Originally called “ Grotta di Palazzo”, which literally means Cave of the Palace, it has been visited by Prime Ministers to VIPs for decades because of its stunning location.
A visit to Grotta Palazzese in Italy is on the top of any foodie’s bucket list. Grotta Palazzese is a cave restaurant that sits on the rocky shores of Polignano a Mare, Italy. To prepare for your visit to this cave restaurant in Italy we have put together a list of what you should know when planning to dine at this unique geological wonderland!
Grotta Palazzese is not open year-round. Because Grotta Palazzese is a cave restaurant facing the open Adriatic sea, its season is limited to the Spring/Summer. In 2018 Grotta Palazzese was open from March 21st to Oct 21st .
Making Your Reservation
Reservations at Grotta Palezzese’s cave restaurant are a must! The seats are limited in the cave restaurant and it is a good idea to reserve a table at least 1-2 weeks in advance, especially during the summer months when its peak season and the crowds roll into to experience fine-dining cave style. Reservations can only be made directly on their site by clicking here.
Hours of Operation
Cave dining can be enjoyed at Grotta Palezzese for Lunch or Dinner. You can dine for Lunch from 12:30pm to 2pm and enjoy a Dinner with the wake of the sea breeze from 6pm to 10:30pm.
If one person decides to enjoy a tasting menu all other guests dining at that table will be required to do the same. In order to avoid any unpleasant surprises we suggest you and the guests you will be dining with check out their menu online before heading to the restaurant and being forced into eating something you won’t enjoy.
Although many restaurants require the whole table to order the same tasting menu, Grotta Palezzese takes this one step above, making it the only restaurant in Italy that requires you to order at least 2 dishes per person. Our suggestion: come hungry, so you don’t end up paying for a dish that you will never eat.
Location, Location, Location
They say Location is everything and Grotta Palazzese is no exception. Grotta Palazzese is one of the only cave restaurants in Italy and you can expect to pay a hefty price tag for this location. In general expect 130 to 170 Euros per person (based on 2018 menu prices) without wine. Tact on the wine and you are looking at around 200 Euros plus to enjoy this exclusive dining location.
From North to South you can expect to pay “Coperto” at any restaurant you visit in Italy. Usually ranging from 1 to 5 Euros per person this charge is what you pay for sitting down and you get bread with your meal. However, at Grotta Palezzese you aren’t just paying for the bread, you are paying for that exclusive cave restaurant view with a whopping 10 Euros per person before the meal even gets there!
Spectacular View, But No Shining Star
With a restaurant as famous as this you would expect this cave restaurant in Italy to have scored at least one Michelin star. Although the price tag may seem like you be getting some stellar dining, Grotta Palezzese has yet to garnish a Michelin Star.
Dine in Style
Grotta Palezzese is a high-end venue, and their attire requirements go beyond “No shirt, No shoes, No service”. When dining inside this cave restaurant be prepared to wear more than just flip-flops and shorts. You will be expected to come dressed in a nice pair of pants, and shoes, making sure that you blend in with the ambience of this upscale dining experience.
Beyond The Plate
Kicking it up a notch Grotta Palezzese is giving you the chance to get the full Polignano a Mare experience with the grand opening of their Hotel in Spring 2019. Polignano a Mare is a great location to be based if you want to visit Alberobello, Monopoli and Bari.
So there you have it! This is our list of what to know before dining at Grotta Palezzese.
Let us know if you have dined at Grotta Palezzese. How was you experience? And is there anything we should add to the list?
If you are looking for more dining advice for your next trip to Italy head over to our post about How to Find the Best Restaurants in Rome.