Top 5 Best Restaurants in Sardinia

Embark on a culinary odyssey through Sardinia as we unveil the island’s true gastronomic treasures. After traversing its every corner, we present the 5 best overall restaurants, meticulously selected. No tourist traps or cheesy imitations; just authentic, real dining. Our focus extends to Sassari, Sardinia’s gastronomic capital, celebrated by the legendary Anthony Bourdain during his visit to the island. Join us for an exploration of unparalleled flavors and genuine hospitality, where each restaurant promises an unadulterated taste of Sardinian excellence.

1. Il Vecchio Mulino

Reservations: +39 079 492 0324
Address: Via Frigaglia 5, Sassari, IT 07100
Nearby Parking: Parcheggio Saba Emiciclo G. Garibaldi, Sassari, IT 07100

Choosing a singular favorite among the plethora of outstanding restaurants is a daunting task, but if pressed, this hidden gem would undoubtedly top our list. Nestled in the heart of culinary excellence, it stands out not just for its gastronomic delights, but for the artistry and delicacy with which every dish is meticulously prepared— a testament to the owners, who are artists in their own right.

Begin your culinary journey with tantalizing starters that ignite your palate, setting the stage for a symphony of flavors to follow. The handmade pastas, including the exquisite culurgiones and ravishing ravioli, showcase the culinary prowess of the artist-owners, turning each bite into a sensorial masterpiece. A highlight not to be missed is the succulent wild boar, a culinary triumph that epitomizes the dedication to authentic, exceptional cuisine.

The impeccable service extends beyond mere efficiency, embodying a genuine kindness that transforms your dining experience into a warm and welcoming affair. The artist-owners’ touch is not only evident in the kitchen but also in the ambiance, where the setting is a charming old mill. Its decor, carefully curated with a blend of rustic charm and modern sophistication, elevates the dining experience.

As a harmonious backdrop to your culinary journey, the restaurant features a delightful playlist of jazz music, providing a pleasant accompaniment that enhances the overall atmosphere. On special occasions, the enchantment deepens with live jazz performances, adding an extra layer of sophistication to your dining experience.

One cannot leave without indulging in the tempting desserts, where each sweet creation is a testament to the culinary artistry that defines this establishment. The combination of exceptional food, genuine service, and a captivating setting ensures that every visit leaves you with not just a satisfied stomach but a joyful heart.

In the aftermath of this culinary sojourn, a pervasive sense of happiness lingers within, a testament to the unique blend of art, culinary excellence, and genuine hospitality that defines this remarkable establishment. This, without a doubt, is more than just a restaurant; it’s an immersive experience that transcends the ordinary and leaves an indelible mark on your gastronomic memory.

2. L’Assassino

Reservations: +39 079 233 463
Address: Via Pettenadu 19, Sassari, IT 07100
Nearby Parking: Parcheggio Saba Emiciclo G. Garibaldi, Sassari, IT 07100

Emerging as a close contender is none other than L’Assassino, a haven for those seeking an authentic taste of tradition and heartwarming culinary delights. This culinary sanctuary promises a journey through time, offering an array of classic dishes that evoke the essence of true Sardinian flavors.

At L’Assassino, tradition takes center stage from the very beginning. Traditional starters, including eggplant, Osilo cheese, cold cuts, and the delightful fava beans, set the tone for a gastronomic adventure that goes beyond the ordinary. Handmade pastas and the succulent piglet, revered by none other than Anthony Bourdain, further elevate the dining experience to a level of culinary excellence.

Rooted in history, the restaurant’s legacy extends through the years, with its origins tracing back to the founder, the current owner’s father. This familial touch adds an extra layer of authenticity to both the cuisine and the overall dining ambiance.

What sets L’Assassino apart is its commitment to genuine service. Here, there’s no pretense or artificiality; you’re treated as a regular person, and that, in itself, is a refreshing departure from the overly pampered experiences common in touristy spots. It’s a nod to the sincerity that defines true hospitality.

Cap off your culinary adventure with the irresistible tiramisu and complement your meal with a bottle of the refreshing mirto, marking a delightful conclusion to your gastronomic journey. The rustic and traditional decor adds to the charm, creating an ambiance that transports you to the heart of Sardinian heritage.

For those seeking an al fresco experience, the patio outside is a true delight, especially on warmer days. It’s the perfect setting to savor the lingering flavors of a memorable meal while basking in the traditional surroundings.

