Mainstays of typical Pantelleria cooking are fish couscous (usually only offered once a week at any given restaurant, so if you want to order it, call around to see where it's going to be available during your stay) and a condiment known as ammogghiu or pesto pantesco (made with tomatoes, capers, black olives, pine nuts, fresh local herbs, garlic, and peperoncino), used on fresh fish and pasta or spread on bread. The local cheese is tumma, made from cow's milk.
For a quick lunch in Pantelleria town, stop in at locals' haunt Cicci's Bar, Via Cagliari 7 (tel. 339/5885821; Mon-Sat 5:30am-midnight), or pick up pizza by the slice at Panificio Carmelo Giuffrida (Via Borgo Italia 21; tel. 0923/911311) and have it wrapped up for your picnic by the sea somewhere. Pasticceria da Giovanni, on Piazza Cavour (tel. 349/4759904), is the place for typical Pantescan pastries.