Got a Tinder date in Palermo, Sicily? You’re in luck; Palermo is one of the most romantic places EVER. The cobblestone streets, baroque churches and Arab domes sing of history, culture and of being swept off of your feet complete with an Italian stallion and bottle of wine. I swear, the ice cream, cheese and hotness of men here is underrated. So where to go for that date? Never fear, I have your back and have chosen only the finest date spots in Palermo for this list.
I’ve dated and dined my way across these date spots and every single one is rated by me as above 4/5 on my personal romance meter. Now all you need to do is get that date ;). And if you need help with that, here’s some Tinder hacks.
Are you not in Palermo? Check out date spots in these locations:
So you agree to meet at 8pm and you’re hungry. Forget trawling aimlessly around Via Maqueda – try one of these handpicked date spots in Palermo to set the mood.
1. Napule è
Vibe: Pizza, wine and typically Italian with smart red and black décor and flowers at the table. The service was top-notch and when I went with The Anti-Italian, we were lucky enough to have the place all to ourselves, because it’s not smack-bang in the centre of town.
Food and Drink: Amazing pizzas. I had a Versuvius and he had one of those folded pizzas. Their specialty is Napolitano pizza. With our offer, we got a big bottle of nice white wine, which we finished off. I ate half my pizza, then got a takeaway and had pizza for breakfast the next day.
Price: Very reasonable. We had an offer, so 2 pizzas plus wine came to €25. And it was way better than Dominos.
Romance meter: 4.5/5. Perfect for a simple, clean-cut and romantic date. It isn’t very noisy or too busy which is a great plus.
Location: Via Salvatore Meccio, 18, 90141 Palermo
2. Al Fondaco Del Conte
Vibe: Pretty, intimate and chilled. One of my favourite date spots in Palermo. It doesn’t look that special on the outside and you need to get through a neighbourhood that seems a bit shady at night, albeit being in the center of town. But when you enter, the smooth interior, nice paintings and soft music create a charming, but not too formal atmosphere. Little details, like the pressed flowers on the table and the friendliness of the staff made me feel welcomed.
Food and Drink: Fresh, wholesome Italian. I had a delicious pumpkin gnocci and some house wine that they made in the restaurant. They serve this wine in a small welcome glass, but it was so good that I ordered a bigger glass. It was the best wine I’ve ever had. No joke. It was red and there was no bitterness; just sweet, fruity deliciousness. I would happily buy a bottle and drink it all alone – and I’m usually a whisky chick.
Price: €10 for the gnocci, €18 for everything.
Romance Meter: 4.6/5 – Must-visit.
Location: Piazza Conte Federico, 24, 90134 Palermo
3. Osteria Ballaro
Vibe: The poshest of the date spots in Palermo. Osteria Ballaro is in a posh neighbourhood and is super-classy inside. The white marble statues, soft music, busy but quiet atmosphere and grey, stone arches set an sophisticated tone. The dining area is large and very well-decorated. Waiters didn’t make that much conversation with me, but maybe they would if I had brought a date.
Food and Drink: Refined Italian. I had a veal fillet steak and… a coke. Because what the hell. It was tender, not greasy and cooked to perfection. I felt like a restaurant critic in such a nice place.
Price: Bit pricey. Steak was €17 and they ask you if you want water as soon as you come in and charge €3 for the bottle later. That’s the only annoying thing.
Romance Meter: 4.2/5 – For the sophisticated date.
Location: Via Calascibetta, 25, 90133 Palermo
4. Osteria Mangia E Bevi
Vibe: A lively hipster restaurant recommended by a Tinder guy I was chatting with. I loved the buzzing atmosphere when I went in. Upbeat jazz music was playing and there was a wooden theme and tables were set nicely with blue checked tablecloths. Service was fast and attentive and I noticed black waiters for the first time in a restaurant in Palermo – big plus for inclusivity in employment. I also liked the pumpkin seeds and peanuts on the table to munch on – different to the typical bread basket. The menu is also hipster-friendly and talks about the origins of the food and other cool stuff.
Food and Drink: I had their specialty of fried spaghetti served in a pan and drank a coke.
Price: €12 for everything with tax.
Romance Meter: 4.5/5 – great for a lively date with a positive atmosphere.
Location: Largo Cavalieri di Malta, 18, 90133 Palermo
5. Obicà Palermo
Vibe: A chic and chilled rooftop restaurant. Probably the most atmospheric of the date spots in Palermo. It could be easily overlooked, because it’s at the top of the Rinascente shopping centre, but shouldn’t be. The fairy lights, comfy sofas and elegant white and grey theme set a great tone for my date with The Chilled Chef. Service was amazing (a little bit to do with the fact that he worked here, but still). Plus the whole place was empty when we arrived, so it felt like we booked out the whole skyline.