In the tapestry of Sardinian dining, L’Assassino weaves a narrative that goes beyond the plate, creating an experience that resonates with the warmth of tradition, the genuineness of service, and the authentic flavors that have stood the test of time. This is more than a restaurant; it’s a culinary journey into the heart of Sardinia’s rich culinary tapestry.


3. Il Quirinale

Reservations: +39 079 232 363
Address: Via Camillo Benso di Cavour, 3, Sassari, IT 07100
Nearby Parking: Parcheggio Saba Emiciclo G. Garibaldi, Sassari, IT 07100

Il Quirinale emerges as a quintessential haven for those craving an authentic all-around Italian experience at a classic Italian restaurant.

Much like Dante’s journey through the Divine Comedy, here, you’ll traverse the realms of pasta, pizza, seafood, and meats, each plate a canto in the epic tale of Italian flavor.

The immaculate and classic decor recreates the ambiance of a true Italian ristorante, ensuring that patrons not only relish their meals but also immerse themselves in an authentic dining experience. The attention to detail extends to the service, where politeness and attentiveness elevate each visit to a level of genuine hospitality.

Ah, the pizzas! Il Quirinale boasts the artistry of wood oven baking, turning each pizza into a poetic masterpiece. It’s as if Petrarch himself composed odes to these wood-fired wonders, their crusts crisp as the sonnets, their toppings a terza rima of taste.

Seafood at Il Quirinale is a maritime adventure, a tale spun by Poseidon himself. Freshness is not just a promise; it’s a pact with the sea, ensuring each dish is a maritime melody that would make even the sirens jealous.

For dessert, don’t skip the homemade flans – a culinary Puccini aria that crescendos your meal with sweetness. The flans are so good; you’ll be convinced they’re a closely guarded secret passed down from Nonna to Nonna, like a recipe from a well-worn Dante manuscript.

At Il Quirinale, every visit is a celebration of diverse tastes within the embrace of an authentically Italian atmosphere.

4. Fainè Sassu

Reservations: +39 079 236 402
Address: Via Usai 17, Sassari, IT 07100
Nearby Parking: Parcheggio Saba Emiciclo G. Garibaldi, Sassari, IT 07100

Embark on a culinary journey through Sassari’s rich history with Fainè Sassu, a true gem that echoes the maritime origins of its signature dish, Fainè. Rooted in a captivating legend, this culinary marvel traces its roots back to a storm-battered Genovese ship. Imagine the chaos as barrels of chickpeas and olive oil succumbed to the sea, birthing an impromptu mixture of chickpea mush, olive oil, and sea salt.

In a resilient display of resourcefulness, the sailors transformed this mishmash into a makeshift delicacy, drying it under the sun. This humble beginning marked the birth of Farinata, a savory pie that later found its way to Sassari and became known as Fainè when the Genovese navigated the winter waters.

Nestled in the heart of Sassari, Fainè Sassu stands as a culinary maestro, showcasing the evolution of this extraordinary dish. As the oldest establishment in Sassari, it operates as an immaculate family-run haven for discerning palates. The allure of Fainè Sassu lies not just in its storied origins but also in the meticulous preparation that yields the tastiest Fainè in Sassari.

Picture a thin, perfectly baked crust adorned with an array of flavors – from the classic plain to the tantalizing options of onions, sausage, anchovies, or mushrooms. The culinary experience extends beyond the plate; Fainè Sassu exudes cleanliness, professionalism, and efficiency. The warm, familial atmosphere envelopes patrons, providing a truly local dining experience.

As you savor the delectable Fainè, don’t miss the chance to indulge in their homemade tiramisu, a sublime finale to your gastronomic adventure. Complement your meal with a refreshing glass of mirto, enhancing the overall sensory delight.

A word of advice: Fainè, being a seasonal delicacy, graces the menu only between October and May. To relish this extraordinary dish, plan your visit to Sassari during this period, where Fainè Sassu invites you to partake in an authentic and unforgettable culinary experience.

5. Gallura

Reservations: +39 347 580 6734
Address: Vicolo San Leonardo 9, Sassari, IT 07100
Nearby Parking: Parcheggio Saba Emiciclo G. Garibaldi, Sassari, IT 07100

Cap off your culinary journey with a visit to Gallura. Whether you choose to bask in the ambient glow of the delightful patio or witness the pizzaiolo’s artistry inside, Gallura promises a delicious experience.

