YOU
Bottarga: salted and dried mullet roe, for grating over pasta or eating in wafer-thin slices.
Pecorino Sardo: ewe’s milk cheese ranging from fresh and mild to mature. Fiore Sardo is the oldest variety, made from raw milk.
Malloreddus: Typical pasta of the Campidano area, small gnocchi to be served with a sauce of tomatoes and fresh sausage, dusted with grated pecorino.
Pardulas: sweet pastries, consisting of a small dough pie filled with ricotta cheese and saffron.
Torrone: the Sardinian nougat is soft, smooth and made in the villages of the interior. Available at the markets or on stalls in large white blocks.
Corbezzolo honey: delicate and scented, with a light bitter note.
Three great DOC wines of Cagliari worth discover ing: Nuragus, a white, Monica, a full-bodied red and Nasco, a delicious dessert wine.
(Read all the articles in our section “What to do in Cagliari? What to see in Cagliari?)
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