Sardinia has only been an Italian island since 1861, and there are lingering Spanish and Arabian influences from its past in the food that is served there today. With twice as many sheep on the island as there are people, it’s no surprise that pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk, features regularly on menus. There are also over 400 regional varieties of bread and flavoursome salsiccia sarda – Sardinian sausage.

Exploring Sardinia's delicacies

With tradition so deeply rooted in every element of the local community, home-cooked meals are easy to come by. Restaurants serve up everything from freshly-caught seafood to suckling pig, and you can expect great Italian classics from the cosy trattorias that line the streets.

There’s also plenty of local wine widely available, grown in numerous vineyards dotted around the island. Try a Cannonau or Mandrolisai if you get the chance. Here are a selection of our favourite places to tuck in and drink up on holidays in Sardinia.

Traditional with a twist at Sa Ide e s'Ollia, Cagliari

This restaurant in Quartu Sant’Elena sits quietly on the outskirts of Cagliari, serving up classic Sardinian cuisine combined with modern flavours and plenty of style. The menu changes monthly, but continues to serve up delectable cuisine at affordable prices, garnering plenty of rave reviews.

While you’re here, try their ravioletti in the sauce of the day, creamy mussels and – if you have room – the locally-cured meats and cheeses of the antipasti selection. Served with an assortment of freshly baked bread, you’re sure to leave feeling satisfied.

A taste of Brazil at Aruana Churrascaria, Porto Cervo, Costa Smeralda

This Brazilian barbecue buffet offers a little something different for your holiday to Sardinia. The prices aren’t as low as other restaurants, but you can really go to town on filling your plate.

Waiters go from table to table carving succulent meats, while the all-you-can-eat buffet table is piled high with grilled vegetables, salads, cheese and even more meats. Vegetarians needn’t be worried about feeling left out though – the buffet features plenty of meat-free salads and grills to keep even the hungriest herbivore satisfied.

Generous helpings at Agriturismo San Giovanni, Olbia

Agriturismo San Giovanni has a reputation for keeping its guests very well fed. From flavourful appetisers to juicy pork stews and rich pastas, it’s impossible to leave hungry from this comfortable, casual venue.

The sweet and sour vegetables and bean stew are great choices for veggies, and carnivores will love the cured meats and suckling pig. If you can manage dessert, the homemade pastries are second to none, but chances are you might have to ask for a doggy bag. For around 30 euros per person, the food and the wine here just keep coming.

Home grown delights at Prosciutteria Sant Miquel, Alghero

Prosciutteria Sant Miquel serves some of the best food in Alghero for some of the lowest prices. Home-grown is the name of the game here, with charcuterie offerings including plenty of well-aged local cheeses and homecured meats.

This cosy restaurant is tucked away in the old town, and offers warm Italian service washed down with classic Sardinian wines. Order the tagliere sharing board if you want to try a little of a lot, and enjoy wine pairings suggested by knowledgeable staff.

Pizza heaven at Lu Furat, Alghero

Another great choice if you’re in Alghero’s old town district, Lu Furat is known for baking some of the finest pizza around. Affordable and traditionally topped, settle in under this restaurant’s stone arches and enjoy excellent wood-fired pizzas that won’t hurt your wallet.

You can get a meal for two here with drinks for under 20 euros. Try the pizza topped with radicchio and gorgonzola, or the classic quattro formaggi.