Immerse yourself in the lively ambiance as the skilled pizzaiolo crafts the epitome of perfection in Sassari’s pizza scene. The wood oven pizza, adorned with a thin, crispy crust, stands as a testament to Gallura’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled pizza experience.

Beyond the realm of pizza, Gallura emerges as a carnivore’s delight. Indulge your taste buds with succulent and healthy steaks, sourced not only from Sardinia and Italy but also from corners of the globe. Gallura beckons you to elevate your gastronomic journey with the finest meats, a true celebration of flavors that transcend borders.

As you savor the rich and diverse meat offerings, don’t miss the opportunity to culminate your feast with the homemade panna cotta – a decadent and irresistible conclusion to your dining adventure.

In the embrace of Gallura’s warm hospitality, you’re not just dining; you’re embarking on a sensory journey where the best of pizza and meat converge.

Honorable Mention: Zia Forica

Reservations: +39 079 233 556
Address: Corso Margherita di Savoia 39, Sassari, IT 07100
Nearby Parking: Parcheggio Saba Emiciclo G. Garibaldi, Sassari, IT 07100

No culinary odyssey through Sassari would be complete without a nod to the legendary Zia Forica – a haven that even Anthony Bourdain himself couldn’t resist. A family-run gem, Zia Forica beckons with an authentic, local vibe, creating an atmosphere that’s both familiar and genuine.

For an unparalleled experience, we suggest you make your way to Zia Forica during lunch, a time when the menu unveils its broadest array of dishes and the ambiance reaches its zenith. Each visit promises a culinary adventure, as there’s a daily selection of diverse offerings, aligning seamlessly with the seasons and enveloping patrons in a familial embrace.

Allow the knowledgeable waitstaff to guide your culinary journey; their recommendations unveil the true essence of Zia Forica’s culinary artistry. As you traverse the ever-changing menu, don’t miss the chance to indulge in the traditional seadas – a gastronomic marvel akin to a generously sized fried ravioli, brimming with luscious cheese and adorned with a drizzle of local honey.

Zia Forica stands as a culinary landmark, inviting you to partake in an unforgettable feast woven with authenticity, familial warmth, and the spirit of exploration. Bourdain’s nod is merely a testament to what awaits – a culinary journey that transcends expectations and leaves an indelible mark on the connoisseur’s heart.


Concluding our exploration of Sardinia’s culinary gems, Sassari’s status as the island’s gastronomic capital played a pivotal role in shaping our selection. Notably, the legendary Anthony Bourdain’s heartfelt endorsement added an extra layer of credibility to the chosen establishments. Bourdain, enamored by the food in Sassari, famously declared his willingness to fly in solely for its culinary delights.

In the heart of Sassari, Il Vecchio Mulino emerged as a hidden gem, where the artistry transcends gastronomy. Its charming old mill setting, combined with tantalizing starters and succulent wild boar, transforms dining into a sensory masterpiece, resonating with Bourdain’s passion for authentic experiences.

L’Assassino, deeply rooted in Sardinian tradition, invites patrons on a journey through time, echoing Bourdain’s appreciation for genuine flavors. With a familial touch and genuine service, it crafts an immersive experience amidst rustic surroundings.

Il Quirinale, a quintessential Italian haven, resonates with Bourdain’s love for diverse tastes. Wood oven-baked pizzas and maritime tales in seafood offerings elevate each visit to a poetic celebration of Italian flavor.

Fainè Sassu, revealing the evolution of the extraordinary dish Fainè, stands as Sassari’s oldest establishment, offering a taste of local culture with professionalism and familial warmth, echoing Bourdain’s fondness for the region.

Gallura, our delightful conclusion, entices with wood oven-perfected pizzas and globally sourced succulent meats, creating a familial journey where the best of pizza and meat converge, echoing Bourdain’s appreciation for authenticity.

Honorable mention goes to Zia Forica, a family-run gem celebrated by Anthony Bourdain. Its authenticity and seasonal array of dishes during lunch embody the spirit of exploration and familial warmth, resonating with Bourdain’s quest for genuine culinary experiences.

As we bid adieu to this culinary sojourn, we invite you to savor the memories crafted in each establishment, embracing the spirit of discovery and celebrating the timeless allure of Sardinia’s gastronomic excellence. In the echoes of Bourdain’s endorsement, these dining experiences become more than meals; they are tributes to the rich culinary culture that defines Sassari.

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