Traditional Dishes on Procida
The cuisine on Procida reflects the spirit of the island itself, with simple yet captivating dishes that are made with fresh, locally sourced seafood and other island ingredients and served with inviting warmth.
One of the first things you may notice when you arrive on the island is the enormous local lemons hanging from fragrant trees lining the streets and shading the private courtyards. These heirloom citrus fruits are one of the main ingredients in many island dishes and the star of the show in lemon granita (Felice Mare is one of the most famous granita artisans in the entire archipelago), Limoncello liqueur, lemon pastry custard, and traditional insalata di Limoni (a savory salad with fresh lemon, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, red pepper, mint, and salt).
Lingua di Bue
Local lemons are also the secret ingredient that makes the island's most beloved sweet, "la lingua", so delicious. These pastries, officially known as the lingua di bue, or ox tongue, for their oval shape, are made of two layers of pate brisée enclosing a center of smooth lemon pastry custard. They are then sprinkled with granulated sugar before baking to form a crisp, sweet crust on the top.
According to local lore, the Neapolitan pastry chef Pasquale Mazziotti invented Lingua di Bue after moving to the island in the 1950s Though it is known as an ox tongue, islanders have also been known to call these long and wide pastries "Lingua di Suocera", or mother-in-law's tongue.
Fish and seafood
The island is also known for its excellent local fish and seafood, one of the highlights of Procida's traditional cuisine. In addition to specialties featuring shellfish, seafood, and fish, the local delicacies spaghetti con i ricci, an intensely rich dish made with spaghetti and sea urchins, and pasta con i Totanielli, pasta with tiny squid, are two crowd-pleasers. You should also try dried paccheri pasta or ravioli stuffed with green bell peppers or eggplant and ricotta cheese, both tossed with sweet local cherry tomatoes. Finally, be sure to try spaghetti con le canocchie di Procida, a historic pasta dish featuring locally caught mantis shrimp.
For main dishes, we suggest trying palamita, a tuna that was long considered of inferior quality but beloved for its intense flavor by many aficionados.
Coniglio alla Procidana
If you don't love fish and seafood, you can feast on coniglio alla Procidana, a rabbit dish that is very similar to a specialty on the nearby island of Ischia, stewed with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes, and wine.
Guide to the best restaurants on Procida
Read on for our insider's guide to the best restaurants on Procida to try the specialties above and many more local delicacies from the island and surrounding waters.
A landmark restaurant on Procida, known also on the mainland due to its superior quality ingredients selected personally each day both the chef and host Girone, known as Ciro, that feature in the fish and seafood dishes, as well as the Neapolitan pizza fired in a wood-burning oven. The menu changes regularly and the vibe is relaxed. We suggest booking in advance, given the popularity of this eatery among locals and visitors from the mainland.
Specialty: spaghetti with lemon pesto, mussels and mint or pasta with savory custard.
Location: Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 4
Tel: +39 081 896 7367
Crescenzo is Girone's brother, and this restaurant is located right in the center of Marina Chiaiolella. The food here is focused on seafood, with simple yet delicious dishes featuring the catch of the day. The menu includes a wide selection of choices and portions are generous. Be sure to try the smoked swordfish with sweet peppers and pink peppercorns and the original mashed potatoes with roasted squid and anchovy sauce.
Specialty: smoked swordfish with pink pepper and peppers and handmade mashed potatoes with roasted octopus and anchovy sauce.
Location: Via Marina Chiaiolella, 33
Tel: +39 081 896 7255
Another local landmark, but the menu here features traditional island specialties that have been updated with a gourmet twist. The location is spectacular, with gorgeous views over the Chiaiolella bay and Santa Margherita promontory.
Specialty: Pasta with mussels and broccoli
Location: Via Marina Chiaiolella, 32
Tel: +39 081 896 7350
Dine with your feet dug directly into the sandy beach along Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, just steps from the Marina Chiaiolella harbor. This restaurant specializes in Neapolitan cuisine, blending classic dishes with contemporary creativity. Our favorite specialty is the squid and artichokes.
Specialty: Black tagliolini with prawns
Location: Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 4
Tel: +39 081 896 0594
Ideal for a romantic dinner for two, this restaurant is set on a scenic terrace overlooking the sea in the highest and most panoramic spot in Marina Corricella. At sunset, the atmosphere here is truly magic. The menu features traditional island and Mediterranean specialties with a focus on fresh fish caught by local fishermen. We love the linguine tossed with sea urchin.
Specialty: Tortelli stuffed with sea urchins and tuna with pistachio
Location: Via Marina di Corricella, 88
Tel: +39 081 896 0609
This restaurant on Via Marina di Corricella has tables set along the waterfront and can seat just 35 guests. Settle in at your front-row spot to admire the turquoise waters and pastel houses lining of Corricella. A wide selection of wines to pair with an equally generous choice of seafood-based dishes.
Specialty: Bonito tartare and spaghetti with cannocchie (mantis shrimp) and cherry tomatoes.
Location: Via Marina di Corricella, 62
Tel: +39 081 896 9192
If you want to sample the island's famed "lemon salad", this is the place. In addition to this traditional specialty, Gorgonia serves grilled and poached fresh fish captured in the waters off Procida. The atmosphere is relaxed and ideal for a couple or group of friends.
Specialty: lemon salad, spaghetti with sea urchins
Location: Via Marina di Corricella, 50
Tel: +39 081 810 1060
One of the first restaurants to open in Marina Grande, this landmark eatery has been a favorite among locals and tourists since 1954. The menu has recently shifted from island standards to a more modern cuisine based on locally sourced and freshly caught fish and seafood. The menu changes daily based on what the fishermen have brought to market each morning, but favorites like spaghetti with sea urchins or slipper lobster, "pasta alla pescatora povera" with fried green hot peppers and anchovies, and stuffed squid are almost always featured.
Specialty: "poor" seafood pasta
Location: via Roma, 116
Tel: +39 081 896 7481
Opened in 1987, this historic eatery is known for its excellent food at affordable prices and is ideal if you are looking for a quick meal before taking a ferry back to the mainland. We suggest the spaghetti with anchovies and pecorino cheese, paccheri pasta with swordfish and eggplant, or scialatielli pasta with lemon and shrimp.
Specialty: spaghetti with anchovies and pecorino, paccheri with swordfish and egg plants and scialatielli with lemon and shrimps
Location: via Roma, 76
Tel: +39 081 896 9930
Set in a delightful garden with a lemon-tree pergola in the center of the island of Procida, this peaceful spot is far from the hustle and bustle of traffic and crowds and surrounded by the calming sounds of nature. Though they do serve wonderful fresh fish, most clients come here for inland specialties like unforgettable coniglio alla procidana (stewed rabbit), considered the best on the island. Don't skip the excellent desserts.
Specialty: coniglio all’Ischitana
Location: Via Salette, 10
Tel: +39 081 896 9918
The Best Cafés and Bars
For an aperitivo cocktail: the best cocktail bar is in Marina di Corricella: Felice Mare, famous for its incredible granita al limone and excellent drinks, including the unique limoncello spritz. Relax and take in the view of the harbor lined with colorful houses and crowded with charming fishing boats.
For coffee: the best spot for a cappuccino or espresso and pastry is on Via Roma in Marina Grande: Bar Roma Pasticceria, known as having the best Lingue di Bue on the island!