Can I try traditonal dishes on Capri?
Almost all restaurants on Capri feature menus based on traditional cuisine, so you'll have no problem finding local dishes to sample while on the island. Until a few decades ago, sea crossings to the mainland were rare and shipments of goods logistically complicated, so the historic island specialities are all based on ingredients grown or found on the island: tomatoes, vegetables, herbs, lemons, and fresh fish and seafood.
- Ravioli capresi: fresh pasta filled with caciotta cheese and majoram, tossed with a sauce of fresh tomatoes. Any home cook on Capri can make this dish, and it's featured on most restaurant menus.
- Caprese salad: a simple dish of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, topped with a few leaves of basil, a sprinkle of salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. According to legend, this salad was invented by the chef at the Quisisana Hotel as an homage to Italy during a Futurism convention.
- Torta caprese: locals on Capri call this simply "almond cake", but it is known off the island as "torta caprese". By any name, it's a delicious sweet torte made with chocolate and almonds, perfect for celiacs as it is flourless.
- Limoncello: a liqueur common on Capri and the entire Amalfi Coast. It is made my macerating local lemons in alcohol and then blending the infusion with a sugar syrup. This is the perfect way to end a meal.
There are no ethnic restaurants on Capri, but only eateries featuring island or Italian cuisine. The only difference between the numerous restaurants on the island is the gourmet twist to the menu and the formality of the dining room. There is one Japanese restaurant.
Annual openings: almost all the restaurants on Capri open the week of Easter or mid-April and close for the season at the end of October. There are very few restaurants which remain open all year.
Hours: restaurants catering to tourists are open all day, serving from 11 am to late in the evening. More authentic restaurants are open for lunch from noon to 3 pm and for dinner from 7 pm to 11 pm; Italians generally sit down for lunch around 1 pm and dinner around 8 pm. The beach restaurants serve all day until sunset.
Reservations: it's a good idea to reserve a table for dinner, which you can generally do the same day by phone. During summer weekends and for restaurants which are more well-known, it's better to reserve a few days in advance. You only need to reserve for lunch at restaurants located on the beach.
Prices: it costs more or less the same to dine out on Capri as in the rest of Italy. It costs between EUR 40 and 60 per person for dinner, plus wine. All restaurants have their menu posted outside, and some can be viewed on their website. That way you can get an idea of the selection and pricing before being seated.
Courses: though the menu (and the traditional Italian meal) is divided into multiple courses, you do not have to order more than one course at a restaurant; most Italians limit their meals to two courses chosen between an antipasto (appetizer), primo (pasta course), secondo and contorno (meat or fish course and side dish), and dolce (dessert). It costs between EUR 40 and 60 per person for dinner, plus wine. All restaurants have their menu posted outside, and some can be viewed on their website. That way you can get an idea of the selection and pricing before being seated.
Extra charges: restaurants on Capri, like those across Italy, routinely add a per person "coperto" service charge (usually between EUR 1-2 per patron) and an automatic "servizio" gratuity charge for larger groups. It is not customary to tip in Italian restaurants, as servers are paid a fixed salary, not in tips. You can also expect to be charged more for table service at the island's cafès than for service at the bar.
Children: all restaurants on Capri welcome children, and generally have a highchair available. Restaurants do not offer a separate children's menu, but you can find or request a number of kid-friendly options from pizza to simple pasta with tomato sauce.
Vegan, vegetarian, and celiac options: there are no restaurants on Capri which serve only vegetarian or vegan fare, but any restaurant has a few vegetarian options on the menu, like pasta with vegetables, pizza, and vegetable side dishes. Most of Capri's most traditional dishes are vegetarian. In addition, most restaurants on Capri offer pasta and bread for celiacs.