Cafés and Bars in Sorrento
In Italy's coastal town of Sorrento, the streets and squares are lined with "bars" - as cafés are commonly called in Italy - where you can stop for a drink, chat, and people-watching any time day or night.
The most popular cafés in Sorrento are those located in Piazza Tasso; if you'd like your drink served with a view, you should stop in a café in Marina Grande, Marina Piccola, or a hotel terrace ovelooking the sea.
The prices Sorrento's various cafés are more or less the same, so you can stop at any one which looks good!
The Difference between a "Bar" and a "Ristorante"
A "bar" (what Italians call a café) is primarily a place to stop for a coffee or other drink and socialize. At most, you can choose a pastry for breakfast or a sandwich or other light snack during the day. No Italian would ever dream of actually dining at a bar, as the pizzas and pasta dishes are almost always pre-prepared and/or frozen. For a full meal, stop in a ristorante or trattoria!
Italians commonly refer to an espresso as simply "un caffè", and it is served in the iconic tiny espresso cups seen in cafès across Italy. If you want something more similar to an "American" coffee, you'll need to order an "americano". You can drink your espresso or other order seated at a café table or, if you want to do as the Italians do, standing up at the counter. An espresso at the counter costs around EUR 1, whereas table service usually means you'll pay between EUR 3 and EUR 4 for an espresso.
A cappuccino is considered strictly a breakfast beverage, and Italians only drink them before about 11am. You can order one any time of day, but be prepared for quizzical stares after mid-morning!
If you're looking for a drink similar to a "Starbucks" coffee, try the Gelateria "Puro", located between Piazza Sant'Antonino and Piazza Tasso.
The "aperitivo" - a cocktail hour lasting from late afternoon until before dinner - is a popular custom among Italians and includes a light cocktail paired with anything from finger food to more filling offerings. Though it is most common in the evening, you can also have an aperitivo before lunch. The classic aperitivo drink is the "Spritz", made with Prosecco, Aperol (or Campari) bitter soda, and tonic water. The aperitivo hour reaches its peak around 7:30pm, when most cafés and bars automatically serve finger food with any drinks ordered for a small extra charge.
Many Italian cafés and bars do not offer a large selection of beers besides the classic Peroni on tap. If you would like a more varied selection, try the Bar del Carmine in Piazza Tasso or in pubs popular with English tourists like Chaplin, Crazy Horse, and the English Inn. These also serve classic English fare like hamburgers e fish and chips. The English Inn also serves an English breakfast.
Limoncello is Sorrento's traditional sweet liqueur made with local lemons. It is very high in alcohol and consumed as an after-dinner drink.