There are really many culinary reasons to visit Naples. The homeland of the best pizza in the world has much more to offer than you might think! Although the subject of food is equally important to all the inhabitants of Italy, in the South of Italy it takes on even greater importance and becomes a sacred one.
For a long time I have been dreaming of visiting Naples again, getting to know its friendlier face and trying something more than pizza. When in February I turned on the Ryanair flight search engine and saw that a return ticket to Naples (directly from Wroclaw) which cost only 20 euro (!!!), I knew it couldn’t be a coincidence, just the direction of my next trip!
Before leaving, I did a very good gastro-research, the results of which I share below 🙂 If you are wondering what and where to eat in Naples, you’ve come to the right address! Come with me to get lost in Neapolitan narrow streets and taste the most delicious local specialties!
For the best desserts in Naples
Neapolitan cake shops are dominated by two main desserts – babà and sfogliatella, the sweet symbols of Naples. You will find them literally everywhere, although there are places where they taste better or worse.
Babà is a rum (or limoncello) yeast cake in the shape of a large mushroom. She is soooo wet and, interestingly, has Polish roots! How it’s possible?
It was invented, apparently by accident, by the Polish king Stanislaw Leszczynski. He was famous for the fact that he liked to combine various unusual flavors. One time he was served a pound cake (babka), which was extremely dry. He got very nervous, with a sweeping movement he pushed the plate with the dessert away from him, hitting it against the rum that was standing next to it and accidentally spilled on the cake.
The curious king decided to check what an unusual combination of rum and babka tastes like and it turned out to be brilliant! Stanislaw named the dessert in honor of Ali Baba – one of the favorite heroes of “Tales of a Thousand and One Nights”. Make a long story short, the dessert then went to France and then to Naples.
Where to go for delicious Baba? To one of the best cake shop in the city – Scaturchio. Although the taste of the dessert has its supporters and opponents; P, it isn’t going to disappoint you at this point 🙂 I strongly recommend trying the one with the toppings from the photo!
The Neapolitan sfogliatella comes in two versions: sfogliatella riccia – it resembles a shell and is made of leafy dough, or sfogliatella frolla – made of shortcrust pastry. Both are filled with ricotta and cooked semolina as well as with flavored with orange peel inside. Keeping this dessert in your right hand (and coffee in left), it’s the best idea to start your day in Naples.
For the best sfogliatella you must definitely go to Antico Forno delle sfogliatelle calde Attanasio. The pastry shop is next to the train station and serves fresh, warm pastries, and their sfogliatelles are second to none! The best I’ve had in my life, you can’t leave Naples without trying them!
For the best pizza in Naples
Delicious pizza in Naples is actually on every corner, but there are a few places that claim to be the best. Of course, we are talking about Gino Sorbillo and L’antica Pizzeria da Michele – you can find an extensive report about them in this article.
This time I went to Sorbillo again and as usual, the pizza didn’t disappoint me. It’s worth going there at least 20 minutes before opening to avoid the biggest crowds. Sign on the guest list, and then wait patiently for them to call us. Waiting for the place is made even more pleasant by the nice Aperol Spritz, which you can buy in the neighboring bar for only 2 euro 🙂 Everything there has been well thought out!
Another place where you will eat one of the best pizzas in Naples (or maybe even the best?) is called Starita. The restaurant is famous for having a scene for the movie L’oro di Napoli, where Sophia Loren plays the role of a “pizzaiolo” while preparing a fried pizza. However, on the Internet you can find information that it isn’t true, which doesn’t change the fact, in fact, that you can admire many beautiful photos of this wonderful actress in the restaurant!
The prices in the pizzeria are really decent, you can buy Margherita for 5 euros! There are many interesting compositions on the menu, we ordered Diavola with spicy salami and Pistacchi e salsiccia with provola, sausage, pistachio pesto and basil – the latter tasted surprisingly good!
There is one more culinary reason why you must visit Starita. Here, for dessert, you can order the brilliant angiolettialpistacchio, i.e. pieces of fried pizza dough covered with a fantastic pistachio cream. Yummy!
Aghh, and after this hearty feast, to make the digestive process a little easier, be sure to order MELONCELLO (how could I have lived in ignorance for so many years and not know about its existence beforehand?!), a melon milk liqueur made in Sorrento! After tasting this drink of the gods, your life will never be the same as before! Meloncello tasted much better than the traditional limoncello, which is also produced in this region 🙂
For the best pasta in Naples
While doing research on where to eat in Naples, I realized that this place is recommended by everyone. And no wonder because it’s really great!
It is in this place – Tandem – that you will taste pasta with a fatty and extremely aromatic Neapolitan ragù sauce, which is different from the more famous one from Bologna. To prepare the real ragù napoletano sauce, you use whole pieces of pork and beef (not minced meat as in the Bologna version), tomato puree (made from the famous san marzano tomatoes!), onions, olive oil and red wine. You need to put a lot of love and patience in its preparation, because the dish must be cooked for at least 6 hours!
