5 Amazing Positano Restaurants With Water Views

Positano is an iconic destination with an incredible history, both real and mystical. The legend of mermaids luring sailors to wreck their ships on the rocky coast is part of the fascinating lore. This charming coastal town is also known for its dreamy cliffside hotels and delicious restaurants with breathtaking views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The slow pace of the village embodies the Italian ideal of “The good life.” Winding lanes shaded by trellised wisteria vines have glamorous boutiques tucked into the nooks. Local vendors set up stalls in these lanes, perfect for that one-of-a-kind souvenir. The 18th century church, the tiled dome of Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, can be seen from all vantage points and adds an exquisite beauty to the famous place. The restaurants are woven into the cliffs or at the water’s edge. Dine at any establishment here and you’ll taste the freshest seafood caught daily from the aquamarine waters by fishermen with generations of experience behind them.

Positano is the first hamlet along Strada Statale 163, south of Naples, along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Amalfi Coast. The scenic 37-mile road, best known for its winding bends, connects other fabulous towns – Praiano, Amalfi and Ravello like a strand of luminous pearls. On your first stop in Positano, try these five amazing restaurants (in no specific order) for memorable meals in one of the most intoxicating places on the planet.

Grilled fresh scampis served in a garlic butter sauce Chez Black

Photo credit: Jeanine Consoli

1. Restaurant Chez Noir

Chez Black is a third-generation restaurant started in 1949 by Salvatore Russo, also known as “Black”. Its boat-themed restaurant, permanently moored on the promenade of Spiaggia Grande (the main beach), is a short walk from the pebble shore. The restaurant was originally a boathouse beautifully remodeled to resemble a ship and fitted with gleaming wooden trim and brass fittings. Waiters, dressed in navy uniforms, are on hand to help you with the menu or wine choices to pair with fresh seafood.

What to order

The famous dish to order at Chez Black is sea urchin or “Ricci di Mare” either in its shell or mixed in a pasta dish or paccheri with Positanese sauce. Paccheri is a large tubular pasta or larger version of rigatoni. Here, it is served in a fresh tomato sauce seasoned with garlic. I can’t resist the seafood and chose the grilled langoustines in a garlic butter sauce. Langoustine is closer to the lobster family than to the shrimp family. When my dish arrived there were six lovely fresh langoustines on the platter served with wedges of Positano’s famous lemons. You eat them much like a tiny lobster tail, and the sweet taste of the meat goes so well with the buttery sauce; It’s addictive. If you don’t like fish, try the Chicken Milanese, a fried chicken cutlet topped with crispy, peppery arugula, and those vibrant red tomatoes grown in volcanic soil.

Pro Tip: The list of famous people who have eaten here is a mile long; make a reservation in advance to get a prime table by the sea.

Le Tre Sorelle wine bar on Via Cristoforo Columbo, Positano, Italy

Le Tre Sorelle wine bar on Via Cristoforo Columbo

Photo credit: Jeanine Consoli

2. Le Tre Sorelle

Le Tre Sorelle has been a family business since 1953. Three sisters opened a tavern serving typical dishes from Positano a few meters from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Over the years, one sister remained and became the sole operator. Fortunately, his family picked up the pieces and rebuilt the establishment after an unfortunate fire destroyed the restaurant. Today, you’ll find fresh local Campania ingredients and sea-caught fish right outside their doorstep. The addition of nephew Luigi, a sommelier, ensures that incredible wines from across the country and abroad are poured in to accompany their rustic dishes.

What to order

The food at this local establishment is well prepared, fresh and offers generous portions. Start with a typical seasonal appetizer of courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta, breaded and fried. Then order seafood. Choose the fish of the day filleted and sautéed with olive oil, lemon, capers and black olives or prepared with cherry tomatoes, potatoes, capers and baked olives. Sea bream is caught locally and is a specialty here. We also tried the zucchini paccheri (in season) with pecorino cheese which was amazing.

Pro Tip: In downtown Positano, try the Tre Sorelle Wine Room for an aperitif (a pre-dinner snack). The wine selections are excellent, served by the glass with typical snacks. A nice step during your stay.

