The traditional fast food in Reggio (gelato, arancini, pizza) is pretty darn good. Here are some of my favourite spots, and one to be wary of. Please also see my restaurant posts for 2019 and 2009. You’ll find everywhere mentioned on my Google map.
Gelataria Cesare (Elementary A+), 2 Piazza Indipendenza, www.gelatocesare.com
This legendary little green hut at the end of the lungomare (opposite RC Lido station) is considered to have ‘the best icecream in Calabria’ and indeed ‘in Italy’, depending on who you’re talking to. That is quite a claim, but it is exceedingly good. Personally I love a gelato brioche and I can recommend the pistaccio and hazlenut versions, perhaps with extra cream if you’re feeling particularly decadent.
Cremeria Sottozero (Intermediate B+), 83 Corso Vittorio Emanuele, www.cremeriasottozero.it
Another local institution, known for its ice creams and also for its wide selection of aperitifs. They have a nice terrace overlooking the lungomare. They sell pastries too and I wanted to try their Struffoli (deep-fried doughballs soaked in honey) but they’re only available around Christmas time apparently.
Gran Caffè, 9/11/13 Viale Genoese Zerbi
Not as grand as some cafes bearing that title can be, but nice enough, and the Tartufo di Pistaccio (pistachio ice cream rolled in pistachio flakes) was a revelation to me. Lots of other ice cream creations populate the tall fridges and they have a tempting range of pastries. The coffee is decent too.
Arancini e Non Solo Rosticceria Siciliana (Elementary B), 25 Corso Vittorio Emanuele
After being seriously spoilt for arancini in Sicily (see these posts on street food in Catania and Messina), I couldn’t resist just one more bite of heaven, and this place did the trick. It’s just over the road from Gelataria Cesare above so you could have your first course here and go to Cesare for dessert.
Pizzeria Lievito (Intermediate B+), 37 Via dei Filippini, www.pizzerialievito.it
A hipster pizzeria that’s trying to move the canon forward. I had the Sciurilla, with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, artichoke flowers and anchovies. They’d run out of sativa hemp dough so this is the turmeric and seven seeds alternative, beer matched to an IPA. Of course there are vegan and gluten free options too.
And the same people run the place next door…
Malto Gradimento (Intermediate B+), 33 Via dei Filippini, applievito.it
A bar with a huge selection of quality craft beers. It’s a good spot to come and watch football if you reserve the right table. They do food as well.
Spaccanapoli (Intermediate C), 3 Via Fata Morgana, www.spaccanapolirc.it
A neapolitan pizzeria playing up to all the stereotypes. I came to try their legendary pizza with seven white cheeses and spicy salami, but after being kept waiting a good ten minutes when I’d been ready to order straight away was really annoying. The last straw was when other later arriving tables received service before me, so I got up and walked out. I’m sure the food is fine though.
Sit-down restaurants next!