Welcome to our culinary journey through Naples, Italy - a city renowned for its mouthwatering dishes and rich gastronomic heritage. In this blog post, I'll take you on a delightful tour of the city's culinary wonders, revealing the hidden gems and must-try delicacies that Naples has to offer. From the world-famous pizza that originated in these streets to the lesser-known but equally tempting local favourites. I'll guide you to the best places to savour authentic Neapolitan cuisine. So, prepare your taste buds for a delectable adventure as we explore what to eat in Naples and where to find the most unforgettable dining experiences. Buon appetito!
Food in Naples: Salty Temptations
Naples in southern Italy is one of the most appreciated cities in the world for its cuisine. Visiting Naples means immersing yourself in the Mediterranean colours and flavours. Walking through the streets of this city is experiencing its vivacity and sounds. Food smells so good and the scent of coffee is in every corner.
Neapolitan cuisine has a long tradition and is an integral part of the city's culture.
We can say that is impossible to visit Naples, without gaining a few kilograms, but it's worth it!
I want to make sure you have a great food experience in my city, take note of my list of What to Eat in Naples and Where: from pizza and pasta to delicious pastries.
Pizza is the queen of Naples. It’s impossible to think of this city without thinking of pizza. Did you know that it was invented here?
Neapolitan pizza is an art as well as an ancient tradition. Soft and thin inside, the perimeter is smooth and raised (sometimes can also be stuffed, it depends on the pizzeria). The authentic Neapolitan pizza is light and so digestible, thanks to the long leavening. The pizza doesn't break if you fold it but remains soft. Strictly cooked in a wood-burning oven, with handmade pasta and sourdough.
Let's start with the classic flavours:
- Pizza Margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella di bufala and basil.
- Pizza Marinara with tomato sauce, oregano and garlic.
A must-stop to taste the best pizza in Naples is at L'Antica (ancient) Pizzeria da Michele, they only do these 2 classical pizza but be prepared to queue!
via Cesare Sersale, 1 - 80128 Naples
Eating pizza is a moment of joy. There are so many different toppings, you are spoiled for choice. Among the best ones:
- Pizza salsicce (sausages) and friarielli: winter Neapolitan veggies like broccoli, but with a more robust and bitter taste. Fried with garlic and olive oil.
- Fried Pizza: Pocket fried pizza, the classic version is stuffed with cicoli or salami, buffalo ricotta, provola, pepper and basil.
Antica Friggitoria Masardona (Ancient Fry Shop)
Piazza Vittoria 5 - 80121 Naples
via Giulio Cesare Capaccio 27 - 80142 Naples
via Materdei 27/29 - 80136, Naples
2. Pasta with seafood
Fresh fish is absolutely a must-try traditional in Naples. Pasta with seafood is a top-notch plate. Way better if the restaurant serves fresh homemade pasta.
You can try spaghetti or tagliatelle with clams and zucchini, or linguine with shrimp, fresh tomatoes and parsley.
We suggest to chose one of these best restaurants in Naples by the sea, so you can enjoy the panorama and a lovely walk:
Ristorante Pizzeria Da Gigino, Sorrento
Via degli Archi 15 - 80067 Sorrento, Naples
Ristorante Antonio Antonio
Via Partenope, 26 - 80121, Naples
Via Posillipo, 45 - 80123, Naples
105, Vc. Lungo Teatro Nuovo - 80134, Naples
3. Buffalo Mozzarella
Wandering what to eat in Naples? Mozzarella, of course!
Forget about the supermarket products, Mozzarella di bufala is made from buffalo milk produced in Campania, the region of which Naples is the capital.
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A typical way of eating Buffalo Mozzarella is with tomato salad, olive oil, oregano and basil (Caprese salad). Very tasty too is the antipasto with mozzarella, raw ham and melon.