Delizia Al Limone

Delizia Al Limone, a heavenly dessert of sponge cake infused with Positano’s famous lemon cream served at La Pergola restaurant in Positano

Photo credit: Jeanine Consoli

3. La Pergola Restaurant

The La Pergola restaurant is directly on the beach, next to the steps leading to the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. This perfect spot invites a romantic dinner or a casual meal by the sea while watching the sunset over the water. The wood-fired pizza oven prepares delicious pies in the pizzeria. You can also enjoy those beautiful sunsets while dining on the freshest seafood and steaks in their main dining room.

What to order

You can’t go wrong with the seafood dishes here, and the pastas, especially the gnocchi, are to die for. However, a walk past the wood oven and we were craving pizza. There’s something about a Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza, fresh out of the oven, with a nice glass of Montepulciano wine and a beautiful sunset to savor”The good life.”

Pro Tip: Try the special local dessert known as Delizia al Limone after dinner. This mini sponge cake is coated and filled with Positano lemon cream, and it’s heaven.

The fantastic lobster salad with citrus fruits at Adamo & Eva at the Eden Roc hotel in Positano

The fantastic lobster salad with citrus fruits at Adamo & Eva at the Eden Roc hotel in Positano

Photo credit: Jeanine Consoli

4. Restaurant Adamo & Eva

The Adamo & Eva restaurant is located on a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Eden Roc hotel. You enter the lobby, take the elevator to the top and perch on the terrace for a fabulous meal. The servers are incredibly attentive. The first step after ordering drinks is to whet your appetite by presenting the daily catch on a tray. You are amazed by the most beautiful shellfish available to you. The meal unfolds slowly so you can savor the cocktails, the view, and the delicious cuisine inspired by the surroundings.

What to order

We chose the citrus flavored lobster salad with celery, tomatoes, olives, onions and avocado. The presentation was beautiful and the lobster mound was so fresh we enjoyed every bite. Next we enjoyed a zucchini, lemon and coconut milk risotto dish which was so creamy, comforting, fresh and vibrant. We paired it with glasses of chilled rosé and thought it was one of the best meals of the trip. Frankly, it’s not getting better.

Pomodoro pasta with delicious tomatoes grown and served at Palazzo Murat restaurant

Pomodoro pasta with delicious tomatoes grown and served at Palazzo Murat restaurant

Photo credit: Jeanine Consoli

5. Al Palazzo Restaurant

You won’t see the water at Al Palazzo restaurant, but you will be surrounded by incredible views. The restaurant offers breathtaking lush gardens in the backyard of the Palazzo Murat hotel. It is a unique and serene place to take in a different setting in this seaside paradise. Alfonso Cinque, an emigrated engineer from Positano in America. He returned to buy and restore the Palazzo, and upon his death his family made it their home and a hotel for the guests who flocked there after World War II. The ambience is like sitting on the grounds of a friend’s large country estate. Yet it is tucked away in the winding lanes of Positano.

What to order

We stopped for lunch on a hot sunny afternoon and found the shady garden to be a respite from the scorching summer sun. My husband and I were delighted to dine at this oasis just down the main path from the Spiaggia Grande. Chef Aniello Cascone is a master, cooking all over Campania – Capri, Sorrento and Naples.

As it was hot, we opted for lighter dishes; I ordered a Caesar salad topped with salmon and the most delicious buttery croutons. My husband ordered spaghetti topped with organic heirloom tomatoes grown on the property. We enjoyed a glass of Ereo Ros from Cantine Olivella and the wine paired perfectly with our meal. The blend of grapes is harvested at the base of Mount Vesuvius, and the flavor tastes like strawberry and vanilla. A fabulous experience.

Pro tips

The sea view is a short walk from the poolside restaurant, so take a stroll through the grounds after lunch.

The Sponda restaurant is inside the famous hotel, Le Sirenuse. The views, food, and romance are unmistakable here. If you are not staying at the hotel it is difficult to get a reservation. Yet, with careful planning, you too can enjoy all the luxury and fine dining that Le Sponda is known for.

Although Lo Scoglio is not in Positano, I must mention it here for the food and the views. The restaurant and hotel featured in the first season of Stanley Tucci’s Searching For Italy is a great stopover if you have the time. The famous dish, Pasta alla Nerano (zucchini pasta), is served as well as fresh seafood dishes served in the restaurant on a private beach in Marina del Cantone, about an hour’s drive from Positano. If you have a car, you should drive. We really enjoyed our meal here, served just before sunset along the legendary Amalfi Coast.

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