We have written this guide after having tried – and often tried again – what we consider to be the best restaurants in Olbia and what we think will leave a good impression on you. We hope that these suggestions will help you have a good lunch or dinner and make your stay in our city even more pleasant.
Enjoy your meal!
Type of cuisine Sardinian traditional
Price 35-40 euros
Distance from Altré 8 minutes walk
“Elegance is not ostentation, pageantry. Elegance is discretion, simplicity, silence. Elegance is absence of noise but presence of respect, common sense, savoir faire. Elegance is politeness.”
This phrase by actress Virna Lisi, which stands out prominently on the pretty little dining room inside, expresses the whole essence of this restaurant’s philosophy, clearly perceptible right away in both the dishes and the service.
The dishes at Anticas Licanzias are truly authentic because it is in their simplicity that we find the authenticity of Sardinia’s traditional, agro-pastoral cuisine.
Once you are seated at the table, you cannot give up tasting a selection of their focaccias; you will be enraptured. It is no coincidence, in fact, that their bakery in Nuoro received the Gambero Rosso‘s Due Pani award once again in 2022.
First courses, all fresh pasta and homemade, include cheese ravioli, ricotta ravioli, culurgiones and handmade malloreddos; you choose the sauce from those offered on the menu. Finally, you can never miss the classic pane frattau.
Among the main courses, the king of Sardinian family feasts stands out: the roast suckling pig from the Orgosolo countryside.
To end the meal on a high note, our advice is to choose the classic Seada with honey. The one you will eat at Anticas Licanzias, homemade of course, is truly excellent.
The restaurant has an all-female management and is located in the heart of Olbia’s historic center, hidden among the characteristic alleys close to Corso Umberto (directions here). You can choose to eat in the indoor dining room, full of references to local art and agro-pastoral tradition, or outside in the picturesque outdoor area.
Although not mandatory, reservations are strongly recommended especially in the evenings and on weekends by calling +39 0789 27110.
Type of cuisine Mediterranean, Sardinian with reinterpretations
Price 40-45 euro
Distance from Altré 9 minutes on foot
Let’s start with the name: “Sa Mere” in Sardinian is the boss; specifically, sa Mere Manna is the one at the head of the family. For Erica and Fabrizio, the couple who own the restaurant and are a couple in life, the boss is represented by the Mother, and it is to her that they want to dedicate this restaurant project born in 2022.
Mere’s cuisine ranges from traditional dishes – interpreted in a contemporary way – to those invented by chef Fabrizio, always highlighting the best products. In all dishes you will find only seasonal ingredients; this is why the menu is constantly changing according to the different times of the year.
During our last visit in March 2023, Chiara literally adored a simple but perfect dish of handmade Tagliolini (noodles) with arselle di Olbia, bottarga and parsley pesto, while Enrico was pleasantly surprised by ‘Il pesce‘: a dish of fresh local fish processed using different methods: raw, marinated and matured.
We ended our lunch with a Casu cake, an interpretation of cheese cake (casu means cheese in Sardinian) made with ricotta and sheep’s milk stracchino; it is served with a saffron and orange flavoured custard.
The wine list is not very long but is really well thought out. Inside it hides some gems such as the Alvarega that true enthusiasts will be thrilled to discover.
Among all the chef patron’s important professional experiences, the one at Dal Corsaro (one Michelin star in Cagliari) stands out. There Frabrizio honed the techniques that led him to realise his dream: to have his own restaurant. Erica, very young but also with a great professional background behind her, will guide you in choosing the most interesting dishes on the menu.
Mere is at via Regina Elena 61, in the city centre (here are the directions). The number for reservations is +39 329 293 7003.
Type of cuisine Mediterranean, Sardinian with reinterpetations
Price 45 euros
Distance from Altré 11 minutes walk
It is one of the newest restaurants in town but in a short space of time it has already carved out a leading role among the best restaurants in Olbia.
The first impact with the restaurant, with its newly renovated furnishings, is really positive. This is thanks to the energy of Paola who, together with her staff, always welcomes customers with big smiles and lots of cheerfulness.
Once seated it will be difficult to choose what to eat because you literally want to order the whole menu! From the appetizer to the dessert you can feel great care and dedication in the preparations.
The cuisine is based on typical regional ingredients with a modern twist. It’s difficult to name one dish better than another, but there are some we just can’t get out of our minds: among the starters, the seared Scallops on ponzu sauce, fois gras croquettes and granny smith apples stand out.
The Spaghetti alla chitarra with black garlic, chilli pepper and anchovy colatura finished with crudités of langoustines is exceptional: you must try it again and again!
The wine list is not extensive but well thought out with a good selection of regional and national wines.
Piperita Patty is in via Garibaldi 56, in the historic center (directions here).
The restaurant has a large outdoor area that hosts the most popular tables on beautiful summer evenings. To choose your favourite one we suggest you book in advance by calling +39 320 920 6964.
It is inside the Jazz Hotel but it is not the classic hotel restaurant; on the contrary, it has been known in Olbia for many years for its clear identity to the point of being awarded the Michelin Plate for several years now.
The restaurant is elegant and refined but not overly formal and is suitable for all situations: it is romantic for a couple’s dinner, suitable for an evening with friends but families with children will also be at ease even if perhaps the type of cuisine is not particularly suitable for children.