In Tandem, different types of pasta are consistently served with just two sauces – Neapolitan ragù (tomato sauce with beef and pork) and ragù genovese (beef and onion sauce, supposedly delicious!).
I ordered Ziti al ragù – 8.5 euro (ziti is a typical Naples type of pasta), and my friends Manfredi ragù e ricotta – 10.5 euro (manfredi is a long and wide ribbon-like pasta with curled edges on the sides) and Gnocchi ragù e provola – 12.5 euros. All the compositions tasted wonderful! Next time I will definitely try something with ragù genovese 🙂
An interesting option on the menu is also scarpetta al ragù, a bowl filled with ragù sauce with a portion of bread. What does fare la scarpetta mean? It’s a lifestyle! This is the saying, popular in Italy, of tearing bread piece by piece and dipping it in sauce so that nothing is wasted 🙂
For the best street-food in Naples
Of course, Neapolitan street food could not be without some pizza-related variation! Pizza fritta, or fried pizza in the shape of a crescent moon, is another greasy symbol of Neapolitan street food.
The idea for it was born after World War II, when the situation in Southern Italy was not the best and traditional pizza became a luxury product – not everyone could afford to prepare it at home, especially since many wood-fired ovens were destroyed during the war. So the Neapolitans thought that instead of baking, you can simply fry the same pizza dough!
One of the best fried pizzas in Naples is at Zia Esterina Sorbillo! I recommend ordering the composition “Completa al Salame” with ricotta, provola, salami, tomato sauce and pepper. This golden, crispy crust combined with a wet, delicious filling creates a perfect duo!
In the streets of Naples you can find yet another type of fried pizza – la Montanara! It is smaller than a traditional fritta pizza, round and mostly empty inside, but decorated on top with san marzano tomato sauce, a slice of mozzarella or provoli and a basil leaf.
You can get it, for example, in the popular in the center Passione di Sofi or Fiorenzano, where traditional Neapolitan street-food is served (be sure to try the crocchè di patate – delicious potato croquettes with mozzarella, parmesan and parsley or panino napoletano!).
There is one more thing you can’t leave Naples without trying – frittatina di pasta! It is a perfect snack for a walk, and it includes pasta, béchamel, peas and cooked ham, then everything is of course fried and topped with a perfect, crispy coating.
The best frittatina di pasta you can eat in L’antica pizzeria e friggitoria di Matteo! You should also try the eggplants in breadcrumbs there (20 cents each!) and pizza and portafoglio, which is a real Neapolitan pizza, only in a more handy version – folded in four! The culinary creativity of the Naples people knows no bounds !! 🙂 Also remember that you will only get this type of pizza until noon. I wanted to order a pizza and portafoglio at 19 and my request was met with great surprise among the staff: P I learned that it is a typical student snack and it is not served in the evening.
For crazy nightlife and the cheapest Aperol Spritz in town
There are many stories about Neapolitan Quartieri Spagnoli, but this district cannot be taken away from its atmosphere and authenticity. What happened on last Saturday night! Check out my Instagram Stories here to teleport there for a while 🙂
The hallmarks of this extremely loud and chaotic district are dried laundry, scooters squeezing into the narrowest streets, colorful altars, murals with Diego Maradona and … Aperol Spritz for 1 euro! Quartieri Spagnoli is a temple of delicious and cheap Aperol Spritz, for which this place is the most famous – Cammarota Spritz, occupied by young people and students at the weekend. Next to this place there are many others where you can taste this magical orange drink at an equally low price 🙂
For drinks and lively nightlife, I recommend going to Piazza Dante and Piazza Bellini 🙂
For the best coffee in Naples
Naples is said to have the best coffee in Italy and many of my friends from different parts of Italy have confirmed this information. If you are coffee lovers and fans of strong espresso, then you have another reason to visit the capital of Campania 🙂
During your stay in Naples, be sure to visit one of the oldest bars in Italy – Gran Caffè Gambrinus, founded in 1860. This is where you can enjoy a delicious coffee with hazelnut cream – caffe nocciola (2.50 euro at the counter)! It was one of the best dining experiences for me, and the cafe itself has a really impressive interior!
For the best pistachio ice cream
You know very well that I am a huge fan of pistachio cream – if you are too, be sure to stop by Casa Infante for pistachio ice cream! There are several types of them, you will not be disappointed :))
How about a glass of wine in a beautiful garden hidden on the second floor of a historic building in the very center of the city? If you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and recharge your batteries in relative silence and greenery, be sure to come to Palazzo Venezia :))
I have put a lot of effort into writing this article, so I will be very pleased if you use my tips to tag my profile on your Insta Stories or write me a message 🙂
Follow my IG profile to stay in touch with me and see the backstage of my culinary travels in Italy!