10 Things to eat in Tropea and where

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Calabria: a splendid region with a thousand landscapes, from the mountains to the sea, from forests to cities. Among the most popular and loved tourist destinations there is definitely Tropea, with its 3 kilometers of beaches, a lively old town to visit and the setting of the Stromboli volcano in the background.

Obviously, finding us in Calabria, there is another thing that will steal your heart: its food! The Calabrian culinary tradition, with its seafood and land dishes, will make you fall in love with this region even more.
And in Tropea you can taste exquisite dishes and I recommend, don't forget the famous red onion of Tropea, ingredient par excellence of this city!

Ready to immerse yourself in the Calabrian gastronomic culture? Here 10 things to eat in Tropea and where!


  1. Risotto with red onion
  2. Onion omelette
  3. Fried surici
  4. Fileja
  5. Pasta ca 'muddica
  6. Eggplant Parmigiana
  7. Tropeana salad
  8. Pipi and Patati
  9. Turdilli
  10. Jam Of Tropea Onions
  11. Where to eat in Tropea: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Risotto with red onion

In Tropea there is an ingredient that you will often find repeated in various recipes and that, together with fish, is the red onion of Tropea, one of the great protagonists of the table!
These are onions white on the outside and red-violet on the outside, they have a sweet taste given by the local microclimate and the excellent quality of the soil in which they are grown and then harvested, strictly by hand!

A dish that you absolutely must taste during your stay in this city is the risotto with red onion from Tropea, which in its simplicity it enhances the flavor of the onion to the maximum!

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 9,00
  • Main ingredients: risotto, red Tropea onion

2 - Onion omelette

Another dish you must try is the red onion omelette! It is a rustic but excellent dish and, also in this case, simple ingredients will maximize the flavor of the onion and it will be a real treat for the palate. You could try making it at home too!

It is excellent as an appetizer, as a main course or even to be served cut into squares during an aperitif. This dish is a real must during your holiday in Tropea!

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner, aperitif
  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: Tropea red onion, eggs, salt, extra virgin olive oil

3 - Fried surici

A particular second dish made with i scallop fish, called surici in dialect!
These fish live in particular waters, with mild temperatures and medium-low depth and only in the hottest periods of the year, the water off Tropea is the perfect place for them.

Fried surici are a real delicacy: this fish has a white and particularly tasty flesh and during the summer you will find them served as a main course in practically every restaurant. Absolutely to taste!

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 15,00
  • Main ingredients: surici, flour, oil

4 - Fileja

The fileja is a type of pasta with an elongated and curved shape, made with hard wheat semolina and water. They are about 10 centimeters long and are twisted around themselves.

You can find different recipes in restaurants. We recommend that you absolutely try two versions: fileja with pork or wild boar sauce, where the sauce is prepared by cooking the meat cut into large pieces and put on a low heat for several hours; and fileja with 'nduja and ricotta, a tasty and spicy dish.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: fileja, meat sauce / ricotta sauce and 'nduja

5 - Pasta ca 'muddica

You will definitely have to taste the ca 'muddica pasta: a simple but tasty, earthy dish.

Ca 'muddica means in dialect with breadcrumbs, and in fact the protagonist of this dish is bread. The pasta chosen is generally long, like spaghetti and linguine, which they are seasoned with toasted breadcrumbs in a pan, anchovies and extra virgin olive oil. Chilli pepper can also be added to taste.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 8,00
  • Main ingredients: pasta, homemade bread, anchovies, extra virgin olive oil

6 - Eggplant Parmigiana

It is a poor dish but very substantial, which we all know and have eaten at least once! It is now a very widespread recipe in Italy, from north to south, and there are several variations. But anyway the great protagonist is always and only one, the aubergine.

The Calabrian recipe, in addition to fried aubergines with breadcrumbs in extra virgin olive oil, also includes provola (or mozzarella or another cheese of your choice), ham or mortadella, tomato sauce. In short, not a light dish, but absolutely delicious to eat at least once during your trip to Tropea!

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 12,00
  • Main ingredients: eggplant, provolone, ham, tomato sauce

7 - Tropeana salad

As an appetizer or as a quick lunch on hot summer days, you will find this salad everywhere in restaurants and clubs. Obviously, and maybe we don't even need to say it, the protagonist of this dish is once again the red onion!