Food and Drink: Pizzas unlike any pizza I’ve had before. We had a quattro formaggi and another one. They had deep, soft bases and unbelievably fresh toppings – it was heaven. Cocktails were also nice and strong – I got an old fashioned. Everything came with complimentary olives and crisps – it was a feast!
Price: €10-€12.50 for a pizza that you’d feel very full to finish.
Romance Meter: 4.6/5. Chilled, impressive, romantic and with great food. Ticks all the boxes.
Location: Piazza S. Domenico, 18, 90133 Palermo
6. La Galleria
Vibe: Relaxing, traditional and again, great food. This gem of a restaurant is tucked away behind Palermo Cathedral (which makes for a romantic after-dinner walk). The outside seating area is very romantic with candles and pretty mosaics in the background. Inside, you’re greeted by an impressive wine collection, nice lighting and friendly staff. It’s classy and welcoming.
Food and Drink: Italian and seafood. I had a spaghetti puttanesca, which was perfect. All the ingredients were fresh and tasty.
Price: Reasonable. I paid less than €10 for the spaghetti (can’t remember exactly).
Romance Meter: 4.5/5. A brilliant first date choice.
Location: Salita Artale 3, Palermo
7. El Sesto Canto
Vibe: Elegant, great service and great portions. I went in for lunch on my last day in Palermo and was impressed by the special lunch menu, which was pretty inexpensive. The restaurant was sleek inside and the outdoor marquee which I sat in let me people-watch as I ate.
Food and Drink: Really good quality ingredients. I ordered a swordfish and eggplant pasta and it tasted delicious – the pasta was lovely and rich. The only thing they could improve is to have an actual table menu for lunch deals – the waitress had to read it out for me. Amazing service though.
Price: Lunch was cheaper than I thought for a sophisticated place like this. Everything I had was under €10.
Romance Meter: 4.4/5 – Amazing food, great service and a lovely atmosphere for a lunch date.
Location: Via Sant’Oliva, 26, 90141 Palermo
Now that you’ve sampled some gorgeous Italian cuisine and the date’s going well, you need to take it to the next level with one of these date spots in Palermo:
8. Bocum Mixology
Vibe: Sophisticated, decidedly un-touristy and great drinks. I came to this date spot with The Poetic Doctor and was impressed. I like the low lighting, muted colours, comfy seating and candles on tables. They also have jazz music on Thursdays, but we went on a Sunday. It was also nice that it was near the city docks and not in an ultra-busy place. This was my favourite bar out of all potential date spots in Palermo.
Food and Drink: Strong but good cocktails that come with aperitifs – little bits of cheese and bread stuck in cream cheese and looking very pretty.
Price: €7 for my drink €10 for his. Can’t remember exactly what we ordered, but they were both good.
Romance meter: 4.5/10. Very mood-setting. You can walk around the docks afterwards.
Location: Via dei Cassari, 6, 90133 Palermo
Vibe: Whenever I walked down Via Maqueda, this wine bar looked very inviting, so I made a mental note to visit. Inside, it was seductive and quirky, despite being small. I liked the relaxing music, chintzy furniture, pictures of brooding models, eclectic décor and dim light. The manager offered me different wines to taste before I made up my mind and service was nice.
Food and Drink: I actually had a dessert wine, because I wanted something sweet. It came with complimentary olives and salted nuts that were actually of very good quality, rather than shitty nuts that are served by some places.
Price: €6 for 1 glass – this varies a bit though.
Romance Meter: 4.2/5 – the seating space was a bit small, but it made for an intimate setting for wine lovers.
Location: Via Maqueda, 274, 90133 Palermo
10. The Caffeteria/Gelateria opposite Teatro Massimo
Vibe: You can’t come to Palermo and not have gelato (ice cream). I don’t know what this place is called (the name on the sign is ambiguous and it’s not on Google maps) but I do know that it does the best ice cream in Palermo. I’ve eaten loads of ice cream while I’ve been here and it’s all been amazing. But this place stood out, because…Well… the ice cream is just perfect. And while the seating area isn’t fancy, it is comfy and spacious in an outdoor heated marquee where you can watch the Teatro Massimo and the buzz of Piazza Giuseppe Verdi.
Food and Drink: The best ice cream – rich, creamy and full of flavour and bits. My favourite (I came here twice) was strawberry mixed with traditional Sicilian cassata ice cream.
Price: €3 for the second largest cup.
Romance Meter: 4.2/5. I mean, sure it’s not candles and violins. But ice cream just adds that touch of sweetness to a date.
Location: When you walk up Via Maqueda to get to Teatro Massimo, you get to a junction with Piazza Verdi on the left and Via Carvour on the right. This is the big cafeteria there with the outdoor marquee.
Soooo… Now that you have your next date sorted, head over to 101 First Date Conversation Starters to make sure you get the most out of it. And remember to share these date spots in Palermo with anyone heading to Sicily, whether they’re single and ready to mingle or going with a partner – we all need a bit of romance and some date spots to set the ambiance.