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Restaurants in Sardinia uphold the proud Italian dining tradition, with a sprinkling of local flavour on top. Sardinia did not become a part of Italy until the 19th century, and that shows in its many culinary quirks.
Sardinia has more than its fair share of sheep, and cheese from sheep milk is ubiquitous. Like much of Italy, Sardinia also has its own regional type of pasta: fregula. These rounded semolina balls, which resemble bloated couscous, work especially well in a seafood broth.
Also worth trying is the local Sardinia gnocchi called malloreddus, often served al dente with a tomato or cheese sauce.
Sassari is thought of as one of the better culinary regions for fine dining in Sardinia, and restaurants in the area are especially dependable and excel at traditional local dishes. Trattoria L’Assassino (Via Pettenadu, 19) in Sassari is one of the best places to try fregula pasta.
Moving into slightly weirder territory, but staying in Sassari, another Sardinian delicacy is a familiar creature in unfamiliar circumstances. The humble snail, collected locally in the Sassari region, is boiled up and stuffed back into its shell with sheep’s cheese, garlic and parsley to make lumache.
If you can stomach the thought of snails, they are exquisite. But don’t take our word for it – you can decide for yourself at Trattoria La Vela Latina (Via Sisini, 3), where you can also try another traditional dish from Sardinia: moscardini, octopus in spicy tomato sauce.
It’s possible to find classic Italian favourites in Sardinia’s restaurants too. OK Pizza (Via Sebastiano Satta, 102-104) in Alghero makes superb pizzas that are certainly much more than just OK, while Gelateria Igloo (Bastioni Marco Polo, 27) serves up ice-cold scoops of homemade silky goodness.