This dish, fresh and substantial, in addition to the red onion it consists of: tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and is seasoned with dried oregano, extra virgin olive oil, salt and white wine vinegar.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: red Tropea onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers

8 - Pipi and Potatoes

This dish can be eaten both as a side dish and as a main course! Surely, it is not among the lightest dishes. But what are pee and potatoes? It is about peppers and potatoes fried in extra virgin olive oil. For the success of the dish it is essential that the vegetables are fresh and in season.

This simple but very tasty dish was once prepared by peasants who used it to fill bread. Nowadays it can be found at any time of the year and in many restaurants and must absolutely be tried at least once.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 6,00
  • Main ingredients: yellow and red peppers, potatoes, red Tropea onion, extra virgin olive oil

9 - Turdilli

We couldn't not dedicate at least one point on the list to a dessert. And here's this to you Calabrian dessert typical of the Christmas period. It is sweet dumplings, fried and flavored with honey and colored sprinkles, called diavurilli. The honey to use is that of figs, alternatively that of orange blossom.

These sweets are prepared in the family during the Christmas period and are given to friends and relatives as a sign of good wishes and to celebrate the holidays together.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: About 400g € 5,00
  • Main ingredients: flour, eggs, sugar, honey

10 - Tropea onion jam

The onion jam is really special and absolutely to taste, which you can also buy and take home with you.
You will find it in every shop in the city and it will allow you to relive the flavors and sensations of this land even once you have returned to everyday life.

E' a mixture with a sweet and sour flavor, and is prepared with red Tropea onions (the success of the jam depends on the quality of the onions), cognac, White wine, white sugar and brown sugar. It is perfect to accompany aged cheeses and meat dishes.

  • Recommended to: snack
  • Average cost: € 4,00
  • Main ingredients: Tropea red onion, cognac, white wine, white sugar, cane sugar

Where to eat in Tropea: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

Being a seaside town, in Tropea you can eat excellent fresh fish just caught! You will also find all the traditional Calabrian dishes and, I recommend, do not forget to eat at least once a dish where the main ingredient is the red onion of Tropea!

As for the clubs, there is something to indulge in: from the places for a quick lunch and take away to the restaurants where you can stop for hours to taste the traditional dishes, from those with the terrace and sea view to those in the streets of the historic center, with their gardens to enjoy a dinner in a welcoming and intimate setting. Here are the best clubs in Tropea:

1 - Lido Tropical

  • Description: located on the Tropea seafront, ideal for a lunch or dinner break; offers excellent seafood dishes, with always fresh fish, and land, as well as traditional Calabrian dishes
  • specialty: calamarata with red shrimp and pistachio
  • Average price: from € 20,00 per person
  • Address: via Lungomare - Get directions / tel: 339 3683532

2 - 3 Knots

  • Description: located right on the sea, you can dine while enjoying a beautiful view; offers dishes based on fresh fish and traditional Calabrian dishes
  • specialty: 3Nodi (fish tasting)
  • Average price: from € 30,00 per person
  • Address: Marina Vescovado, viale Raf Vallone - Get directions / tel: 329 0544040

3 - Enzo's sandwich shop

  • Description: located in the historic center of Tropea, perfect for quick but substantial lunch breaks; delicious sandwiches and cutting boards, a wide choice and always high quality products
  • specialty: Calabrian sandwich
  • Average price: from € 7,00 per person
  • Address: via Umberto I - Get directions / tel: 346 5500020

4 - Taverna Antica Grotta

  • Description: located in the historic center of Tropea, rustic and characteristic, it also has tables outside; offers traditional Calabrian dishes, quality ingredients and always fresh fish
  • specialty: ammujcata pasta and eggplant parmigiana
  • Average price: from € 20,00 per person
  • Address: Largo Rota - Get directions / tel: 333 8199398

5 - Peccati di Gola Pastry Bar

  • Description: patisserie located near the historic center of Tropea, among the best in the city; ideal for breakfast, excellent coffee and a wide choice of desserts, all handmade
  • specialty: artisanal baked goods
  • Average price: from € 3,00 per person
  • Address: via Francesco Russo 39 - Get directions / tel: 340 1465368

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