Dine with the Captain


A few suggestions for dining around the world.  We have enjoyed them, you may also.




La Rotonda - 10/16 Via il Prato
Yes. you will be dining with the locals and it will all be authentico. 

Very casual, restaurant or pizzeria, your choice, upstairs or down.  Good food, varied menu, local pricing.  Music some nights.  Or, you can go just down the street to the bistro where the hotels send all the tourists, queue up, pay twice as much and sit next to somebody from New York. 



Trattoria Ponte Vecchio
Lungarno Archibusieri 8
A bit more elegant, located just at the northeast corner of the Ponte Vecchio bridge and the Arno.  Very nice atmosphere, the food is excellent.  Nice place for a quiet lunch.




Antica Trattoria da Bruno

via Luigi Bianchi

Everyone comes to Bruno's.  At least if you are local.  Or if you are near the Piazza dei Miracoli (the Leaning Tower) and are hungry.   Excellent local cuisine, cucina atmosphere.  Keep an eye on your wife if the host takes a shine to her. 



Restaurant Terrazza Danieli**

Hotel Danieli - on the Grand Canal, next to the Doge's Palace

Vaporetto stop - San Zaccaria

The First Mate's favorite place in the world. When the weather is nice sitting on this terrace overlooking the Grand Canal having a late lunch or moonlit dinner approaches the sublime.  Best to try to make reservations.  And bring your wallet.




Osteria al Duomo Pizzeria

Fondamenta Mashcio 20-21

Friendly local family restaurant with both the locals and wise tourists - food is very good and reasonable for Venice.  Walk past the bar in the front and take either the outdoor courtyard or the indoor restaurant.  Try the grilled branzino.  




Mimi alla ferrovia

Via Alfonso D'Aragona, 21

This is THE place for Napoli dining.  Old, well established, check the photos on the wall.  For all of Naples shortcomings - noisy, dirty, sketchy areas - this is not one.  About a 10 minute cab ride from the port.  Order a light lunch or a five course meal.  Reservations recommended.




Al Peperoncino Pizzeria Bisteccheria & Sfizi

Via Ostiense, 369/375

Underground subway stop - Basilica San Paolo

Three blocks from St. Paul's Outside the Walls (which is not to be missed when in Rome) and two blocks from the Metro station.  The menu and website are in Italian, the waiters are all in English.  Join the locals for a leisurely two hour lunch (with wine, of course) or bolt an excellent thin crusted pizza.  Far from the madding crowds and the locals will not be rushing through lunch.



Miscellanea Hosteria - Pub

Via Della Palombella, 34/35 - next to the Pantheon, on the corner

This place has no website and that's probably a good thing.  If more people knew about it we would probably never get in.  Huge portions of Italian food being gobbled down by the locals who, unbelieveably, vie with the tourists for a table.  Service is prompt and the price is right.  Check out the owner to see which U.S. university T-shirt he is wearing that day. 



Trattoria Navedano

Via Pannilani

Go for the flowers.  In the hills just above Como is a family trattoria in an old villa.  Ambiance is delightful, food is delicious, service excellent.  First Mate rates it two-stars.  You may not remember your dinner but will probably remember your evening.





Torfan Lobsterhouse

Amtmannsstig 1

In an old house just back from Laekjargata St., Torfan's is white tableclothes and French chef mixing it up with the local lobsters.  Try the lobster soup.  Will be a nice evening finish for the day when the sun never sets.  Bring your wallet.




Hotel Isafjordur

In downtown Isafjordur overlooking the waterfront
Normally would not recommend a hotel restaurant but the food was excellent and the presentation great.  The chef must be classically trained.  Try the salt cod, believe it or not.





Daphne's Restaurant

4 Lyssikratous St., in the Plaka

On an expense account?  Want to impress some one?  This is the place.  You may bump into Hillary here, if she's in town.  Gourmet, excellent atmosphere.  Bring your wallet.




Socratous Gardens - Cafe, bar, restaurant

124 Socratous St.

After a hard day of chasing the ghosts of the Knights around old town Rhodes, stop in here.  It really is a garden.  Relax and cool off under the shade trees and listen to the bubbling fountains.  Oh yes, the food is good also.  And the beer is very cold.  All those cats can't be wrong.




Sunset Taverna

Little Venice

Right on the water in one of the old ship captain's houses in Little Venice.  If the wind comes up you may get wet.  Excellent setting for lunch.  Try the sea bass.  No website.




Reid's Palace Hotel
Classic. Romantic. Killer view.  Some days, as you walk through the lobby, you can almost smell Churchill's cigar.  Lunch by the pool is divine and affordable.  Taking the bus up from town will give you a nice ride through the countryside.  Afternoon tea is also available but bring your wallet.




Monte Carlo

Cafe de Paris

98000 Monaco

Directly across from the Hotel de Paris and next to the Casino this multipurpose restaurant is both delicious and eclectic. One can sit on the terrace observing the moving feast of tourists in front of the Casino or inside in Parisian decor.  The service is first class and food delicious.  Reasonable by Monte Carlo standards. 





42 Quai Jean Charles Rey


Right on the harbor in Fontvieille.  Small but excellent staff and wonderful chef.  Prices are reasonable as are the wines and a generous pour.  Make a reservation to ensure your table. 

No Website. 





Lucius - Seafood Restaurant

Spuistraat 247Near Dam Square in downtown Amsterdam.  The First Mate says the seafood is fabulous and there is plenty of it.  Best to go early or make a reservation.  Decent wine list.  Service is Dutch efficient. Price is moderate.









