Step off of the Sita bus in Maiori and you are immediately drawn to the sea. Just 11 kilometers from Amalfi, this beachside town in Italy caters to sun worshipers. Maiori holds a special place in my heart. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law married here in 1999, and a close family friend calls Maiori home. My first trip to this Amalfi Coast town came in 2005 when I was six months pregnant with Spencer. As you can imagine food was high on my priority list. My craving for pizza couldn’t have come at a better time. Luckily Sandra, our close family friend, knew most of the restaurant owners and steered me and my growling stomach in the right direction. Since that initial visit I have returned to Maiori several times and keep frequenting eateries that made a great first impression.
Here are a few restaurants and cuisines I highly recommend for your next trip.
This restaurant ranks number one on my list not only for the food, but for the atmosphere. A simple sign along Corso Reginna invites you in, but walk straight past the bar and pizza oven to a set of stairs. At the top you will find a room lush with lemons. Also known as the “Lemon Garden” this historic restaurant specializes in fresh seafood.
If Food Network ever interviews me for their show, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” I would boast about Pineta 1903’s cod with fresh vegetables . This dish is reason enough to travel 4819 miles from Indiana to Italy each year. A new owner has recently renovated the restaurant and created a new menu.
For a quick and inexpensive dinner, the pizza margarita can feed 2 and only costs 3.50 Euro. The menu ranges from a hot dog for kids to fresh fried catch of the day.
Pineta 1903 Corso Reginna, 53
Located across from the seashore, Mammato offers a tranquil view and a mouthwatering menu. This is always my first stop when I arrive in Maiori. The spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) haunts my dreams. I have an obsession with this simple seafood dish. I have yet to try an alternative anywhere in the world that matches Mammato’s. I may not have a super sophisticated palate, but I know a good “mollusk” when I taste one.
My other recommendation, the fish and potatoes. Swimming in olive oil, this plate will squash any seafood craving you may have. If you’re a meat eater, Spencer suggests the chicken milanese. Mammato also offers a lengthy pizza menu.
Mammato-Via Arsenale, 6
Just a few meters from the seashore back on Corso Regina, Dedalo won me over with presentation and flavor. Having grown up in Indiana, I basically dined weekly on steak and potatoes. Dedalo catered to my meat craving with style, proudly serving sizzling meat cooked on a stone slab. Spencer loved the show and I drooled with delight. During the summer months Dedalo hits capacity for dinner by 8pm. They are worth the wait.
Dedalo-Corso Reginna, 2
No morning in Maiori would be complete without a cappuccino and cornetto from Rosy Bar. I have a love affair with their breakfasts. I spent almost 4 weeks in Maiori last summer and each morning started here. Rosy Bar opens at 7:30 a.m. and the staff pull fresh cornettos from the ovens almost simultaneously. Various other pastries sit in their display cases, but do yourself a favor and try the cornetto cioccolato (chocolate croissant). This sweet breakfast treat melts in your mouth and cannot be compared to an American or French croissant, they are soft and not flaky. A cornetto cioccolato or a cornetto vuoto (plain croissant) cost less than one Euro. Rosy Bar’s cappuccino’s are the real star. This may stir a huge debate, but I have yet to try a cappuccino in Italy or America than can rival Rosy’s, and believe me, I’ve tried. Don’t judge, but I can’t stop at one, I’m a two cappuccino girl.
Rosy Bar-Corso Reginna 24
No meal would be complete without an Italian gelato. There are several gelato shops in Maiori, including Bar Orlente. My new favorite flavor is pistachio. Bar Orlente’s gelato is so creamy and smooth. I truly miss it when I am away from Maiori.
Bar Orlente-Via G. Capone, 1
I love Mamma Mia’s gelato. Just about every flavor can be found here. Mamma Mia also offers dairy free and sugar free gelato.
Mamma Mia-Corso Reginna, 10
Directly across from the beach, Geljada features more than a dozen flavors, including my favorite, nocciola (hazelnut). A small cup costs two euro.
Geljada-Via Lungomare Amendola 15
Hundreds of umbrellas and lounge chairs line the Maiori shore each summer. All of the private beach strips sell snacks and sandwiches. I tried the tomato and mozzarella di bufala panini at San Francisco’s beach bar. Thank goodness I remembered to take a picture because I could not put it down once I took my first bite.
I hope this small sampling of restaurants will inspire you to explore Maiori. This seaside town along the Amalfi Coast showcases the best of Italy’s world class cuisines.