The menu is varied, ranging from meat and fish dishes to vegetarian options, and changes from season to season. (you can read it by clicking here).
Great classic dishes to try are the Fregola mantecata with purple prawns and garlic chicory and the Sheep burger, typical soft bread, Sardinian provolone cheese and wilted tomato bbq sauce.
The service is very careful, friendly and fast. The wine list, with some national contaminations, is suitable for all budgets.
Welcome to a real milestone among Olbia’s restaurants. This place was founded in 1985 by Eliana and Renzo to combine the flavours and traditions of typical Sardinian and Italian cuisine.
For over 30 years it has been the meeting point for the nightlife after the disco; at By Night, in fact, the kitchen remained open until 4am.
A few years ago, the two sons of the founders joined the team, the location has been changed and the restaurant is now open at the classic lunch and dinner times, maintaining the same level of quality.
The menu is classic but always well executed and winks at the Sardinian and Olbia tradition. Above all, we must mention the mussels of Olbia au gratin: a typically homemade dish but which in the By Night version reaches the top as the best tried in the city’s restaurants.
We also particularly like the linguine with lobster, another traditional dish that stands out in this restaurant for its quality, quantity and very reasonable price.
Lunch or dinner in this lovely restaurant, recently renovated in an industrial style, is bound to leave you satisfied, thanks to the pleasant ambience, friendly service and simple but high quality cuisine.
The wine list, which is not extensive, is mainly oriented towards local labels.
By Night is in viale Aldo Moro, 201a (directions here).
In both the hot and cold months it is possible to choose between a table inside or in the outdoor area, which is always decorated with fresh flowers.
To book a table the number is +39 0789 58955.
Born as a take-away food shop and later becoming a “modern trattoria”, today Il Mattacchione is a reference point for gourmands who live in or are passing through Olbia. The owners of this charming and refined restaurant are a couple in life as well as in work. Rossella, the young owner, will guide you in the discovery of the dishes, putting you at ease just as if you were at home. Giuseppe, a talented chef, lives for his job to the point of calling it “his reason for living”. Every recipe has his signature and his flair shines through in every dish that reaches the diners; he loves experimenting, getting better every day and this, we can guarantee, can be seen and felt in every course.
At Il Mattacchione they always use fresh, seasonal and territorial raw materials with slow processing that can last from a few hours to – unbelievable but true – a few months.
The menu is very extensive with extremely elaborate meat and fish dishes, although unfortunately there are almost no vegetarian or vegan options.
Especially if you are new to this restaurant, we suggest you let yourself be carried away by Giuseppe’s creativity by choosing one of his tasting menus.
The wine list is truly remarkable and ranges from Sardinian wines to the great national and international labels, as well as Italian and French sparkling wines of the highest level. You can end your dinner by choosing from over 10 sweet or dessert wines.
Il Mattacchione’s philosophy is that “by combining, blending and mixing the ingredients offered by mother earth, the chef is able to amaze, distinguish himself and create combinations, fragrances and flavours that awaken the senses and evoke memories of a lifetime“. To make this happen you need time. That is why it is important to know that the average time for lunch or dinner in this fine restaurant is two and a half hours, in line with a “slow food” philosophy. So if you are in a hurry, this is not the right place for you.
Il Mattacchione is in via Copenaghen, 82 (directions here). Reservations are not compulsory but strongly recommended at +39 380 240 5368.
Summer Beach – adults only
This is our favourite seaside restaurant in Olbia. An oasis of tranquillity where you can spend a calm and pleasant evening dining and sipping an excellent glass of wine in front of the island of Tavolara.
On arrival you will be greeted by the excellent staff led by restaurant manager Mauro Loi, who has been at the helm of this wonderful restaurant for many years and who will help you choose whether to lunch or dine in the beautiful garden or in the more intimate dining room, perfect on cooler evenings.
The menu is renewed several times during the summer season and fish cuisine, needless to say, reigns supreme; but the meat and vegetable dishes are also very well thought out and executed. Enrico is crazy about the beef tartare with fried egg yolk and truffle while Chiara never, but really never, renounces the mixed fried fish with sweet and sour sauce.
Among the fish first courses, you absolutely must try the Fusilloni with sea urchin emulsion and lemongrass air while among the main courses, don’t miss the Fish and Shellfish Soup with herb bread croutons for any reason.
The wine list is extensive and is personally curated by Mauro Loi, who manages to perfectly balance local, national and international labels in a selection that truly caters for all tastes.
Finally, a few words on the ‘adults only‘ philosophy. Although some still turn up their noses, it is fair to know that the Summer Beach is the only restaurant in Olbia with this philosophy. Couples or groups of adults who need a perfect evening away from the children will find in this restaurant the right atmosphere for a totally relaxed dinner. For everyone else who does not want to give up even a minute with their children, just choose any of the more than two hundred restaurants in town.
The Summer Beach is inside the Pelican Beach Resort (directions here) but is also open to non-hotel guests. Especially in the evenings, we suggest you go at sunset time to sip an aperitif in the garden while waiting to be seated at your table. It will really be worth it.
Reservations for both lunch and dinner are always compulsory by calling +39 366 818 5220.
Your dog, if well-behaved, is welcome but please indicate this at the time of booking.