Socio-emotional features are crucial in the development and maintenance of anorexia nervosa (AN). The present study investigates the patterns of altered and preserved empathic abilities in AN. Empathy is an umbrella term that comprises the ability to recognise another’s emotional state, take another’s perspective, and fantasise (cognitive empathy), as well as the ability to experience vicarious emotions and signal them (affective empathy). These empathic abilities were measured in 43 AN patients and 33 healthy women through a multi-method approach comprising self-report measures, behavioural tasks and bodily correlates. Further, we assessed self-reported approach-avoidance attitudes towards suffering others. Results showed that, within the domain of cognitive empathy, AN patients reported impairment in recognising emotional expressions of anger and fantasising. Concerning affective empathy, they manifested lower sharing of others’ positive emotions, higher self-reported distress, and higher facial expressiveness during a video depicting a suffering person. Finally, AN patients reported lower motivation to approach suffering others. Our results draw a complex picture of preserved and altered empathic abilities in AN and capture which are the deficits mediated by the higher levels of anxiety and depression reported by the AN population and those that seem to persist independently from these co-morbid conditions.