Fratelli La Bufala, one of the best restaurants in Naples, Italy
Via Medina 5 - 80133 Naples
Via Partenope, 18 and Vico II Alabardieri 7
4. Parmigiana di melanzane (Eggplant pie)
Another typical Neapolitan dish, made with simple and tasty ingredients: eggplant, mozzarella, tomato sauce with onion and fresh basil, parmesan, and oil. In this salty pie are alternate layers of fried aubergine slices, sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. Slices of ham can also be added.
A very versatile dish. Served as a second course or as a side dish to accompany the meat. Also used to stuff sandwiches.
Where to taste Melanzana di parmigiana:
'A Taverna Do' Re in Piazza Municipio, Naples
La Cantina in Via Della Sapienza 40, Naples
Best Desserts in Naples
My Naples food guide continues with the best cakes you can't miss.
Sfogliatella is the typical pastry of this region and comes in two main variants:
- Sfogliatella riccia, crispy puff pastry with a seashell shape.
- Sfogliatella frolla, shortcrust pastry with a round shape. Both are mainly filled with ricotta cheese, mixed candied fruit.
For an unforgettable taste experience (not only for sfogliatella but for all types of cakes and desserts) we recommend:
Sfogliatella Mary, inside the Galleria Umberto I, via Toledo, 66
Cuori di Sfogliatella, in front of Naples Central Station, Corso Novara, 1.
Babà has a special place in my ranking of what to eat in Naples. It's a typical Neapolitan dessert, soft and saturated in syrup made with rum. There is also a version with Limoncello, typical of Amalfi or Sorrento Coast.
Babà has a mushroom shape, plain or filled with different creams: whipped cream, pastry cream, chocolate, chantilly cream or pistachio. Decorated with dried fruit grains or fresh fruit. Taste it with a shot of homemade Limoncello!
My suggestion is to Babà while wandering through Naples historic centre. There, you'll find lots of places to buy this delicious bubbly sponge, such as:
Sindaco Squisitezze Napoletane
via Benedetto Croce 46
Mazz Antica Pasticceria Babà
via dei Tribunali 359
3. Fiocco di neve (snowflake)
For some years the snowflake has become part of the Neapolitan tradition and culture. A soft brioche bread with long leavening times, filled with a soft and light cream. The filling is still a mystery, experts say that there should be:
sheep's milk ricotta, whipped cream, pastry cream, vanilla and a drop of citrus liqueur. Powdered sugar on top.
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Do not leave Naples without eating this yummy treat. Here is where you can find it:
Ice cream in Naples is delightful, with so many different homemade flavours and crispy waffle cones.
Hurry here if you want to have one of the best gelatos in Naples:
Chalet Ciro a Mergellina invented the Sfogliatella cone and the Graffa cone, another typical Neapolitan sweet.
Fantasia Gelati, "Ice-cream masters in Naples for 20 years”. It has many locations, my fave is in Via Chiaia 186/187 Naples. Their laboratory chooses the most natural and genuine ingredients, such as fresh fruit and buffalo milk.
Mennella, (100% natural ingredients) via Scarlatti 97
Anema e Cono in Pozzuoli, their speciality is the handmade waffle cone.
Food in Naples is a way of life, you'll always find open bars and restaurants ready to take care of your needs. It's always the right time to enjoy a bite and perhaps do some shopping in Naples.
After all these yummy bites let's end my selection of what to eat in Naples with an espresso!
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Coffee culture is part of Italy and Naples is no exception. This city has earned a reputation for making the best coffee in Italy. Neapolitans know how to brew a killer espresso: strong, short, usually served in a very hot cup and accompanied by a glass of water. If I think of coffee in Naples, I can only picture one place: Vero Bar del Professore in Piazza Trieste e Trento, 46 - 80132 Naples.
Here, you can choose from classic and timeless espresso to hazelnut coffee. From cold and creamy coffee to pistachio coffee. Yes, you got that proper, Neapolitan coffee can even be a dessert!
Hope you enjoyed my selection of what to eat in Naples and where. Hope you'll visit my city soon and try its delicious food!