Seven Hills Fish Restaurant

Tevkifhane Sokak 8, Sultanahmet

In the Sultanahmet (Old City) on top of the Seven Hills Hotel.  Great open air dining with the best view in Istanbul - exactly between the Blue Mosque and the Sophia Hagia overlooking the Bosporus. Oh yes, the food is good too. 




Matbah - Ottoman Palace Cuisine

Caferiye Sokak 6, Sultanahmet

In the Ottoman Hotel Imperial just next to the Hagia Sophia, this upscale restaurant specializes in cuisine from the Sultans' era of 15th-19th centuries.  Dine like a sultan in the Summer Garden, an open air terrace.  Food is excellent, service great.  Elegant.  Reservations recommended.







Maui - Paia

Mama's Fish House**

799 Poho Place, Paia - mile marker 8 on the Hana Hiway

The First Mate's favorite place in Hawaii.  Sitting on a small cove on the northern shore of Maui this open air restaurant has been famous almost since its founding.  The setting is sure to 'wow' your date, no matter how long you have dated!  The food is wonderful and the spirit of aloha lives here.  The website is worth the visit just for the music.  Probably best to rent a car, would be a long cab ride.



Maui - Lahiana


845 Front St., Lahiana

OK, it's filled with tourists.  It also looks out across Lahiana Roads directly at the island of Lanai and, on many nights, a great sunset.  Very ono kau-kau and plenty of it.  Try the mahi sandwich.  If you overdo it, it's only a 5-10 minute stagger back to the tender dock.



Hawaii - Big Island

Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant

19-3948 Old Volcano Rd.
Volcano Village, Hawaii 96785

If you are going up to the volcano while docked at Hilo, and if you haven't been you must go, don't let anyone tell you there's no place to eat.  Just before the Park gate pull off the main road and into Volcano Village and the Kilauea Lodge.  Warm, cozy dining room and fine food.



The Kona Inn Restaurant

75-5744 Alli Dr.


Set in the historic old Kona Inn, which is worth a visit itself, the restaurant fronts on the oceanfront overlooking the harbor and the cruise ship anchorage.  A large, open air lanai the pace is tranquil, service nice and the foot is good.  Perfect location for a late lunch.  Easy walk back to the tender boat dock. 




Oahu - Honolulu

The House without a Key** - Halekulani Hotel

2199 Kalia Rd., Waikiki

The First Mate's favorite place in Honolulu.  Very elegant, just like her. Just before sunset a very classy hula show begins and continues languidly through the evening.  Open air cocktails and dining beneath a huge kiawe tree.  Come early for the sunset and stay for dinner.  Order from the pu-pu menu, your appetite will be satiated but your wallet will be intact.  An old and historic location in Waikiki - Admiral Kimmel dined here on December 6, 1941. 





Halekulani Hotel

2199 Kalia - Waikiki

If you want something a little more elegant, leave the flip-flops behind and book at Orchids, the 'other' restaurant at the Halekulani Hotel.  Right on the ocean, beautiful sunset view, quiet understated service, excellent food.  Certainly there are tourists here but also locals who feel the need for something special.




Beach House - Haleiwa

62-540 Kamehameha Hwy.

Just across the street from where the huge rollers break, the recently redone Beach House provides casual open air dining in a nice setting and laid back ambiance.  Great place for lunch if motoring around the island or lingering on the beach, screwing up courage to try to go out....



San Francisco

The Buena Vista

2765 Hyde St. - Fisherman's Wharf

Immediately across from the Powell & Hyde Cable Car terminal is this icon of San Franciso.  Breakfast is a treat with the view of the Bay and the Cable Cars.  Try the sour dough french toast.  Evenings, when the tourist traffic dies down, dinner with the locals is the closest thing to a pub this side of the Atlantic.  Home of the original Irish Coffee.



New Zealand

Pescado Tapas Bar & Restaurant

39-47 Jellico St.

Wynyard Quarter

On the waterfront, go east over the drawbridge into the Wynyard Quarter all the way to the end.  It will be worth it.  Food is very good (Mediterranean style) and service prompt.  Price is reasonable. Sit outside al fresco or inside in a funky Med style motif.  



Tahiti, French Polynesia


Les Roulettes

On the waterfront downtown Papette next to the cruise ship piers.

When the sun goes down the food trucks come out, as does everyone in town.  The parking lot turns into a huge dining room with dozens of choices from a variety of food trucks, all good, all different, all reasonably priced (for Papeete).  The locals come out to dine, sing and play the ukulele.  Perfect dining under the stars and a cultural adventure. 



Have a reader recommendation?

Add it below through the comment page!

Comments: 0

Welcome to CaptainCruising, your site for free travel advice - particularly for cruise ship travelers.  Need information about a port or city?  Click on 'helpful links' and then Wikiport.  Need a restaurant recommendation?  Click on 'Dine with the Captain'.  Shopping?  Click on 'Shop with the First Mate'.  Want to experience a virtual cruise from the comfort of your home?  Click 'virtual cruise' and explore part of the world.


Captain Paul Eschenfelder is a professional speaker and lecturer on cruise ships such as Seabourn, Holland America, Cunard, Celebrity, Princess. Cruise through our site for helpful tips and recommendations.  Please feel free to add your comments and advice to fellow travelers.  Check back frequently as we are continuing to add content.