The Slow Food movement began in Italy in the 1980s as a backlash against the increasingly popular fast food craze and fast pace of living.
The founders wanted to preserve traditional, regional cuisine and to bring back the pleasure and enjoyment of good, local food. Italy is well-known for its Slow Food, and there are a great number of family owned restaurants serving typical, local dishes, using fresh, tasty and locally sourced ingredients. Many dishes are "fatti in casa" and restaurants have "prodotti tipici della zona on the menu". Here are our top ten Slow Food restaurants in southern Italy.
The town of Alberobello is well known throughout Italy, for its cone shaped trulli. When you have strolled around this characteristic town, head to L’Aratro Ristorante (which is located in one of the trulli!), where chef Domenico Laera cooks up traditional Apulian dishes and regional specialities and serves the best Apulian Wine. Another great option is Villa Jamele, located in Orsara di Puglia, which is run by famous chef Peppe Zullo. Peppe is a champion of the Slow Food movement and makes use of delicious local herbs and vegetables in his cooking.
Puglia Slow Food Restaurant: L
Trattoria Da Salvatore in Petralia Soprana (Palermo Province) is home to some excellent antipasti dishes and the restaurant is well known for its quality, quantity and association with the Slow Food movement. Sit outside or inside, and enjoy the lovely atmosphere of this family run trattoria. In Noto, you can find the simple and chic Ristorante Crocifisso, which is run by chef Salvatore Baglieri and is the perfect place to indulge in some yummy seafood dishes.
Slow Food: Ristorante Crocifisso, Noto
Located in the characteristic centre of Gavoi (Nuoro Province), the Santa Rughe Restaurant serves simple yet incredibly fresh local dishes which are renowned for their excellent quality. Here you can tuck into some authentic Sardinian cuisine and try some tasty pizza. Su Recreu in Ittiri also serves traditional Sardinian recipes, using seasonal ingredients. Be sure to try the excellent homemade bread.
What better place to enjoy Slow Food than in the laid-back and historically significant town of Matera, home to the famous sassi? Dine in one of these stone caves at Osteria Pico; with its cosy atmosphere and great antipasti, it gets booked up quickly, so make sure you book in advance! Head over to Luna Rossa in Terranova di Pollino too, which is home to a highly regarded chef who entices you with his delicious typical regional cuisine. The bread from Basilicata is claimed to be the best in Italy, so make sure you tuck in!
Where to eat in Matera
Campania is home to many excellent Slow Food restaurants. La Ripa Ristorante in Rocca San Felice (Avellino Province) is a great place to try traditional dishes using the best local products. The staff are friendly and the homemade pasta is delicious. Another place worth visiting is Lo Stuzzichino Osteria in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi (Naples Province), where fish and vegetables make up the essential menu ingredients. Sample some local Neapolitan cheeses and be welcomed by the friendly De Gregorio family.
Have you ever eaten at a great Slow Food restaurant in Southern Italy? Please leave your suggestions and comments!