Sicily – Messina – bars and cafes

In Catania you may remember I started the day with a typical breakfast of granita and brioche. Messina is famous for its own version known as ‘Mezza con Panna’, a half glass of coffee-flavoured granita topped up with hand-whipped cream and served with a brioche.

This place is one of the best places to have ‘a half with cream’ according to my research…

Pasticceria Irrera 1910 (Intermediate B), 12 Piazza Cairoli,

Irrera is Messina’s oldest, and some would say best pasticceria, located in a central square.

I have to say I was rather disappointed with the service I got from the grumpy manager who couldn’t seem to believe that I knew what I wanted, but we got there eventually. The crumpled brioche I received from another staff member didn’t look great but it tasted fine, as did the granita itself (B).

I do believe in second chances though, so I went back another day with my colleague John and tried their pistacchio granita which was also pretty good…

…and the brioche was in better shape (B+). This is how a Sicilian brioche should look, with the most treasured part, the ‘topo’ (top), inviting you to tear it off.

Also just off Piazza Cairoli…

This is a hole-in-the-wall juice bar called Mahspremi (Elementary B+) at 65 Via XXVII Luglio, at the end of the square. You can get freshly squeezed pomegranate (melograno) juice, and other non-alcoholic drinks made with fresh fruit and vegetables, even quite late at night. My vid here.

In the summer months there is a kiosk in the middle of Piazza Cairoli called Il Chiosco Ottocentesco which has a few tables under umbrellas outside. A G&T cost me €6 in 2008, which included lots of stuzzichini (nibbles).

I can also recommend having a drink at Ristorante Marina del Nettuno, just by the Marina del Nettuno Yachting Club on Viale della Libertà. Go down the stairs opposite the Fontana del Nettuno and ring the bell. There are tables outside that look out over the marina.

I’ve marked everywhere mentioned on my map.

My top tips for Messina are in the next post…

Leave a Reply